August 24, 2006

Survivor Divided by Race

Thanks, Yi, for sending this article. I think this is the most exciting news I've seen in a really long time.

So the big news is that the next Survivor is going to be divided along the lines of race. I'm not kidding. There's going to be a "White tribe," a "Black tribe," a "Hispanic tribe," and an "Asian tribe." The three four tribes are going to compete in regular Survivor-style competitions.

Rush Limbaugh has a radio clip here . I'm not a Rush Limbaugh fan, but I thought this clip was really funny. In the clip, he jokes that the black tribe will lose if there is swimming involved, that the Asian tribe will outsmart the rest but lack "native understanding of the land," and that the white tribe will bring "vials of diseases" and will "oppress" the other tribes if CBS allows cheating.

It's clear that Rush is joking (why would he joke about black athleticism?)--but there are some very real comedic possibilities here, especially when it comes to Asians. If the stereotypes come out, it's the Asians--not the whites, blacks, and Hispanics--who could be having problems. For example:
  • Will the Asian male members get domestically violent against the Asian female members? Will the Asian female members go running to the White tribe and accuse the Asian men of sexism? What if the White tribe sets up a printing press to distribute Kingstonian propaganda against the men of the Asian tribe?
  • What if the female members of the Asian tribe become infatuated with the male members of the White tribe and are unable to compete against their objects of their undying love? (Hey, this is a real possibility if you consider this.) What if the Asian women get Madame-Butterfly-suicidal after spending time away from the men of the White tribe?
  • What if the Asian men fight amongst themselves over who is smarter, better looking, or makes the most money, and are therefore unable to come together as a team? What if one of them acts like the "good Hop-Sing David Henry Hwang oriental" and winds up betraying his team for a whiter, I mean higher, cause? What if they decline to rock the boat--by losing?
All joking aside, I think this is going to be GREAT. What is lost in all the controversy is the fact that this will be the FIRST TIME in American television history (outside of "All American Girl" and other embarassing moments) that we have a group of Asian Americans together in one show. If anything, it will be great for diversity, and it is almost guaranteed to shake up the status quo.

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