Everywhere we look we are faced with stereotypes.
Many think stereotypes are just used for humor, but that is not true; they are used in media production every day.
Last week, the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s released a frozen yogurt flavor dedicated to New York Knicks starting point guard Jeremy Lin titled, “Taste the Lin-Sanity.”
This new product was made with lychee honey swirls and fortune cookies.
As you can probably guess, the product produced a lot of media uproar and some of the customers of the company to voice their opinions.
Many costumers thought that the fortune cookies in the frozen yogurt were used as an Asian stereotype, connecting all Asian people with fortune cookies.
Among all the other stereotypes and racial slurs for Asians, ESPN has already been in trouble for producing a headline that called out Jeremy Lin as a “Chink.”
The Ben & Jerry’s episode does not make the public any happier than ESPN did.
Ben & Jerry’s only produced the flavor to sell in their Harvard Square location in Boston, Mass.
In their apology last week, they stated they were just using it as a dedication to Lin in all his accomplishments, they wanted to show their sportsmanship and essentially praise him.
They were not trying to be racist, they were being supportive.
The company released an apology that said, “We are proud and honored to have Jeremy Lin hail from one of our fine, local universities, and we are huge sports fans. We were swept up in the nationwide Linsanity momentum. Our intention was to create a flavor to honor Jeremy Lin’s accomplishments and his meteoric rise in the NBA, and recognize that he was a local Harvard graduate.”
If that is not a well-rounded apology, I do not know what is.
Asian people around the world have been tied in with Lin as someone they can look up to and follow in the NBA and the media.
But among all the stereotypes that are already brought forward about Asians, we cannot assume that just because a fan is Asian, they are going to watch and follow Lin.
That would be saying just because someone is African-American, that they will watch the NBA and follow Kobe Bryant.
It does not work that way and it essentially offends many people to actually think it does.
After the commotion of Ben & Jerry’s “racist” frozen yogurt flavor, the fortune cookies were removed and replaced with pieces of waffle cones; this was sold until the entire flavor itself was sold out recently.
An Asian-American sports fan and sports editor for ESPN named Lynn Hoppes presented his side of the story by declaring, “Please don’t automatically assume that every Asian-American is rooting for him to become a star and help the Knicks make the playoffs.”
Hoppes was born in Viet Nam and has lived most of his life in the United States.
He said, “I don’t know how to use chopsticks. I don’t know any Chinese words. I can’t tell the difference between Korean, Chinese or Japanese — when it comes to the spoken word, the written word or physical appearance.”
Hoppes felt very strongly about the hype of Lin and how the media is portraying that every Asian is following him for his race.
He quickly and bluntly contradicts this statement by saying it is not in the least bit true.
I think that he is right and that people in this world are a little oversensitive about what is being put out in the media about them and their ethnicities.
As a celebrity, people are going to talk about you, that is normal.
Although a young fantastic star such as Lin should not be getting this negative attention in the light of his race, he did not seem to comment on this product or seem offended.
Stereotypes should be wiped out of the media so that maybe the uproar of people in our world, will not feel the need to be so oversensitive and think everyone is out to talk down on them.
The media shines light on so many celebrities and it would be a shame to only broadcast their race over their abilities.
Lin is a basketball player. He is not in the media for his race or the way he handles the stereotypes. He is there because he is a professional.
Everyone should be treated as a person, not a specific race or a specific gender.