Foreigners on Taiwan TV (again)

Yes, another great local show devoted a whole hour to “foreigners”.

This time it’s a show that comes on the SuperTV (chao shr) channel called “Hsin Wen Wa Wa Wa”. Here’s the URL for the show’s webpage:

(I should point out that the show is all in Chinese.) It covers local issues, and as is usual with the Taiwanese media, delivers a lot of sensationalism. Well, last week (6/14/02) their topic was “Foreigners in Taiwan”. The hosts, all Taiwanese “journalists”, spent the entire hour telling some of the most outrageous stories about foreigners in Taiwan (foreigners picking up Taiwanese girls in bars, causing trouble in restaurants, etc.). Most of the "stories"seemed anecdotal and quite possibly based on rumor. At one point one of the “reporters” told a story about a foreigner who was beaten up by some Taiwanese men, and he was laughing out loud as he told the story. One of the hosts made an attempt at fairness by saying “Most foreigners in Taiwan are good people. They come here and do a lot of positive things.” However, most of the show was filled with some of the most extreme examples of ugly foreigner behavior, which was often followed by “Yeah, there are a lot of those” or “Yes, a lot of them (foreigners) are like this”.

I found this show very offensive. If you understand Chinese, you might want to watch Chao Shr, as they will probably repeat this show a few times. (UGH!)

Anyway, if anyone is interested in letting the Chao Shr channel know how you feel about this show you can go to their message board at:

Ah well, they were probably talking about me if there were any accounts given by taxi drivers on the show…or escalator hogs.

According to British TV, all the problems in Britain are caused by asylum seekers (prior to which it was blacks and the Irish).

It is the duty of all lowest-denominator television shows to bash foreigners, and the foreigner’s duty to provide them with material. After all, on pay day, who gets the last laugh ?

And the show referred to in the first post is way below even LCD standard. According to the wife, even the most under-educated betel-chewing pond life here knows that if its on supertv, it can’t be true.

So I guess they’re actually doing foreigners a favour!

Hey Sandman:

Marshall McLuhan has a number of great quotations. It seems like you are stuck on that one. Any interest in changing it? It lost its effect after the 600th time you posted it…

Didn’t Marshall McLuhan say:
“I said, ‘I want my steak medium’; didn’t you get the message?”

Hey Laowaiii, watch out, you’re filling me with moral indignation here.

I don’t know; from my experience people here believe a great deal of what they see on TV (and the movies)…
“Do you carry a gun every time you leave the house, or only when you go to certain areas?”
hee hee…
I could list lots of fun examples, but my point is that they tend to take things on TV for face value more often than not. That combined with the ludicrous rumors that circulate (although unfortunately a very small percentage are probably true), and what they see in bars (where a natural tendecy would be to focus on and observe foreign male behavior more than local male behavior), these kind of shows just seem to reinforce and give ‘proof’ to these stereotypes.

Anyways, that’s why I really don’t appreciate them. If I felt like the majority of people didn’t automatically believe these shows, I would just find the phenomenon amusing. As it is, I don’t think they’re helping anybody. Except their accountants.

Of course if you look at the garbage produced by programme and film makers in the UK and the US about Northern Ireland, you will see that there is a certain element of pot kettle black here. Stereotypes sell, and it should be no surprise that Taiwanese TV is picking up these skills from Western media.