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Most Viewed Story of 2015: ‘Make It Pop’ Strikes Sour Note with Asian Americans

MakE It Pop

By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent

(AsAmNews concludes its look at the most viewed stories of 2015 with updates and additional analysis)

This certainly was the year of Asian Americans unlike any before on television. At least seven national shows in prime time on broadcast and cable television featured Asian Americans in lead roles.

In addition to Fresh off the Boat there were six new shows introduced this year. We talked about five of them earlier this week, but it was the one we didn’t talk about until now which caught the evil eye of many Asian Americans.

Make It Pop on Nickelodeon featured three young Asian girls who form a K-Pop group and gain the attention and affection of their White boy friends.

It stars Megan Lee (Sun Hi); Erika Tham, (Corki); and Louriza Tronco (Jodi). What upset many in the Asian American community is that a show centered around K-Pop features no Asian American men. The blog featured on AsAmNews titled TV Producer: Asian Guys in My Show, Not Going to Happen went viral with thousands of people sharing the story on Facebook, and countless more commenting on Reddit.

The blog’s author, DTMuniversal wrote:

“After the producer’s presentation, during the Q&A, I mustered up the courage to ask “Will there be an Asian guy in it”? In a joking manner, the producer said “Nope! Never! Asian guys in my show, not gonna happen!”, while everyone else–albeit uncomfortably–laughed it off. Come on now, it’s a show about Korean pop. Half the artists from the K-pop industry are Asian men. Most K-pop fans are actually non-Asian girls / women who are a fan of K-pop men.”

Once again, Asian American men would be pushed out of sight and out of mind, while Asian women were propagated for the sexual adoration of White men who supposedly are the true personification of what a desirable man should look like.

Unfortunately all the anger in the world didn’t stop this show from premiering. In fact it’s been renewed for a second season. Nickelodeon has ordered 20 new episode and the first airs January 4.

According to Deadline, Make It Pop is Nick’s number one show among kids 6 through 11 as well as girls 6 through 11. More young girls are unfortunately getting the subliminal message that Asian men don’t matter.

We wondered what DTMuniversal was thinking now that a full season had aired. The disappointment and anger could be felt clearly through his words.

“It was full of the bull sh*t I predicted,” he told AsAmNews.
He never expected his blog to capture the attention it did, but once he saw that, DTM did his best to build the momentum by posting it on many online forums.

“The Asian American community got behind it and thousands of people heard about it,” he said. It gave them new knowledge about anti-Asian media and racism.

“The only part where I wish I had more impact was in real world cases. There was an online petition to get the show boycotted. But it didn’t catch much wind other than the K-Pop community.

“We have not done enough as Asian Americans.”

Even in a year where Asian Americans made incredible progress on television, the community showed its still ever vigilant for negative stereotypes and perception. Although Make It Pop will get a second season, the producers clearly heard the message loud and clear. While they didn’t act on the outrage, Asian Americans showed it will speak up and it will not remain silent. We loss the battle, but we’re winning the war. The success of Fresh Off the Boat, Master of None, Into the Badlands, Dr Ken, Quantico and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend shows our voices ARE heard and we are not afraid to use our economic clout to throw our support behind these shows.
We may not win them all, but we sure as hell are going to try.
Additional Coverage

Second Most viewed story of 2015: History lesson goes viral

Third most viewed story of 2015: The warped racist mind of a suspected gunman

Fourth most viewed story of 2015: Mike Honda forced to devote resources to ethics probe

Fifth most viewed story of 2015: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend puts Filipino American family on national TV

Honorable Mention: Most viewed stories from 2015: Parents say school district turning blind eye to bullying of Asian Americans


  1. RE: Most viewed story of 2015: “Make it Pop” strikes sour note with Asian Americans: Dr Ken is NOT pro Asian American. At all. Any Asian American source that posts Dr Ken as a positive does not know the true smear campaign that goes on in western media.

  2. RE: Make It Pop’ strikes sour note with Asian Americans: ‘Ken Jeong is a sycophant, something very typical amongst koreans.

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