Growing up, Korean American Seattle entrepreneur Jonathon Sposato rarely saw Asian faces represented on television. The few Asian faces that made it to screen were often the “bad guy, side kick, or the butt of the joke” Sposato remarks. Hoping to redefine this narrative, Sposato launched JoySauce, a digital media platform that puts Asian American talent and stories at the forefront.
“It’s high time we centered stories on American Asians as the default and create a parallel universe where portrayals of the Asian diaspora are positive and flattering and beautiful and funny and strong and cool. All day and every day,” Sposato said.
Sposato also connected that the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes is in part due to the perpetual foreigner stereotype, despite the generations and legacies of Asian American communities, reports Geekwire.
One way Sposato is recentering this narrative is through spearheading the term “American Asian.”
“[American Asian] is a way to shift the center of gravity, while recognizing that each of us chooses how the pieces of our identities fit together,” the company said in a news release.
JoySauce will feature unscripted and scripted streaming shows, stand-up comedy and podcasts, according to KING 5. Future projects envisioned include a Korean cooking show, a late-night talk show that Sposato will host and a guide to Asian American and Pacific Islanders arts and restaurants across the country, according to GeekWire.
Original programming includes #TeamTan, which follows an Asian Canadian professional race car driver. JoySauce has also licensed Bulge Bracket, set in a New York investment bank that follows in the theme of HBO’s Silicon Valley. A podcast under JoySauce includes Bella’s Table, featuring interviews by Indian American business owner Bella Sangar and other female business owners.
“When you don’t see yourself reflected in media, you feel like you’re not important, that you don’t exist, that you’re invisible and you don’t have a place at the table,” Sposato said. “You almost lose a sense of your own identity.”
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