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Thread: Lack of Asians on Buffy

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    Angry Lack of Asians on Buffy

    Basically the only notable Asian in the Buffy television series was the Slayer that Spike killed during the Boxer Rebellion. I don't recall Buffy having any Asian friends, or even classmates at Sunnydale High for that matter.

    No Asians in the Initiative. No Asian doctors helping Buffy's sickly mother. Basically in Buffy the tv series, its like Asians didn't exist. Or is that too strong a statement?

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    You're going to hurt Nicole Bilderback's feelings talking that way. Or not, because I have no idea if she cares if her meta-category of ethnic origins is sufficiently represented in a TV show besides just herself.

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    The potential Chao-Ahn sprung to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendolyn Post View Post
    Basically the only notable Asian in the Buffy television series was the Slayer that Spike killed during the Boxer Rebellion. I don't recall Buffy having any Asian friends, or even classmates at Sunnydale High for that matter.

    No Asians in the Initiative. No Asian doctors helping Buffy's sickly mother. Basically in Buffy the tv series, its like Asians didn't exist. Or is that too strong a statement?

    I'm sure you could pick out several more racial stereotypes who didn't feature much in BtVS, but I'm not sure of the point your trying to make?

    I'm sure there are plenty of small towns in the USA that had relatively small numbers of ethnic minorities living in them in the late 90's/early 2000's. There are probably some towns that still fit this category. I don't subscribe personally to the idea of injecting characters of 'ethnic' origin into either television, film, theater or prose for the purposes of 'political correctness'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giles View Post
    I don't subscribe personally to the idea of injecting characters of 'ethnic' origin into either television, film, theater or prose for the purposes of 'political correctness'.
    Agreed, like positive discrimination at casting time should occur. Huh, positive discrimination really pees me off to be honest, there is never anything positive about it.

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    It should look like making Potions in HP.

    When you try to make your own show. You get the requirement list.

    You need x amount of Asian people.
    You need x amount of black people.
    You need x amount of gay characters.

    Which is ridiculous imo. Tho I did notice that almost every ''new'' show has at least one black character.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Agreed, like positive discrimination at casting time should occur. Huh, positive discrimination really pees me off to be honest, there is never anything positive about it.
    I can't argue with that. 'Positive discrimination' usually means that you will 'positively' end up with the wrong person for the role/job. Ability, experience and skill seem to be becoming 'dirty' words in modern society... Gawd, I think I'm having a Giles moment

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    The few Asians on the show have already been mentioned by previous posters. If the representation of Asians is paltry on Buffy, then that for Latinos is even less.

    You have to remember that television in the US (note that I don't call it "American Television") is such that casting directors and the industry executives they answer to have very narrow criteria for whom they will permit to find employment in the industry, at the expense of any versimilitude in the medium.

    Most high schools in CA these days -- if depicted accurately on TV -- will have a large component of Hispanic/Latino students, followed by East Asian (and to a lesser extent South Asian) students, and at the bottom of the list, pretty (bleach-)blondes and burly surfer-dudes.

    Thus, only a fool would assume that what is presented on TV is a true likeness of what America is like. The US is extremely diverse ethnically, linguistically and culturally and viewers do not see this truth.

    Ergo, I cannot in truth call it "American Television".
    "Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day. It's what we have to do."

    (BtVS, ep 3x10, "Amends", 40:56)

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteHat View Post
    The few Asians on the show have already been mentioned by previous posters. If the representation of Asians is paltry on Buffy, then that for Latinos is even less.
    Good point! Although Joss did honour the native Americans in his episode with the Schumack Indian warrior (who Buffy killed). Ironicall,y it seems Hispanics are the only racial group to have zero reproesentation at all in Buffy. Remember, there is an Indian Watcher in the cross roads episode where the Council takes Rupert back and gives Buffy info on Glory. Then again, a British Indian isn't really the samething as a Slumdog Millionaire India Indian, but at least that racial group is represented in one episode.

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    Apart from Cordy according to Charisma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendolyn Post View Post
    Good point! Although Joss did honour the native Americans in his episode with the Schumack Indian warrior (who Buffy killed). Ironicall,y it seems Hispanics are the only racial group to have zero reproesentation at all in Buffy.
    Ara Celi as "Ampata" the Inca Mummy Girl, and the ill-fated Peruvian exchange student she replaced.

    But considering the fact it's California, it would make sense that there would be far more Hispanic people in the town itself. The only one I can think of is the guy sweeping the street in The Wish.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Apart from Cordy according to Charisma.
    Well Charisma may consider herself a Latina, but I don't think that Cordelia does, or was meant to be. Especially considering this scene in The Wish:

    It's almost DUSK as Cordy, digging in her purse for her keys, marches toward where she left her car that morning. She's now pretty freaked. She reaches the parking lot and stops in her tracks. Her car is gone. In fact - there are NO CARS anywhere in sight. The parking lot is totally empty.

    CORDELIA
    Okay. Not funny!

    Cordy starts pacing - sees the caretaker hustling past.

    CORDELIA
    Hey! You! Where'd you put my car!?

    The caretaker stops. Looks at Cordy quizzically.

    CARETAKER
    Pardon?

    CORDELIA
    My auto!? El convertab-lo?

    The caretaker shakes his head. She's talking nonsense.

    CARETAKER
    You students aren't allowed
    to drive and you know it.

    CORDELIA
    What?

    CARETAKER
    Go on now, miss. You better get
    yourself inside before the sun sets.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    I actually remember there being an Asian potential. There was also a black potential and a black principal. Hmm...Oh yeah, and there was an asian slayer and a black Jamaican slayer and some black vampires, demons and some others I forget. There was also an asian vampire in the Buffy movie.
    Last edited by Ehlwyen; 25-08-12 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Edited

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    It's true that in Southern California there should be more people of Hispanic & Asian descent - but that's not representative of the country as a whole actually. There are areas in the country that are still just black and white (mainly rural areas/not near the large cities).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhermit View Post
    ...in the Buffy movie.
    *stuffs fingers in ears*
    Can't hear you! La, la, la, la, a....


    As a Congolese albino dwarf I am shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that my people were not represented on the show! I am outraged!!!1




    "Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day. It's what we have to do."

    (BtVS, ep 3x10, "Amends", 40:56)

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteHat View Post
    *stuffs fingers in ears*
    Can't hear you! La, la, la, la, a....


    As a Congolese albino dwarf I am shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that my people were not represented on the show! I am outraged!!!1




    This whole thread is making me hungry for some spicy take-out noodles and kung-fu fighting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhermit View Post
    This whole thread is making me hungry for some spicy take-out noodles and kung-fu fighting.
    ...and steamed dumplings, shrimp toast and another viewing of Kung Fu Hustle!

    Last night I rewatched the ep when Giles was trying to feed Chao-Ahn ice cream and later warm milk, and she was screaming bloody murder! Priceless.
    "Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day. It's what we have to do."

    (BtVS, ep 3x10, "Amends", 40:56)

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    Not as loud as she was screaming when Giles kept pushing bloodbath-massacre pencil-drawings under the bathroom door. Ah, my heart warms at all the fond Asian memories.

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    I am uncomfortable with the tone of the past few posts and I have had many different people let me know they are uncomfortable.

    Please refrain from the sarcasm because these short quips that might be acceptable tongue in cheek when spoken in real life to a friend, just appear racist when read.

    In addition, this is a discussion thread not a chat thread. If you think that Asians were well represented in the show, then say so. Don't make spammy comments where others cannot understand your line of reasoning.
    Last edited by Ehlwyen; 26-08-12 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Edit

    Lydia made the punch!

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    Yes, that scene with Cordelia in "The Wish" comes to mind when thinking about Latinos on Buffy.

    Non-white ethnic groups are under-represented in Buffy relative to their numbers in the general population but I don't know to what degree the show should be singled out. American primetime television generally has been criticized on this point. During the time that BtVS was on the air, in 1999, the NAACP raised criticism about the fact that minority groups were not being sufficiently represented in television shows, and has continued to raise the issue, as have other minority group advocates. Shows such as NBC's Friends were pointed out as examples. Some gestures have been made to increase representation of the non-white population. but I don't know if anything has really changed. Premiering 7-1/2 years after BtVS, Veronica Mars, also set in California, had a somewhat more ethnically diverse set of high school characters than BtVS, but the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother is just as white today as Friends was back then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendolyn Post View Post
    Ironically it seems Hispanics are the only racial group to have zero reproesentation at all in Buffy.
    Hmm. Iyari Limón, who was born in Mexico to Spanish-speaking parents and speaks fluent Spanish herself, might object to such a blanket statement...




    I seem to recall one of the Mutant Enemy staff saying that the problem is simply that in Hollywood, the vast majority of actors auditioning for parts - even at the low-level extras and bit-part level - are overwhelmingly white. It wasn't a deliberate choice to exclude ethnic minority actors; rather, for 'Buffy' and 'Angel' they didn't make the special effort to go out and look for them actively. For 'Firefly' and 'Dollhouse', however they did - probably because they'd listened to the criticisms. The casting sheets for 'Dollhouse' were put online, and it was notable to me how many of the major roles were specified as requiring 'minority ethnic' actors.

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