I don’t know a lot about ABC’s new series, Fresh Off the Boat (which premieres in February) except that the series creator, Eddie Huang, is sensitive enough to Asian stereotypes that he led a Twitter campaign to get ABC to change the name of his own show from the original title, Far East Orlando (the series is based on Huang’s memoir, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir).
Given that, and the fact that Huang and ABC are trying to succeed with the first Asian-American television sitcom since Margaret Cho’s failed attempt, All American Girl, you might imagine that the creator and cast won’t put up with the outdated stereotypes from the media.
Enter unnamed television journalist who, at the TCAs, asked this as the VERY FIRST QUESTION of the panel:
“I love the Asian culture. And I was just talking about the chopsticks, and I just love all that. Will I get to see that, or will it be more Americanized?”
Way to reduce the entire Asian culture to chopsticks, fella/gal. How did the cast respond? In a way that makes me want to watch the show, actually (via US Magazine):
The surprised-looking cast didn’t miss a beat as actress Constance Wu, who plays Huang family matriarch Jessica Huang, said, “Yeah, we got some chopsticks.”
Producer Eddie Huang added, “Yeah, we got a lot of chopsticks,” with writer and executive producer Nahnatchka Khan adding, “Wait till Episode 5. It’s all about chopsticks.”
Not backing down, the reporter then continued the line of questioning, asking, “Will there be more about the culture or is it more about the becoming more American?”
Huang joked, “It’s more about the chopsticks.”
Cast member Randall Park — who was amazing in Seth Rogen’s The Interview — kept the banter going:
“The original title was ‘Chopsticks,’” Park joked.
“But ‘Chopsticks’ was too controversial, so we changed it,” Wu said.
“There was also rights issues with the piano song,” Huang added.
The lesson here, of course, is DON’T ASK STUPID RACIST QUESTIONS or you will be hilariously mocked.
Via Us Magazine