I read an interesting article at AsAm news about a trend in TV shows. There are biracial, Asian-white characters on network shows such as Bones, Nikita, Scorpion, Beauty and the Beast, but the story lines don’t include their mothers — who are Asian, even thought they may show their fathers (who are white).
Laylita Day writes:
But the problem remains that the selective depiction of biracial characters and their families creates a lack of representation for biracial families and the issues they deal with. These issues could include obvious cultural clashes, but the real importance of being able to see these families is to make known both the joys and struggles of living in a society that still grapples with accepting interracial dating, marriage and being biracial. Possible reasons for not showing more non-Whites, in this case Asian moms in biracial families, could stem from the opinions of writers and producers, attempting to show diversity while still reinforcing the tradition of having mostly White characters and/or trying to avoid backlash at showing a married interracial couple with a child, such as what happened with the famous Cheerios commercial, depicting a White woman with an African-American husband and biracial daughter.
Laylita has more interesting thoughts on this trend, so read the rest of her piece One-sided Biracial TV Families—Why Are So Many Asian Moms MIA? over at AsAm News.
Is is a step in the right direction that these shows are hiring mixed-race actresses and portraying their characters to reflect their racial makeup?
Or is it more of a problem that they’re Asian heritage is being downplayed or even erased?