Hey, I'm new here. Hello. I think the 'All Asians Are Alike' and 'All Asians Look Alike' (the version the sandbox as of this post) definitely point two wholly different levels. 'All Asians Are Alike' points to a general social phenomenon and widely held beliefs (depending on what culture you're from) that doesn't necessarily have anything specifically to do with storytelling per se. 'All Asians Look Alike,' on the other hand, is the use of this social phenomenon/knowledge to somehow make a point in a story.
Usually the All Asians Look Alike device is used in American television shows to point out how backwards and closet-racist one of the characters is, like in that Peter Griffin example above. In a similar way, you could make the same joke with any ethnicity, "All x looks like y", where x is any ethnicity and y is any ethnicity save for x. The meaning of the joke would thus be dependent on who's saying what and what they represent in the story, as well as the gender, age and ethnicity of the character in the story itself. Of course, the way they are used in a story has a connection to the real world, but if they want that kind of information, they should go to Wikipedia and read the entries on 'Asian Americans' (the link for which I can't post), for example.
There should also be a separate page for the in-universe imagined audience reaction by characters in the story to using actors of different ethnicity than the roles they play. That's a much different field altogether, and should be handled separately.
It ought to be mentioned that a lot of the examples in All Asians Are Alike
deal with racism against Asian people in general and not with the phenomenon that all Asians are alike. This is all very confusing.
And then there's the issue that there's East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese), South Asians (from the Indian subcontinent), Southeast Asians (Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, etc.), North Asians (from northern Mongolia and Siberia) and West Asians (like from Afghanistan). This further complicates the issue even further, because these groups do have very different characteristic features. For someone to say that a West Asian looks like a Southeast Asian, this person would have to be blind or just be trolling.
edited 27th May '13 11:32:02 PM by glisglis