In order to obtain better a sense of where American television stands on having minorities, such as Asians and Latinos, on the air, one can watch shows like Gossip Girl or Ugly Betty. In these shows we see a limited tolerance for cultural diversity and an embrace for cultural stereotypes.
When analyzing and comparing minorities in the media, one can’t help but notice the variety of shows Asian-Americans and Latinos appear in. Yin Chang, a Chinese American, plays Nelly Yuki, a fictional, overachieving, timid Japanese-American in Gossip Girl. America Ferrera, a Honduran-American, plays Betty Suarez, a chubby Mexican-American with a large family who works in the fashion industry in Ugly Betty. Political and geographical lines tells us that Chinese people are not Japanese and Hondurans are not Mexicans, so why the false representation on television?
Although many Latinos and Asian-Americans face many of the same socio-economic problems in society, this is often ignored by the film industry. Latinos are regularly portrayed as impoverished and living in impoverished areas while Asian-Americans, also known as the “model minority,” are wealthy and reside in in the suburbs.
These socio-economic stereotypes on television are a reflection of how society and Hollywood choose to view these ethnic groups. If race or ethnicity were taken less into consideration and acting skills were solely acknowledged, then the airwaves would be much more diverse. Aspiring actors and actresses that refuse to compromise their integrity to play stereotypical roles would be aired, thus resulting in an increase in the number of minorities on the airwaves.