First, check out the MTV Iggy spotlight feature on Scarlet Chan, one of the cast members of the upcoming K-Town reality television show. Now, let any honest opinions of Scarlet Chan and the K-Town reality TV show swirl into your head.
The words you may come up with may range from “fierce,” “bold,” “beautiful,” and “outspoken” to “trashy,” “slutty,” “twinkie,” “whore,” and “disgraceful.” There are many people in the Asian American community who will immediately target Scarlet for bringing shame to their race due to her raunchy and crass personality. Her outrageous character is one of many elements highlighted in the reality TV show, and anyone can be seen why she is causing such a huge ruckus in the Asian American community.
For starters, this little reality TV concept has created a tremendous amount of buzz focused on Asian Americans. When a minority group is being brought into the spotlight, I totally understand why many folks out there are nervous about what this show might bring and the depictions they may portray of Asian men and women. Believe me, I was one of those folks who was very apprehensive about the show.
Over time though, my opinion of the show started to change, thanks in part to having heart to heart conversations with Eddie Kim, one of the producers of the show and a good friend of mine. He has written a fantastic article on AngryAsianMan about what this show means to him and the most frequent questions he has received. It is a must read for anybody who is still relying on the mainstream media and believe that this show is just an Asian version of Jersey Shore. I also caught an article written by Guy Aoki (founder of MANAA and known to be one of the passionate watchdogs of Asian depictions in American mainstream media) who gave his thumbs-up approval of the show. Coming from Mr. Aoki, that’s pretty huge.
But it was at the Audrey’s Night Out 2010 that I can definitely say for certain where my stance is with this show. I got a chance to see Eddie again, as well as meeting the entire K-Town cast in person, including Joe Cha and Scarlet herself. When I spoke to them, whatever lingering concerns I had with the show were instantly wiped away. Scarlet Chan is perhaps one of the most fierce, beautiful, loving, charming, giving people I have ever encountered here in Los Angeles and I can say this confidently to anybody else who also got a chance to meet her. Our dear 8Asians co-editor Joz shares the same opinion as I do.
With that said, I am seriously rooting for this show to be picked up and to be seen by the mainstream audience. I want the masses to see Asians as people who can have a good time, who can go crazy, get drunk, do stupid things, and not just be nerds studying for the GREs in the corner. I want to see Asian women being loud and crass, I want to see Asian men with horndog-inducing bodies (cough cough, Peter Le), I want it all and this reality TV show will give me all of that. Doing stupid things should not be entitled to certain ethnicities and if it means endangering the model minority status that we as Asian Americans are holding on so desperately, then so be it. While this reality TV show can be easily be dismissed as just that, when was the last time a show or even a film featuring Asians has created so much attention?