• lewhuiying

    I don’t know if I’m out of the loop or something, but since when has Jessica Alba represented “Asian-Americans”?

    • shannie4888

      You’re not the only one. I did not understand this reference in the article. Did she play a role as an Asian woman that I missed? I thought she had a Latino/Anglo background. Someone needs to explain this to me because I never paid Jessica Alba that much attention and obviously I overlooked something……..I think? *scratches head*

      • UncleFan

        I think she’s sort of a generic, vaguely “ethnic” sex symbol to a lot of different groups of young men of a certain generation ;) I can easily imagine the cohort of Asian-American guys who grew up playing Counter-Strike having a bikini shot of Jessica as their wallpaper on their PC desktop.

      • Bstar5

        Yeah I always wondered when Jessica Alba became so big in Korea.  Like I heard “Prison Break” was a popular show in Korea once upon a time, but what was the project that launched Jessica Alba into stardom there?  Or was it that she was the “it” girl of that time the way Miranda Kerr seems to be now.

  • Shiruoling

    I agree with the general premise of this article – that Asian-Americans turn to K-pop because of the few number of Asian-Americans in US pop culture. However, statements like “Anglo-centric mainstream culture…is catered towards the majority race of Caucasians at the expense of perpetuating stereotypes and putting down minority races” are untrue, extremist, and undercut the article’s argument. 
    While I agree that the mainstream American media doesn’t feature many Asian-Americans, this doesn’t mean that “mainstream American culture” is equivalent to “white privilege” or “Anglo-America” – Beyonce, for example, is African-American. 

    • http://twitter.com/AeisHDkpop UndyingBBCWarrior

      Ugh, please don’t tell me that you watch Hollywood movies and still think that what you requoted is untrue. If you do, you need a reality check. If you did the research you would find that a lot of people from minority groups are falling out of Hollywood’s favor because of their consistent use of stereotypes. 

      There may be a person from a minority group within the mainstream but it doesn’t mean that popular culture isn’t targeted towards for majority groups’ consumption. This is especially true when you know that Caucasians still mostly write the material and work behind the scenes in the mass media.

      • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

        ^ This.

    • jesuis2

      Please – why do you think most Asian males in the US media fit the geek/loser stereotype and why Asian-American females are pretty much coupled with a white male love interest (heck, there have been more black male love interests than Asian for Asian-American characters).

      Asians are the one group in the media where the females (by a large margin) outrepresent the males.

  • http://twitter.com/superwoman5060 Hannah

    This is a very well-written and thorough article, and I agree with a lot of what you have to say. However, I think you may be over exaggerating a bit about diversity in America. I don’t really think its accurate to say that there are different races here who just stay in their own respective communities and don’t mix with anyone else. Maybe in some parts of America thats true, but there are a lot of cities where whites are actually the minority. I lived in one such city, and growing up, most of my friends were either black or hispanic. Maybe you have come across this kind of race separation, but I certainly haven’t, and the way you write it makes it seem absolute.

    • muggle87

      i thought i was the only one who was thinking that. good to know i am not alone.

  • k_db

    Personally I think asians have a predisposed attraction to K-pop because it’s the most comfortable image for them.  Growing up, your family is asian, you are taught and live with asians.  If I’m not mistaken, the majority of asians would prefer to marry an asian. It’s just what people are used to.  Same applies for any race.  You stick with what you know.

  • VIPUSA

    I agree with some of the points of the article, but I feel that is very inadequate the way “American Cultural Diversity” is portray. America is very diverse and all races do interact with one another in one way or another. There is a lot of “White-Asian” inter-marriage, if I may say so. I’m not Asian, but part of the Latin/Hispanic demographic and as such I can understand the point of views of the article, but I think you are dismissing what makes America what it is and that its Diversity and yes, the melting pod its very much alive and kicking. Maybe in some parts of the US is not visible, but its alive. I’m not saying America is a paradise, but for the must part we respect other people cultures and diversity.
    I think that Kpop is making more Asian Americans embraced their culture a little bit more specially the younger generations, even if they are not Korean decent. The way I look at it is the way I look at my own culture, when I get sick and tired of “white music” I can easily turn to Latin music for comfort and for change of pace.
    When you are part of a minority group in America you end up living in a “Culture Duality” as I like to call it. You adapt to the “Americanize” culture, yet you still very much in touch with your “home culture”.
    As for minority not seen in American TV that is very true for ALL minorities, and not just TV but movies also. But minorities are making strides in changing the landscape little by little.

  • Tamara Johnson

    I’m an old white woman that watches Asian movies and Korean dramas. Don’t listen to K-pop because I don’t listen to Pop music much at all. But I do like Korean rap, hip hop and rock. Yes it’s true that in the large cities like New York, Chicago and LA there are concentrated communities of ethnic Americans, but it’s always been that way and it isn’t an especially Asian phenomena. Right next door might be an Italian-American neighborhood or an Irish American neighborhood. It’s also true that we do not teach our children to learn a second language like Koreans learn English in school. It’s a shame, but that is just one of many problems with the American educational system. Because the U.S. is actually a republic made up of 50 states with much of the control for public education being held at the state level. At any rate if we were to mandate language education in our schools it would most likely be Spanish. So if people are resistant to listening to popular music that they can’t understand who could blame them. It’s true that Asians are underrepresented in our media, but then blacks are still underrepresented in our media too. They have however gained considerable ground in the media and entertainment industry over the course of years. And every good American musician knows they owe a debt of gratitude to the African American pioneers of such musical genres as jazz and rock. Since Asian Americans only make up about 5% of the population it’s no wonder it has taken longer for them to have a huge cultural impact. Do we stereotype Asians in our media, you bet we do. But we also stereotype blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, women and white people. What, you’ve never heard of a redneck before? Give us a little credit we’re working on it. I don’t know how you came up with Jessica Alba as Asian. We do have Asian faces in our entertainment industry that I can name without much thought, Margaret Cho, Lucy Liu, Bruno Mars, Sandra Oh, Keanu Reeves to name just a few. One thing I will agree with, the Zoolander pretty boy persona that is displayed by the KPop and Hallyu stars from Korea does not fit very neatly into American pop culture. There are large areas of the country where beer bellies and ball caps are considered standard male beauty. It’s a shame but homophobia is probably one of our biggest obstacles to conquer. Men with guy-liner and quaffed hair are only allowed in rock bands as long as they are accompanied by lots tattoos and a huge amount of swagger. Do Americans find K-pop, what did you say…unauthentic, you bet we do because it is. While I can see that most of these kids are certainly talented just a little internet reading will tell you that everything about these young stars is packaged by their management companies. And in some cases their careers are even subject to control by the Korean government. The U.S. despite it’s Euro-centric leanings still has much more varied forms of entertainment readily available than any other nation because we are society made up of many different kids of people.

    • b55555b

      haha beer bellies and ball caps. it’s alright. every ethnic group and sub-ethnic group has it’s own standard male beauty. i’m Chinese and please do not get me started on my own people. i know asking a woman her age is rude so i apologize beforehand, but how old is old? i’m considered old in these blogs and forums and i’m only in my 20s. darn these teens. they’re taking over. it’s a nice surprise to find somebody older than me :)

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2UNQGN7IPNTIRIWBNVHEFBHHV4 a z

        I must be ancient then; I’m turning 30 so i often feel weird about my love for kpop. I only found about it 2 years ago ( I have been obsessed with everything Japanese since i was 19). 

  • Bambi

    It makes all the sense in the world for Asian-Americans to like Asian music. Just like Hispanics liking Hispanic music and so on. Race plays a factor as you see whites listening to “white people music”, blacks listening to “black people music”, etc: you tend to stick to your comfort zone. The problem however as you mentioned I think, is that the US isn’t very open to music in other languages. Even Spanish music isn’t “mainstream” because it’s played on Hispanic channels/stations, etc. For as long as I’ve in the US (10 years), I can probably count on one hand the number of non-English songs I’ve heard on English language radio stations. It’s sad because as “melting pot” as the US claims to be, it’s more like them welcoming you into their country as long as you conform to our culture and our expectations of you. In the UK and France I’ve definitely heard non-English songs, seen non-English music videos. The US is very America-centered in that sense, and it doesn’t really leave much space for anyone else.
    On the other hand, there haven’t really been many Asian artists (singer, actor) in the US, especially singers (mainstream at least). Whether that has to do with the fact that they are Asian or not, I can’t say.
    And Jessica Alba isn’t Asian…like at all! She’s part Caucasian and Latina.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

    Hm. In my community, I’d say there’s actually quite a mix of races. Especially in the schools. I have a pretty even number of white, Asian, and Indian friends. I feel like this is pretty standard throughout the States. Not to say that there aren’t communities that are racially homogeneous, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say most of the USA is like that.

    I do like and agree with your point about Kpop offering Asian role models to young Asian teenagers who aren’t represented in American media. I don’t think there are nearly enough Asian celebrities in America. 

  • b55555b

    turning to KPop because lack of Asian Americans (or lack of Asians in America in general)? kinda yes, kinda no. i’m pretty sure i’ve been around a little longer than the rest of you here, but there’s always been several that i’ve followed.. and i guess being Chinese, i have more options? my parents watch the A-listers from China make it big in Hollywood, like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro. I believe Lucy Liu was born here? but they’re all.. old.. and the roles they play do fall into the stereotypes. martial arts. nerds. objects of desire (blech much?). i forget where i’m going with this point. but anyways, there were Asians/Asian Americans getting attention then, but it wasn’t enough. and thanks to my friend, hello KPop. yes i’ll admit.. my initial reaction to it was “wtf is this??” but after staring at Yunho’s face for quite some time (i blame my same friend), it went from “hm.. he’s not so bad…i wonder who else looks as good as him” to discovering Junsu’s SINGING voice. hah! it’s still weird to hear him talk, but he sounds like heaven when he sings. not to mention unintentionally charismatic (i cringe when he’s actually trying lol). i don’t get this thing about Jessica Alba. she’s hot yes (my cousin absolutely loves her), but what does she have anything to do with Asian Americans? if it was somebody who’s partially Asian (say oh i don’t know, Kristen Kreuk.. thanks to Smallville) then yeah, i’d get it, but Jessica Alba?? lol. not to mention John Cho was born in South Korea.. but he did grow up here so.. nevermind. and America as a boiling pot? i agree with writer. pure fiction. it’s not and won’t be for a looooong while. more like a tossed salad. and i lost track of the point to my reply.. this is why i can never be a writer.

    • Tamara Johnson

       B5B…I like that…tossed salad…I might have heard that before…but it does fit better.

  • shannie4888

    I do think that many Asians have turned to Kpop because it’s nice to see someone who is represented positively from the same culture or a similar Asian culture. I think the way the media has practically ignored Asians as an ethnic group is infuriating. In film, you have Jet Li kicking ass, yet he can never get the girl and this goes for so many Asian characters in film. This is such bullshit.

    China has over 1 billion people, Korea has approx. 50 million, and Japan has over 120 million people. This is just East Asia, yet when they need a token Asian person for film they end up choosing the same Asian film stars, irregardless if they match the character’s homeland or speak the same language. It’s the they-all-look-alike mentality. There are too many Asians in the US (and the world) for them to be so severely underrepresented. Where is the gorgeous/heroic Asian male or the beautiful female that can be a top star in Hollywood like Brad Pitt or Will Smith or J. Lo, Angelina, Halle? These people don’t exist in Hollywood.

    I get so offended thinking about how non-progressive Asian roles have been over the past 30 years. Thank goodness for Bruce Lee. He broke so much ground. This one-of-a-kind man was taken way too soon. The idea of finding Asians to look up to goes beyond Kpop. It’s a whole media representation. Asian kids have no one that look like them to emulate on TV. No musical artist or young TV global star who is not a karate or kung-fu male or a beautiful, submissive woman who probably knows her way around a sword. The stereotypes always persist.

    Thank goodness for Kpop. I don’t know many Asians and when I found Kpop I feel like I not only discovered a musical genre, but a whole race of people who were hidden to me. I’m not ashamed to state my ignorance because the best thing about not knowing something is that when you do get to know it, you liberate yourself and gain education. Kpop made me see Korea in a new light and it changed how I perceived Asians. There lied slew of gorgeous men and women who are mannerable, smart, talented, multilingual, and inspiring. If Kpop has taught me one thing it’s to always be open-minded so that you become a better person. Gaining exposure to Asian culture in such a strong way outside the lens of Hollywood has had a profound impact on my self-development and understanding as a young woman, and most importantly as a minority in an Anglo dominated culture.

    • moua23

      But there’s Jeremy Lin. Love or hate, he represents hope and a lot more for Asian Americans

  • http://twitter.com/PlumAusten Plum Austen

    “A more accurate representation of American society is a layered cake where different cultures co-exist within their own isolated communities and don’t frequently mix.” – I have often likened US to vegetable minestrone soup where the ingredients are not melted into a homogeneous mass and the soup itself tastes great because of the different elements, their texture, taste, and complexity. 
    At it’s best, it is the country that embodies this line from the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.At it’s worst this is the nation with the history of the worst excesses of racial intolerance. This country is not perfect, but it is evolving. Despite all it’s shortcomings, this is still one of the few countries where people with talent and initiative still have a chance to achieve their dreams.That being said, I would like to request SB Mark to broaden his definition of Asians. I’m of Indian origin. And my experience is similar to that of the Chinese and Koreans. Stereotyping of Indians in US media and Hollywood is based on 4 cornerstones: Gandhi, Bollywood, Software Engineers, and Doctors. I am surprised that the Indian experience is not included in this SB article. 

    • RC_RC

      “I would like to request SB Mark to broaden his definition of Asians” 

      So please provide a new definition. 

      • http://twitter.com/PlumAusten Plum Austen

        As stated above:”Quite simply put, my definition of Asian is bound by geography – not physical characteristics – because my birth country comprises of people with so many different physical characteristics.”. 

        • RC_RC

          For me a geographical definition also makes more sense then a racial definition but I’m not an American so it is not up to me to define ‘asian’. So which countries are Asian? China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Philippines …? 

          • http://twitter.com/fah2ma Fatouma
          • RC_RC

            Interesting map, the choice is made for a big Asia. So Russia is completely Asian, even Moscow. And Georgia and Turkey are asian. Wikipedia says that Georgia is both part of Europe and of Asia. Some people see the Middle East as a separate area, others don’t. 

            @Plum Austen, do you see Arabs, Turks and people from Georgia also as Asians? 

          • moua23

            They’re Asian geographically. They dont fit the stereotype but they are. People dont realize that Middle Eastern folks are Asian actually

    • SB_Mark

      That’s a very good point about where Indian-Americans fit into the discussion. I’m going to reiterate that the way I view the American socio-cultural divide is strictly through skin color. 

      I’m willing to bet that any minority who’s been in a community with a condensed number of “Asians” might have heard of API, the Asian-Pacific Islander Coalition, which is basically a string of alliances between different Asian ethnicities ranging from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Southeast Asians, and as the name suggests, Pacific Islanders like Filipinos and Samoans. Unfortunately, this leaves out the South Asians which like you said encounter similar histories and systems of hate and discrimination. As to why these mega-alliances of Asian groups tend to include SE Asians and Pacific Islanders, while excluding South Asians is definitely an issue worth discussing.Again, I feel like this largely has to do with skin color and the stereotypes which are associated with race. Since Indians don’t necessarily fit the profile of “yellow,” they are at times overlooked in these minority coalitions, even though they essentially deal with the same types of problems. It’s rather unfortunate but I personally feel that Indians along with other smaller groups of minorities suffer from being left out of the fold.As to my definition of what’s Asian, what I described in this piece directly reflects on my experience. I was in no ways trying to be objective about this definition and I clearly understand that there are many other definitions that people go by. I’m curious to hear what is your definition and how you feel Indians and other minorities fit into the larger picture. Thanks for your thought-provoking comment.

      • http://twitter.com/PlumAusten Plum Austen

        I am not a sociologist and so what I am saying here is only true in the realm of my own experience. I grew up in India – a country which is not only rich in linguistic and religious diversity, but also in the diversity of its people’s physical characteristics. We are not a homogeneous country. In general, people in the north are tall, have lighter skin (like Pathans), in the South they are shorter, darker skin (inherited from the Dravidians), people from the western states and eastern states have their own characteristics too. The “yellow” skin definition would be appropriate for people from parts of the East, and the states of North East like Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland, Assam. Asia itself is such a massive, diverse continent and I like to think that that India is a microcosm of Asia. 

        Quite simply put, my definition of Asian is bound by geography – not physical characteristics – because my birth country comprises of people with so many different physical characteristics. Funny thing is, I have gone on warpath when some ignorant person would make a joke of Asian drivers because I felt that he was disrespecting me. He would be surprised and say he did not mean me – just the Asians.I am glad you are able to see my point – that South Asians are often left out of any Asian discussion. Also, here in America, being of Indian origin is a cause for some confusion. When I first moved here, and when (on being asked) I said I was an Indian, they would automatically assume Native American. So I had to add this – Indian from India. Then I would be pigeon-holed into any of the four categories I mentioned above :-)

      • Laverne D’SIlva

         So wouldn’t it be better to say East Asian Americans since the countries and skin-color (to a certain extent) you were referring to are contained in East Asia vs South Asia (ex India)?

        I do agree when you didn’t include India within your definition of “Asian” because the connotation of Asian is almost always East Asian and never India or Pakistan etc. However, because Asia does include those and other countries traditionally not seen as “Asian,” I think East Asian is the best term for the identity you are referring to in this article :)

      • Laverne D’SIlva

         So wouldn’t it be better to say East Asian Americans since the countries and skin-color (to a certain extent) you were referring to are contained in East Asia vs South Asia (ex India)?

        I do agree when you didn’t include India within your definition of “Asian” because the connotation of Asian is almost always East Asian and never India or Pakistan etc. However, because Asia does include those and other countries traditionally not seen as “Asian,” I think East Asian is the best term for the identity you are referring to in this article :)

      • Laverne D’SIlva

         So wouldn’t it be better to say East Asian Americans since the countries and skin-color (to a certain extent) you were referring to are contained in East Asia vs South Asia (ex India)?

        I do agree when you didn’t include India within your definition of “Asian” because the connotation of Asian is almost always East Asian and never India or Pakistan etc. However, because Asia does include those and other countries traditionally not seen as “Asian,” I think East Asian is the best term for the identity you are referring to in this article :)

  • wickfan

    I really hate how people forget to mention half Asian who are doing well in the US like Bruno Mars or used to do well like Nicole. Asian is not just East-Asia.
    Asian Americans remind me significantly of my own culture which is Hispanic American. Even within the community we divide our self. Japanese Americans will stick to what there familiar with and so do the Chinese Koreans etc. Hispanics do the same.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

      Good point. I’m happy you mentioned Bruno Mars and Nicole,both of Filipino descent.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

      Good point. I’m happy you mentioned Bruno Mars and Nicole,both of Filipino descent.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

      Good point. I’m happy you mentioned Bruno Mars and Nicole,both of Filipino descent.

    • jesuis2

      Most hapas who do well in the US entertainment industry can pass for white.

      For those hapas (esp. male) who look “Asian” (such as Russell Wong, Daniel Henney, etc.), they are just seen as Asians (unlike say, someone like Kristen Kreuk who is offered a wide range of roles b/c she can pass for white).

  • http://vvipforseungri.livejournal.com/ Martina

    Wow, this is a surprise; a SeoulBeats article that is actually very well written. Bravo, Mark.

    Anyway, I most definitely agree and identify with this article and the points it brings up.

  • UncleFan

    LOL, I was *so* much more sympathetic to the plight of Asian-Americans until I read this long extrusion of butthurt nonsense. As one of the much maligned “Anglo-Americans”, I’ve enjoyed and supported many Asian cultural products over the years – Chinese and Korean cooking, Hong Kong cinema, Bollywood musicals, Japanese animation, K-Pop and K-Drama… so it kind of irritates me to hear “White Privilege” identified as the source of Asian-American cultural angst. Let me know where I can find all this white privilege, so I can cash it in and buy me some hegemony!

    If Asian-Americans don’t like Hollywood’s output, they should do like the Koreans and Indians and build their *own* fuckin’ Hollywood!

    • aoko

      lol so asian-americans should build their own hollywood in america? 

      you can’t compare korea and india having their own movie industries to asian-americans wanting better representation in the american movie industry…

      • UncleFan

        Exactly. Instead of complaining to the guy running a taco stand that he doesn’t sell egg rolls, you should start your own egg roll stand. It’s that simple.

        Be the change you wish to see in the world!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

          But Asian Americans are American. Having their own would just encourage more segregation and that whole separate but equal thing which has never worked. Do you really think people would react well to that? I mean black people did something similar with BET and look how people took that. Many people call the channel racist, hypocritical, and ask questions like “if there is a BET, why is there no WET? As Americans 1 and 3 people are minorities, our media should reflect that. We wanna act all high and mighty about being a diverse country but then encourage separation.

          Indians in India have Bollywood, Koreans in Korea have their own as Nation. But what about Indian Americans or Koreans Americans.
          Taco’s and egg rolls, are two different foods, we are all Americans. Its more about nationality than anything. Your asking Asians that come from a similar background as you to separate themselves. kinda rids us of any responsibility for growth.You seem upset at the notion of white privilege, but don’t even realize that things like BET or if there is ever an Asian American channel would be a result of that.

          • SB_Mark

            It can be argued that Asian-Americans already have built their own hollywood via YouTube with the likes of Nigahiga, Kevjumba, and Wongfu amongst many many others who have rose to fame by amassing legions and legions of followers. Even more, these Asian-American YouTube artists of all types (Musicians, Comedians, Make-up artists, etc) have all banded together to further promote one another’s popularity. Like K-pop, these internet celebrities have a huge cult following within Asian-American communities and appeal to Asians and non-Asians alike all over the world. Just another example of how YouTube has given power to under-represented minorities by allowing them to choose a form of entertainment which connects with them on a deeper cultural level.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

            Agreed. But I just think it sounds ridiculous to tell another American that instead of working to make Hollywood, American TV and film more fair, lets just segregate. Asians Americans and other minorities, should already be there, they shouldn’t have to ask. That’s why in places like Korea, people think America is all white. So why show anger at the question? I feel like it’s a cop out argument. I’m not against Asians having their own channel or Hollywood if it comes down to that, but I find it rather sad that it as to be that way.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

            Agreed. But I just think it sounds ridiculous to tell another American that instead of working to make Hollywood, American TV and film more fair, lets just segregate. Asians Americans and other minorities, should already be there, they shouldn’t have to ask. That’s why in places like Korea, people think America is all white. So why show anger at the question? I feel like it’s a cop out argument. I’m not against Asians having their own channel or Hollywood if it comes down to that, but I find it rather sad that it as to be that way.

          • UncleFan

            “instead of working to make Hollywood, American TV and film more fair…”

            …except you’re not working, you’re whining. Hollywood has never been fair. Ever. It’s always been a money-making enterprise, controlled by people who don’t give a rip about anything else BUT money. Personally, I would love to see more Asian-Americans in the movies and on TV, but I understand how the casting process works and what the priorities are. Sure, they could make Downton Abbey or whatever with an all Korean-American cast, and then you could watch it get cancelled after the pilot episode flopped so hard it registered on the Richter scale. Why would a studio want to risk their money on something with such a low chance of success?

            I’m sorry if my words sound angry, but I see this kind of idiocy all over the internet, and it gets really tiresome. I’m sure if I went over to ONTD right now, there would be some dumb post about how Zoe Saldana isn’t “black enough” to play Nina Simone. Or maybe some goofy “social justice” blogger has squirted out another diatribe about erstwhile “racist” Lena Dunham’s casting choices for that hipster soap opera, “Girls”… Ugh, I’m scared to even look.

          • UncleFan

            “instead of working to make Hollywood, American TV and film more fair…”

            …except you’re not working, you’re whining. Hollywood has never been fair. Ever. It’s always been a money-making enterprise, controlled by people who don’t give a rip about anything else BUT money. Personally, I would love to see more Asian-Americans in the movies and on TV, but I understand how the casting process works and what the priorities are. Sure, they could make Downton Abbey or whatever with an all Korean-American cast, and then you could watch it get cancelled after the pilot episode flopped so hard it registered on the Richter scale. Why would a studio want to risk their money on something with such a low chance of success?

            I’m sorry if my words sound angry, but I see this kind of idiocy all over the internet, and it gets really tiresome. I’m sure if I went over to ONTD right now, there would be some dumb post about how Zoe Saldana isn’t “black enough” to play Nina Simone. Or maybe some goofy “social justice” blogger has squirted out another diatribe about erstwhile “racist” Lena Dunham’s casting choices for that hipster soap opera, “Girls”… Ugh, I’m scared to even look.

          • UncleFan

            “instead of working to make Hollywood, American TV and film more fair…”

            …except you’re not working, you’re whining. Hollywood has never been fair. Ever. It’s always been a money-making enterprise, controlled by people who don’t give a rip about anything else BUT money. Personally, I would love to see more Asian-Americans in the movies and on TV, but I understand how the casting process works and what the priorities are. Sure, they could make Downton Abbey or whatever with an all Korean-American cast, and then you could watch it get cancelled after the pilot episode flopped so hard it registered on the Richter scale. Why would a studio want to risk their money on something with such a low chance of success?

            I’m sorry if my words sound angry, but I see this kind of idiocy all over the internet, and it gets really tiresome. I’m sure if I went over to ONTD right now, there would be some dumb post about how Zoe Saldana isn’t “black enough” to play Nina Simone. Or maybe some goofy “social justice” blogger has squirted out another diatribe about erstwhile “racist” Lena Dunham’s casting choices for that hipster soap opera, “Girls”… Ugh, I’m scared to even look.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

            Hollywood has never been fair is not an excuse because its has progressed. Hollywood is defiantly not the same as it was 50 years ago. I’m not whining, part of solving an issue is bring awareness to it. 

            As for how Hollywood works, yeah their is potential for that to happen if their is an all Asian cast, However, if Hollywood keeps showing minorities in main roles, or important roles eventually people will get use to it just like minorities are use to seeing white people in main roles even though they are not white, but except that as the norm. Sometimes you have to take the risk, if your care enough. Unfortunately yes money/ profit is their number concern but I can’t say that makes it right.

            I understand how you feel reading these comments, it sounds bit anti-white. But that’s not the intention behind it, If people understand what white privilege is, it has nothing to do with being against white people. Same with male privilege, able bodied privilege, straight privilege, if someone talks about their struggle as a  female, or someone in a wheel chair, or as a gay person, they are not anti-male or lesbian as some guys would say, or anti able-bodied etc.  It has nothing do with white people being rich or whatever but just that their are advantages. Like for example, I am straight if I go to a job interview I wont have to worry about not getting job because of my sexual orientation or going to school hoping that I don’t get made fun of simply for being straight rather I’m poor or not. As an able bodied person I don’t have to worry about people under estimating my ability like they would an handicap person, that’s my advantage no matter my class background, its still advantage regardless. Anyways this getting long, so I’ll end it now but I think you need to realize that people writing these things are not writing about non sense or idiocy but just trying to bring awareness to the situation. 

          • jesuis2

            Hollywood has promoted positive portrayals of blacks and for gays.

            Funny how despite large segments of the US pop. having prejudice, if not hatred towards those groups, Hollywood had still gone ahead and promoted such groups even if they received backlash from a significant portion of their customer base.

            In the German media, Jews and Turks/Muslims are off-limits when it comes to crude racial/cultural jokes; Asians, however, are considered fair game.

        • jesuis2

          Have blacks or gays built their own “Hollywood”?

          No, Hollywood has been cognizant of increasing black and gay representation even tho a good chunk of the American populace has prejudice, if not hatred for them.

          Also, Hollywood (not to mention Madison Ave.) has much less of a problem promoting Asian females in the media as opposed to Asian males (Asians are the ONE group where female representation in the media is greater than the male).

          And there are plenty of indie Asian-American filmmakers (not to mention film festivals), but there simply is a big enough audience to support them financially so many Asian-Americans are so thoroughly “whitewashed.”

    • Gaya_SB

      But if you’re white, you’re already cashing in on it. You don’t get harassed for walking down the street wearing clothing belonging to your culture, you don’t have to change your name so that you can get a job interview, you don’t have people asking you “where you came from” as a way of asking about your cultural background due to the unspoken assumption that anyone who isn’t white wasn’t born in a Western country, you don’t get the rush of euphoria of seeing someone who actually physically looks like you on primetime television followed by the horror that comes when you realise how removed from their culture the character is. 

      • UncleFan

        “But if you’re white, you’re already cashing in on it…” As it so happens, I do have a “white guy” name, and guess what? It ain’t gettin’ me any jobs, either! I’ve been harassed on the street, too… for no reason at all! So what? As far as watching TV goes, let me tell you what *I* see: goofy shows like Jericho where the mysterious terrorist/super villain/bad guy NEVER turns out be a Muslim or a Chinese general or anyone remotely realistic, but ALWAYS turns out to be an evil white guy CEO who betrays America to generate profits for his war-mongering/toxic-polluting corporation!

        You think you have problems? Everybody has problems… get over yourself.

        • Gaya_SB

          I was using the term “you” rather loosely, but considering that it was in reply to your comment, I now realise that I may have been making assumptions about you and your life experiences. I apologise for that.

          I can see that we have different viewpoints on the matter, and that’s OK; but I’m sure you are more than capable of commenting without resorting to insults.

        • Gaya_SB

          I was using the term “you” rather loosely, but considering that it was in reply to your comment, I now realise that I may have been making assumptions about you and your life experiences. I apologise for that.

          I can see that we have different viewpoints on the matter, and that’s OK; but I’m sure you are more than capable of commenting without resorting to insults.

        • Gaya_SB

          I was using the term “you” rather loosely, but considering that it was in reply to your comment, I now realise that I may have been making assumptions about you and your life experiences. I apologise for that.

          I can see that we have different viewpoints on the matter, and that’s OK; but I’m sure you are more than capable of commenting without resorting to insults.

        • Gaya_SB

          I was using the term “you” rather loosely, but considering that it was in reply to your comment, I now realise that I may have been making assumptions about you and your life experiences. I apologise for that.

          I can see that we have different viewpoints on the matter, and that’s OK; but I’m sure you are more than capable of commenting without resorting to insults.

        • Gaya_SB

          I was using the term “you” rather loosely, but considering that it was in reply to your comment, I now realise that I may have been making assumptions about you and your life experiences. I apologise for that.

          I can see that we have different viewpoints on the matter, and that’s OK; but I’m sure you are more than capable of commenting without resorting to insults.

          • UncleFan

            Fine, I’m sorry – I’ll edit out my insult. I’m just grouchy because everywhere I look these days I read “white privilege” “white tears” “rich white people” “skinny white bitch” and so on… that crap gets pretty old when you find out your invisible backpack has a hole in the bottom!

          • Gaya_SB

            Thank you for that, I really appreciate it. And, perhaps it would be best to get rid of the invisible backpack altogether? ;)

            I don’t wish to attack white people for being white, I just want them to understand that there are problems PoC face that they are fortunate enough to not face. 

            If people are conscious of that fact, as well as advantages they have arising from gender, sexuality, physical and mental ability and socio-economic status (and this applies to everyone), then that is all I need. What people decide to do with that knowledge is up to them; but they do need to know and accept it.

    • littleboyd

      well said!

  • http://twitter.com/veria10 Veria

    I don’t know if this applies to Asian-Americans, but I feel that one reason why a lot of Asians where I’m from (Australia) like kpop is that it ties them back to Asian culture in a society where there’s very little representation of Asians in mainstream media. Australian media also has very few Asian celebrities or media persoanlities, especially on TV – a lot of shows recently aired have been criticised for being so white-washed. Kpop – and by extent, the wider ‘genre’ of Asian music – allows people like me who may have been born in Australia and are of Asian heritage but who may have had little contact or experience with these actual societies and cultures to almost re-experience what we have been missing out on.

  • http://twitter.com/veria10 Veria

    I don’t know if this applies to Asian-Americans, but I feel that one reason why a lot of Asians where I’m from (Australia) like kpop is that it ties them back to Asian culture in a society where there’s very little representation of Asians in mainstream media. Australian media also has very few Asian celebrities or media persoanlities, especially on TV – a lot of shows recently aired have been criticised for being so white-washed. Kpop – and by extent, the wider ‘genre’ of Asian music – allows people like me who may have been born in Australia and are of Asian heritage but who may have had little contact or experience with these actual societies and cultures to almost re-experience what we have been missing out on.

  • http://arbitrary-greay.livejournal.com/ Arbitrary_greay

    So a (Korean) Lost, (Korean) Battlestar Galactica, and a (Japanese) Heroes alum walk into a Hawaiian police station….*cues the Hawaii Five-O theme song*

    This show amuses me to no end with the Sci-Fi crossover-ness, but it is nice to see a show where Asians can regularly be characters. 

    Too bad the writing is as cheesy as the old show used to be. Ah, 80s camp writing combined with the most ludicrous elements of modern crime procedurals. 

    • b55555b

      gah i love hawaii five-0!! lol. and it’s not even because of the lead actors/actress or the stories. i’m there for snippets of FONG. muahahahaha

  • sakurahae

    Although I’m not asian, and I dont live where there is a large Asian american community, I think its funny how K-pop has allowed me to make friends where i might not have before.

    My current best friend is from Wuhan, China, and moved here about three years ago. She worked at this chinese restaurant i used to frequent a lot, and one day she heard me listening to Super junior, and freaked because she likes them too. and then we started talking about K-pop and now she’s my best friend haha~

    And if it wasn’t for Super Junior, she may have never quit simply being the ‘nice waitress’

  • sakurahae

    Although I’m not asian, and I dont live where there is a large Asian american community, I think its funny how K-pop has allowed me to make friends where i might not have before.

    My current best friend is from Wuhan, China, and moved here about three years ago. She worked at this chinese restaurant i used to frequent a lot, and one day she heard me listening to Super junior, and freaked because she likes them too. and then we started talking about K-pop and now she’s my best friend haha~

    And if it wasn’t for Super Junior, she may have never quit simply being the ‘nice waitress’

  • Pha Thao

    For me, I got into it in a rather roundabout way. In fifth grade, my Black friend told me one day that she liked J-pop, and I decided to give it a try and found myself loving it, listening to Ayumi Hamasaki, Boa (her Japanese singles anyway), and Utada Hikaru. Then I found myself listening to DBSK, and my love for K-pop soared from there. In retrospect, I probably liked DBSK because they provided a different type of male for me, one that wasn’t about muscles, street cred, or acting tough, but rather ones who were lean, stylish, and could act however they wanted. I liked that, and so did a lot of my friends, most of them Asian American.

    In college, I thought I’d give up K-pop because I wouldn’t find anyone who liked it. I was attending a university that was mostly populated with Caucasians and foreign Asian students, who would probably like K-pop but I was too shy to join them for fear that they would talk in their foreign language and leave me out of it. Then, behold, a Black friend who had been in my orientation group sprung the question, “Do any of you like K-pop?” Soon afterwards, she and I along with some others on her floor began to bond over K-pop and K-dramas. We would meet every Friday to watch two hours of K-drama episodes, call each other over when the next Big Bang or Shinee music video came out, and used the hooks in songs in everyday language (Wow… Fantastic Baby…DANCE! was one of our favorites). Through K-pop, I formed a bond with a good group of friends that made my freshman year of college one of the best I could possibly have.

  • severely

    Not that it’s particularly relevant to this article, but this trend of writers liberally over-using the strikeout function has gotten annoying. If you want to say something, say it and stand by it.

    Furthermore, if you remove the struck-out portion, the sentence is supposed to still make sense. Consider this one:
     To date, the premier Asian-American “goddess” has been Jessica Alba who isn’t even Asian!

    If you remove the strikeout, it says:
     To date, the premier Asian-American “goddess” has been Jessica Alba who.

    Really, now.

  • BishieAddict

    I don’t know if I got into kpop because I am Asian. I grew up in the 90s and like pop and the idol bands. Kpop really took it to the next level with the intensive training and choreography. 

  • micheossuh …

    I find this article confusing, in that while the author is entitled to their opinion, and I must respect their point of view, much of the ideals being expressed here are rather skewed, and seem a bit uninformed.  

    Starting with the most obvious, I have never heard Jessica Alba referred to as Asian, she has always been representative of the Latin American community.  As for the rest, I can’t at this time comment on the specifics; however, I will say that the article seems to be from the point of view of someone living outside of the United States, or someone new to America who has yet to branch out of their cultural community — and that’s fine, who am I to pass judgment on that; that, and I’m not Asian…  However, there are some elements of this article that appear to me to be un, or ill-informed, with just a bit of a racist edge to it.  I do not believe it to be hateful, but perhaps born of ignorance.  I was really interested to read about how the Asian-American culture views the Hallyu wave, but was struck by some of the generalizations put forth in the article.  

    One thing though:”Unfortunately, for those who are highly ingrained in the mindset of sticking to what’s comfortable and familiar, there’s really nothing K-pop can do to win them over.”While I could quibble with you about the beginning statement, the last part of your statement rings true.  I have a best friend that wants nothing to do with K-pop, but her reasons have little to do with the language, and everything to do with its pop-music nature.  My brother has for the most part come out and said that if it’s not in English, he won’t hear it; however, I think that has more to do with his ADD/ADHD issues, and finding it difficult to focus on something he doesn’t understand.  Whether it be K-pop, Latin, African, French, it would ultimately drive him crazy.  He needs to break it in on his own terms, which he has begun to.  For me, the language is a huge part of the attraction.  For me personally, the Korean language seems to fit so well with the more western style of music.  It flows so beautifully, be it rock, rap, pop, soul.  It’s a beautiful language which fits with and moves well within the body of a song.  I wish I was able to learn the language so that I would have an even greater appreciation, but that would take time I just don’t have at the moment, which is why I must now go. I apologize if I have offended thee.  I am just expressing a feeling I was left with after reading the article.Peace. 

    • jesuis2

      The author didn’t state that Alba was Asian (in fact stated that Alba wasn’t); the point the author was making is that Alba became a representative symbol for Asian females b/c there were so few of them and Alba had an “ethnic” look that was different from the typical white Hollywood starlet.

    • jesuis2

      The author didn’t state that Alba was Asian (in fact stated that Alba wasn’t); the point the author was making is that Alba became a representative symbol for Asian females b/c there were so few of them and Alba had an “ethnic” look that was different from the typical white Hollywood starlet.

  • jesuis2

    Much of what the author says is true, altho I would say that Asian media had always been fairly popular within the various Asian ethnic enclaves (HK media for Chinese, Korean media for Koreans, etc.).

    However, due to the Hallyu wave where Korean films, TV shows and music (not just K-pop) has gotten popular throughout many parts of Asia, many Asian-Americans who aren’t Korean have also gotten interested in Korean media, tho these also tend to be those who live in ethnic Asian enclaves.

    For the vast majority of Asian-Americans who grew up in “white suburbia” – they either have little or no interest in Asian media or actually run away from it b/c they don’t want to be associated with anything that can be construed as “being Asian”; this attitude, however, is slowly changing, but even today, most Asian-Americans who grew up in the US watch the same films/shows and listen to the music as their white counterparts.

    One thing articles like this don’t take into account is the discrepancy in media representation btwn Asian males and females.

    Asian females have a significantly greater representation in Hollywood and Madison Avenue than Asian males – being the ONLY group where the females have greater representation than the males.

    Things like this is the reason why it actually felt weird to me to see handsome Asian males play the love interest (if not also the rival, or the best friend) when I started watching Asian films/TV shows.

    There are Asians (male and female) who grew up in “white suburbia” with a certain attitude who then moved to Asia for a few years for business and developed a different outlook on their ethnicity/race (or about the opposite sex of their ethnicity/race) due to being exposed to different/positive portrayals of Asians in the non-US media.

  • zcare now

    I have a question…how do Asians in Asia view Asian Americans? Favorable or not?