The Blindspot: Asian Misrepresentation In Orange Is The New Black

  • Clare Kim
Keywords: Race, Orange Is the New Black, Asian-American Representation

Abstract

As our nation and society attempt to introduce the notion of post-raciality in the twenty-first century, it becomes clear that this idealistic view of race relations in the United States can only be seen as valid when whiteness is considered to be “normal” or “neutral.” This prioritization of whiteness can be easily identified throughout popular culture, especially with the tendency of mainstream film and television to whitewash casts. However, one of the most prominent shows of the current age, Orange is the New Black (OITNB), has a cast that challenges the blindly accepted hegemonic standards by bringing marginalized communities to the center of attention. While it shatters many preconceived stereotypes dealing with race, class, and gender through its diverse array of characters, the show’s handling of its Asian characters seems only to perpetuate racist tropes. This essay examines why we have developed a blindspot for Asians when dealing with race and race relations by using OITNB as a quintessential microcosm of society at large

Author Biography

Clare Kim
Clare is a junior in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Communication and minoring in American Studies, with a concentration on Race and Ethnicity. She discovered her passion for social justice, especially with issues regarding race, after taking the introductory course to American Studies with Professor Lori Harrison-Kahan. Since then, Clare has joined the council for FACES, an organization that seeks to educate the BC community on issues of race through dialogue. On campus, she is the publicity director of WZBC, Boston College’s student-run radio station, and works at Media Technology Services in the photography and graphics departments. Aside from academics, Clare enjoys art and hopes to pursue a career in the creative field.
Published
2016-11-13
How to Cite
Kim, C. (2016). The Blindspot: Asian Misrepresentation In Orange Is The New Black. Elements, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.6017/eurj.v12i2.9380
Section
Articles