by Joan King
During a time in which there was an increased awareness of the Model Minority Myth, this film’s timing was unfortunate. Feeding the sentiment, “Asians are doing great in this country,” the film reestablished the American idea that Asians are not subject to racism, are experiencing career successes, and enjoying an abundance of wealth in a country that is not their own.
As a daughter of immigrants who felt the effects of poverty, I feel an aversion to this film. Who’s responsibility was it, though, to ensure that when we created these films and stories, we were also ensuring a diverse plethora of perspectives? Was it the author’s? Was it the filmmakers? Maybe it’s the audience’s fault for assuming “all Asians are rich”?
The more I think about this, the answer is clear: Although I wanted to appreciate the representation and the joy in celebrating the AAPI identity, this film and the novel lacked something: Balance. If they had incorporated one scene, one character, as a counter-narrative, I don’t believe this film would have set back all the work we have been doing to communicate to Americans that we are NOT the Model Minority Myth.