Alan Yang’s Emmy speech highlighted an important issue

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Before I begin, could we get a round applause for the diversity shown at the Emmys? The Emmys were absolutely epic and here’s one of the reasons why…

One of the most memorable acts at the Emmys was Alan Yang’s call for action regarding Asian inclusion and representation in media. The award winner for the best writing in a comedy series raised the issue of Asian inclusion in the media and their place in their own representation in film.

He even compared stats, contrasting the representation of 17million Asian Americans in the US with that of the 17million Italian Americans. He started to crunch numbers to show how much it needed to change.

“They have aired their views on a popular platform and people will become more aware of this issue”

Image: Peabody Awards / Flickr

Image: Peabody Awards / Flickr

Rather than highlighting that it was simply the fault of Hollywood, he used his speech to advise Asian parents to put down their violins and instead let their children become creative, saying, “To all the Asian parents out there, a coupe of you, get your kids cameras instead of violins, and we’ll be all good.”

The lack of Asian inclusion and representation is a massive issue in media, even more so in film, as a variety of Asian roles are actually played by people who aren’t even Asian. Now ask yourself, why don’t Asian figures represent their own ethnicity or culture?

The important thing is not that someone has actually noticed – people already have – but that they have aired their views on a popular platform and people will become more aware of this issue.

This could inspire the future generation of budding Asian stars to stray from the norm of doing what your parents or society wants. This could inspire traditional Asian parents to feed their child’s creativity rather than strive for a solid 9-5 career.

“Ethnic minorities have not been represented fairly in the media and film and this needs to change”

Diversity is key in the representation of ethnicities, especially ethnic minorities. It is exceptionally important that we understand that ethnic minorities have not been represented fairly in TV and film and this needs to change.

Yes, the Emmy’s were incredibly diverse and that’s great…. But the next step is to shift this diversity into local TV, soap operas and different films. Alan Yang decided to use his Emmy speech as a call for action to Asian people who would like to have careers in film – rather than saying a typical “thank you”, he used his platform to make a change. I honestly hope it works.

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