"We need to stick to who we are"

13 Reasons Why star Ross Butler has said that Asian Americans should not compromise in their acting roles.

Variety reports that Butler, who plays Zach Dempsey in the Netflix hit show 13 Reasons Why was talking at the 16th Annual Unforgettable Gala in Los Angeles.

At the event, the Asian-American community honoured actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park with the BMW Ultimate Drive award. Actress and rapper Awkwafina won the female breakout award, whilst Ross Butler won the male breakout award.

Speaking on the red carpet, Butler said that Asian Americans are on the “edge of something great as far as representation.”

“We have Asian-Americans playing non-stereotypical roles and roles that were not written for Asians, and this has just been happening in the past two or three years,” Butler said.

“We need to stick to who we are and not compromise and play something that we’re not based on who the culture thinks we are,” he continued. “The next few years is going to define that and everything is going to change.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens were praised at the event for casting Asian-Americans. Awkwafina said it was important to see a “face that looks like you in such a far-reaching series like Star Wars,” whilst Westworld actor Leonardo Nam said it “feels normal” to see Asian actors in the films.