You may have seen it by now, as it has been making its way around the Internet and on various media channels, but there is a video of a Skype interviewee for BBC, who forgot to lock the door to his office. In the middle of his interview, airing live on television, Professor Robert Kelly’s toddler strolled into the office, right up to where Kelly was sitting. He barely bat an eyelash, even when his other child somehow entered as well. All of a sudden, they were swept up and out of the room by an Asian woman. Many viewers, along with myself, wondered who the lady was. Most incorrectly assumed that she was the children’s nanny who had momentarily lost track of the kids, allowing them to wander into the office. This is due to the preconceived notion of what a nanny’s ethnic background is, as well as the fact that the children appeared to have a white skin complexion. People sometimes see Asian women as caregivers, who devote much of their energy and attention to watching over children and making sure they do not act out of line.
While the reactions to the video exposed an unfortunate truth that many American viewers saw it more likely for the Asian woman in the video to be a nanny, rather than married to Professor Kelly. When a child does not look like his/her mother while they are under their care in public, occasions still exist where the relationship between the two is questioned, which can often be traumatizing to the mother.
The video also reflects a trend from a piece in The Telegraph, which highlights the surge in interracial relationships throughout the United Kingdom. The figures used in the article, which was published in 2014, show that 35 percent more English and Welsh residents are married to or live with a partner of another ethnic or racial group since the last census.
Some important questions can be posed from this video and the trend it perpetuates: are the English more accepting than the Americans with regards to interracial relationships? Why did we really think Professor Kelly’s wife was a nanny? Where are the stereotypes rooted in? It’s very interesting how so many underlying issues can be found in a comical, light-hearted video.