Media Consumers for Entertainment Equality
Racebending.com was recently alerted to a very stereotypical, appalling casting call for a Korean immigrant character on a CBS sitcom pilot, Two Broke Girls. It’s from the mind of Michael Patrick King, whose previous contributions to entertainment media include Sex and the City 2‘s awkward magic carpet ride to Dubai.
The character, “Rice Lee,” is portrayed as a stereotypically backward and socially stunted Asian immigrant, who is repeatedly mocked and corrected by his white co-workers (including Max, one of the titular “broke girls.”)
Hello today. I have check for you.
MAX GLANCES AT HIS PANTS AS SHE TAKES THE CHECK.
Thanks, camel toe.
What means camel toe?
SHE POINTS TO HIS CROTCH WHERE THE PANTS ARE HIKED UP. HE LOOKS DOWN, EMBARRASSED.
Lee can’t wear his pants correctly, can’t speak English properly, and doesn’t understand the concept of holidays. Because it’s not like Koreans wear pants, take English in elementary school, and celebrate holidays like Christmas.
In short, “Rice” is a disaster of a character, like something out of a Long Duk Dong time machine. It’s such a shame given CBS was recently honored for improving the representation of Asian Americans on television, and just sponsored Banana II, the Asian American bloggers conference.
The show is set in Brooklyn. 1 out of 10 people in Brooklyn are Asian American. This is the best the writers could come up with?
Check out Angry Asian Man’s article on the casting call: cbs pilot two broke girls: seriously, you named the asian character “rice lee”?
While we can’t undo the hurt and humiliation felt by the Asian American actors who were given those script pages, we hope that our letter will start a productive dialogue with CBS and encourage them to reconsider optioning this pilot in it’s current form.
For more information, check out our review of the Two Broke Girls pilot screener.