Mastering Stereotypes: Kung Fooled

Video

Wes, Ted, and Phillip, also known as Wong Fu Productions, have often times published videos that explicitly address stereotypes, conflicts, and perceptions that surround Asian Americans. In their 2011 video dubbed “Kung Fooled”, FreddieW and NigaHiga play starring roles as they attempt to use a stereotype to their advantage. The video begins with Freddie and Wes conversing about blatant stereotypes that Asian Americans face. Later on, Freddie is confronted by a white male with a knife who asks him for his money and cell phone. Freddie, while attempting to swat a fly, lucks out when the white robber “realizes” that Freddie knows Kung Fu. In return, the white robber leaves his cell phone and money and runs away. Soon after, Ryan Higa and Freddie confront each other after an accidental bump on the shoulders as they walked past. As things heat up, they both soon realize that neither of them knows Kung Fu, but are only bound by their stereotypical accusations. Freddie believes that the acting worked and that pretending to know Kung Fu saved him from two encounters thus far. When Freddie approaches a black male, he attempts to rob his car claiming that he knows Kung Fu. However, the African American male played upon his stereotype as the provoking hyper masculine African American male, successfully warding off Freddie.

This short video addresses the dangers of stereotypes and the falsities associated with them. Having a specific mindset given by the general public pertains many delusions of false confidence (in this example) but can also lead to delusions of low self confidence. The title of the video is quite appropriate in a sense that it is a pun that plays on Kung Fu, but addresses a grim, deeper context of stereotypes addressed to Asian American men.

In Nakamura’s “All Look Same”, Nakamura writes about a website that the general public can use to distinguish specific ethnicities of Asians from each other. The website has then since expanded and have included other forms of Asianic representations, such as art and food culture. However, their message is still the same. Depending on how one looks at this website, it can either be deemed racist or educational. This website, as does the video from Wong Fu, aims to distinguish and diversify Asians from existing stereotypes (All Look Same vs. All Knowing Kung Fu) through media exposure. After all, Nakamura does point out that Asian Americans browse the web most often.

#hi

 

Hey what’s up everyone! My name’s Kelvin Li, I’m a soon to be fourth-year majoring in Environmental Studies, Sociology, and minoring in Asian American Studies. I noticed the widespread Asian American pop culture through two different aspects – one macro and one micro. On a macro scale, let’s talk YouTube. Some of the most subscribed people on YouTube (including Nigahiga, Kev Jumba, Wong Fu, etc.) are in my opinion bringing Asian American awareness to the public through pop culture ties. On a micro level, there’s a phenomena where I’m from called the “626” area. There’s even a YouTube video made on this area code, as it designates one of the heaviest Asian populations in California. The best part of 626 is the wide variety of cheap Asian food.

I think popular culture represents what the majority of the population can attest to. Simply put, it’s what someone from the United States can share with someone from Korea without any language barriers (for example, Gangnam Style and my study abroad adventures in Korea). Asian American popular culture consists of what Asian Americans find “popular”. For example, the standard boba drink has been widely attested to Asian heritage, and it’s a gathering symbol of popular culture amongst Asian ethnicities. It’s important to study pop culture to not only analyze it through a scholarly lens to predict where societal trends might be headed, but also raise self awareness into current trends and changing cultural norms.