British Columbia·Video

'It's hard not to poke fun': Improv team takes on DNA tests and Asian stereotypes

The Vancouver-based, all-Asian improvisation group pokes fun at ancestor tests with a sketch called DNAblers where two characters get their results.

The short sketch DNAblers is lighthearted but brings up bigger questions

Carla Mah and Aidan Parker star in a new comedy sketch about ancestry tests. (DNAblers/Creator Network)

A new comedy sketch about DNA tests is debunking Asian stereotypes.

The Vancouver-based, all-Asian improvisation group pokes fun at ancestor tests with a sketch called DNAblers where two characters get their results.

One character, played by Aidan Parker, is told he's 31 per cent Irish, 12 per cent French, four per cent Scottish and three per cent English.

The other character, played by Carla Mah, gets back test results that simply say: "you are very Asian."

"It's almost become kind of colloquial shorthand to just say Asian," said Parker.

"I don't understand it but if I were to try to articulate what it feels like when that happens, it's kind of like laziness or like an otherness."

Parker, who is half Chinese and half Irish, said that feeling of otherness is something he grew up with.

"I get [people guess I'm] whatever the other person is not," he said.

"When I'm with primarily Caucasian circles, I always get: 'you look so Asian' … When I'm with Asian family or friends, they're like, 'dude, you're like so white right now.'"

Part of what the comedians were trying to tease out with the sketch is that generalization, Parker said, while also touching on the fear some people have about guessing someone's ethnicity wrongly.

"Stereotypes, they've been around for a long time," said Mah.

"It's hard not to poke fun at them."

Watch the sketch DNAblers 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now