Producer 1990 Institute 
Overview Marvel’s Shang-Chi with its Asian American superhero is an important film for Asian American representation. But is this really a cultural watershed moment or more of a marketing opportunity to ensure profit for Disney’s shareholders? Could it be exploiting the desire for more positive Asian representation? Time to buckle up as we dive into these issues in our new video, “Shang-Chi: Does the Legend Live up to the Hype?”. We talk about filmmakers and films that pushed the boundaries further and paved the way for Shang-Chi’s success – why didn’t they receive the same attention? How much does Shang-Chi really challenge Hollywood stereotypes of Asian men? A movie like Shang-Chi is overdue and a milestone for the AAPI community, but there’s still a long way to go in terms of Asian representation on the big screen! 

0:00 Introduction

1:01 History of Emasculation of Asian Men  

2:16 Diversity and Inclusion in Hollywood

2:37 How’s Shang-Chi Doing?

2:55 He Didn’t Get to Kiss the Girl! 

3:35 Strong Female Characters & The Four Quadrants

4:16 How to Market a Superhero Movie? 

5:25 Asian Men in Leading Roles

5:50 Cultural Message & the Power of Media

7:00 The Evolving Definition of Male Masculinity 

8:04 The Future of Asian Representation 

Publish Date October 7, 2021
Reference Materials USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative

OKCupid Data, quoted by BBC

What You See Isn’t What You Get: The Role of Media in Anti-Asian Racism, March 17, 2021, Nielsen

Asian American masculinity is being increasingly celebrated. But many men still face stereotyping, by Richard Morgan, June 22, 2021, Washington Post

What Is Toxic Masculinity? by Maya Salam, January 22, 2019, The New York Times

How Marvel’s Shang-Chi Had To “Destroy” Its Own Racist Origins, by Eric Francisco, August 26, 2021, Inverse

Asians and Pacific Islanders Account for Less Than 6 Percent of Speaking Roles in Hollywood Films, Study Finds, by Abid Rahman, May 18, 2021, The Hollywood Reporter

 For Teachers A lesson guide for 9-12 grade teachers to discuss masculinity, Asian representation in film and cinema, and how images portrayed by the media might or might not influence the perception of Asian Americans.

Shang-Chi Lesson Guide

Recommendations Films and television series that represented Asian Americans positively or negatively

Always Be My Maybe 

A Simple Favor

Better Luck Tomorrow

Blue Bayou

Breakfast at Tiffany’s 

Charlie Chan’s Secret     

Chen is Missing 

Crazy Rich Asians

Dr. No

Doctor Strange

Enter the Dragon 

Flower Drum Song 

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

IP Man

Joy Luck Club

Kim’s Convenience 


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

Revenge of the Nerds

Rush Hour 

Saving Face


Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Sixteen Candles

Snake Eyes 

Sound of Metal

The Big Sick 

The Brides of Fu Manchu

The Cheat

The Crow 

The Farewell 

The Goonies

The Grandmaster

The Green Hornet 

The Green Knight

The Hangover 

The Replacement Killers 

The Wedding Banquet

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