The newest episode of CBS’ sitcom, Superior Donuts, recently aired an episode ridden with jokes about Asian women's' butts and Asian men being “tiny.” All of these jokes were said by the black main character Franco, who of course can’t be racist because he’s black, EH WRONG. Like I keep saying, just because you’re discriminated against doesn’t mean you can’t discriminate yourself. In fact, a lot of people who are underprivileged also have privilege, which blinds them to the fact they too have unconscious bias. Also, like I keep saying, CBS and other major cable networks, as well as Netflix (I’m looking at you Kimmy Schmidt), please STOP THINKING IT’S OKAY TO MAKE ASIAN JOKES. Not to mention Franco wore a Chicago Blackhawks jersey in one episode without making any mention that the Blackhawks logo is racist. Native American people are not your mascots.
The “joke” Franco said was about his laptop which broke in the beginning of the episode as he was video chatting his girlfriend trying to get a look at her bra. He was recounting all of the fond memories he had with his laptop. His laptop was there to help him through his “Asian girl phase, his big butt phase, and his big butt Asian girl phase.” I guess the only positive spin I could get from this is that Asian girls can have “curves” too, but that’s a stretch. Franco is just adding to the long history of the fetishization of Asian women and the mistreatment of Asian women in the porn industry. "Asian Street Meat" is a common porn video company that comes up when you search “Asian.” They basically treat the women like you’d think, like meat, like objects, like holes. Women, especially Asian women, face two forms of sexualization and objectification. They face the stereotypes all women face, such as needing to be thin, quiet, and submissive. But these stereotypes don’t only come from being women, but are doubled because of their race. The Asian race has been seen as the perfect minority, quiet, yet successful and thus, “white.” Asian women for instance just don’t have pressure to be thin as women, but the pressure to be thin as Asian, who are known for “being able to eat whatever they want without gaining weight.” CBS should be ashamed of itself for using Asian women as a butt of a cruel and dehumanizing joke. I’m surprised Maya didn’t speak up for those women, but she’s a white feminist, not an intersectional one. I guess intersectionality was too much for CBS to handle. They can take on black men, Jewish men, and Iraqi men, but when it comes to Asian women they’re like nope.
Speaking of men, they recently made a joke within the same episode about “tiny Japanese business men.” This one was made with less fanfare, but it still hurts. Not all Japanese people are tiny and of course they’re not all business men, cold, and calculating. Fawz and Franco then have a conversation with stereotypical Japanese words such as “domo,” “arigato,” “sayonara,” and bow to each other hands clasped. I really hope that this critique brings awareness that Superior Donuts, though a show all about inclusivity and progress, is still falling for the same old shtick that Asian people are for some reason, comical.
23 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.