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Author Topic: Stereotypes in Gilmore Girls  (Read 78970 times)
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natasha
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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2005, 11:55:58 pm »

cool to have that festivals  Wink we have something like that in september every year Wink
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« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2005, 05:00:41 am »

There are some stereotypes in Gilmore Girls that concern me, but the one regarding the Asian characters was not one of those.  I thought Amy and co were handling it with respect and compassion, while still poking fun at some of the more obscure (to Western Society) characteristics amongst the Asian population.
The one that interests me the most is to do with the Black population.  For a country with such a large Black population, there aren't too many Black Characters in the show.  Outside of Michel, I can't remember one that has been a semi-regular (remember in Australia we are still only halfway through season 4), and there don't seem to be too many living in Stars Hollow.  Is it a typical Stereotype to say that the Black communities of America tend to live in the larger cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia and stay away from the smaller towns, even in the North??

Inspite of the initial 'post and run' (that I don't agree with), this topic has initiated some good discussion.  I have seen a lot of good posts here.

I don't think Amy is necessarily saying anything about the black population in the US at all.   I think it is more a case of 'write what you know'.  Perhaps from Amy's experience and vision of small town New England, there just happens not to be a large population of black families.  I really don't see how she is offending by not having many black characters....it just worked out that way. Although, I agree with whoever said it would be nice to have more diversity on the show.

 In many US towns/cities groups of people seem to settle in areas based on commonality.  There are many neighborhoods that are either mostly white or mostly black or mostly spanish or mostly asian....sometimes they are wealthy, sometimes middle, sometimes poor independent of race and nationality.

Luckily, there are also starting to be more and more diverse neighborhoods. But, they are slow in coming, especially in smaller towns.  But, we should not be blind.  Though many peoples of all races, cultures and religions are becoming for accepting of others, there are still prejudices and reverse prejudices all around and on all sides.  Some cities tend to  have sections that are more diverse than others.  I love those cities.  I believe racial tensions occur more due to poverty and low education standards than anything else.

I like the post that said that GG is an equal opportunity mocker.  I agree.  Look at Emily, Mitch, Taylor and Kirk and TJ!! What kind of representatives  are they of a WASP or WASJ (Huh) culture? 

And, I agree that Lane certainly does not reflect poorly on asians in America.  And, Mrs Kim is more a reflection and mockery of overprotective Mom than of being Korean....the role could have gone to anyone of any other culture that is wary of  letting loose their children in what is percieved as an amoral american society.  All the stereotypes in Gilmore Girls are an exageration and no one culture is exempt.

Shouldn't it be you hate how AS-P portrays Asians?  Not how the Jews portray Asians? 

And, lets look at how Asians are portrayed, shall we?  Mrs. Kim - a strict mother.  A mother who wants to keep her daughter safe. A health nut.  A Christian. A businesswoman.  Someone who would have chosen a different path for Lane, but who helped her with the band by providing them church groups to tour at.  At times she's exaggerated, but she's a tv character, and I find exaggerations in Emily, Paris, Sookie, etc.
Quote


I am agreeing with Dani. Actually, of all the stereotypes, it seems that Mrs. Kim suffers the least negativity.  After all she is a business women, seems to be a single mother (though that is not clear), very smart, and very concerned.  And, who hasn't made fun of overprotective parents.

On the other hand,  I do think that Hollywood (in general - and no, I don't think Hollywood is run by any one cultural group) has until recent years and maybe in some cases even now perputated some prejudicial stereotypes...though those are coming down slowly.  For example, until recently the Hispanic population was portrayed typically as poor, uneducated, illegal alien, or drug dealer.  Now it is getting better, I think, with actors like Salma Hayak, J-Lo, Antonio Banderas, Miguel Ferrer, and many others.  Just like actors and personalities like Bill Cosby, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Oprah have changed the perceptions of blacks.  (They still seem to need to only fill major parts with young, single, pretty women...disregarding the legions of talented women over 40...not always but usually).

But, back to GG.  I think the show deals in stereotypes...but, in its own 'tongue in cheek way' mocks the way people have stereotypes overall.


« Last Edit: December 01, 2005, 05:54:17 am by roryg fan » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2005, 01:44:15 pm »

i think in small towns people have more stereotipes, but i didnt notice it in stars hollow. i dont know, maybe i am wrong  Undecided
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2005, 06:56:26 pm »

I don't think there is anything wrong with the racial/cultural examples set forth on the show, and I'm the most likely to take offense to such talk out of probably everyone on this board.

And on the question of if people benefit from living in larger, more diverse areas... I think it depends. It depends on crime, poverty, education and about a billion and one other factors. It isn't all cut and dry. If the question were something more along the lines of "Does a person in a more diverse area essentially benefit greater from their surroundings and their community?": then I'd have to say yes, in the long run, a person will benefit more greatly from a more diverse and rich background.

I like the post that said that GG is an equal opportunity mocker.

Thanks  Grin
« Last Edit: December 02, 2005, 06:57:30 pm by Krisleigh » Logged
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« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2005, 02:29:58 am »

...and I'm the most likely to take offense to such talk out of probably everyone on this board. 

I am not trying to offend, but, I find your statement rather arrogant. Why would you think such a thing?  That you of all the individuals from all the different cultures on the board would be 'most likely to take offense'?   Huh
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« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2005, 03:55:26 am »

Um, just my two cents.

1. I live in a small town not dissimilar to Star's Hollow, only it's in England. We don't have as much culture variation either. I think there's only about 2 families, 1 black African and one Asian. We don't pick on them or discriminate against them, it's just how it is. Now, you travel an hour up in to the city and it's a different story.
2. Not all the Hollywood people are Jews, and you make it sound like it would be a bad thing if they were. Every culture and religion deserves equal rights, opportunities and jobs.
3. Mrs. Kim - Like other people have said, she's just one person, who happens to be strict. Lane isn't is she? She doesn't follow what she says all the time.
4. GG makes fun of everyone. Groups in society as well as other countries/cultures.
5. The characters are made to be believable, but on the extreme end of believable, one of the reasons I like it.
6. It's a TV Show...need I say more?

OK, so it turned in to 6 cents, but never mind.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 03:56:36 am by Alliansa » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2005, 04:26:16 am »

Alliansa,

I like your  Two Cents Two Cents Two Cents six cents worth. And, I agree with what almost everyone has written (except for the initial poster, who hasn't bothered to return to explain what they mean more clearly.

I am always amazed when I run into bigotry.  I see that things are changing...though very slowly...they are changing.

I look at my own family.  When my sister got married, the photographer happened to be an African-American. My family is European-American (Scotland-Ireland-Poland-Germany mix). My Grandmother was very rude and insulted that my parents had hired the photographer and really showed her prejudices when he was invited to sit and eat with us.  I was very embarrassed by her attitude. I never realized my parents were prejudice when I was growing up, because they were very careful  with their language and views. When I went away to college, I was in a room with 4 other students of which only 1 was black.  My parent's wanted me to move to a different room.  I thought it was silly.  It ended up that my black roommate was the nicest of the group. Until then, I had not realized my parents still held prejudices.

I do not think I am prejudiced person. But, I am influenced by others, so, I am careful with my viewpoints and stereotypes. I
have caught myself accepting certain stereotypes sometimes and have to question myself about it.  But, I believe we all have hidden prejudices and if we don't admit them to ourselves at least, we can not change them or prevent them from being passed on to the next generation.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 04:28:10 am by roryg fan » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2005, 06:45:37 am »

...and I'm the most likely to take offense to such talk out of probably everyone on this board. 

I am not trying to offend, but, I find your statement rather arrogant. Why would you think such a thing?  That you of all the individuals from all the different cultures on the board would be 'most likely to take offense'?   Huh


Lis, I think Krisleigh just meant that she takes offense with stuff easily, not that she had more of a reason to.

In an attempt not to double post, I am going to move on to what I originally had to say.  The lack of black characters on the show is noticable, but it's that way with a lot of shows.  I don't know why, but oh well.  And maybe Stars Hollow really doesn't have that many black people. 

I live in South Carolina, and it's maybe the most racist place ever.  I grew up around racism, and I don't know how or why, but it's gotten to the point where I'm oversensensitive to the degree that I hate it when someone says "they" in reference to black people.  That implies that every black person thinks and feels the same way.  Same goes for any Asian cultures, Hispanic (my city is also full of Mexicans, and the "American" hicks that live her constantly refer to them with a number of politically incorrect terms) cultures, Native American cultures, etc.

The point is: while I'm very very NOT racist and really really hate people that are, for some reason, Gilmore Girls gets under the radar every time.  I really think it's the way they make fun of everyone.  If it was just one group, I would be mad, but it's not.
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« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2005, 07:58:01 am »

Alexis Bledel is Hispanic herself Smiley.
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« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2005, 09:36:10 am »

In an attempt not to double post, I am going to move on to what I originally had to say.  The lack of black characters on the show is noticable, but it's that way with a lot of shows.  I don't know why, but oh well.  And maybe Stars Hollow really doesn't have that many black people. 

The fact that there's only one black character on the show never bothered me.  I don't mind discussing it.  This whole thread, except the first post, has been very interesting.  But, when I'm sitting at home watching tv, I don't tend to do a head count.  I care if the show is good.  What would bother me is if there were black characters that were written in a racist way, not that the lack of them. 
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« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2005, 12:32:49 pm »

I have to say first I am a HUGE fan of the show. I watch the re-runs almost every day.  Smiley The Tuesday night time slot for new episodes is sacred (no phone calls or plans ever). And I abhor the anti-semitic comments in the original post. Not even worth commenting about since that was likely a troll.

BUT, I have been bothered for some time by the portrayal of Koreans on the show. Why does Mrs. Kim speak with such an exaggerated accent? I have never heard her speak out of character but I would be willing to bet that she sounds nothing like that in real life. The Korean exchange student (sorry- her name escapes me at the moment) also had an exaggerated accent. These things bother me- like Mrs. Kim wouldn't be 'Korean' enough without the accent. There are other instances also where Koreans are portrayed negatively, as 'different' or 'weird' somehow- i.e. the Tofu-rkey, the uber-religious gatherings, the 7th day adventist college, the ban on dating non-Koreans, the arranged marriages. All of these things feed stereotypes or ideas that some people actually have about Korean people. I am glad is that Lane is not a victim of this kind of stereotyping. And I do not agree that GGs makes fun of everyone equally. Michel is the only other non-white major character on the show. I agree GGs pokes fun at him and makes him seem ridiculous at times- but not by using common stereotypes about African Americans. In my opinion, there is a difference between making a character funny in their own right and making them funny because they play off over-the-top stereotypes and misconceptions. I just think ASP could have crafted a great character in Mrs. Kim without being derogatory. It is the only thing that bothers me about an otherwise phenomenal program.

(cue: end soapbox ranting)
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« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2005, 01:38:23 pm »

I do think GG "makes fun" of Koreans more than others, but the only reason is that one of the bigger characters on the show is Korean.  If Rory's best friend was black, maybe they would stereotype that.

I still think Mrs. Kim's character is played up so much just to show the contrast between her and Lane.  Lane is Korean, but she isn't what her mom wants her to be.  Imagine if Mrs. Kim didn't have her strict religious beliefs and rules...there goes dozens of plot lines and really memorable scenes.  There goes Lane's big rebellion, moving out, living with the band.

I just really can't get angry over the way Mrs. Kim is portrayed.  I don't know why, but it doesn't make me even slightly mad.  And, as I said before, I'm pretty sensitive when it comes to race.
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« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2005, 02:35:00 pm »

I just really can't get angry over the way Mrs. Kim is portrayed. I don't know why, but it doesn't make me even slightly mad. And, as I said before, I'm pretty sensitive when it comes to race.
I can't speak to how accurate the portrayal of Mrs. Kim is (in terms of the majority of Korean-Americans), but I think part of what keeps those of us who don't from getting angry over that portrayal is that, by and large, it presents a positive image. While, shamefully, I can't confess to having seen every episode of the series, it's my assumption that variation on this image is limited--representing, in fact, the integrity which is very much a part of Mrs. Kim's strength as a character. While she may be enacting certain stereotypes in the process, what we get as the end result is a person who is a professional success, an involved (single?) parent, a principled and intelligent woman, and much more than a paper-thin counterpoint to Lorelai's "cool mom," but rather one whose values and arguments are thoughtful and persuasive. Maybe few of us envied Lane her former place in that household some days, but that dichotomy is intergenerational, and has nothing, discernibly, to do with race. (And if you think it's because Mrs. Kim embodies too many Korean stereotypes that she doesn't get along with her more typically American(ized) daughter--comparing their relationship to Lorelai and Rory's--just consider the ongoing clashes between Lorelai and Emily, or Jess and Luke. The whole show is based on the idea that L and R are the exception, not the rule, in parent-child relations; like the Fresh Prince said, parents just don't understand. All told, Mrs. Kim's way of living up to that particular stereotype, anyway, seems believable, sincere, and fair.) Considering how Asians have been presented by the Western media in the past--and it was truly contemptible--having a character like Mrs. Kim as one of the regulars on a show as popular as this one seems more like cause for celebration than the spitefulness with which this thread was begun. 

As for the lack of minorities peopling Stars Hollow: I admit, it's an unfortunate tendency at work throughout a lot of television targeted at a certain demographic, but in defense (even if it's circumstantial) of Gilmore Girls in particular, it takes place primarily in a population-nothing town in Connecticut, a Hartford mansion (and the social circle of its inhabitants), and one of the most expensive and elitist universities in the country. It's not like Friends or Sex & The City where you could practically go whole seasons without seeing a member of a minority even in the background of what, in the real world, is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country. Don't get mad at GG for being representative of a sad and inequitable state of affairs in the USA--get mad at the system it represents (and better yet, start trying to do something about it).   
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« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2005, 03:42:05 pm »

. These things bother me- like Mrs. Kim wouldn't be 'Korean' enough without the accent. There are other instances also where Koreans are portrayed negatively, as 'different' or 'weird' somehow- i.e. the Tofu-rkey, the uber-religious gatherings, the 7th day adventist college, the ban on dating non-Koreans, the arranged marriages.


Well, I'm not Korean, but I never considered religious gatherings to be a negative thing.  As for race, I know that it's important for lots of people.  My mother never put a ban on who we could date (my brother married a white woman with my parents blessings) but I remember every time I came home on the first day of school and made a friend, she would ask "Is she black or white?"  And, I have an uncle who would say, "You wouldn't marry a white person, would you?" as if it was a horrible thing.  I guess I just don't see most of these things as negative.  Possibly the arranged marriage, but I never saw that as something all Koreans did, but something the Kim family did.  To me, Mrs. Kim moves beyond the stereotypes. 

Quote
I agree GGs pokes fun at him and makes him seem ridiculous at times- but not by using common stereotypes about African Americans.

Well, this is nitpicky, but Michel isn't African-American.  He's French.  He wouldn't have the same experiences that your average American born black person would, wouldn't have the same traditions that could get turned into stereotypes. 
it's my assumption that variation on this image is limited--representing, in fact, the integrity which is very much a part of Mrs. Kim's strength as a character. While she may be enacting certain stereotypes in the process, what we get as the end result is a person who is a professional success, an involved (single?) parent, a principled and intelligent woman, and much more than a paper-thin counterpoint to Lorelai's "cool mom," but rather one whose values and arguments are thoughtful and persuasive. Maybe few of us envied Lane her former place in that household some days, but that dichotomy is intergenerational, and has nothing, discernibly, to do with race. (And if you think it's because Mrs. Kim embodies too many Korean stereotypes that she doesn't get along with her more typically American(ized) daughter--comparing their relationship to Lorelai and Rory's--just consider the ongoing clashes between Lorelai and Emily,

This is what I wanted to say, only this was better.  Mrs. Kim and Emily have a lot in common.  Only to me, especially in season 5, Emily was much more stereotyped.  A rich WASP with absolutely no depth.  She was a carictature, while Mrs. Kim was a more developed woman. 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 03:48:17 pm by Dani257 » Logged

 
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« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2005, 05:14:57 pm »

Everyone here (well, except the first post) has pretty valid points about the whole racism thing, but it doesn't say that KOREANS in general are all crazy and uber-religious (i.e. Lane) only that particular family. And this whole Jews in Hollywood thing....notice that there is but http://[color=LimeGreen][b]1[/b][/color] Jew on the entire show. (The Rabbi) and he too, is completely over religious...... am I sensing a trend here?? Everyone in this show is overexaggagereated..................that's why it's great!! Hearts
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