"I don’t think we ever try to pander"
Wong Fu Productions co-Founder Philip Wang has discussed why their content is not Asian-specific.
In an interview with US-China Today, Wong Fu Productions co-Founder Philip Wang talked about Asian American representation and the growth of his channel.
Reflecting on creating content surrounding Asian Americans, Wang said he was “honored” to represent the demographic. “It’s amazing and we’re very honored to have been around for this long, and it is tough to balance between the things that we know that certain parts of our demographic wants to see and what we want to make as well,” Wang said.
For Wang, creating engaging content has always been more important than creating content for views. “I don’t think we ever try to pander and go ‘oh we’ve got to do this because we’ve got to make sure we’re going to get them [views].’” He said. “It’s more… even though we’re out of college, we… still want Wong Fu to be that resource for these college students.”
Nonetheless, Wang understands that his audience also demands newer content. “I know there’s these older people that are like, ‘Hey Wong Fu you’ve got to push harder, you got to try to make new things’ and I’m like, ‘Hey I know, I want to do that too,’ and so we’re really balancing a lot of expectations.”
Wang expressed his frustration in the perception of Asians as being unappealing. “It kind of sucks that just because we’re Asian it automatically makes us not broad appeal,” he said. “Ninety percent of our content is not Asian-specific; it’s about a relationship, a friendship, an awkward moment.”
The 34-year-old Asian American went on to compare the situation with the caucasian and African American demographics. “It’s not like white people who are like ‘oh gosh if we only have white people on this, only white people are going to see it.’ Instead of changing our content by putting white people [in our shorts] to make sure white people feel comfortable watching our stuff, I would rather just keep making good things and hoping (both passively and actively) instead of us changing for you, that you’ll be open to watching our stuff and relating to us.”
“I think this has happened with the African-American community, where we can watch a movie with Will Smith and be like ‘oh it’s not a black movie, it’s just a movie with Will Smith’ and that’s what I ultimately want Wong Fu or Asian Americans to be at.”