Painting the Picture of Yellow Visibility in Hollywood

When you think of Asian-American superstars the first to come to mind may be Lucy Liu, Brenda Song, and most recently Randall Park and Constance Wu, stars of ABC’s Fresh off the Boat. Even Hip-Hop’s icon Asian-American rapper Jin has his share of the limelight. Nonetheless, we’ve seen that limelight getting overshadowed by the ideals that Americans engrave in today’s society.

Story | Nico Blitz

After the last Academy Awards and the regular whitewashing of Hollywood roles, I wrote this song and made this video to add my piece to the conversation.

These are words accompanied with a music video of “Safe” created by Koreatown, Los Angeles rapper Dumbfoundead – a response to the latest controversy regarding a whitewashed Oscars. Dumbfoundead reimagines Oscar winning films with an Asian-American lead role, ending the video with the film-inception concept explaining the ideal role as an American father, who is Asian, is unrealistic.

He’s bringing light to the closed-minded Hollywood paragons; their stigma of Asian-Americans, and other minorities in the United States, to uphold the American standard. For example, you wouldn’t be able to imagine an Asian-American to take the role of Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant.

But here’s the latter half the message that Dumb is conveying: no one is safe. Subtract the video, Dumb’s lyrics instigate an uprising in Asian-American superstars. If the opportunity is earned but still not given, the only option left is to take the opportunity.

We saw an uprising with the recent Oscars boycott, so who’s to say a synonymous situation won’t occur? Maybe not in the form of a boycott, but I’m sure there will be a way for a minority alliance to form and take Hollywood by storm. Dumbfounded is only one of many acts to spread awareness about whitewashed Hollywood, but with influential figures rising as actors, actresses, rappers, and sports, Asian-Americans are bound to prove their point in the near future.

But when the televisions are off and the music stops playing, make an effort to leave your ‘safe’ zone – a world that hides beneath one ideal deemed normal – and challenge the world; question any disbeliefs you have on today’s society, and push boundaries with people who share a similar goal as you. Stop feeling safe.

Founder of The Lunch Table. Writer, DJ and Master of Ceremonies.

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