I think the issue goes beyond pardonyou?'s question, at least to me: do artists -- or, indeed, any of us -- have a responsibility to portray any group as better or worse than it actually is? The black community has continued to grapple with this issue for a long time (witness the never-ending debates about gangsta rap music or The Cosby Show).
Personally, I believe that while extra effort should not be made to either conform to or dispel stereotypes -- better to simply reflect the truth, at least in that artist's eyes -- there is often a kernel of truth in many stereotypes. For example, the stereotype of the hard-driving, high-achieving Asian student exists because many students appear to fit it. The specific film in question here dealt with that stereotype, but not in a typical way and certainly not in an apologetic fashion.
And yes, the question is worth asking, as Ebert did: If these had been white students, would this even be an issue?
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