Tag: Wong Fu

Harry Shum Jr. – The modern Asian American male role model

by doorhalfopen

Two things prompted me to write about Harry Shum Jr. and Glee again. First of all, if you haven’t heard, he had the first major Glee episode focusing on his character, Mike Chang, a couple of weeks ago titled Asian F. In the episode Mike Chang’s father wants him to quit glee club because he got an A- in one of his classes, also known as an Asian F. The episode was well-received, and both “Mike Chang’ and “Asian F” were actually trending on Twitter for the entire day that it aired. This was the first time I’ve seen a TV show confront a very real Asian American issue (and associated stereotypes) and give it more than one or two lines. Or a joke. I had to write about it.

The other reason I want to talk about Harry Shum Jr. is because I came across this article from AMWW, claiming that he may be the first Asian male role model in the United States since Bruce Lee. The article approached it from the perspective of the site’s theme, interracial relationships between Asian males and white women. While I disagree with the theme of the site (focusing so much on AMWF relationships), the article brings up a number of good points, and I would like to comment on some of the ideas presented.

Fact: images of Harry Shum Jr. get me page views

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Jason Chen’s new single (and the rise of original AA music on Youtube)

by doorhalfopen

Youtube has done miracles for Asian American talent. It shot Wong Fu to stardom when they released Yellow Fever. Years later they are still getting a million views for anything they put up. Far East Movement was noticed because “Girls on the Dance Floor” and “Like a G6” got millions of views. Soon enough, anyone from Freddiew to Michelle Pham  to Ryan Higa became stars. A lot of these artists started working together and cross-promoted, doing big things like International Secret Agents. As Timothydelaghetto said in one of his videos (at around the 9 minute mark), the American media didn’t want to promote them, so they promoted themselves. And it’s working.

At UC Davis and a lot of other California schools, there were showcases of Asian American talent, usually focusing on music (though Wong Fu is a huge exception). The only problem was, most of these performances were cover songs. Each of these artists may have a number of fans in the audience, but that was also the problem. They came here to see their idol, not to hear the music. For someone like me, there is suddenly a dilemma between supporting the Asian American movement and respecting my own music preferences. I wasn’t just going to start paying money to see people perform songs that weren’t theirs.

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