For Our Consideration: The Henry-Dong polarity: The changing face of Asian male leads on TV

Asian visibility has come a long way on American TV screens. As an Asian-American viewer who pays keen attention to such moments, for me these past few months of television have felt progressive—revolutionary, even. Mindy Kaling and Aziz Ansari have both established themselves in significant, non-stereotyped roles in the TV world. The post-Sandra-Oh era of strong Asian women has seen Lucy Liu as Joan Watson on Elementary and Maggie Q as Beth Davis on Stalker. ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat—a show that stars an entire Asian family—made waves when it debuted in February. But perhaps the most surprising development of all is the casting of Asian men as romantic roles, notably on the short-lived and underrated Selfie and Netflix’s latest comedy hit, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Hollywood’s Asian men—the few there are—have a history of being typecast from a very small pool of …

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