5.31.2011

Ama and Chan

I came across this a while ago and it took me a long time to decide how I felt about it. 'This' is a play, Ama & Chan (click on the link for more information on the project), here's a blurb;
Part stand-up, part-theatre, part live-to-internet cooking show; Ama and Chan is a witty and savvy look at love, fusion-cuisine and an unplanned flatmate. Ama is a Ghanaian woman who likes Chinese food… a little bit. Chan is her Chinese husband who isn’t afraid of wigs, curves or FuFu… much.

They’re social networking celebrity chefs. Their recipes for Asian-African fusion cuisine have gone viral. The traffic on their Facebook pages often causes a worldwide meltdown. After a mighty wedding and slew of In-Law bickering they’ve finally rented a place of their own. But where is their furniture? Where is the Pork Neck and who is the guy in the spare room?

In this less-than-fabulous situation, they conjure up a plan to buy their dream house. But first they have to get rich. And even more famous. They get a camera, fusion recipes to die for and let YouTube do the rest. Ama and Chan invite you to the filming of their soon-to-be-popular Reality Cooking Show.


Image credit (Click to enlarge, transcript below)

Fusion cuisine and interracial marriage create the recipe for hilarity in Cabramatta West resident Alan Lao’s new theatre project, Ama and Chan. The play combines stand-up comedy, live cooking demonstrations and a hint of political incorrectness to deliver the unlikely union of the headstrong Ama and the easygoing Chan. Co-writers Lao and Effie Nkrumah star as the food-loving newlyweds who develop a new taste sensation, an African-Asian fusion called Laksa Fu Fu.

“It’s about Ama, a Ghanaian woman and Chan, a Chinese-Australian man, and they both connect through food, so it basically follows them try to put this cooking show and become celebrities,” Lao, 25, said. “The couple argues a lot and people ask why they are together, and it’s through their love of food.” Lao developed the character of Chan shortly after graduating from St Johns Park High School in 2003. Nkrumah had also created Ama when the two met while studying performance at the University of Western Sydney.

“Our characters collided by accident and I thought it would be funny if they were married.” Lao said.
“We did a lot of research for the play and I asked my grandparents and family how they would react if I react if I married an African. It was an eye-opener.” While Lao has a string of theatre credits to his name, including the 2009 Cracker Box Comedy Hit Idiot Box, Ama and Chan is the first show where he actually cooks on stage.

“Laksa Fu Fu is like a Ghanaian dish, kind of a really thick mashed potato – it’s hard to explain but the audience can really smell it,” he said.
The show looks like it is going to be fun to see, mostly due to the food. I mean, I am really curious about African-Asian fusion food. I am also open to watching productions that deal with Blasian relationships involving African women. But, and this is a huge BUT, I am not entirely comfortable with the way both Ama and Chan are written. They are basically stereotypes and it doesn't matter that they were written by POCs who presumably have their reasons for creating the characters the way they are.


For this post, I went searching for more information on both Ama and Chan. I found individual Facebook pages (for Ama Serwa Boateng, Chan Wai Chung and both of them as a couple) and videos, as both characters are presented as 'real life' people even though they can be read as exaggerations. From reading interviews with both actors and reviews of the show, it became clear that some viewers questioned themselves for laughing at what were stereotypical jokes that they wouldn't laugh at elsewhere. Alan Lao and Effie Nkrumah admit that their work draws from stereotypes of Asians and Africans but they both say it comes from a place of understanding.

Regardless, this video, "Chan's Vlog for Ama", does come across as offensive even though it is supposed to be funny. Elsewhere, someone pointed out that it adds to the stereotype of the unattractive Asian man. There is a response video on the couple's Facebook page, you have to be on Facebook to see it.



So on one hand, I am pleased at the concept of a Blasian relationship from a West African woman's perspective and I love the idea of jollof rice with duck. Yet, I am not happy that all that goodness is presented through two stereotypical characters. What do you think?

37 comments:

  1. Interesting....I haven't seen this so I can't really say.

    If it makes people uncomfortable for laughing at stereotypes in a Dave Chappelle way than that's cool.

    That's a hard thing tightrope to walk though and not everybody has the balance.

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  2. Oh, dear. I could't even get through the first 5 seconds of the video. Seriously.

    Whenever Blasians do stuff like this I always have to wonder: who's their intended audience? Because of it's other Blasians...um, they're not laughing.

    *sigh*

    So close....

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  3. http://youtu.be/bUDa53iTSWo

    I don't know, I'm willing to give it a chance based off of that video above.

    I think he was supposed to be drunk in that video....if that helps.

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  4. My feelings are equally as mixed.

    I think that it's great that there are more Blasian oriented shows and other forms of entertainment that are getting some attention. However, one of biggest pet peeves with AMBW and other IR entertainment related shows are that if they aren't put in silly situations, they will quickly be killed off, and/or another person will somehow will screw them up.

    In the light of the increase of AMBW relationships, some people still don't want to take them seriously and with plays like Ama and Chan,it doesn't help at all. For once, I would like to see AMBW TV/play relationships be portrayed realistically. I would like for them to be seen as a loving couple who have been married for 30 years or seriously romantic.

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  5. *pout* they have such cute pictures...dammit!

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  6. I love the idea of food bringing folks together, but...oh dear.

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  7. @Student of the World

    That's a hard thing tightrope to walk though and not everybody has the balance.

    I agree. I haven't seen it and may never see it but from the vlogs one can get an idea. I did not know Ama had her own videos on Youtube. I've only seen the one on Facebook.

    Still those who have seen it liked it. And they do have cute pictures together.

    @Ankh

    I don't know about they're target audience is Blasians but the reviews I've read do not come from Blasians. afroklectic (i.e. the blog I first saw this on) is Ghanaian-American but the other reviewers seem to be white.

    @m

    In the light of the increase of AMBW relationships, some people still don't want to take them seriously...

    This seems to be the sad case. It would be great if they were portrayed seriously even if still in a comedy situation.

    @Amaya

    My thoughts exactly.

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  8. the reviews I've read do not come from Blasians. afroklectic (i.e. the blog I first saw this on) is Ghanaian-American but the other reviewers seem to be white.

    This could mean trouble.

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  9. However, one of biggest pet peeves with AMBW and other IR entertainment related shows are that if they aren't put in silly situations, they will quickly be killed off, and/or another person will somehow will screw them up.

    In the light of the increase of AMBW relationships, some people still don't want to take them seriously and with plays like Ama and Chan,it doesn't help at all.


    Can I get a "Amen"?

    Don't forget to add "broken up" (Demetri and Zoey come to mind). We just need straight stories told; no stereotype-based humor, no unnecessary drama, no cliched conflicts.

    When white people fuck it up, I'm not surprised, but when POC doing their own thing can't get it right, that raised alarm bells for Moi.

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  10. Not long ago, I read an essay by a Indigenous woman who was trying to explain the difference between a stereotype and racism. She said that a stereotype morphs into racism after a person, presumably a "white" one, has been told repeatedly that something is a stereotype. Perhaps in another life, I would have accepted this, but I couldn't because this definition left me with many nagging questions. In posing these questions, I will sometimes use the rhetorical "we." It is not a reference to anyone specifically here at BN. I've been trying to work out these things for myself and EccentricYoruba's post helped to bring these thoughts to the forefront of my mind.

    When it comes to POCs and creative endeavors, who decides what is and what is not a stereotype? In my universe, Black people of African descent are not a monolithic group and I don't expect anyone who isn't me or mine to adhere to my specific values.

    How should I react if I write a novel based on the happenings in my small Southern town and all of a sudden a swarm of well-meaning and well-educated Black people jump down my throat and accuse me of fail because I've allegedly written stereotypical characters when in fact, I've created many of these fictional people based on real people in my community? Where do we draw the line between what we know and what others don't know or don't want to acknowledge?

    For awhile now, I've been disconcerted by much of the recent POC fiction. With so much effort put into stomping out alleged stereotypes, I find myself "seeing" the characters as "white," written for a "white" audience, not me. It's almost as if many POC writers have decided to white us out, too. No worries. I won't be calling out any more authors. ;)

    Why is this happening? Is it because so many of us have had "quality white educations?" Is it because Black people of African descent have been so thoroughly assimilated into mainstream, i.e, "white" society worldwide? Why should we even worry about individual POCs and their portrayals of their characters when we KNOW we aren't a monolithic slab of blackness? Is there even the slightest possibility that we're casting every character we personally find insulting onto the stereotype couch?

    Should we even care what "whites" think of us period? It's not like they're rushing out in droves to read our books, watch our television shows/movies/plays. They simply don't give a damn one way or another. We're not even a spark in their consciousness unless we're protesting or breaking the law.

    Whew, I'll close by getting on topic. For reasons I have yet to work out, I don't have the slightest interest in Ama & Chan. None. Zilch. I guess I've never been into food shows. :D

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  11. @ Hateya
    That's a good point. I personally feel at this point, positive images of PoC alone will not lessen racism. It's a collective disillusionment people love holding on to. I mean we have a black man in charge of the most influential/powerful/rich country in the free world and he still gets treated with hostility and disrespect by the people he governs JUST BECAUSE he's black. They constantly question his competency/credentials the same way they would any other black person so...I can only be responsible for what I do. I can't be responsible for what every black person does/doesn't do and individual artists can't either. Society looking at PoC as a monolithic group instead of individuals is what the problem is.


    The work here looks... amateur to me. I'm not going to say that it's stereotypical or not as of yet.

    That's all I can surmise based off of what I've seen so far.

    But... I can understand people's worries. I mean both of these people are university educated and they are using exaggerated ethnic accents. If they spoke that way naturally I wouldn't feel like they were making fools of themselves. but they don't.

    I think thats what's troublesome, it seems like they are purposefully trying to model themselves to appeal to a white audience by making themselves look like african/chinese immigrant stereotypes.

    It seems contrived.

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  12. Badly contrived, like it's supposed to be funny for all the wrong reasons.

    Like an African woman and an Asian man together in and of itself is inherently hilarious because you know....she's black and he's asian! Like that's supposed to be the punchline. It could never work but look at all the good food they would make together right? That definitely sounds like something white people would think was funny, for all the wrong reasons.

    Two people bonding over a shared interests and managing to see past their cultural differences is interesting. Humor is good too. And I think they are using this "show" as a way to educate people about both cultures without being "politically correct". At least.... that's what I hope.

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  13. In any case I'm willing to extend them the benefit of the doubt.

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  14. it seems like they are purposefully trying to model themselves to appeal to a white audience by making themselves look like african/chinese immigrant stereotypes.

    BINGO. Nailed to perfection. Which is precisely why I questioned their target audience.

    I don't believe in the concept of universal audiences/narratives; they are a myth contrived why whites to justify the pushing of their world view onto others.

    I realize people like Ama and Chan want as as many fans as possible, but there's fantasy, and then there's reality. Some people will like you; some won't. Some will understand where you're coming from, some won't. The key is to decide once and for all who you really are, what you want to do, and then remain true to you.

    What I'm sensing with projects like Ama and Chan or Audrey & Dre is the desire for a universal audience, for wider exposure and bigger profits.

    Sorry, kids. *shakes head* Not gonna happen.

    Projects like these need realistic starts. They should reach out to the Blasian community first, strengthen their identity, establish a solid cult following, and go from there.

    You think the likes of Gene Roddenberry, Joss Whedon, and George Lucas got their success by having mass appeal? Hell, no. They concentrated on the nerds and oddballs first, and once they built up their armies, they then set out to conquer more territory.

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  15. Two people bonding over a shared interests and managing to see past their cultural differences is interesting. Humor is good too. And I think they are using this "show" as a way to educate people about both cultures without being "politically correct". At least.... that's what I hope.

    As do, and these intentions are good and all, however,I think just showing a Blasian couple without any harrowing issues is the most educational way to go. Give us a Blasian sitcom with a normal Asian guy and a normal black woman who go to work, raise their kids, and pay bills like the rest of us. No racial humor, no cultural battles, just harmony and adaptation.

    Give us Danny Cho (or David So) and Julia Pace Mitchell living life one day at time, trying to get through the recession while dealing with their hormonal eldest child, their brooding Gothic middle child, and their angry five-year-old who gets in trouble every day in kindergarten for whoopin' other kids' asses. Make them fans of Seventies' funk and soul; make them hockey fans who eagerly bundle up to go watch the players bludgeon each other on the ice. Make the dad a pastry chef who's responsible for all his kids cavities 'cause he has trouble saying no, and make the mom a bored accountant who sits her in cubicle balancing a cup of pencils on her face while spinning her in chair all day.

    Give us something funny that's new, goddamn it, and stop acting like it's so damn hard. On average, Frasier used 2-3 settings per episode, focused on clever dialogue, and was on the air for 11 damn years. These actors and comedians can't put their heads together, do something similar, and release it via web with paid subscriptions? Seriously?

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  16. @ Ankh

    See I think the problem is that many white audiences are genuinely curious about other cultures in a human, "Oh so thats interesting." way.

    In an effort to seem worldly they attempt to understand PoC by watching television rather than actually interacting/ living with PoC. This where their lack of empathy for other human beings fucks them up. They try to connect and then bungle the idea in execution. There are already shows like what you're talking about and only PoC watch them. Like the show "Girlfriends" or "The Game".

    So a show like that wouldn't appeal to white majority which is why shows like that rarely ever get made. They don't want to see familiar similiar characters that act like them but look differently, because that's too "boring". They always have to "exoticize" PoC.

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  17. This reminds me of Long Duck Gong, from that John Hughes movie I think it was "Pretty in Pink".

    Asian people hated that character, but the actor said, " I just enjoyed making people laugh, but Asian people tell me all the time : I hated Long Duck Gong." Or something to that effect.

    He was a young actor, trying to make it and he didn't even realize what he was doing. If you've seen the film you know what I'm talking about.

    How could he not have realized that how he looked to other Asian people? The character's name alone would have made me cringe.

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  18. How could he not have realized that how he looked to other Asian people? The character's name alone would have made me cringe.

    *shudder* That part of the movie always made my flesh crawl.

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  19. In an effort to seem worldly [whites] attempt to understand PoC by watching television rather than actually interacting/ living with PoC. This where their lack of empathy for other human beings fucks them up...There are already shows like what you're talking about and only PoC watch them.

    ...[Whites] don't want to see familiar similiar characters that act like them but look differently, because that's too "boring". They always have to "exoticize" PoC.


    This is where our global view comes into play...the "Narrative-speak", if you will.

    Our actors and filmmakers should be comfortable and perfectly satisfied with all-POC audiences - we're the goddamn global majority. The idea of only POC watching their shows or reading their books shouldn't be viewed as a negative. That's billions of people we're talking about. So when you have a minority watching a show in the USA, the show runners should be finding ways to peddle that show abroad - after all, that's what WP do, and they are a global minority. Not everyone knows about "Girlfriends", but "Friends" has been translated into how many goddamn languages?

    I remember when I first found the Writer's Cafe and and started posting some works in progress. One featured an Asian male lead, and some white guy wanted to know why I didn't give more info about a minor white female character - thereby completely ignoring the male lead. My initial reaction was - seriously - "Nigga, I wasn't talking to you."

    When I write my blog posts or my fictional chapters, white readers aren't even an afterthought to me. I'm not talking to them. I don't care whether or not they get what I'm doing or not, or approve. They're not my target. And not to toot my own horn, but reactions to my work from POC generally tend to be positive, and I think it's because where my work is concerned, POC are all I really care about.

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  20. @Student
    I think thats what's troublesome, it seems like they are purposefully trying to model themselves to appeal to a white audience by making themselves look like african/chinese immigrant stereotypes.

    Thank you. The line in the sand absolutely must be drawn here. Admittedly, this did not cross my mind because doing anything to appeal to the "white" masses goes against the very purpose of my existence. I appreciate you helping me recognize this very important distinction.

    Like an African woman and an Asian man together in and of itself is inherently hilarious because you know....she's black and he's asian! Like that's supposed to be the punchline.

    Punchline? People need to be killed. The world is replete with Blasian people. They're everywhere. Ugh.

    @Ankhesen
    What I'm sensing with projects like Ama and Chan or Audrey & Dre is the desire for a universal audience, for wider exposure and bigger profits.

    Perhaps this is why neither of the projects appeal to me. Not to mention Nana Sam's work. I tried, I honestly tried. In the end, I concluded that she needs psychiatric help.

    Projects like these need realistic starts. They should reach out to the Blasian community first, strengthen their identity, establish a solid cult following, and go from there.

    Agreed. It irks the hell out of me that there are those out there trying to define a Blasian relationship/genre for the masses without consultation from those who are either in a Blasian relationship or a child of one. How do they hope to succeed without a proper foundation? Of course, there might just be enough people out there with fetishes to line their pockets.

    No racial humor, no cultural battles, just harmony and adaptation.

    Racial humor and cultural battles are par for the course in any interracial relationship; however, what applies to BW/WM relationship cannot be applied to a BW/AM one. In addition to things taking place on a completely different scale, the country in which the AM was born and raised will have a significant impact on how to even remotely try to chart their relationship progress in fiction. Worst of all, for reasons I consistently fail to understand, there's a whole hellava lot of Black writers out there who don't seem to recognize that Black people in America even have a culture. Perhaps this is why so many of the so-called stereotype-free characters come off as "white."

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  21. @Ankhesen
    Give us something funny that's new, goddamn it, and stop acting like it's so damn hard.

    Here. Here.

    and their angry five-year-old who gets in trouble every day in kindergarten for whoopin' other kids' asses.

    This would be hilarious!

    @Student
    The character's name alone would have made me cringe.

    *thud*

    @Ankhesen
    Our actors and filmmakers should be comfortable and perfectly satisfied with all-POC audiences - we're the goddamn global majority. The idea of only POC watching their shows or reading their books shouldn't be viewed as a negative.

    I have no qualms about preaching to the choir. This is why I can't stand that white-washed drivel that pretends there is no diversity among POC and that labels anything they personally think of as distasteful as simply a stereotype. I'm writing for my people and my husband's and I don't mean those with Yamato ancestry. Yes, I'm skipping right on by mainstream Japanese, too.

    Not everyone knows about "Girlfriends", but "Friends" has been translated into how many goddamn languages?

    Oh yes, this pisses me off to no end. On a slightly different note, I might add that Black people worldwide need to start writing manga. The Japanese language is a visual one and if you SHOW rather than TELL, you'll get their attention. If it's in manga form, some damned body will read it. If it's a novel or television show, it probably won't do well. If it's blasian with a Japanese male, it will sale. Once I finally get my novel written, I want to work with a POC artist and get moving in this direction. I intend to publish bilingually.

    I think it's because where my work is concerned, POC are all I really care about.

    As it should be. POC will be my one and only target audience.

    Thanks, EccentricYoruba for waking up my brain with this post.

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  22. Speaking of "Friends" I always think of that as a crappier white washed version of "Living Single".

    "Living Single" came out before friends didn't it? And it was essentially the same show but more realistic and also set in New York City.

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  23. I think they came out the same year.

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  24. "Living Single" came our in 1993,"Friends" came out in 1994.

    Could be coincidence but my cynical side tells me some white writer looked at "Living Single" and said "Hey this is a smart funny show, lets do this but with white people."

    And...anyone notice the dearth of PoC on primetime television after that? I remember watching shows like "New York Undercover", "Martin", and "Living Single" but after that my mind draws a blank at seeing PoC's in prime time television shows written for us and by us.

    They still have them but they're syndicated? I was a little kid then, any body know what happened between then and now? Anyone feel like racism/less visible PoC is on the rise for some reason? I feel like it is.

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  25. Even... like "Family Matters" and "Sister Sister" what are the equivalent of those television shows

    Today on Prime time...it's like blink and you miss them?

    What happened between then and today? Those shows were successful. Nobody watched Fox before that, and even "Married With Children" had all black writers in the early seasons.

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  26. Anyone feel like racism/less visible PoC is on the rise for some reason? I feel like it is.

    It is. As is sexism. We had more better female-centric shows. In addition to "Living Single", and later "Sex in the City" and "Girlfriends", we had "Xena", "Buffy", "Alias", and "Dark Angel." Granted, I wasn't a fan of everything, but at least something resembling an attempt was being made.

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  27. Gotta say I loved "One on One" and I guess they tried to make it more "white friendly" toward the end with the introduction of two white characters during the college arc and they broke up Arnez and Bri-Bri and then it got cancelled. I'm still flabbergasted that RayJ and Bri-Bri got together. I just didn't think his character was all that cute. I liked the Filipino girl character. She was cute and awkward.

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  28. @EccentricYoruba
    Alan Lao and Effie Nkrumah admit that their work draws from stereotypes of Asians and Africans but they both say it comes from a place of understanding.

    Back on topic...I don't understand their motivations. Are they mocking these stereotypes or attempting to draw in a more "diverse" audience, i.e. "white" folks? In these exaggerations and/or stereotypes, are they also promoting the notion that Africa and Asia are countries, rather than huge continents full of varies people, languages and cultures? Are they "selling" specific groups of people?

    I don't get the point of this entire project.

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  29. @ Hateya

    Ama has one video where she explains that Africa is not a country. That's why I think they're attempting to educate with this show.

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  30. Like an African woman and an Asian man together in and of itself is inherently hilarious because you know....she's black and he's asian! Like that's supposed to be the punchline.

    That's the shit that got me mad, son! Whenever an afroasian couple is portrayed in media that's not exclusively for POC's there's always dysfunction. It's like the whole idea of a BW married to an asian man is always a joke, a disaster or both. That video clip was awful! I absolutely hate, hate hated it. A bunch stereotypes with absolutely no nuance.

    Projects like these need realistic starts. They should reach out to the Blasian community first, strengthen their identity, establish a solid cult following, and go from there.

    This too. I know there aren't a lot of us out but we're loyal consumers of anything representing us that's at least mediocre and not insulting. Not that all afroasian material out there is mediocre, The Alpha Promise was amazing and Ms. Ali needs to get crackin' before I camp out on her lawn.

    I also don't like that in AMBW couples the BW is always the loud dominant one. I'm actually a pretty quiet person. My husband is the louder, gregarious one with a bit of a temper.

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  31. @Everyone

    I was not expecting so many comments and such interesting conversation! Thanks. Now to address individual comments that stood out to me.

    @Hateya

    Whew, I'll close by getting on topic. For reasons I have yet to work out, I don't have the slightest interest in Ama & Chan. None. Zilch. I guess I've never been into food shows. :D

    This is very fair. I admit I'd have watched it, just out of curiosity, if I was in Australia when it was on.

    Oh yes, this pisses me off to no end. On a slightly different note, I might add that Black people worldwide need to start writing manga. The Japanese language is a visual one and if you SHOW rather than TELL, you'll get their attention. If it's in manga form, some damned body will read it. If it's a novel or television show, it probably won't do well. If it's blasian with a Japanese male, it will sale. Once I finally get my novel written, I want to work with a POC artist and get moving in this direction. I intend to publish bilingually.

    This reminds me of a show/documentary I caught on NHK World, it was on the creator of Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka and the history of animation in Japan. I’m bringing this up because the animation specialist on the show said something similar, he said that these days manga has become generic and suggested that the person to revolutionise/revitalise the manga industry will be a foreigner. One of the shows presenters (I seriously believe he is Blasian) added; 'Maybe someone from Africa' and everyone laughed.

    This, added to your comment above, should really be encouragement enough for Black people worldwide to start writing manga. I personally know some amazing Nigerian artists who draw in manga style. The power of manga cannot be understated, especially as from this format it can go onto television etc. I'd love to see your novel in manga format, seriously.

    Back on topic...I don't understand their motivations. Are they mocking these stereotypes or attempting to draw in a more "diverse" audience, i.e. "white" folks? In these exaggerations and/or stereotypes, are they also promoting the notion that Africa and Asia are countries, rather than huge continents full of varies people, languages and cultures? Are they "selling" specific groups of people?

    I don't get the point of this entire project.


    I am equally unaware of their motivations, though I'd like to say that it is just a shared love for fusion food.

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  32. @Student

    The work here looks... amateur to me. I'm not going to say that it's stereotypical or not as of yet.

    I wonder, why exactly is it not stereotypical to you as of yet? I mean looking at Chan's videos on Youtube, it's pretty easy to conclude that the work is stereotypical. Or would you wait to see the whole show before reaching a conclusion?

    The woman that plays Ama, Effie Nkrumah has worked on other projects that tackle more serious topics (read this for an amazing example). I don't know how easy it is to be offended by Ama but it is pretty hard to see what message Chan's character is supposed to send.

    Two people bonding over a shared interests and managing to see past their cultural differences is interesting. Humor is good too. And I think they are using this "show" as a way to educate people about both cultures without being "politically correct". At least.... that's what I hope.

    This sounds great, yet I can't help but question. As far as I know both actors were born and bred in Australia, so, for example, why can't their characters have Australian accents while still maintaining strong cultural roots to their parents’ countries? It seems both actors have maintained this link in real life so why can't their characters be portrayed similarly? Will it cease being funny if that happened?
    I can't help but also wonder as to what qualifies as 'politically correct'. Is it their use of accents? In relation to this show, I've seen comments that go 'well both Chinese and African (read: Ghanaian in this case) cultures are very strong, so there'll always be clashes.' Yet at the same time, other people are appreciating similarities between both 'strong' cultures. So many questions!

    See I think the problem is that many white audiences are genuinely curious about other cultures in a human, "Oh so thats interesting." way.

    Doesn't this qualify as exoticism?

    @zoopath

    I also don't like that in AMBW couples the BW is always the loud dominant one. I'm actually a pretty quiet person. My husband is the louder, gregarious one with a bit of a temper.

    This is another cliché, the dominant Black woman, and I don't like it one bit either.

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  33. Or would you wait to see the whole show before reaching a conclusion?
    ...Basically. I think also...he could just be a really terrible actor for this character he's written. A good actor can play a character written as stereotypically but give it dignity and make it something more. But like I said earlier, everyone really can't do that. I don't know if these two can or not.

    Like Valerie Rae Miller on Dark Angel? She initially didn't want to play the character because she thought it was a stereotype. But she went against her better judgement and managed to make it work.

    That's why I'm still undecided and I wondered the same things too about the accents.

    IDK though I've seen snippets that make me think it could go either way.

    Like maybe they aren't playing characters like themselves because their parents were first generation immigrants and they wanted to tell that kind of a story? Maybe?

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  34. Doesn't this qualify as exoticism?
    Maybe?

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  35. How should I react if I write a novel based on the happenings in my small Southern town and all of a sudden a swarm of well-meaning and well-educated Black people jump down my throat and accuse me of fail because I've allegedly written stereotypical characters when in fact, I've created many of these fictional people based on real people in my community? Where do we draw the line between what we know and what others don't know or don't want to acknowledge?

    Hateya, this very same thing happened to Zora Neale Hurston. While alive, she was slammed by her contemporaries for choosing to write her characters in a style they considered demeaning or inappropriate. She was accused of setting Black literature back decades because she chose to be authentic in the portrayal of her characters. Of course, years after she died, she was PRAISED for this very same thing.

    I have always, always held firm to the belief that an artist should stay true to her vision, no matter where it takes her. As far as drawing lines, I wouldn't even bother with that. People are going to make of artistic products what they will and no amount of explanation, justification or rationale will influence them, IMHO. Just do it, and let everybody else make up their minds how they're going to feel about it. Much like we're doing here.

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  36. @ Eccentric Yoruba
    I wonder, why exactly is it not stereotypical to you as of yet?

    Well me personally, I see no difference between Shirley Q Liquor and Medea. They're both stereotypes to me because they're black women living in the projects played by men on drag. Medea offends me just because of the fact that the man who plays her feels the need to instruct women on how they should act as if he's in a position to know/teach just because he can put on a wig and jiggle fake breasts.

    I don't see what is authentic or entertaining about either of them. But obviously some people will feel differently and disagree with this. I'm surprised by how few people are bothered by Medea and Tyler Perry movies in general, especially when they are clearly pushing a certain agenda geared toward PoC. But that's just me.

    But...comedy for the most part is about sterotypes. At least set/slapstick comedy is. That's why I said it's a fine tightrope to walk and not everyone has the balance.

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  37. especially when they are clearly pushing a certain agenda geared toward PoC

    PoC should be WoC.

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