Thesis

Racist ideologies and entertainment media: an exploration on how the film Crazy Rich Asians challenged Hollywood

The film Crazy Rich Asians delivered beyond expectations forcing Hollywood to re-evaluate how to approach diverse, entertainment media projects. Having earned nearly $237 million worldwide, Crazy Rich Asians proved ethnically Asian led productions are viable intellectual properties, and audiences will show up for diverse narratives. Using Stuart Hall's Representation theory and Erving Goffman's Frame Analysis as the primary theoretical framework, this study aims to understand how the success of Crazy Rich Asians played a direct role in focusing the lens on Asian American representation by challenging racist ideologies as defined by Hollywood. This qualitative study examines the film as a cultural product using textual and ideological analysis. Encoded messages are also analyzed to determine intent behind the making of Crazy Rich Asians. The study finds the film's content challenges racist ideologies in numerous ways like using anti-foreigner narratives, defying gender roles, portraying non-model minority characters, and celebrating the diversity of Asian cultures through language. Also the absence of stereotypes helps construct new realities and signifies a shift in the paradigm. The film's producers intended to make more than just a movie. They considered Crazy Rich Asians a step in a larger movement. This research seeks to examine how Hollywood's cultural perspective of Asian representation is evolving and minimizing the gap between Asians' diverse realities and their racist portrayals in entertainment media.

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