In these incredibly racially-sensitive times, I was reflecting upon how the commercials I saw on television when I was a kid would never see the light of day in more modern times. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the racist-against-black commercials were pretty much gone (Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s notwithstanding) but Asians were still boxed into some fairly ridiculous forms. Here’s one everyone remembers:
So in that one commercial, we witness:
- The only gainful employment available is running a laundry, an artifact from the gold rush days over a century before when displaced Chinese washed filthy clothes of miners.
- The ridiculous pigtails a grown woman is wearing.
- And, while not racist, the puzzling image of a washing machine you’d find in any household which, let’s face it, isn’t the principal tool of a dry cleaner.
Anyway, moving a little farther into the past, we can see a commercial for “healthy” Chun King canned Chinese food (ewwwwww………) featuring a gaggle of Chinese adults at the very end.
Remember the old show Kung Fu? Here the actor who played the Master in the show is hawking egg rolls (and being a “wise man”) and their “oriental filling”.
Not that the folks on the other side of the Atlantic are innocent of such things. Just check this out, in which a horny black fellow is – thank goodness! – “cleaned” into a light-skinned Asian gentleman more suited for the lovely lass doing the laundry.