While Hollywood studios are busy making light of hate crimes on Asians, Ryan “Nigahiga” Higa’s “Asian” style video channel is, at of time of this post, the most subscribed channel on YouTube. In the video below, he thanks his fans for subscribing to his channel and making him #1.
We have talked previously about Asian American YouTube Celebrities like HappySlip and KevJumba and how a new generation of Asian Americans are using YouTube to create their own work that speaks to and reaches Asian Americans (and others too). Higa has even parlayed his YouTube fame into a movie that was shown in theatres around the country. Many well known Asian Americans on YouTube hang out and network together and are seemingly dominant (they joke about token white people here at 4:30). The attraction to YouTube doesn’t surprise me seeing how Asian Americans are often washed out of traditional media. Taking advantage of technology that make it easier to produce and distribute your own work makes a lot of sense, and many do take advantage.
I personally find nigahiga to be hit or miss – some of his videos are really funny to me while others are not. Speaking of #1’s, another Asian has been the #1 in Australia for a while. Natalie Tran’s CommunityChannel has been the most subscribed in Australia for some time now. I like this vlog about how she goes as Starbuck to a Sci-Fi type convention, but people think she’s Boomer because she’s Asian.