Right after Tuesday’s historic inauguration, I crossed one item off my list of things I never expected to see in my life. As our 44th US President Barack Obama took office, hope began to muster behind the possibility of a racially harmonious America.
Sadly, as an Asian American guy, I crossed “black president” off my list before “Asian guy on The Real World.” No, I don’t really have a list tucked away somewhere in the attic, but truth remains that America elected a black president in 56 elections before MTV executives could cast an Asian Male in 21 seasons. And keep in mind, the 56 elections spanned across slavery, Jim Crow, and various other far bearing barriers… Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the show, The Real World is cable station MTV’s longest standing series. The Real World reality show features 7-8 cast members each season from around the US. The show focuses in on inter-personal relationships between cast members featuring everything from sex, drama, to “work.” The show maintains a mixed sense of diversity for the most part casting Caucasians. But every season, at least one token minority is thrown into the mix – usually a black, Hispanic, gay/lesbian/transgender, or a mix of the former.
A handful of Asian females have made there way onto the show but an Asian male has yet to break into the scene. If it ever happens, I wouldn’t be surprised if they grabbed a emasculated Asian guy compared to the typical straight steroid juiced male members of the show.
Anyhow, as only our better halves – Asian women everywhere – have no trouble landing on the Real World, Room Raiders, Parental Control, or whatever overly-done reality show MTV has in store for us next, I’m glad to see Asian guys have stormed all over one show, America’s Best Dance Crew. Randy Jackson’s show, currently into it’s third season, features Hip-Hop dance crews from across the US who battle one another for a cash prize and music videos. Surprisingly enough, 12 out of the 31 crews across the first three seasons featured male and female Asian dancers.
As I’m pretty sure I can name all the non-martial arts Asian male actors off the top of my head (B.D. Wong on Law and Order: SVU, Daniel Kim as Jin on Lost, Ken Leung on Lost, John Cho’s various guest appearances), MTV’s dance show is at least a start. Progress is progress, but until MTV catches up with America, I won’t hold my breath for an Asian guy on The Real World.