A young girl was gunned down tonight. That’s three victims in three days. You’re supposed to be finding him.
SHERLOCK FANDOM SPREAD THE WORLD WE ARE COMING !
wtf that is not “the ancient Chinese symbol for the number three” it’s just the number three in Chinese/Japanese writing
that’s like saying 3 is the “ancient Western symbol for the number three”
OK GUYS NO.
Yeah I agree with the first comment but those tags? Racism is a real problem, and it consist basically in hatred. There’s racism in human trafficking. There’s racism in migrant hunting. There’s racism in not letting your children play with the black/indian/phisically different kid. TBB was not racist. Celebrating difference is not racist, it’s the contrary. Chinese culture is amazing, and its art, beautiful. That episode in fact made me curious about it. The criminals in it were chinese and that is as racist as Moriarty, the big bad Bad One being a white man.
Many shows and films portrait the typical Spanish guy with the guitar and the bullfighting atuendo and having party and sleeping, sometimes all at once. And it’s usually for the lulz. You people have to take animus iocandi apart from animus offendi. Don’t overreact, fight against racism and hatred but do it when and where’s necessary.
I may be wrong but I don’t see how treating different people equally while being aware that there’s a difference is racist. Variety exist and it’s good!!
okay listen up i’m gonna drop some knowledge
Racism is a real problem. I’m glad we agree there. However, it’s not only evident in those limited extreme examples that you mentioned. The extreme examples don’t exist in a vacuum; nothing does. First you have to understand that there is such a thing as systemic racism/institutional racism which is racism that is ingrained in society due to racist practices/thoughts and theories that people once held and are still in place today. There is such a thing as microaggressions which are essentially “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.” (source from article) These things all operate together in systems of oppression that can manifest themselves in as something as trivial, per se, as a derogatory stereotype or joke, leading up to and including actual acts of violence. While one is unquestionably more horrific than the other, these attitudes are all linked together.
"Chinese culture is amazing, and its art, beautiful. That episode in fact made me curious about it. "
Yes Chinese culture is amazing - that episode does not really represent Chinese culture. And herein lies the problem - you, as someone who professedly knows little to nothing about Chinese culture - seem to have taken The Blind Banker’s representations as factual. Let me just say that as a Chinese-American woman, I always get excited when I see Chinese people represented on TV. I was so excited about Soo Lin…and then I realized that was her speaking, being all mystical and ~*exotic~. Soo Lin is a stereotypical ~*exotic flower*~ in a flower vase role to further the plot and is then killed off. Not to mention that the actress doesn’t actually speak Chinese and is British-born, and put on an “exotic accent” (the likes of which is not even close to any Chinese accent I know???) for the character. Her brother, “the Spider” is literally not a character - what do you know about him? Same goes for the mafia boss lady, who existed to say a few villainous lines and then die. None of the actual Chinese characters are actual well-written, well-rounded characters. They’re all basically caricatures of various stereotypes. You can’t compare the Mafia Boss Lady to Moriarty. (I tried to look up her name, as I have only watched this episode twice because it makes me feel kinda yucky and I don’t like to feel that way about one of my favorite shows. She’s not even credited in the IMDB page…not sure how to feel about that) Jim is a cool, well-rounded character that’s fascinating and interesting. The problem isn’t that she’s a villain. I would love an amazing Chinese female villain the likes of Jim Moriarty in Sherlock. She’s not that - she’s another rendition of the exotic Dragon Lady stereotype, whom we know nothing about, and then she dies. In order to make a one for one comparison, Moriarty would have to be a drunken ginger Irish man who loves to fight and has tons of children. (Maybe that’s why he turned to crime!)
And then how about that scene of Chinatown, played with the ~*mysterious*~ music like these Chinese Londoners are so different and strange??
It would be one thing if we were able to have a broad range of Chinese or Asian characters available to represent people. But this shit is a problem when we see so few Chinese/Asian actors on TV as it is, and then when people like you watch things like this episode, you absorb it as fact, as you have clearly done.
Many shows and films portrait the typical Spanish guy with the guitar and the bullfighting atuendo and having party and sleeping, sometimes all at once. And it’s usually for the lulz.
Do you honestly not see the problem in using a culture for the lulz ??? Especially when this is the PREVALENT representation of a culture?? You may react differently, for whatever reason, that’s your choice. But don’t expect me to brush off “Ah yes mystelious fah east” stereotypes or usage of “ching chong chinamen” “for the lulz” because I have personally experienced how that shit can be harmful, thanks.
You people have to take animus iocandi apart from animus offendi. Don’t overreact, fight against racism and hatred but do it when and where’s necessary.
Things can be racist without intent. Things can be offensive without intent. You can hurt someone without meaning to, quite easily. You can step on a person’s foot by accident - and if you did, what would you do? Would you apologize for stepping on that person and try to be more careful in the future, or would you deny that it happened at all and tell the hurt person that they shouldn’t be hurt? The choice you make says a lot about the type of person you are.
To call out something problematic is not overreacting. Me taking the time to write out an explanation for you is education (which I am doing willingly, freely, and is not my obligation). That is a method of fighting racism if people are able to learn from it.
I may be wrong but I don’t see how treating different people equally while being aware that there’s a difference is racist. Variety exist and it’s good!!
I am in complete agreement with this statement here :) Treating people based on stereotypes is not treating them equally. The only way we learn how to treat people equally is to listen and learn when that knowledge is available to us.
I was so excited to take part in a Shelrockian thing even if I thought the “Symbol” was a little strange…and then I read the rest of the post…. god damnit.
I mean geez. I honestly can’t believe people read that much into an episode of a television series. Maybe they should just put white people in all the shows to avoid insulting anyone since white people seem to be the only people who are never discriminated against. (That was sarcasm just in case someone didn’t get it.)
Don’t do the symbol thing and chill out. There was no intention of racism in the episode so there is no reason to be offended.
Let’s just move on guys.
You really did miss that great post from waterthemtilldeath.
RACISM CAN HAPPEN WITHOUT INTENT!
Saying let’s just move on actually means you are taking part in that underlying racism. It is a fingers in ears la la la moment.
No. It’s not. Because I don’t care what color skin you have or where you’re from. We’re all people. Equal. I get annoyed when people portray southerners like a bunch of back woods freaks but that’s not “racism” or whatever you want to call it. It’s a stereotype that writers are familiar with. They don’t spend weeks immersing themselves in cultures just so they can write an episode of a show. I mean if every little tiny detail was going to offend someone then I say stop writing or to those who are offended stop watching. We’ve turned into a society that thinks it is all about us when it’s not. At all. The writers of the show had no intention of offending you. You allowed yourself to be offended. And I completely disagree with unintentional racism. There has to be an intent to be racist otherwise it’s just a difference in opinion or culture or whatever. Just like with a homosexual person, if I said “I don’t support your lifestyle” that comment wasn’t staying that I hate all the gay people in the world. It simply states my opinion about the situation. Maybe I just have a different outlook. I mean no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Stop letting little, extremely irrelevant things like that bother you. You’ve got so much more to live for!
This stubborn denial is grating my nerves. The Blind Banker is a terrible piece of television (for more than its content, I also dislike the writer’s hack dialogue but I won’t go into that or I’ll rant all day).
I remember watching Study in Pink in 2010 and being blown away by how great it was, resolving to introduce my parents to the show on next week’s episode. My excitement at seeing the new episode diminished quickly as it progressed, until I just felt horrible embarrassment at showing this to my parents. My father (who’s asian), rolled his eyes at the stupid opening with ~*precious flower*~ Soo Lin, and went back to his computer by the middle. My mother compared it to knock-off Doctor Who. How was this even part of the same show as the episode I saw last week?
Have you deniers even read traumachu’s response or did you read the word ‘racism’ and immediately start hem-hawwing? I don’t understand how you can read that and not understand why so many people were offended by that piece of shit episode. I remember hesitant reviews in the UK papers the day after it broadcasted. Everyone acknowledged that it was a bit racist, even the show’s cheerleader Caitlin Moran if I remember correctly. There’s really no fucking excuse. God, it makes me so angry.
There was no intention of racism in the episode so there is no reason to be offended.
I will reiterate what michi said, you don’t need intent to be racist. If stupid fucking Thompson (so stupid) genuinely thinks that Chinese people are exotic flowers/assassins who hang out with their ancient numbers in the mystical Chinatown (*gag*), and wrote that portrayal with good intentions - it’s still racist!
We’re all people. Equal.
Then how come the white characters get treated like rounded people, and the Chinese are stock-character lazily written stereotypes? And for that matter, why is ‘we are all people’ colour-blindness only ever invoked by white people who have upset minorities?
They don’t spend weeks immersing themselves in cultures just so they can write an episode of a show.
If they don’t know a thing about said culture, they definitely should immerse themselves. In the age of instant communication there is no excuse for not doing your research. If that’s too much work for the poor lambs, perhaps they should direct their story down another direction that they do know.
And I completely disagree with unintentional racism. There has to be an intent to be racist otherwise it’s just a difference in opinion or culture or whatever.
Did you read any of the posts preceeding your clearly ill thought out reblog or did you just skim and decide to redefine racism to suit your own needs? Rhetorical question.
Do you even know what racism (or homophobia for that matter) consists of, or do you tend to make up definitions for complex words after an energetic meeting between your head and your desk? Genuinely curious.
Stop letting little, extremely irrelevant things like that bother you.
It’s not little and irrelevant when if affects how people view you. There have already been responses to this post implying that people feel they have learnt about Chinese culture from the episode, when there is in fact nothing to learn from it but what a white man thinks about Chinese people (which is… nothing, apparently.)
Also, how the fuck do you know if it’s irrelevant if you’ve never experienced it? It’s irrelevant to you because it doesn’t affect you.
You’ve got so much more to live for!
Good god, if you were any more dense you’d collapse into yourself and form a black hole.
I’m sorry, followers, for this angry reblog. This picture post irritated me from the beginning, but what shifted irritation to anger was the ignorance and arrogance displayed in the reblogs of traumachu’s post. I don’t understand how people can read such a good breakdown of why the episode was troubling, and still try and justify it.
Having wrote about these very problems 2 years ago, I couldn’t be happier to see this episode and its problematic content being discussed. This is a bit of what I wrote then (although I was not this eloquent and I rambled).
It’s good to discuss something like this and point out the racism of it…if more people do not do this, discuss these problems, in a direct addressing fashion like this, nothing will change. If this ingrained racism is allowed to continue, writers will continue to not do their research and do lazy writing that falls back on stereotypes because their audiences did not demand better. Archiaart has hit the nail on the head and I’m glad to see this discussion.
I said a bit of these very things in a post last night. Intentional or not, the racism was there. As someone who writes for a living, Thompson had no reason to NOT do his research and take his time to write an episode that contained accurate representation and portrayals in an intelligent fashion. He simply did not do any research.
When I watched this episode for the first time (with my roommate) and heard the “mystical Asian music” cue at the beginning, I rolled my eyes and said before the actress even showed up on the screen, “Ah, someone’s Asian.” I was right. I let out a heavy sigh. If I can predict something like that before seeing the episode, THAT’S PRETTY DAMN BAD.
And as much as I was entertained during other parts of the episode, after I was done viewing it, I soon found myself aggravated with it on a whole. My roommate was disgusted by the stereotypical “fragile Asian flower” motif (as was I) and I was absolutely shocked to not see more of a reaction out of John and Sherlock about the death of Soo Lin…after her death, Soo Lin is not really discussed or dwelled on again from the lead characters. You could excused this as, “oh well it couldn’t be helped, that’s what happens when you lead a life like hers” and that’s why they didn’t reflect on it, but that’s stretching it. Still cruel to treat her as collateral damage, more or less.
Soo Lin’s death should have brought out more of a reaction, like with the victims of The Great Game, but since Soo Lin is being treated as a stereotypical, mystical Chinese woman, it’s never addressed (and I know this is due a bit to the episodes having different writers…but c’mon the problem is still there). That is not equal human/character treatment and portrayal of characters and she was not well developed or the boss or her brother. Don’t tell me these characters could not have been better developed. It wouldn’t have taken much to improve on what was in the episode, and the episodes are movie-length…I think that is plenty of time to fit that in and figure these characters out.
(〥) A Strange Yellow Squiggle: Racism in The Blind Banker
The whole episode depends upon the unlikely premise that Sherlock Holmes never noticed the Suzhou numerals on the items he bought at Chinese markets for his experiments. Because, really, what’s the likelihood that OUR Sherlock hasn’t spent time in Chinatown? It’s not like London’s is so enormous that you wouldn’t be able to map it…
What’s more troubling is a Sherlock Holmes who IS flipping oblivious.
This is the crap that Steve Thompson’s script for TBB gave everyone to work with: Soo Lin Yao, a fragile little porcelain Chinese doll; a stupid brute of a Sikh warrior; Japanese geisha nicknacks for sell in a Chinese…not a shop…the script calls it an emporium… The script also tells the production designer to put up images of every non-Western character set that comes to mind (as if Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t know the difference between Greek and Chinese and Hebrew and Arabic and … ancient hieroglyphics!?)
It’s like Thompson got dizzy in the British Museum and every culture kind of melded together then he wrote a script in the
OrientalEast Asia wing. In the 1970’s.
I mean if Sherlock can finesse his way around terrorists somewhere in “Arabia” then he must at least have more than a Fu Manchu concept of China. Right?
Not necessarily. Arabia!lock is just as big of a problem politically as the fragile little Chinese doll is.
I’d be happy to explain my position further if this introduction from the actual script to Soo Lin doesn’t speak for itself but if you want to get truly brainy and think hard about the subject go watch Edward Said talk about his book, Orientalism. That should at least explain why the Sikh at 221b is… erm… problematic, and why Arabia!lock shouldn’t be consumed (lusted after) without a certain discomfort. It’s important to be aware of why it’s a problem that a rich white privileged British male is wearing “Arab” garb in an adventure story. In 2012.
As a fandom we get why Sherlock saving the only strong woman in
the entire seriesBelgravia is a big problem. There is a chorus of Sherlockians ready to call Moffatisson on their sexism but our tormentors almost get a free pass when it comes to race. Let’s be more thoughtful about this issue.
Seriously, everyone should know about Edward Said’s work. There’s a documentary about the late Columbia professor’s work. Here it is on YouTube. It will make you think and you will see our beloved show in a more complicated light. I love Sherlock no less for being able to criticize it. In fact, I actually adore the show MORE.
I like the show but this episode is garbage.
I was just picking screencaps for editing and found this
OH CRAP HE’S FOUND A CLUE MUST EAT FASTER