This essay reads closely into the racial politics of “Thao Does Walt,” a YouTube parody of one particular scene in Eastwood’s Gran Torino, featuring Bee Vang, the lead actor from the original. The short, co-created by the authors and a Hmong artistic team, sought to trouble clichéd Asian American masculinities, not by defying them but by caricaturing dominant tropes, deploying camp, humor, raunch and queering tactics to make visible the turgidity of stereotyping. Moving from a production-studies approach that interrogates how the team’s use of silliness and hyperbole in scripting and shooting was to suggest complex personhood and its erasure, we turn to the “failures” of reception, reflecting on how canons of lockstep legibility contravened our queer satiric approach to counter-representation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies