Stereotypes happen. I try not to embrace them or avoid them. My job is to focus on bringing characters to life in an honest and personal way.
That being said, I did play three Sanjays in 2007. Yep. Three different Sanjays: one in a TV pilot, one in an independent film, and one in a cable show.*
Two ‘Sanjays’ might be a coincidence. Three ‘Sanjays’ is a flat-out trend. So what caused the ‘2007 Sanjay fever’? Was it the success of American Idol sensation ‘Sanjaya’? Possibly. Well? Yes. But what concerns me more is something deeper, something sinister revealed within this data. Maybe when people look at me all they see is a ‘Sanjay’. Like a 45-year-old woman with blonde hair, a fake tan, and long fingernails who works at a salon is probably a Debbie, am I a ‘Sanjay’?
Here are some of the words used in the casting descriptions for ‘Sanjay’: “quirky”, “mild-mannered”, “placid facade”, “virginal” and “allergic to dogs”. Dangit. These words fit me. But in Sanskrit, the word ‘Sanjay’ actually means “Victorious”, or “Conqueror”. Hmmm, “Victorious Conqueror” doesn’t exactly fit me, but my wife hopes that someday it will.
Regardless of the reasons for ‘Sanjay Fever’, I have learned that a name can only reveal so much. Though people might find comfort in naming me Raj, Arash or Sanjay, I know that I can be more than a ‘Quirky Virgin’; I can also be a ‘Victorious Conqueror’ (someday). After all, my real name is Daniel, and I am named after a Polish rock star.
*I auditioned for a 4th Sanjay in 2007 but ultimately lost the role to a friend.
Danny Pudi, who plays Abed on Community, writing in GQ about what he calls “The Year of Sanjay.”
He is remarkably sanguine in interviews about his experiences with racial typecasting. Nevertheless, this story makes me a bit sad.
I’m gonna need Hollywood to STOP FUCKING NAMING EVERY MALE INDIAN CHARACTER SANJAY OR RAJ. The male name spectrum goes FAR BEYOND those two names.
Indian men are not some monolith of awkward, virginal nerds.
So Danny, you tell them WHAT THE FUCK IS UP.
[R]ace, gender, and sexual stereotypes intertwine in different ways. Thus, African American men are stereotyped as hypermasculine and oversexed, and African American women as promiscuous, bad mothers, and nurturing ‘mammies’ who care for everyone else, but not their own children.. Latinos are stereotyped as ‘macho’, and like African American men, sexually passionate, but out of control. Latinas are stereotyped as either ‘hot’ or virgin-like. Similarly, white women are sexually stereotyped in dichotomous terms as ‘madonnas’ or ‘whores’. Working-class women are more likely to be seen as ‘sluts’ and upper-class women as frigid and cold.
Margaret L. Andersen and Patricia Hill Collins, “Systems of Power and Inequality” (via wretchedoftheearth
Imagine a film such as Inception with an entire cast of black people – do you think it would be successful? Would people watch it? But no one questions the fact that everyone’s white. That’s what we have to change.
A vision of cultural homogeneity that seeks to deflect attention away from or even excuse the oppressive, dehumanizing impact of white supremacy on the lives of black people by suggesting black people are racist too indicates that the culture remains ignorant of what
racism really is and how it works. It shows that people are in denial.
Why is it so difficult for many white folks to understand that racism is oppressive not because white folks have prejudicial feelings about blacks (they could have such feelings and leave us alone) but because it is a system that promotes domination and subjugation? The prejudicial feelings some blacks may express about whites are in no way linked to a system of domination that affords us any power to coercively control the lives and well-being of white folks. That needs to be understood.
Concurrently, all social manifestations of black separatism are often seen by whites as a sign of anti-white racism, when they usually represent an attempt by black people to construct places of political sanctuary where we can escape, if only for a time, white domination.
Relevant every single day to every derailing person who screams “reverse racism”
Emmett Till: the case that spurred the Civil Rights movement
July 25, 2012
Today marks what would have been the 71st birthday of Emmett Louis Till, the 14-year-old black Chicago youth who became the catalyst that sparked the American Civil Rights Movement.
In August 1955, Till went to visit his southern relatives in the Mississippi Delta. In less than a week’s time, he would be abducted from his great-uncle’s home, tortured and then murdered for one of the oldest taboos of the South: whistling at a white woman in public.
Two men, J.W. Milam and his half-brother Roy Bryant (the woman’s husband), were soon arrested but later acquitted in a court of law by an all-white, all-male jury, awakening the “Sleeping Giant” of the black global community.
His mother, Mamie, insisted on an open casket funeral so that thousands could see the horrifying effects of racism & violence in the South. Till’s murder became known as the epitome of white supremacy that rallied the Civil Rights Movement to fight for justice & equality.
Click here to watch Emmett Till’s cousin, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, speak about Till’s legacy & the fight against racism.
This face still gives me chills. The resemblance to my little favorite cousin is scary…
[image description: photo of a female-presenting Asian person with a tee-shirt that reads “I WILL NOT LOVE YOU LONG TIME”]
[TW: racial and sexual slurs and stereotyping]
“Me love you long time” came into prominence with Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” (from 1987) as a Vietnamese prostitute tries to pick up Matthew Modine’s character with broken English. The phrase was then popularly picked up by 2 Live Crew in the song “Me So Horny.”
“It’s so many different kinds of slurs in one,” comedian Margaret Cho said. “It’s instantly putting you in the position of being a foreigner, an outsider and a sexual stereotype. It’s an all-in-one combo.”
~naturallaw for yahoo questions
The popularization by Mariah Carey’s ‘Love You Long Time,’ Fergie’s ‘London Bridge,’ and Nicki Minaj’s ““Muahhhh me love you long time like I’m asian” demonstrates how this exotification of Asian/A.American women is constantly recycled in the media, perpetuated by celebrities to obtain the hyper-sexualized image needed to make it big, especially if you ain’t got the talent.
I would get started on Nicki’s whole hyper-sexualized, Japanese dolled up shit, but racialious says it best. Well researched: here http://www.racialicious.com/2010/11/01/the-orientalism-of-nicki-minaj/
You can degrade yourself, but no, my sisters and I will NOT love you long time.
Yes for the commentary.