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On the Same Page 2022: Interior Chinatown

UC Berkeley's On the Same Page program gives new students (and everyone else!) at Cal something to talk about

Chinese Americans in Hollywood

Chinese Americans and Asian Americans have been part of American film history since the beginning. Early actors such as Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa reached stardom in the early 20th century but faced constricting and degrading stereotypes that portrayed Asian people as deceptive, sinister, exotic, or fetishized. Generations of actors and others in the film industry have grappled with these stereotypes and an entertainment industry that often caters to a dominant white audience at the expense of people of color. 

Willis Wu, the protagonist of Interior Chinatown, lives in the world of the TV cop show, "Black and White."  Willis usually plays Background Oriental Male or Generic Asian Man.  His mother has been Pretty Oriental Flower, Asiatic Seductress, and Young Dragon Lady, but now she is Old Asian Woman.  His father has been Twin Dragon and Wizened Chinaman, but is now Old Asian Man. Willis dreams of being Kung Fu Guy, of even Very Special Guest Star, which is "the ceiling... the terminal, ultimate, exalted position for any. Asian working in this world."



Asian American Media