As someone who is Asian American, I can’t help but notice how Asians have been ‘the flavor of the week’ in terms of news. From the all-Asian music group Far East Movement taking number one on Billboard to Alexandra Wallace’s racist rant video, the conversation of whether Asian Americans are considered ‘foreign’ in the States is still going strong.
The unsubstantiated fears of the modern Yellow Peril has spawned a politically conservative video ad released on Oct. 20, 2010 claiming the country needed to “end wasteful deficit spending” under the racist guise of anti-Chinese sentiments. The ‘Tiger Mom’ controversy discussing “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” on The Wall Street Journal brought about outrage from many Americans, particularly those who hated the author Amy Chua for claiming to be better than Westerners — and not really critiquing her questionable parenting.
Even the ongoing horror in Japan has people making horrible leaps in assuming the combined earthquakes-tsunami-and-nuclear-meltdown is karmic revenge for the kamikaze bombing in Pearl Harbor, despite the fact that Japan is going through a natural disaster and not something man-made such as World War II. As pointed out by our editor-on-hiatus Christina Macias, many don’t seem to realize that Japan was one of the first countries to donate millions to help the recovery of New Orleans after the levies broke in 2005.
A recent example of the ever-evolving discussion of Asian Americans in the media comes in the form of the K-Town reality series sizzle reel.
Last semester, The Campanil has reported on the upcoming reality show K-Town, better known as the “Asian Jersey Shore,” and how the series will affect perceptions of Asian Americans. If the show airs, it’ll feature the first all-Asian American cast in a reality series –- of any show since comedian Margaret Cho’s 1994 sitcom All American Girl –- and that significance has not gone unnoticed. Since the moment its producers placed an ad on Craigslist in April 2010, K-Town has sparked a widespread debate that split the blogosphere into two sides: the people who supported the show for breaking the ‘model minority’ typecast and those who condemned it for potentially creating more harmful stereotypes.
Despite all the high-fiving and finger-wagging over the last year, countless are still wondering:
Is K-Town really happening?
Well, looks like it is! This week on Thursday, March 24, 2011, the popular blogger Angry Asian Man was the first to release a leaked sizzle reel of K-Town through an anonymous tipper on his website. He says the reel is “the video the producers used (to) pitch the show to TV networks” and the clips came from K-Town’s pilot shoot.
If you haven’t already seen it, the first 30 seconds of the not-safe-for-work video (above) is a slideshow of “positive” images about Asian Americans such as a young woman playing a violin and ‘facts’ like the number of Asian American college graduates being the highest in America. Then using a Korean pop song ‘Better Together’ by Se7en, the reel abruptly cuts into footage of K-Town cast members with Violet Kim grinding on top of Scarlet Chan. Before they know it, viewers are bombarded by juicy clips of hair-pulling, drunk karaoke and full on girl-on-girl action. The video ends with multiple screen-shots of news websites that have reported on the show since its wake, claiming itself as “ground-breaking” and “history-making.”
The reel has then been reported on various other Asian American blogs such as channelAPA and Disgrasian then catching fire with more mainstream websites like Entertainment Tonight. In just a few days, the number of hits on the video has risen to more than 140,000 views and counting.
It appears many are craving for more than just a mere minute and five second taste of K-Town. The video has sparked more controversy and questions as evidence by the responses in the Youtube comment section such as: “I thought this was a joke……this IS a joke right?”, “this is like softcore…porn” and “About time asians went wild!” Even the bar below the video is almost equally split in Likes and Dislikes.
What do the producers have to say?
We recently got in contact with the creators of K-Town (Actor-and-singer Tyrese Gibson, Mike Le, Eddie Kim and Eugene Choi) and they have confirmed the reel has been leaked without their knowledge. They are tight-lipped about many of the details; when and where the reality show will be aired is still unknown.
However, what the producers DID let us know is that the leaked video is actually the first minute of a ten minute long video used to pitch around Hollywood to different networks. So, it appears that there is more juicy debauchery to look forward to! We’ll just have to wait for more updates which the K-Town creators have said “will be coming very soon.”
Read our other stories on K-Town:
Opinions: Cultural Misappropriation: Yep, Still Racist
Article: Producers create Asian Jersey Shore: Good news or bad news? (Includes interviews with the show producer and two cast members)