Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"The Donger and Me" by Adrian Tomine

Stuff Asian People Hate #16: Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles.

Adrian Tomine's sweet little comic about his rage over Long Duk Dong
resurfaces as a tie-in to an All Things Considered "In Character" segment about LDD.

John Hughes' contempt for people of color in Sixteen Candles, National Lampoon's Vacation and Weird Science is the reason why I can't join in the love for Hughes movies, although I have a soft spot for Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Ally Sheedy's Breakfast Club klepto chick (pre-makeover, of course) and the dialogue in Christmas Vacation ("Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?").

UPDATE: I just found a 2004 New York Times article about Sixteen Candles in which even Molly Ringwald herself is bothered by the way Hughes portrayed anyone who wasn't white:
Ms. Ringwald finds a few things about these films regrettable. One thing she found ''significantly disturbing,'' she wrote, ''was how white the films are.'' ''Considering the fact that in the 80's everyone was writing anti-apartheid songs,'' she said, ''I find it a little embarrassing that there isn't one African-American or Hispanic person in any of the films. The one Asian person is a stereotype.''
The saddest thing about this? Ringwald is able to come out and say LDD is a stereotype, while Gedde Watanabe--LDD himself--has never done so. To quote one of the Fighting 44s, "You would think that he'd be apologizing for that terrible role and the racism his role enabled... It's almost as if he's laughing at us."

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