TIna Fey is primarily knows as the creator of TV show “30 Rock” and movie “Mean Girls”, her memoir “Bossypants” and her lampooning of a conservative woman on SNL.

In June of 2020, Tina Fey voluntarily pulled 4 episodes of her TV show “30 Rock” from Netflix. At least one of these shows highlighted a character in blackface. She apologized for her insensitive behavior towards black people. “30 Rock” ran from 2006 to 2013.

Apparently, there are also episodes of “30 Rock” that contained stereotypes of Asians. To my knowledge, these shows have also been removed. If they were removed it was to much less fanfare because to my knowledge, she has never issued a statement regarding her treatment of Asians and subsequent stereotypes. Alas, as I have never watched “30 Rock” I have no personal knowledge of what any episode contained.

In Fey’s 2004 movie “Mean Girls”, Fey once again employed the use of Asian stereotypes. “Mean GIrls” continues to be shown on Network TV as well as streaming services. I have seen this movie and I did enjoy it. The movie is roughly based on the book “Queen Bees and Wannabees”.

When I originally watched the movie, I thought Fey was on the side of the plucky young women who had been plagued by the “mean girls”. In hindsight, I’m not so sure which side she is actually on.

As this show and it’s stereotypes are still available, perhaps “Mean Girls” should come with a disclaimer (you know, like The Muppets and The Aristocats have)

“Mean Girls” was created in 2004. At this time, we were not as culturally as sensitive to the use of Asian stereotypes as we are today. Sorry. We just didn’t know any better back then.

You know…cause it was in the 21st Century….

BTW- Fey cohosted The Golden Globes on February 28, 2021.

When NYC Mayor DeBlasio ran for reelection, one of his campaign promises was to make NYC Specialized High Schools (entrance to these High Schools is based on a certain score on the SHSAT) more accessible to minorities and persons of color. This is a wonderful sentiment. The problem is, New York Cities specialized high schools are already predominantly minority/POC. They are mainly Asian.

In 2020, the Oregon DOE instructed teachers to use the manual “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction”. This is supposed to make math education better for all. The booklet talks about whites and blacks and Latinx. The booklet fails to mention Asians at all. There is a label “multilingual” but are we still marginalizing an entire race of immigrants by not even giving them a name?

Ok…

So as you read the above, did any of you think-

Well, Asians don’t need _________ because Asians are insert Asian stereotype here

See how easy it is to stereotype? Even in the 21st century…

Never fear…

Racism might not be the end of us.

But hypocrisy….

That’s another story.

https://anchor.fm/laover50/episodes/Sentimental-Journey-escdph

49 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday- Tina Fey

    1. Exactly my point. As we continue to marginalize and stereotype Asians. Do we just trade one target for another? We have to stop stereotyping. We need to stop marginalizing everyone. We have to treat each other with respect. We need to look and worry about what we are doing today.

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      1. It’s gotten quite bad here in New York. No group should ever be treated like this. Let’s work on things in this century….this year…before we obliterate everything prior.

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      2. I’m afraid, David, that it’s a combination of so many (white) people thinking that if you’re not like them you don’t belong, dramatically elevated and acted upon thanks to former leadership that insisted on calling COVID the “China virus” at every opportunity. For shame.

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      3. I wouldn’t jump to say that whites people are perpetrating these crimes. I’ve seen the wanted posters in nyc. I’d say that everyone is involved

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  1. I think it goes without saying that our society can marginalize just about any individual or group that seems to be “different” based upon the long standing ideals that came with the colonization of America: male, European, white, nobility. Logic tells us those standards are outdated at the least. Shameful and wrong and drastically needing to be changed, even those words don’t seem to hold meaning for many as society continues to perpetuate hate in the face of difference. Changing societal norms by simply wanting that to happen would be an unheard of accomplishment. The ideals and behaviors that continue here are not unique just to us as Americans. These are global problems. Do I believe that means individuals should not attempt change: No, of course not because every time a voice is raised in awareness and action is taken that individual becomes part of a small collective for change. The reality though is that the collective voice is fighting institutionalized ideals that have a vise grip on societies all over the world.

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    1. I just want people to look at what they’re doing, and see if it’s going to help move us forward as a society. I also want everyone’s hate to be treated equally. Tina fey did a blackface episode in this century. This century. And yet she is revered. She hosts major awards show. I guess she is an equal opportunity mocker, which is fine. But we can’t be too faced about this. Her stereotypes of Asians are horrible. I didn’t watch 30 Rock cause I thought she was mean. Yet where is the outrage? Where is the censoring of her material, the disclaimers? I think people should be able to apologize and move on. I believe in second chances and forgiveness. But as schools want to get rid of Shakespeare and Chaucer, I think we need to take a deep dive into 21st century mores and norms. If we continue to treat people as such we are no better than our ancestors. Let’s learn from history instead of rewriting it.

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      1. For future posts: Do we as a society really want to move forward? Is it just too much work to care that we progress and change established norms? How are standards established for specific groups allowing them to “get away” with things while others cannot? Why do we resist learning from the past? Of course there are a million questions and as many answers depending on who you ask, but at least some are willing to open the door and begin 🙂

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      2. We have to think and question and try to be better!! And those questions are excellent!! I am jotting them down as soon as I answer you! Thank you!!

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  2. I’m against hypocrisy and all the censorship. Can we all agree that our society changes, our values change and what was accepted decades ago no longer is today? Can we view the arts, books, TV shows with that lens and let things be?

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  3. I think much of SNL itself and then the SNL alums have often based their comedy on stereotypes. It has been okay to mock some groups but not others. And they receive little pushback. I myself could have done without the Mary Katherine Gallagher Catholic school girl character on SNL from years ago.

    I would have to rewatch some of the Tina Fey from SNL. While I didn’t like the female politician in real life because of her political views, I was aghast at how people thought it was okay to pick apart things about her other than her politics. They were really brutal to that politician.

    I am the mom of a white male. I follow a few medical twitter accounts that are often really great but then someone will make a comment like “typical of a white male” when talking about someone elses’s actions—as if all white males are sexual harassers, Confederate flag flyers who are ready to storm the Capitol, etc. I have to wonder what my 18 year old thinks when he hears such comments in the media. Do these kinds of comments really do anything to solve our differences? Probably not PC for me to have even said this.

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    1. This is my problem! I admit I’ve said “typical” regarding my husband doing something inane, but yes…in general..we shouldn’t make those blanket statements. It’s not fair to anyone

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      1. Just a thought to both Kate and LA- I feel much of the backlash, and thus the comments Kate refers to on Twitter seeming to bash “white males” in general are sort of a generalized way for many to emphasis that we live in a patriarchal society, which does have a clear historical background. Like everything else, our social order is designed with leadership and power centered in a very specific area of the population. That antiquated ideal fuels social issues. Is it correct to generalize to all white males, -no- as Kate points out regarding her son’s perspective as well as millions of other people who identify as white and male.

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      2. I think we should stop labeling, categorizing and stereotyping anyone. While there are patriarchal society overtones, we still can’t use that as a catch all

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  4. I’ve always been “meh” about Tina Fey. I watched 30 Rock a few times and I didn’t really get it. Never read Bossypants.
    I did a little bit more research about her after having read this post. Wow—really questionable stuff. I would have to rewatch the movie Mean Girls. But I wonder what point was trying to be made with the Asian characters in the movie?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ditto what Kate said above. I remember seeing her with Jerry Seinfeld in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and thought she seemed less than straightforward. She was very guarded in a situation where I expected her to be over the top funny. That her humor doesn’t stand up now doesn’t surprise me, I guess.

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  6. I am sick of hearing that when something offensive was said or some stereotype was used “Well, it was a different time” It was wrong then but people were not brought up short by telling them it was wrong. Just watched an interesting video from “our Changing Climate” about eco-fascism. Some of the most revered environmentalists were racists. They thought that if you thin out populations of color or native people that the environment would be better. We only listen to the good and then amplify that which we agree with. When a stereotype is born it is because people are threatened.

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    1. Lots of people said lots of horrible things. And should we have known better is subjective. To have used blackface in this century…what do you call it then? Starting today, we all treat each other better, we stop being mean. This doesn’t mean we don’t disagree. It means we do better than those who came before us

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  7. I understand removing anything that promotes hate or violence. But I am concerned also about censorship. This is a topic we recently had on my library board. In the library people often complain about materials that are included in the catalogue. My mind has changed to think that people need to see and make up their own mind rather than suppressing everything.
    I was surprised at how many of the top 100 most banned and challenged books I have read – you might be also.
    http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/decade2019

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  8. The problem with modern (2021) society’s goal of being more sensitive is that there are many inconsistencies. Meyers Leonard of the Miami Heat uttered an anti-Semitic slur last week, and yes, it was reported. But the outrage was missing in this instance. Hmmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What do you think should have happened? Or where do you think the outrage should have been? The last time I had paid attention to the story It sounded like he was on his way out the door.
    If people think he should have been fired–I have no problem with that–then he should be joined by many that are involved in pro sports for similar things or worse.

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    1. If we don’t reach some sort of consensus on what we will stand for and what we won’t, we will not be able to move forward. We either want to be better or we don’t.

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  10. I’m so tired of politicians stirring up trouble and trying to get people to focus on differences. We need to look at the ways we are alike. Look past a person’s skin color or religion or background or any of the other ways in which we divide. Be kind and welcome other people into your life.

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  11. For my book club meeting next week, I’m reading “Imprisoned in Paradise” about the lone Japanese internment camp, in Kooskia, Idaho. This differed from the incarceration camps prevalent throughout the US during WWII (yes, I thought the terms were reversed.) One thing I learned was that Asians could not even apply to become citizens until the 1960s (or maybe later, sorry, I don’t recall exactly). I can understand that we feared the “other” and maybe sometimes for good reason, but mostly it was just ignorance and unreasoning hatred. I do wonder when we all might finally recognize each other as fellow humans.

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  12. I used to think that death and taxes were the only guarantees in life. But the older I get, I realize there are a whole slew of things that have always been with us and always will be with us, and hypocricy is one of them. I think prejudice is another, all that changes is the victims of it.

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  13. Crazy times, Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss have joined in with this back pedaling. Will they be able to erase all potentially offensive material? I don’t know. If this is their goal, then I think it should cover all ethic groups and gender groups. Leaving one out does seem to imply some insensitivity to that group. And definitely hypocrisy. I do know that if you drive through South Dakota, and other parts of the US (don’t want to leave anyone out), you will see the most massive cultural insult ever towards the First Nations Peoples. And I don’t know how they will go about erasing that. Or at least owning up to it. The first instance of racial prejudice I witnessed as a child was two white men pulling a knife on a black man. While horrible, it did open my eyes to the existing prejudice and dispelled the myths I was told about African Americans.

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  14. I grew up in Gardena, CA. My first crush was on Glenn Osaka. My second crush was on Robert Gunderson and the one after that was on Mitch Brittnacher. The one after that was on a darkly handsome Latin fellow whose mustache made him look much older than the fellow high school student he was at the time.

    This is a long winded way of basing my self-evaluation (yes I do analyze myself occasionally) as a person w/o much (though I will admit to some) racial prejudice. I mean, there are no Afro-American fellows on my list of past or even current crushes. I must admit this is also based on personal history, experience and observation of events that mostly happened in my formative early years.

    That being said, if you look at a couple of my blog posts that cover some of the places of my life you’ll see where I’m coming from.

    Liked by 1 person

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