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Is the Tide Turning for Asian American Men?

Selfie starrring John Cho & Karen Gillan
Scene from Selfie starring John Cho and Karen Gillan

By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent

From Josh Chan of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to Henry on the shortlived Selfie, more Asian American actors are getting roles as leading men on American television.

But for every Josh Chan there’s Han Lee on Two Broke Girls or Raj on Big Bang Theory.
We’re making progress yes, but it’s way too early to do the victory dance.

Diep Tran in a recent piece for the Salon declared “Television these days seems to finally be learning what I’ve always known (I was raised on Jet Li movies and had an early crush on Shang in “Mulan”): that Asian men are hot.”

Yes, Asian men are hot. More television producers such as creator and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Rachel Bloom are learning that. I’ll celebrate when the mass public learns that too.

Let’s be honest here. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, while getting a second season, is still the lowest rated program on the CW. If the program was on any other network, it would have been cancelled.

ABC didn’t even bother to air all 13 episodes of Selfie that were produced, instead choosing to let them run for the first time on Hulu.

There’s also Aziz Ansari as Dev on Master of None and Steve Yuen as Glenn on The Walking Dead. Both, however, are on cable outlets which don’t get the mass audience of network television.

Asian men will have really made it when we get a break out hit on broadcast TV. Then the next big leap will be a Hollywood blockbuster on the big screen.

That’s when I’ll really celebrate. Am I being greedy? Hell yes. Why shouldn’t I be? Asian American men deserve what all the other men have been getting since the beginning of dawn–RESPECT.

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  1. RE: Is the Tide turning for Asian American men: CW doing a nice job developing the role of “Monty” in Season 3 on “The 100” as well.


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