Did you see the SNL video about the iPhone 5 this past weekend? The skit mocked the American consumer complaints with the new phone. It depicted several leading tech bloggers who voiced their complaints with the phone. The host then brought out 3 Chinese factory workers. The point was unmistakable. Our “issues” fail to compared to real issues of the poor around the world.
While I found the skit powerful and very funny, I cringed at the depiction of the Chinese factory workers. The broken English accent and the cultural stereotypes made me feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t help but think, would I be laughing at this if one of my Asian-American friends was sitting next to me?
To be fair, SNL mocks everyone. It’s their comedic style. However, their point with this skit was clear. It was to mock the American consumer. In the process, I fear they have mocked the Chinese culture. That may not seem like a big deal, but I disagree. Cultural insensitivities like this alienate those it depicts. In other words, we get a laugh at their expense.
I still find the video to be very funny, just wish it would have been more tasteful in the way it depicted the Chinese workers.