Expert: Media often depict Asians as model minority

Nov 7, 2013

Shilpa Davé says that 'The Mindy Project' starring Mindy Kaling is interesting because even though she is Asian American, that is not the central focus of her identity on the show.

Mass media is often criticized for its lack of diversity and stereotypical portrayals. Shilpa Davé, Assistant Professor in American Studies and Media Studies at the University of Virginia, says those criticisms often stem from a black and white view of race in America, leaving out important parts of the U.S. cultural landscape such as Asian Americans.

Davé, who is also author of the book “Indian Accents: Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film,” explains to Current State's Emanuele Berry that when Asian Americans are portrayed on TV or film, they are frequently cast as the model minorities.