Stereotype

In Lucy, feminism is taking vengeance against Asian men

Lucy is a film by Luc Besson, shot mostly in Taiwan. Maybe over half of the characters on screen are Asian. You would think it being 2014, this film would have meant great progress in terms of getting fair representation of Asians in film. However, every single Asian person that appeared in the film was a dehumanizing stereotype as either villains or useless.

There are only 4 types of Asian males that exist in director Luc Besson’s world.

1) The authoritarian, controlling, cowardly, abusive Asian patriarch, who puts no value on anyones life. He hides when under danger, pushing his minions as fodder. He will yell and scream at his underlings until things get done, while doing nothing himself. He embodies the stereotypical Asian patriarch trope. Ever noticed how an Asian authority figure is never portrayed to have positive charismatic leadership. They always exert their authority through toxic abusive usage of power. This portrayal contaminates how people think about working under an Asian person and their leadership skills, contributing to bamboo ceiling. Mr. Jang is tagged with every bad trait imaginable without a single redeeming feature. Even Besson says Mr. Jang was made to be the ultimate devil in an interview. [1]

2) The emotionless, violent, nameless, indistinguishable, evil, foreign henchman. None of them had significant dialog or showed any humanity. They were the faceless dehumanized Asian menace – the yellow peril.

3) The leering, creepy, misogynist, sadistic rapists. They were portrayed as only strong enough to beat a fragile innocent tied-up white girl, Scarlett Johansson. And after her transformation, they all drop like flies. Asian males could only resort to rape to satisfy their lust. They have no qualms in groping and molesting women. If they stupidly think the lust is reciprocated, they are readily punished with death, as shown in the scene where the transformed Johansson opened her legs and smiled as a bait, then immediately disposed of her Taiwanese jailor.

4) Every other Asian character shows up as disposable servants whose value is determined by whether they could serve the white protagonist. If they are not valuable, they are disposed of.

In an especially offensive scene, there was a Taiwanese cab driver who merely said he could not speak English. As he was useless to the white woman, he was instantly shot in cold-blood by the hero, Lucy. Note that this was in Taiwan. How ridiculous was that he is required to speak English in his own country. More ridiculously, the scene of him getting shot was played off as a joke. And the other cab driver was forced to apologize and cower in fear against a white person.

This scene is so bad that it got a lot of press from other social justice blogs, channels, and publications. [2][3][4][5]

Not being able to speak English is shameful for an Asian. Asians should be apologetic about their lack of English speaking abilities, even in their native country. This is the message that this scene pile drives into us.

This entitlement is enabled by the subconscious assumption that Asians have a lower status and value, especially those who aren’t useful to white people and can’t communicate in some foreign language, as it is clearly the only language that allows you to be humanized. If this troubling racist assumption don’t exist, the scene would look greatly out of place, failing the suspension of belief. For example, transpose this situation to France. An English speaker rudely ask a Parisian cab driver, if he speaks English, then shot him when he said no. French people would obviously raise a huge storm of protest, seeing this as an act of great Anglo arrogance and entitlement.

In another scene, the film seemingly goes out of its way to insinuate Asian men as sexually unattractive to white females. A white female friend of Lucy, Caroline (played by Analeigh Tipton) makes small chat with Lucy.

“So I spend all day at this audition, awesome. And then they say they always gonna call and they never do. They don’t even take your phone number. You know, except this one guy, I bet he, uh…he’s not Chinese. He works at the agency and he’s cute Oh my God, he’s cute! You know, like, the cute in kinda way, like he has this thing. Oh my God, his arse. And you’ll never gonna guess where he takes me”

Out of everything she could have said, she went out of the way to reject the possibility of her attraction to an Asian man in Asia. In this case, a Chinese man in a country where 99% of the population are Chinese. A white woman being attracted to an Asian man? Nope, never in a big box office film. The same thing happened in Lost in Translation, where Scarlett Johansson goes to Tokyo, and ends up with a white male over twice her age because dating a Japanese man would be “unthinkable”.

Think about when is the last time interracial attraction between Asian male and white female was presented as a possibility in a big box office western film, while how many times last year you have seen white male and Asian female coupling being presented as epitome of true love and social progress. Notice how the only interaction between Asian males and white females in this film are of the negative and harmful nature to Asian men.

When every single Asian male portrayed in this film is part of a long drawn out negative trope, it is clear that in the director’s and screenwriter’s world, they simply cannot see Asian men as good, emotional, competent, honest human beings. This kind of racist portrayal damages the way Asians are perceived and treated in not just the US or the west, but in every culture and society that this film is exported to, effectively exporting American racism.

[1] http://www.lucymovie.com/pdf/lucy_production_notes.pdf
[2] http://www.xojane.com/entertainment/the-problem-with-lucy-and-white-feminism
[3] http://powderroom.kinja.com/no-hollywood-ignore-lucy-please-1612177570
[4] http://reverseracism.tumblr.com/post/82811215828/how-is-lucy-racist-i-wanted-to-watch-it-and-now
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oca-NzO5wL4

OFFENDER: EuropaCorp
CATEGORY OF OFFENSE: Stereotype
MEDIA TYPE: Movie
OFFENSE DATE: July 25, 2014
URL: Click For More

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