Last night was the 68th Annual Emmy Awards and people of color dominated the show. From Rami Malek to Courtney B. Vance, non-white actors took over the show. It was kind of incredible. To those of you reading this planning on fighting me, please continue reading before you yell at me.
1. Young people should know they're not their stereotypes.
Black people on television shouldn't be restricted to thugs on Criminal Minds or Law and Order. They should be doctors, educators, painters, or whatever else feels real. I grew up seeing Asians portrayed as nerdy weird kids that only hung out with the librarian at their public school. We want to be inspired to do and be something greater than us. I'm tired of being represented by a two-dimensional character.
2. Diversity on one level trickles down to others.
If we can diversify and shed some good light on people of color, then maybe those who don't understand us can at least try to. If we can show that Asian-Americans are not just small Chinese girls that are mute, it'll allow for people to treat them like people in real life. Not all people have the luxury of having a diverse group of friends. And those who only know their own ethnicity learn about others through the shows and movies they watch.
3. More diverse experiences can lead to better stories.
If we start including a more diversity in the writing rooms, we will see an influx in the variety of stories. As shown in the episode entitled "Parents" from Aziz Ansari's Netflix series, Masters of None, we can see an Asian-American universal story. The story of immigrant parents trying to achieve their American dreams. The first time I watched it, I cried because of how much I identified with it. I'm over the same old white nerd boy trying to get the popular girl.
4. We can inspire more young people.
From experience, being Asian-American automatically meant becoming a doctor or an accountant. What our parents told us to be was then hammered into us by the characters that portrayed our older selves. Seeing Alan Yang's speech from last night ten years ago would've inspired me to pursue film at a much younger age and maybe I'd be in film school right now. I wish I could've had the variety in television that we see now.
Yes, Hollywood has come a far way since the film industry began. But we have a long way to go before we see real strides in reality.