“bonakidSOX” tweets me, “asians are the new black… @dantebasco thoughts?”
My first thought is… “Hell, yeah!”
But are we really?
I think we might just be. Is that statement saying were the new “in” fashion thing? I think our time has come, or is coming… or at very least, it’s about time!
I’ve think the time of Asian in American pop culture is starting to happen. African American community has been apart of American pop culture since before rock and roll, back to the blues and jazz. And in cinema they really started to get a their own voice heard through the seventies and still have their own corner of the market today in Hollywood. In the mid to late 90’s the whole Latin explosion happened in American pop culture with stars coming on the scene like Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin and the Latin voice in America continues to be heard on radio, in the movies and on television. The Latin community even gets incredible recognition with the Latin Grammy’s and the Alma Awards, which have become big Hollywood events every year.
With great things like this happening for other ethnic communities in America in the last few decades, it only makes sense that the time for Asians will happen sooner or later… maybe its sooner… maybe it’s now!
But why hasn’t it happened yet? That’s a topic of discussion that always comes up when your around a group of Asian artists… Where is our voice in the American culture? Where is our piece of the pie? Things are not equal by any means when it comes to representation in the arts, at least not in film. I think there needs to be more stories told representing every ethnic group, but especially for Asians, and more specifically Asian American stories. It seems Hollywood is very apt to putting out and applauding films of foreign Asians like “Crouching Tiger…” and celebrating stars like Jackie Chan or Chow Yun Fat, and these guys are great stars and make great films, but they hardly even speak english! I’m just saying, most the Asians I know speak english and with no accents! And in my case, have no idea how to speak my native language (which is kind of sad & I know I need to learn it) and, though it may not have been true ten years ago… the “kid next door” today is probably an Asian kid. God knows, if you went to college, we’re all over that place.
The truth of the matter is although I think things can be much better when it comes to Asian representation in American pop culture, were actually probably at the highest point we’ve ever been. Seems every television show has got to have a token Asian in the cast (I’ll take that over not being included at all), there’s Lucy Liu, Harold & Kumar, (shout out to John Cho, he’s a friend and he has a blossoming career), one of the biggest athletes in the world is Asian, Manny Pacquiao (and he’s Filipino! & actually Tiger Woods is Asian too, although everyone seems to forget that, I mean, being that he says his dad is black, white and Indian,his mom is all Thai… He’s actually more Asian then anything!). Hell, they’re even remaking Hawaii 5-0 right now in Hawaii with Daniel Day Kim!
So yeah… “Asians ARE the new black”… Yeah, I’m down with that… At least I hope we are…