Steve Harvey, Eddie Huang, and flawed heroics

Steve Harvey, in his continual slide from “Hey, that dude is killing it” to “Damn, what a douche bag,” has put his foot in his mouth again. This time by perpetuating racist stereotypes about Asian men. Which is timely for me, as I am writing a series with an Asian man in the lead—a man who sometimes exploits his sexuality, in terms of being sexually non-threatening, to subversively get what he wants.

As a father to a half Asian son, I have some concerns about how my son grows up & sees himself. (Not too mention, why SHOULDN’T I give a fuck about fellow people of color? But that’s another blog, coming soon.) The stereotypes about Asian men and their sexuality are just as fucked up as those stereotypes about black men and theirs—that those stereotypes are on such opposite ends of the spectrum make Steve Harvey’s joke even more glaring.

Eddie Huang, creator of Fresh Off The Boat (which is hilarious, and also offers a view of hip hop not commonly seen) has a reply for Harvey, which you should read.

Now, we can’t talk about this w/out discussing Huang’s twitter feud w/ black feminists. And how, when cornered by black feminists, he resorted to sexist tactics & using black slang in such a way it made it clear that his love of hip hop might be more appropriation than tribute. Needless to say, it got ugly.

Sometimes I wish the mudslinging wouldn’t get on every damn person in the room. It would be nice to have some champions out there that are not complicated by their own deeply rooted prejudices, even as they fight against the prejudices against them. (The Prince of Pan-Afrikanism, anyone?) As a storyteller, I love flawed characters. In real life, it can get to be really fucking disappointing. Just saying.

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