06/18/2010 - 00:22
One would think that in 21st century Hollywood, the image of the Asian female as exotic and sexually subservient would have moved way beyond such a racist and sexist stereotype. Anna May Wong (1905-1961), the famous Asian American actress who spanned the silent and sound era, battled racism in America and escaped to Europe in search of less stereotypical and more multi-dimensional film roles. But then the less talented Nancy Kwan as the sexy gold-digging night-club singer, Linda Low, appeared in Henry Koster’s musical, Flower Drug Song (1961). The film, interesting for its time (African American actress Juanita Hall [1901-1968] was featured), was filled with so many Chinese American stereotypes it must have been what Harve Foster / Wilfred Jackson’s Song of the South (1946) was to African Americans.