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Breaking Down The Barriers

Rachel Sato, Writer

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Many people have been trying to make a name for themselves out in the world whether it be music, sports, or even online. In this case, internet stars Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi have become sensational. They’re a great example of creating a base for Asian Youtubers. They’ve made their way onto the comedic side of Youtube by making humorous skits and accumulating over 20 million subscribers on their channel. Not to mention the fact that they were born and raised in Hilo. Wong Fu Productions is another great example of Asian competence. Known for making incredible videos and comedy sketches, they’ve gained an emotional connection towards their audience that helps them to bu Not only do they take pride in their work, but they also take pride in their ethnicity and who they are. Therefore, they view Asian representation as something that’s very important to them and a major part of their life. This is only a couple examples but there’s other numerous YouTubers who are apart of the Asian faction that have become successful.

Why don’t we see too many Asians artists out making music? It’s because of the standards and stereotypes that music industries have against Asians. Studios don’t market Asian-Americans like they do to other artists that are of different ethnicities. However, there’s been a few Asian musicians that have made it such as Bruno Mars who is of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent and Yuna who is a Malaysian singer-songwriter. A breakthrough event that recently happened was that BTS is the first K-Pop group to be nominated and win a Billboard Music Award. Although they’ve made history, others still seem to have a negative viewpoint on this. People took to Twitter and wrote some obnoxious comments: “how did these asians wearing makeup beat ACTUAL FAMOUS PEOPLE.” “Idek who those Asians were. I didn’t understand what they said. Award shows are so trash now.” “Who is BTS? the Asian one direction?” It’s reassuring knowing that they’re paving a pathway for us to be able to have a chance to succeed and proving these ignorant people wrong.

Even though it may seem that there’s nothing wrong, there’s still some negative factors that the Asian community struggles with. Racist remarks and crude jokes about our features have been a main problem that we have to deal with. It may seem funny at first but it’s actually hurtful and very degrading. A recent incident that happened was when professional baseball player, Yuli Gurriel, got suspended for 5 games for making a racially charged gesture during one of the World Series game. This upset many fans and sparked a controversy in the news. Another challenge that we face is the unfair treatment towards different races. For example, the two main Asian actors on the popular tv show, Hawaii Five-O-, quit because they were getting paid unequally as to the other actors/actresses. The last point I want to get to is the term whitewashing. It refers to casting white actors as characters who are non-white. Scarlett Johansson angered a lot of people as she played the role of a character that was supposed to be Japanese. Asians are getting rejected from life changing opportunities because of people stealing their positions. This has been going on for years and doesn’t really seem to be getting across as being totally wrong.

To wrap this up, Asian representation isn’t just about wanting to get more Asians involved in multiple industries. It’s about getting the recognition that we deserve and not being ashamed of who we are. It’s about time that we start to change and create history in this world.  In other words, we’re breaking down the barriers.

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Breaking Down The Barriers