"I apologize to the people who say I’m making Asians look bad."
Jimmy O Yang has discussed the representation of Asian masculinity on TV.
In response, Yang said, “go fuck whoever you want! I think everyone should support Asian men and men of all kinds. But is your preference white dudes because you grew up watching Brad Pitt? I can’t blame you, I grew up watching Jennifer Aniston, too.”
He went on to say that representation plays a role in forming people’s desires and opinions. “Look, I think representation is extremely important but people have their preferences. You can’t tell someone, “You need to go date an Asian guy!!!” Go ahead, date whoever you want. At the end of the day, representation forms people’s opinions a lot of the time.”
Yang doesn’t believe that we have enough Asian male choices in Hollywood. “Girls had the pickings out there for Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Mark Wahlberg ― those guys spoke to them in their teenage years. We just don’t have that many choices for Asians. There just aren’t that many of us out there. Hopefully we can all kinda be part of that mainstream society and be part of people’s psyche coming up in the future.”
Reflecting on his own life, Yang revealed that the more representation of Asians on screen led to him becoming more desirable. “I swear ever since “Ninja Assassin” came out, I got laid a little more [laughs]. Seriously! That’s why i’m saying [representation] is super important. But I’m sorry if I’m not super fucking good looking!”
He hopes the same will happen with future Asian projects. “Maybe kids growing up now, after they watch “Crazy Rich Asians”, they can say what I said ― I got laid so much more after “Crazy Rich Asians”! Or K-pop! These things that make Asians look good.”
However, Yang also admitted that we need more Asian “hunky dudes” in Hollywood, for which he apologises for.
“At the end of the day, Ken Jeong, Bobby Lee, myself, we might not be the hunky dudes but I’d like to think that we help in that equation too by helping Asians be more normal on your TV screen and be funny. Once again, I apologize I’m not good looking. I apologize I look like a geek with glasses in real life. And I apologize to the people who say I’m making Asians look bad. But also, fuck ’em.”
Yang, who is one of the many Asian stars in Crazy Rich Asians, says he’s extremely looking forward to its release.
“I want [Crazy Rich Asians] to succeed badly. There’s nothing more that I want than for this film to succeed. But do I feel pressure? As an actor you’re kinda numb to everything. For every movie you shoot, you can’t expect an Oscar.”
“The camaraderie we built shooting this movie ― it made me so proud to be Asian even just making this movie. We have all the most beautiful, the most talented and funny Asians coming from all over the world for this movie.”
“With “Crazy Rich Asians,” we formed our own clique and we hang out all the time … that’s our family now. If people can just feel an ounce of that. I hope it’s going to be a box office hit, but I think either way, when people watch it, especially Asian people, they’re going to feel some kind of bond. Already just making the movie is a huge success. “
Recently, Yang discussed his new book ‘How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents’, saying he would like to translate it into Chinese.