For John Cho, being an Asian-American actor has brought its own challenges for the actor.
But being cast on Selfie as television’s first Asian lead is a step in the right direction.
Cho has run into problems at time and works hard to avoid stereotyping. “I experienced racism, and in my professional life, I try to take roles (and have always tried to take roles) that don’t fall within the parameters of any Asian stereotype,” he said. “And so to me, hopefully, that’s a positive thing I can put into popular culture and so maybe in some bizarrely tiny way that helps people not think of Asians in one particular way.”
Asked to do an accent for Big Fat Liar once, Cho said no. “I don’t want to do this role in a kid’s comedy, with an accent, because I don’t want young people laughing at an accent inadvertently,” he said. But Director Shawn Levy worked with him to help to develop the character. “I bumped into [Levy] recently, and for him he says it was his first feature, and it was really awesome from HIS perspective that it was a good reminder that actors need to feel invested and the importance of collaboration, but for ME it was important that someone understood where I was coming from politically as far as representation of Asian-Americans.”
Selfie airs Tuesdays at 8 PM Eastern on ABC.