In ‘The Good Wife’, contrast the depiction of the leading character Alicia Florrick (played by Julianna Margulies)- a noble white woman, with the promiscuous nature of the Indian female supporting actress Kalinda Sharma (played by Archie Panjabi).
Florrick, the lead character of the show returned to law after being embarrassed by her husband’s infidelity, juggles both home and professional life with the ongoing scandal surrounding her husband. She is ‘smart, independent, fiercely protective of her children, and much more than just a good wife’.
Now the Asian female. According to Wikipedia, Kalinda is fierce and occasionally physically violent. This is a common trope that maligns Asian-American women: that they are either submissive or aggressive and cut-throat. She generally does not work well with others. “After becoming good friends, Alicia finds out Kalinda had a one-night stand with Peter. Kalinda has a cynical, misanthropic outlook on human behavior. She is bisexual and has a series of relationships through the show, mostly with women and often because they can help her with a case.”
“The character’s signature wardrobe piece is a pair of knee-high boots. In Season 4, it is revealed that Kalinda has an estranged abusive husband, Nick Saverese, played by Marc Warren”. The relationship is abusive and features at least one disgusting sex scene where Nick fingers Kalinda in public. In Season 4- Episode 2: “One minute, Nick is making Kalinda feel guilty about leaving him fresh out of jail with no money. And the next, Nicks pulling his fingers out from under the table (and, presumably, from under Kalinda’s skirt) and sinking them straight into her soft serve. The scene ends with – no, really – Kalinda taking a big lick of her ice cream despite the intrusion.” (source: TVGuide). She is hopelessly drawn to the white male, despite the fact he intimidates and degrades her.
Here are just a few of the people who have had sex with Kalinda on the show:
Is there any white man OR woman not having sex with Kalinda at this point? Lana, Dexter, Nick, Donna, Peter, Cary….there may be more, I lost track. It’s not enough that a veritable train of white men and women have sex with Kalinda. It appears common on TV shows that the Asian woman has no sex life or goes through a series of partners (see also Divya in Royal Pains). In either case, she is usually ‘won over’ by a white man, or in this case both white men and women. In contrast, the lead character Alicia has a more respectable profile.
An interesting sidetone on the actress Archie Panjabi. Although she was coached on the show to be promiscuous, in one scene on a different show, “The Fall”, she was criticized by the show’s Director for being too sexually aggressive with one (more) white woman she was paired with. That’s when she realized she couldn’t go on any further with “The Good Wife” and left at the end of Season 6. The breaking point wasn’t misrepresenting Asian women as sexually available and damaging the community’s self-worth. But rather her being judged for what she became after being in this role for years.
CATEGORY OF OFFENSE: Gender ( Asian Woman as plaything to White Male)
MEDIA TYPE: TV Show
OFFENSE DATE: January 1, 2019