August has been the season for romantic comedies, specifically romantic comedies with Asian Americans having a leading role ie "Crazy Rich Asians" and"To All the Boys I've Loved Before". As a young Asian American woman, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to see this kind of presence in today's pop culture. I grew up in a predominately white area with seldom people of color and because I am white passing with a light complexion, (I'm half Filipino and half Caucasian) it was difficult for me to fully relate to others and stay in tune with my Asian heritage. Seeing how much Asian Americans are disrupting the industry has been so inspiring not only to myself but to many others. Here are a few badass Asian Americans in Hollywood and on the internet who have been killing it lately:
John Cho is a Korean American who is the lead actor in the upcoming film "Searching." This film comes close after the opening of "Crazy Rich Asians" so you might have heard a few things about it. Not long ago there was a social movement called the #StarringJohnCho to show what it would look like if Asian Americans/John Cho starred in a major motion film. This basically consisted of photoshopping him into movie posters. Now that "Searching" is being released it shows how much impact people can make to instill change and invite new opportunities.
Awkwafina is a writer, actor, rapper, and activist and is another badass Asian American killing it this summer. She first came to popularity when she released a music video called "My Vag" in 2012 that actually got her fired from her job. She was recently in "Oceans 8" alongside Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, and more. She also co-stars in "Crazy Rich Asians" and dropped her newest album "In Fina We Trust" which I definitely
If you've been on Netflix or social media recently, you have probably heard of the move "To All the Boys I've Loved Before". It's based off the book by Jenny Han (another badass Asian American) and has gained so much popularity since it's release. Lana Condor stars as the main female lead who is Asian American and while her heritage isn't the main point of the film, it shows a little of what it is like to grow up in a mixed race home. But let's just take a moment to appreciate her facial expressions and how she's able to bring a sense of realness to the characters she plays. She'll also be in the upcoming series "Deadly Class" set to release in the upcoming year.
Similar to John Cho, Constance Wu also has a #StarringConstanceWu to highlight the lack of Asian American representation in Hollywood. She is known for playing the mom on "Fresh Off the Boat", which is one of my favorite shows because it portrays similarities to what I experience growing up with an Asian mother. Wu is also the leading actress in "Crazy Rich Asians" and activist for women, immigrants, and Asian Americans.
Side note: she has a really cute bunny that sometimes makes appearances on her Instagram!
Wong Fu Productions
With the internet, Asian Americans aren't limited to just Hollywood anymore. Wong Fu Productions is an Asian American filmmaking group consisting of Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, and Philip Want. They mainly post videos that challenge Asian stereotypes on their YouTube channel. Their most recent series released last month titled "Yappie", which is about the young Asian professional stereotype. Wong Fu does a great job of knowing their audience and makes amazing content that's super relatable. Be sure to check out the videos!
There are so many more artists that I have not listed here like Priyanka Chopra, Ken Jeong, Arden Cho, Bruno Mars, Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, and so many more. There are also more cultures of other countries in Asia that are looking for representation, but I'm so excited to see the work and art that will come out of this summer of inspiration. As these artists continue to build a platform for other Asian Americans and other cultural identities, I really hope we can continue to hear their voice and support them!