Plot: “The Watch” is a comedy film about a group of locals in Glenview, Ohio, setting up a neighbourhood watch to hunt down a murderer.
Scene #1: At first, nothing is out of the ordinary. The film begins with Evan Trautwig (Ben Stiller) mentioning being friends with Asians and that his next step is to become friends with a black person.
“Here in Glenview, we value diversity. I, myself, am friends with an Indian man named Clyde…and Mrs Kim, a wonderful widow from Korea. (Hey, Mrs Kim. Spray me! Spray me Neighbour. Whoo) Sun shower. Fun shower. I don’t have any black friends but I am on the market.”
Analysis #1: The audience is expected to congratulate Evan for befriending minorities as if it’s an accomplishment.
Scene #2: Evan met up with the security night shift worker, Antonio Guzman (Joseph A. Nunez), an immigrant, who just passed the American citizenship exam. He was congratulated, but almost immediately killed off by a creature.
Analysis #2: The ethnic minority, usually Black by not always – dying first is a common Hollywood trope.
Scene #3: A character named Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) introduces himself to the neighbourhood watch with….
Jamarcus: “Hello, my name is Jamarcus. I’m recently very happily divorced and just looking to get more involved with the local community…Also I have this one scenario in my mind that I’m kind of hoping it plays out like this. Young, sexy Asian housewife. Alone at night, frightened. A noise out by the trash cans. Best call the neighbourhood watch. I show up, look heroic and then, get this….she sucks my balls.”
Franklin (Jonah Hill): “I’m also interested in that happening to me”
Analysis #3: This is the dangerous submissive sex toy trope. People claim it’s a harmless joke but reality suggests otherwise. This will be explained at the end.
Scene #4: Not content to objectify Asian women as glorified sex slaves with merely words, they do it with a scene in the film that acts out Jamarcus’ sex fantasy.
He meets an Asian woman at a sex party and she immediately kneels and gives him a blowjob.
Analysis #4: This is outrageous. Prepubescent viewers (ages 12+ in Germany, Brazil, and the Netherlands) can see this scene that will form the basis of their behavior towards Asian females in the future. It contributes towards a prescriptive stereotype of Asian women and how they are expected to act towards men; that is in a sexually submissive way. This is unfair to Asian women and puts undue burdens on them in everyday life; sexual harassment often stems from these wrong expectations.
Conclusion: Relatively speaking, this film isn’t so bad, but they need to stop these “harmless” Asian sex slave “jokes”. Asian women are often targeted by men who got “inspired” by media like this. Two examples prove this point…
In Spokane, Washington, two white men and a woman specifically hunted random Japanese women
…the rapists had a sexual ‘fantasy’ and ‘fixation’ about young Japanese women, who they believed were ‘submissive.’
Many of the messages make reference to Matsumiya’s race. “Being 4’9″, Asian American and a musical performer has sort of been a nightmare combination when it comes to harassment,” she told. “It seems to attract an insane amount of unacceptable, predatory behavior.”