New Website Aims to Create Comprehensive Database of anti-Asian Media Stereotypes, But…

Actress Reshma Shetty plays Divya Katare in USA's "Royal Pains". (Photo credit: Williams & Hirakawa/USA Network)
Actress Reshma Shetty plays Divya Katare in USA’s “Royal Pains”. (Photo credit: Williams & Hirakawa/USA Network)

Negative, oftentimes racist, portrayals of Asian Americans have persisted in Western media for over a century. When we are not entirely absent from media representation, we appear mostly in exaggerated and stereotyped form: rodent-like subhumans; alien threats; hypersexualized objects of desire; buffoonish clowns; socially maladjusted nerds; martial artists; criminal gangsters. Too often, these performances are coupled with the absence of even an Asian American face: instead, non-Asian actors adopt these and other stereotypes to enact Asian-ess through yellowface.

A new website — Kulture — now seeks to act as a watchdog for Asian American representation in popular media by inviting crowd-sourced submission of stereotypical depictions for inclusion in their database.

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