Saturday, November 7, 2009

5 Asian Men Changing The Face Of American Entertainment

Recently I've become much more aware of the involvement of Asian men in American entertainment. They're not your stereotypical Asian males portraying repulsive William Hung like traits causing nearly every Asian American male to cringe with embarrassment and sheer contempt. In fact, these guys really do possess talent and confidence. Confidence is of significance here since it is one of the major things Asian American women complain about their fellow Asian brethren lacking.

I remember I went on a verbal rampage complaining about how the White majority controlled media and entertainment industry continues to use these token ugly, dorky, fobby Asian males to incessantly reinforce and perpetuate negative stereotypes. This kind of shit had plagued me since the days of Long Duck Dong from Sixteen Candles. But even with the barrage of racist depictions of Asian men, I believe something positive transpired from it. William Hung may indeed be the Asian Male Anti-Christ but he also re-ignited a sense of social awareness absent in the Asian American community since the tragic death of Vincent Chin. And with awareness, change usually follows.

Granted there will always be those who only pitch-a-bitch about racial inequalities in society without actually trying to better themselves. I find this pointless since it does nothing for the advancement of the community after a while. I have no qualms over complaining if it is legitimate but it can lose its effectiveness over time if there is no follow up with action. Thankfully there are also those who use negativity as a driving force to break through racial barriers imposed upon us. They are the trailblazers who pave the way for others and serve as inspiration to succeed.

I consider the following Asian men as trailblazers. I look to them for inspiration in bettering myself.

  • Rain (Bi) - What can I say? The man is complete. Yes he's a tall singer, dancer, actor, fashion artist and owner of an entertainment company. Rain is a world renown artist despite what some of you may think. *AHEM* Newsweek. To call Rain "little-known on the global stage" is grossly inaccurate. He was voted as Time's Most Influential Person in 2006 which hit a nerve with Stephen Colbert envying Rain's top spot on the Time 100 list over his 2nd. LoL. They settled their beef on The Colbert Report in a danceoff. Steve, I love you man but just like a lame hip hop dance movie, "You Got Served!" Even if you're not a fan of his music, you have to respect his diligence and dedication in whatever project he takes on. Its no wonder why the Wachowski Bros. were blown away by his performance in Speed Racer and strongly recommended him as the LEAD ROLE for the upcoming blockbuster Ninja Assassin.
  • Eliot Chang - One of the funniest standup comedians I've seen in a long time and it's refreshing. He is clearly a professional. If he keeps it up, I will definitely put him in the same league of standup legends like Carlin, Pryor, Murphy, Hedburg and Chappelle. Some of you may disagree with me but this guy is seriously a pro. Just watch one of my favorite bits he does on "Dumb Girls". I cried out of laughter.

    I truly believe he doesn't get much exposure as other comedians because 1) he's an Asian American male and 2) doesn't cater to pleasing the mainstream by reinforcing negative stereotypes. Eliot even addresses this issue in a standup comparing Asian American comedians to UFOs. "You know there out there but you just haven't seen one." If that doesn't convince you then think of it this way. When an Asian guy comes on stage most of you aren't saying to yourself, "Finally! An Asian. Now its gonna get good!". Guilty as charged.
  • John Cho - He popularized the acronym MILF from American Pie. Now how awesome is that? So awesome that I'm sure it gave him an unrelenting drive to make it in Hollywood. He was able to score in several comedy flicks such the American Pie and Harold & Kumar series, to a sitcom Off Centre, the role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek and now a TV science fiction series FlashForward. That's quite a journey from the humble MILF beginnings.

  • Byung-Hun Lee - Many of you may not know of him but he was already famous in Asia prior to his US debut as Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe. Byung-Hun or Brian Lee has been acting for almost 20 years. I was really impressed with him for a couple of reasons after watching him in G.I. Joe. First, his acting was pretty good given the cultural differences between Hollywood and Hallyu. 2nd, his English was quite good with a hint of an accent which I barely even noticed. Last year when I saw him in The Good, The Bad, The Weird I thought he played a really good bad guy (contradictory I know). About a month ago I then saw A Bittersweet Life and was blown away by his performance where he plays a ruthless gangster and catches feelings for his Boss's girlfriend. Byung-Hun is scheduled to be in the next G.I. Joe. We'll see if he makes his way into other American flicks. Not bad for someone who's approaching 40!
  • Daniel Henney - Yes fuckers. I KNOW he's half British-American but he's also HALF Korean and embraces that side tremendously. He looks more Asian to me than he does White. Regardless, his rise to stardom began in Korea by debuting in a Korean TV drama called My Lovely Sam Soon. Apparently Hollywood kept trying to typecast him for stereotypical Asian roles so he went to Korea to jump start his acting career. From there he starred in movies such as Seducing Mr. Perfect and My Father made his Hollywood debut playing AgentZero in Wolverine. Daniel is now part of a CBS TV hospital drama, Three Rivers where he plays a womanizing doctor. See?? Asian men are the comeuppance sex symbols in America not just Asian women. Now I haven't been able to watch the show actually since I'm currently out of the states. When I return you can be sure I'll be watching some of the episodes online. Daniel definitely has the potential to become an even bigger star and better actor but I feel he needs more energy when he's in character. Maybe its because of his suave appeal or the "ladies man" swagger he carries or because he needs to polish his acting skills a bit more. Whatever it may be, I hope he keeps at it and becomes mainstream enough for him to hold a leading role by himself in a Hollywood blockbuster.


  1. Good to see you are keeping the world informed. What always bugged me about Hollywood was the fact that roles that required certain ethnicities were filled by random Asians. Like Japanese Americans playing Viet Congs in war movies.

    When is the "white guys with Asian girl" post coming?


  2. Yeah. Well I guess we all look the same. I can actually understand where they're coming from some of the time since I think we all look alike at times as well. LoL.

    Ahhh yes...The infamous WM/AF debate. I think its been beaten to a dead horse to the point where even the bones have turned to crumbs so I am going to avoid whenever possible. Not to say it won't come up though. We'll just wait and see.

  3. You should check out "The Slanted Screen". Its quite informative. The first Asian American actor was in fact Japanese-American and played in many lead roles as a romantic.

  4. Do notice, however, that you generally dont see attractive asian women with white men, both in real life and the media. Also, dont get me started on all the complaints adian men have about their female brethren. Theyll tell you that most asian women are not attractive enough and many have boring vapid personalities


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