Frank Rich legitimizes the porn industry as a player in the Hollywood entertainment industry without coming across as authoritative or defensive and without glorifying the industry in any way. His thoughtful observances prove that size does matter as it’s the sheer volume of work that is produced that makes the porn industry an industry and not just a hobby.
Sanjuka Ghosh and Chyng Feng Sun each present interesting thoughts in their respective writings about the depictions of Indians and Asians (especially women) in the media. It’s unfortunate that Sun accepts the Ally McBeal character Ling Woo character as “better than nothing” because from the perspective of this while girl, the media has a long way to go in regard to fair and accurate portrayals of people from far away lands. Perhaps it’s because of this distance that we’ve been slower to accept Indian and Asian characters as “normal” when it comes to their inclusion in television and film properties.
Lisa Nakamura points to several ironies in MCI’s “anthem” commercial as well as messages in others that aim to neutralize bias and favor celebration of multiculturalism. I think Nakamura is being too harsh. The commercials are likely aspirations more than depictions of reality. I think projections of positive directions are more helpful than harmful.
I hope to find time to read Minu Lee and Chong Heup Cho’s Women Watching Together in it’s entirety and would love to compare the Korean soup opera experience with that of it’s American counterpart. It seems that these Korean soaps are similar to the novellas on the Spanish language stations. These each function more like extensive mini-series in that they have a more definite beginning/middle/end than do American soaps. Yet there are definitely similarities with the American soaps in regard to audience, that tends to be predominately female and at least on the surface, guilty of perpetuating negative female stereotypes through their relationship (I use this term to parlay something beyond simple viewership) with this genre of entertainment.
As media becomes more global and can quickly cross boundaries, we have a tendency to grow impatient when it doesn’t completely eradicate stereotypes, boundaries, etc… in manners that homogenize our planet. As is brought forth in Grossberg, globalization does recede some of these constraints but do we really want them to completely disappear? Perhaps a more realistic and healthy goal is for globalization – as it pertains to media – to simply help us understand and respect our differing scripts and to promote open communication and freedom of thought and expression. The Linda Goldstein Knowlton/Linda Hawkins Costigan documentary The World According to Sesame Street (2006) comes to mind and should be considered in further exploration of this subject.
Grossberg, et al., Media Making: Mass Media in a Popular Culture, 2nd Ed., chapter 13.
Dines, et al., Gender, Race & Class in Media, 2nd Ed., chapters 4, 28, 46, 63, 66.