We Need More Asian Villains

'Jeopardy' champ Arthur Chu is tired of Asians being seen as 'model minority'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2014 1:34 PM CDT
We Need More Asian Villains
In this 1984 file photo originally released by Columbia Pictures, Ralph Macchio, left, and Pat Morita are shown in a scene from "The Karate Kid."   (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures)

Growing up, controversial Jeopardy champ Arthur Chu had plenty of "Asian heroes" pushed on him by his parents. "I got the sense ... that their ideal kid would be someone with the quiet, charming naiveté of [The Goonies'] Data and the calm equanimity and unwavering discipline of a Master Po and the impeccably coiffed hair of George Takei," Chu writes in the Daily Beast. But all of those characters are "freaking boring," because they are exactly the type of "good examples" and "role models" we expect Asians to be. "Perfect people don’t get to be the protagonist of the story, because you can’t tell a story about perfect people. Perfect people end up the side character, the rival, or the best friend, or the wise old mentor." What the Asian community really needs is "more villains," Chu writes. Enter Suey Park.

Park is the controversial activist who started the #CancelColbert uproar, and Chu thinks she's "crazy" and a "jerk." But he's happy she exists, because he likes the idea of a world where people can just be themselves, rather than having to worry about being "a credit to [their] race." He thinks that's also why, despite the fact that he was seen by many as a "game show villain" due to the way he played Jeopardy, "Asian viewers from all over the country were flocking to my side, giving me their support, telling me I was awesome, calling me their hero." Because after spending a lifetime viewed as a "model minority," many Asians are ready and "willing to play the 'thug,' the 'rebel,' the 'villain.'" Click for Chu's full column. (More Asians stories.)

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