ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Where Are the Asians?

Updated on February 15, 2012

Irfan Khan, Michelle Yeoh, Ken Watanabe. Do these names ring a bell? Let's try again. John Cho, Kal Penn, Maggie Q. What do these people have in common? Still no answer? They are Asian actors. Irfan Khan has done numerous Hollywood movies including the breakout hit Slumdog Millionaire. He played a cop who questioned Jamal Malikin prison. Michelle Yeoh was first introduced to American audiences in Tomorrow Never Dies opposite Pierce Brosnan. Ken Watanabe has acted alongside Tom Cruise. He was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal as a warrior. He played the Japanese businessman in Inception. John Cho and Kal Penn are Harold and Kumar while Maggie Q is seen weekly on the television series Nikita. If I ask somebody to name an Asian actor, only two personalities come to mind, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Unfortunately, they are not Asian Americans. Most Asian celebrities are a dark horse in Hollywood. They have been around for as long as I can remember. Have you known an Asian actor who can open a movie and demand a 20 million dollar paycheck? Have you seen an Asian actor on the cover of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and In Style? I don't know why Asians never got the maximum exposure in film, television, and radio. The African Americans dominate the Billboard charts, but you can hardly hear an Asian on the airwaves. This goes to show that racial discrimination still exists in Hollywood. When you're an Asian, you don't get to play the lead. It's either you do Kung Fu or be a villain. Media is still dominated by whites. In the show Hawaii Five-O, it doesn't portray a realistic feature of the 50th state. Ninety-percent of the people in Hawaii are not whites. But the show had two American male leads while the two Korean actors are subordinates. The movie The Last Airbender, which was directed by an Indian M Night Shyamalan, the cast are predominantly Asians, but the film version had a predominantly Caucasian cast. Why is this so? Why can't Hollywood open its doors to Asians the way they do for Latinos and African Americans. Halle Berry mentioned in her acceptance speech at the Oscars that the doors are finally opened for minority actors. I wish I can say that's true. I was hoping that with the critical and commercial success of Slumdog Millionaire, more Asians will be given lead roles. Sadly, four years after the movie got Oscars, no Asian actor was considered an "It Boy" or an "It Girl". When you flip through the pages of fashion magazines, no Asian supermodel has endorsed a high-end perfume or brand of cosmetics. Aren't the readers tired of seeing the faces of Giselle Bundchen and Adriana Lima? Who is to blame for a dearth in Asian talents? The line between racial discrimination and racial equality is clearly visible. Asian Americans are the fastest rising ethnic groups in the country. When you go to a hospital, you see Filipino nurses and Indian doctors. In a university, there is a surge in the population of Asian students and they are excelling in their own chosen field. Most Indian students win in Spelling Bees and Chinese students perform well in Math and Science. The way an Asian is being portrayed in the media should be changed. I'm tired of seeing Asian actors playing second fiddle to Caucasian actors. Directors, writers, and most especially producers should keep diversity in mind. There is a plethora of opportunities for Asians to showcase their talents in mass media. Asians are a diamond in the rough. It's high time to see fresh faces who are waiting for their moment in the sun. There is a silver lining in every dark cloud. Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier are most favored by brides to design their wedding gowns . GOP's promising leaders Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina's Nicki Haley are making waves in their respective states. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is CNN's health correspondent. NBA's up and coming superstar Jeremy Lin is helping the Knicks propel to the playoffs. Because of Lin's rising popularity, many basketball aficionados are joining the "Linsanity" bandwagon. No Asian celebrity has garnered so much attention than Jeremy Lin. He is a Harvard educated athlete of Taiwanese descent and is about to take the basketball league by storm. But many Asians are still waiting for their turn to shine. Whether it is in film, television, fashion, or politics, this ethnic group needs proper exposure. They have been in the limelight for so long. Asians are here to stay and to conquer the world.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • avan989 profile image


      6 years ago from maryland

      The last airbender isn't a Japanese anime. It was made in the US. It just look like an anime. It true most Asian in the US gets unnoticed but most asian super star usually stay in their own country. Asian has a huge film market and I have watch some really good movie.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)