Asian-American’s in the Entertainment Industry

FRESH OFF THE BOAT – ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” stars Randall Park as Louis Huang, Forrest Wheeler as Emery Huang, Constance Wu as Jessica Huang, Hudson Yang as Eddie Huang and Ian Chen as Evan Huang. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Asians do not bode as well as people think in the entertainment scene. If you were to as someone to name an Asian movie star most would answer with a long delay and answer Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee because those two were one of the few lucky ones who managed to break into Hollywood. Asian actors have been the recipient of subtle discrimination from actors of other ethnicity as well as directors and casters themselves. The extent to this is that an Asian actor could be turned away just because they are not the ‘right’ Asian. When it comes to Asian’s, the roles in movies are very limited. When do you see an Asian college student going to parties? The answer is hardly ever, if anything they get casted as the moral anchor for the character that goes to the party. Some say this is positive stereotyping however, there are a plethora of Asian actors who could not find jobs because they are the ‘wrong’ kind of Asian. In addition, Hollywood has an under representation of people with color but not to the same extent as the exclusion of Asians.

The grass is not greener in the music industry, it’s essentially the same stale patch. Unlike in the film industry, there isn’t a household Asian musician name. There are however some Asians who do have talent and are able to go head to head with singers of other races however the stigma that ties them down are still very much alive. Christine Joy, an Asian singer who won a local idol contest, tried out for American Idol but did not make it past the auditions. One of the compliments she received was that she sand like an African American Woman. Although this may seem flattering, it also poses an issue. People should just accept that she has a voice but should only be compared to other specific artist and not an ethnic group because it would imply that she is merely a copy cat and not actually good enough to have her own voice.

In the next collection of Articles you will see how the entertainment industry is exclusive to White, and some Hispanic and Black, actors. Asian actors are having to put more work in just so that they could break this barrier however, you will find that the barrier is stronger than many believe. Sociologically this is interesting because entertainment offers emotional and physical relief to many and it seems as though they do not trust this task on people of color, especially Asians.

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