ABC News swallows the Tiger Mom stereotype, spreads it around for viewers in a “What would you do?” segment

This made me very sad. It proves that Amy Chua’s book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” whether meant as a semi-humorous memoir where she’s changed by the end and not as a mothering handbook (as she claims), has been institutionalized as the actual way Asian mothers raise their kids. The media have gobbled up the trope as accurate cultural fact, and spit it back out as theater, here in the form of an ABC News “What would you do?” segment during which an Asian “mom” berates her “daughter” (both are actors) in a restaurant for getting an A-.

I bet anyone who views this will nod their head and accept the stereotype as reality.

It’s a damned shame. If it weren’t taken so seriously by the bystanders and the reporter, John Quinones, and host George Stephanopoulos, it would be a comical scene. I hope that if this ripple effect truly wasn’t what Amy Chua meant by her book, she’s mortified by what she’s accomplished. (From Angry Asian Man via Jeff Yang)

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7 Responses to ABC News swallows the Tiger Mom stereotype, spreads it around for viewers in a “What would you do?” segment

  1. john says:

    Were the other people in the restaurant actual customers who were led to believe that “mom” and “daughter” weren’t actresses, but that the girl was actually getting chewed out for getting an A minus on a school test?

  2. Gil Asakawa says:

    Yup. ABC does these segments regularly, like having someone attacked on the street (actors) to see who helps. The other people in the restaurant were real customers, I’m sure.

  3. john says:

    Have you ever seen the Canadian comedy show “Just for Laughs” (the French name is “Juste Pour Rire”)? They set people up in silly (and sometimes even a bit scary) situations.

    For example, I saw one episode in which there’s a fake construction site and crew, and a dog suddenly comes out with a phony stick of dynamite in its mouth, with the fuse lit. People were panicking and running!

  4. Gil Asakawa says:

    I haven’t seen it, but it sounds pretty interesting.

  5. Anna says:

    I think that’s just one proof that people don’t consider Amy Chua’s book as a satire. Kind of knew that kind of situation. People are shocked, not amused…

  6. JANET says:

    Asian Americans would never yell out like that! really, too me it seems racist too, people yelling at Asians, what if the mother was Black, would that white woman yell like that ? hell no!

  7. Gil Asakawa says:

    I think you’re right on, Janet!

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