The BBC has aired a new television show called “Chinese Burn” centered around the life of three Asian women in London, positioning itself to be edgy and tackling stereotypes surrounding Asian women. Unfortunately, it does nothing of the sort, and instead is extremely racist against both Asian women and men, with Asian women being the heaviest perpetrators of racism against their male counterparts.
Although the show is currently not available outside of the U.K., Reddit user Seb_Paradise posted on aznidentity, a subreddit discussing issues pertaining to the global Asian community, his thoughts on the matter after having watched the first episode.
“I would put this down as the most racist television programme I have ever seen (well, it is honestly up there with the likes of Der Stürmer from 1923-45 Germany); a programme that is broadcasted on tv to millions of households. It is a new series that makes the US landscape look like it is 50 years ahead. I would never have imagined I would see the day where I can say that the US is 50 years ahead in terms of social progress. However, for me, it puts everything into context, regarding our struggle in the west.
“I cannot believe I am actually saying this in 2017, they applauded this… It’s like [the U.K.] saw the worst of anti-Asian racist depictions (e.g. Ken Jeong) and thought: ‘Hey, I will make our version 100x worse and try and pass it off as satire and call it empowering while we are at it!!!’“
He then took the time to transcribe some of the most offensive lines for those unable to view the show:
“We’re Chinese girls in London bitches. And you’re going to love us long time” (mock accent)
Holding camera phone to other main woman: “Nice Thai prostitute. Scream like a Korean prostitute. Scream like a Saudi prostitute. Are you really auditioning for a prostitute again?”
Chinese male boss of one of the main females: “Have you heard about my one inch dick?” “My friends call me Hang, for large reasons” “You’re Chinese, so I doubt it, Hang”
One of the main women: “Fucking racists, they want a Chinese prostitute that does martial arts and says shit like “Herro” …. “You said the audition was racist!” “Who cares? I got the recall”
“D.A.G.S – ‘desperate asian guys’ – “overly groomed asian men who seem to follow us everywhere”
One of the main women: “You sympathy fucker, there is no way I can touch that thing, I don’t do Chinese”
One of the main women: “’Do’ means have sex with. She does not have sex with Chinese people. She’s racist.”
Other main woman in response: “I can’t control how my body feels. It’s just when any of them comes close, it’s like drylands”.
One of the main women: “You came already?” (Protagonist starts yanking off Chinese joke figure in desperation to get her job back, in pub bathroom, and he ejaculates in 2 seconds. He is seen as a sympathy fuck, impotent, and the Chinese woman prostitutes herself to get her job back).
White Landlady collecting rent: “That’s what I love about you orientals. Cash only. Sayonara.”
One of main women: “Handjob for five. Blowjob for ten. Happy ending guaranteed.” (In mock accent).
Ironically, the Asian women, who make racist, disparaging comments about Asian men, point out the racism they receive from White men when being chatted up.
While the racism against Asian women in the show is certainly deplorable and inexcusable, what is downright infuriating is the normalization of the specific racism Asian men face being perpetrated by Asian women — the same Asian women who then turn around and tell White men that their racism won’t work when trying to ask them out on a date. The jokes about small penises, the public dismissal of Asian men as romantic partners, and being shunned by their female counterparts are all par for the course for Asian men, and the media largely plays into it with racist portrayals written into their movies and shows. And although U.S. television has made many steps in recent history to combat these unfavorable stereotypes, such as “The Walking Dead“‘s Glenn Rhee and “Selfie“‘s Henry Higgs, there are just as many, if not more, that would continue the racist, one-dimensional caricatures.
Netizens have largely agreed with Seb_Paradise, and have taken to the show’s FaceBook page to voice their complaints.
Seb_Paradise encourages those who find the show racist and in bad taste to review it on FaceBook.
“The show’s producers are reachable on social media. They won’t even deny that they are damaging stereotypes (e.g. DVD seller, submissive Asian female) with even more damaging stereotypes. It does nothing to empower Asians whatsoever, it sets us back years and the average East Asian person on the street is who will pick up the flack for this.”