Mindy Chen, one of the characters played by Ashley Park in Netflix's Emily in Paris, is not racist, as stated in Medium's article. The show created a female Asian character with her own take on life experiences and many Reddit users believe Mindy Chen represents a very specific niche of rich Chinese, and her character was created with enough depth and individuality.
Darren Star, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner, is the creator of Netflix's Emily in Paris. His films include Beverly Hills 90210, Younger, and Sex and the City. He has teamed up with Lily Collins, one of the Producers, and the main character, Emily Cooper. Star's love for Paris dates back to his school days, and he finally made it there when he was 19 and backpacked through Europe.
The third season of the series begins with Camille and Gabriel reconciling as a couple. Camille expects to treasure their time together, but she sees Gabriel barely taking time away from his restaurant to do so. Camille has an affair with Sofia, an artist whose installation is displayed in Camille's art gallery, while the chef prioritizes his professional obligations.
An Asian writer recently published an article on Medium about how Mindy Chen from the show does not represent true Chinese people at all. One of the points she made was that Asian women do not make thirsty dirty jokes. She goes on to say that Asian students aren't always nerdy or wealthy, but that they are socially progressive, hardworking, and so on.
As a result, many viewers, especially Reddit users, have been questioning her and wondering if Ashley Park's character, Mindy Chen, is really racist. Let's find it out together!
Previously, we touched on Lily Collins' eye color.
Mindy Chen From Emily in Paris Is Not Racist: The Character of Ashley Park Was Created With Enough Depth and Individuality & Represents a Very Specific Niche of Rich Chinese!
Mindy Chen (Ashley Park) (@ashleyparklady) from Netflix's Emily in Paris is not a racist. The article is wrongheaded in the sense that she is attempting to tell others about the one type of Asian woman she knows (and most likely is), which is a very dangerous way of representing Asian women. As a result, we sincerely hope she never becomes a mainstream voice representing Asians; it's simply not right.
It's a stupid question to wonder what Asian women are like. It's like assuming all American white women are basic b*tches who drink Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes. Are Kate McKinnon, Tina Fey, and Anna Kendrick (@annakendrick47) boring? Despite being so American, we don't think so. A person is always made up of at least two levels: culture and personality; it's the classic psychological nature vs nurture debate. Everyone has their own temperament, family background, cultural background, experience, and so on. It should go without saying that we can't summarize them.
Unfortunately, since the dawn of human civilization, we have had a proclivity to reduce complex issues and fact patterns into easily digestible material for our understanding.
Depending on one's intelligence, some people (some of whom went on to become religious and political leaders) have oversimplified it to the point where key elements that should not have been omitted have been overlooked and the core meaning has been distorted. This racism varies from race and gender to religion and philosophy.
Emily in Paris created a female Asian character with her take on life experiences. While we agree that no Asian child (even the most rebellious) will ever call their parent an a*shole, we believe Mindy Chen represents a very specific niche of rich Chinese, and her character in the show was created with enough depth and individuality.
What's more troubling is that the article rejects the possibility of alternatives in her narrowly known Asian culture, while attempting to redefine Asian women with her extremely limited narrative. This makes me uncomfortable because a monotonous definition is almost always at the root of all problems concerning inequalities and minorities. So, instead of rejecting other people's stereotypes of Asian women, go ahead and create your own. Because that would simply trap us in another stereotype.
People are difficult to change because labeling and categorizing them is so deeply ingrained in human civilization. We'd hoped that people would get smarter over time, but we argue that unless we question the validity of labeling in general, we won't get any smarter in discussing any form of equality.
We applaud the increased use of a diverse cast in film and television production, and we should be kinder when calling someone out for cultural appropriation and/or racial false representation. So, what do you expect? If you ask me to write a character in German, I will almost certainly misrepresent it.
We can't hire a Chinese scriptwriter specifically for the original scriptwriter if we have to write for a Chinese person. That is simply not feasible. We should all be prepared to be misrepresented because, as writers, we can only do our best to create a character who is unlike ourselves. But there's a big but...