“Djhay Bumbay”

Did you watch the new Star Wars teaser trailer? It was released last week and was generally well-received by fans except for two things; First, a lightsaber shown in the video had three blades. This is not really a real world issue, just a fandom thing. Second and final perceived problem was that a black man was in a stormtrooper outfit( a stormtrooper is a fictional soldier type seen in the film series who wears white armor and helmet). This caused an uproar amongst fans because according to them, black people can’t be stormtroopers. And that is in an imagined universe. It’s sadly hilarious to find people that cannot, and will not accept a real life “minority”(Black people(African-Americans) are a minority in the United States) from taking an imaginary job from imaginary people. In a film series that allows for different kinds of beings, black people can’t be stormtroopers. Sounds like a joke.

Before you say that it is messed up, or ridiculous, think about what you watched on local television. Think about the old telenovela antagonist, someone who speaks english and filipino interchangeably. or the comedic reliefs in the form of bisaya yayas or the preppy best friend( who may be gay or a female childhood friend). That is cliche. It might not be a bad thing but it is. TV stereotypes people that are being portrayed. Stereotypes are not an inherently bad concept. Stereotypes are formed from observations by a non-member of the group that was observed. Some of these stereotypes are considered positive like how filipinos are welcoming to their guests. But a lot of stereotypes are bad. How many bisaya(or any other perceived minority)  derogatory jokes have you heard or Bumbay/Intsik/Koreano jokes have you heard? As an example, try googling  DJ Bumbay.

For those who didn’t, it is a video of Michael V. dressed up as a stereotypical Indian man. He goes around town offering faulty goods at a discount to people. He raps about it. He offers 5/6 as a way of compensating for those goods. He wears a turban.  I am left speechless. An established comedian goes this way. Cheap humor at the expense of respect for people. Star Wars fans pale in comparison to this very insulting video. This is real life. Some might argue that this is the truth. Or, my personal favorite, “It’s just a joke”. It’s not a joke. It’s an insult to a group of people who live in this country. and yet, people do not find it wrong to do so. I watched the show from which the video came from. It’s called bubble gang. This show has been playing non-stop for nineteen years. That is a long time. This show bases its jokes on stereotypes about gay people, minorities, foreigners, men, women, and spoiled brats and yayas(“You’re such a loser”).  The sad thing is, the stereotyping is not exclusive to late night comedy but is also present in almost every show on local tv. From konyo kontrabida, to the bisaya yaya, these are present in television. The question is, when will viewers be eventually disgusted by this practice?

Rowell Aquila Macapagal II



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