Monday, 22 October 2012

Polynesian Representation in the Media

Representaion of Pacific Islanders in the Media:

In New Zealand, both Maori and Pacific Island men are shown by the meida as lazy, alcholics who live off the benefit and dont actually go out and try and get a decent job. The media constantly encourages this stereotype by always showing polynesians in a negative way by showing mainly the crime and abuse that they are affiliated with, rather than the positive achievements that polynesians have accomplished.

An example of a negative representation would be of the tv show Police Ten 7. Every week we are shown only Maori and Pacific Islanders commiting crime and doing bad. This promotes these demographics in a negative way and it shows the wider public that both Maori and Pacific Islanders are only good for robbing and creating violence. There have been countless facebook pages and jokes that are all based around the negative stereotype of polynesians getting drunk and being on Police Ten 7 every week, and its hurtful because this stereotype does not apply to a majority of the Islanders who do accomplish alot and act responsibly.

This photo shows the negative stereotype that this show portrays and how Maori and Pacific Islanders are irresponsible, bad parents and create crime.

Another show that can promote the negative stereotype of Maori and Pacific Islanders is "Bro Town." In this show the father of the main characters, Mr Pepelo, is a drunk, over-weight, samoan father who constantly is at the pub getting drunk. He leaves his kids home alone and to do what they want but they are usually with thier other friends. As Mr Pepelo is drunk all the time and does not take care of his kids, he is always threated by CYF's that they will take his children if he does not take proper care of them. By Mr Pepelo's actions, the wider public can see the negative stereotypes of pacific island men. They will view other polynesian men as drunk, fat, fathers who are irresponsible and cannot be responsible and take care of thier priorities. In the show when CYF's take his children, he begs them to bring them back, just show he can get his benefit back. This will also show that polynesian fathers are lazy and cannot get proper jobs and would rather live of the benefit and be bad fathers.
-This youtube video of Mr Pepelo shows how the samoan father is shown in the media.
These negative stereotypes that the media show of Pacific Islanders in a bad way, repesent the whole Pacific Island population in New Zealand and around the world. Through the example of "Bro Town" we see that the though the repesentation is used to generate humour, it is actually promoting the negative representation to the wider public and making it worse. The stereotype that Polynesians are drunk, live off the benefit, lazy and are just a crime statistic, are a completely unfair stereotype. I believe many of the Polynesians who live in New Zealand do live thier lives according to this representation as they are forced to believe that it is who they are. The representation of Islanders effects the whole Polynesian culture and society as the later generations will be brought up to believe that those stereotypes are true, so the media is killing the Polynesian culture.
- A drunk Samoan on Police 10 7, promoting the negative representation.

The media never focuses on the positive accomplishments that Polynesians achieve. For new polynesian families that come to New Zealand in order to better them selves and try and create a better life for them and thier families, they will be constatly ridiculed and mocked as they may not be able to speak english and will have a hard time trying to adjust to the New Zealand culture, so then the public will add to it as they are shown to be lazy and not able to speak english, and the media is to blame. If the media showed more positive aspects, then polynesians wouldnt be as ridiculed and harrased. The only good things shown are the polynesian sports stars. From this postivie light, this only shows that Polynesians are dumb, Islanders that are only good at sport and commiting crime.

If the media showed more positive things about polynesians rather than the negative, i believe polynesians would be less mocked and harrassed and then the world would see polynesians for the good people they are, because they are good people and they are represented unfairly.