If you were to guess how many Asians have been in all 13 seasons of “The Bachelorette,” what would you say? 20? 15? 10?
Well, according to season 13 contestant Blake Killpack, only four (you read that right) Asian men have appeared on the reality TV series since it premiered in February 2013. The kicker? None of them have made it past the first round. (Killpack, an Asian-American, reportedly had to leave the show early for personal reasons.)
So, the folks at Wong Fu Productions decided to take matters into their own hands by making their own “Asian Bachelorette,” an eight-minute video that hilariously spoofs Asian stereotypes.
In “Asian Bachelorette,” a group of Asian men (and one white guy who barely gets any screen time — kind of like Asians in the real “Bachelorette”) compete for the affections of a white woman named Brittany, who slowly realizes that Asian guys are actually worthy of dating.
Along their journey towards true love, we encounter many Asian stereotypes: the accountant, who does Brittany’s taxes for her; the “first” Filipino contestant, who woos Brittany with his singing; the dancer; and the dentist, who offers to fix Brittany’s cavity for her.
“We noticed about this past season of ‘The Bachelorette’ that there actually were a couple of Asian guys and it made us think ‘Why haven’t there been more Asian people on this show over the course of all the seasons?'” Philip Wang, the writer/director of the video and co-founder of the Wong Fu Productions channel, said in the video.
“The latest season just highlighted the fact that Asian-American men are almost never seen/considered to be desirable or attractive in Western mainstream media,” Wang told HuffPost Canada in an email. “I know ‘The Bachelorette’ is a raunchy dating show, but it does influence a lot of people, and it’s kinda sad/funny that seeing an Asian man be romantic is ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘strange’ in so many people’s eyes.
“So with this video we wanted to poke fun at that by going to an extreme. If all the contestants are Asian, we’ll at least make it past the first round of elimination,” he joked.
For a lot of people on Facebook who watched the video, it wasn’t weird at all. In fact, they loved it.
For Wang, this reaction is one reason why it’s so important for there to be more representation in the media.
“[Representation] does have a bigger effect,” he told HuffPost Canada. “To show that Asians are multifaceted. To challenge the general population’s perceptions.”
He continued: “Art influences culture/society. People think it’s just a TV show or movie, but seeing people in fiction can affect how you see them in real life. If you are not exposed to a community or way of life normally, media can give you that insight.
Asian-American men are almost never seen/considered to be desirable or attractive in Western mainstream media.
“So if media is showing you something inaccurate or very narrow, you will have that narrow perception as well. If media challenges you to see something you’re not used to, you may be more open-minded… More Asians and POC represented will allow everyone, not just white people, to be more open-minded and ultimately better humans.”
Back in 2016, Splinter News couldn’t confirm exactly how many Asians have been on “The Bachelorette,” but they knew the number was low.
“Andy Chang, for example, appeared on season two, starring Meredith Phillips, in 2004. The Texas dentist, who is Chinese-American, was eliminated in the first week, with the dubious distinction of being the only contestant who didn’t have the opportunity to meet with the Bachelorette alone,” reported Splinter.
“After the fact, I think [my ethnicity] worked against me,” Chang told the Chicago Tribune after he was eliminated.
Hopefully we can get to a point some day where it’s not weird to see Asians in this way and maybe we will even have an Asian ‘Bachelor’ or an Asian ‘Bachelorette.’
The lack of racial diversity on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” has not gone unnoticed by the media nor by the shows’ viewers. However, as this season’s “The Bachelorette,” which features the show’s first black bachelorette, wraps up, it doesn’t look like future seasons will get any less white.
We hope this video will encourage the executives behind “The Bachelorette” and “The Bachelor” to cast more Asian people on the shows. After all, we all win when we see people who look like us being represented in the media.
“We’re just hoping and trying to create progress toward equality and proper representation,” Wang said.
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Author: Chloe Tejada