Topics & Articles

Home

Culture

Ethnic Groups

History

Issues

Links

Viet Nam



Search

or Browse the Archives

or Gets Posts by Tags



Most Popular Books on Asian-Nation

Miscellaneous

All posts copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le.
Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

Blog powered by WordPress


Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

June 2, 2005

Written by C.N.

49ers Video Promotes Anti-Asian Stereotypes

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that they have obtained a copy of an training tape, produced in-house by the San Francisco 49ers’ public relations director Kirk Reynolds, which includes several off-color depictions of life in the San Francisco area. As the article notes, they include spoofs about lesbians, gay marriage, topless dancers, and unfortunately, about Asian Americans:

The 15-minute video . . . was intended as a primer on how players should handle the media in diverse San Francisco. Instead, it’s turned into a team embarrassment — with PR man Reynolds looking for another job. . .

[The video] opens with Reynolds impersonating the mayor and speaking directly into the camera about this “beautiful, diverse and tremendous city.” “I’m going to take you through the city,” Reynolds says — and what a trip it is.

First stop, Chinatown. Reynolds says the team reads everything written about the players and the organization. Then, to illustrate the point, a bespectacled, buck-toothed Chinese man in an aloha shirt (played by then-49ers trainer and martial arts expert George Chung) is asked to translate an Asian newspaper story.

Sure — the man says in theatrical Asian accent. “Tim Latte (Rattay, a Niners quarterback). He feel good now. He feeling good. No plactice with the team, so most of the time he play with himself.” Another show stopper: “49ers love being in community. Very patriotic . . . support president and his George Bush erection.”

“Erection?” Reynolds asks. “Yes,” the Chinese man responds. “It say, ‘You like Bush –then you like his erection.’ “My name is Suck Hung,” the Chinese man says as he’s leaving. “My brother’s name is Suck Young –my whole family suck.”

You can view each segment of the video at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/06/01/MNdisclaimer01.DTL but below is the segment set in Chinatown — judge for yourself if it is racist:

Needless to say, Gavin Newsom (SF’ss mayor) and the 49er ownership are not amused and Reynolds is now apparently looking for a new job. Although I can appreciate the “locker room” humor tone of the video, the fact that it uses the stereotype of nerdy Asian foreigners with exaggerated accents is very offensive. What’s even more offensive to me is that an Asian American (49er trainer) George Chung willingly participated in it and indeed played up his buffoon role.

Although the 49ers organization has apologized to the Chinese American community in San Francisco, it all goes to show that ignorance comes from both sides — Asian Americans are not immune to reinforcing and perpetuating stereotypes against themselves.


Translate Into Another Language

Rules for Comments Post a Comment

All submitted comments are first reviewed before appearing on the site. Constructive disagreement and intelligent debate are fine and encouraged. Comments that just spew personal hatred, contain personal attacks, excessive profanity, spam or are blatantly offensive, slanderous, threatening, racist, or irrelevant to the topic are not and will be edited out or deleted, along with duplicate comments submitted on multiple posts.


comments powered by Disqus


Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "49ers Video Promotes Anti-Asian Stereotypes" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/06/49ers-training-tape-promotes-anti-asian-stereotypes/> ().

Short URL: http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/?p=88