Everyone loves YouTube. Who doesn’t? If you know YouTube you probably know the term “YouTubers” . What are they? YouTubers are the people who post videos on YouTube. This article will talk about Asian American YouTubers. Maybe you know nigahiga; #2 most subscribed on YouTube, and you’ve probably noticed, he’s Asian American. Ryan Higa is a Japanese comedian. He’s got more subscribers than smosh, ShaneDawsonTV, collegehumor, EpicMealTime, and Fred. It’s not just nigahiga, a surprisingly large number of YouTubers are Asian American. Ever heard of kevjumba; Kevin Wu, Chinese American comedian? MichellePhan; Michelle Phan, makeup guru and spokesperson? TimothyDeLaGhetto2; Tim Chantarangsu or Traphik, a Thai-American comedian and rapper? If you watch YouTube you will probably know these names. There are many more such as WongFuProductions and StillNotDavid (one of my personal favorites).
These YouTubers have more subscribers than VEVO and VEVOs singers. But why are they so popular? What sets them apart from other non-Asian YouTubers? To answer that, there are many reasons why they are popular. They attract multiple, different audiences. Nigahiga and MichellePhan may be the only exception as nigahiga does videos of just being funny (he has only made one video for charity, which was for Japan after the tsunami hit) and MichellePhan who only does cutesy, makeup videos in which she talks about stuff like “Hello Kitty” and rice while curling her hair. Other Asian YouTubers tend to address racial stereotypes and hate. Many people look to them when topics involving race surface.
A few years back, a female student from UCLA made a YouTube video of herself insulting the Asian American community. She complained about the “hordes” (yes people, she said “HORDES”) of Asian people and their “old Asian relatives” that flock to UCLA every year over the weekends and who talk like “ooooh! ching chong ting tong ling long!” on their cell phones in the library. As if this wasn’t bad enough, she started talking about how even if their family members had died in the tsunami and earthquake, they should not have been talking on their phones. Many people were outraged by this video and reacted with many video responses which were all “nice and angry”, but the ones with the most impact were made by YouTubers like “StillNotDavid” and “TimothyDeLaGhetto2″ who made very powerful videos which you should watch. They addressed the situation calmly and helped people understand what was exactly wrong about her remarks and that the UCLA girl was woefully uninformed and insensitve and suggested that her application to the UCLA was a mistake. Some of the videos were a little misogynistic (biased against women), but that was mainly the fault of the girl who posted the original video; she was a fake blond (her roots looked terrible) sitting in front of the computer wearing a push-up bra and an overly tight pink tank top. This lead to her being stereotyped as a dumb, blond bimbo. After the rightfully angry responses, ( she even mentioned that she had Asian friends) the ‘poor’ child felt that she was ‘forced’ to leave the school (she also suggested that the Asian FOBs and Asian Americans learn some good “American” manners and should act “ …like the good American girl my mother raised me to be”. It’s this writer’s opinion that you shouldn’t feel sorry for someone who says “use good American manners”)
Another example of online racism is when Miley Cyrus did the ‘slanty eye’ (pulling back the corner of one’s eyes so as to look ‘Asian’, mainly eastern Asian) photo of herself and some of her friends WITH an Asian American boy in the picture, an EXAMPLE SO THAT PEOPLE MIGHT REALIZE WHAT THEY WERE DOING. Many people defended their ‘precious’ Miley and many people hated her for the video as many of them already hated her as a person. But it was Asian YouTubers who brought up the question of in which was the context of the picture and why the heck would you post such an offensive picture that can be easily misunderstood, online?
Besides from addressing racial issues, Asian American YouTubers address the stereotypes of Asian in particular, as Asian are hardly portrayed in the media and when they are, they are geeky, nerdy, kung fu masters (even if they are not Chinese). TimothyDeLaGhetto2 made a video with a fellow Asian American about who was the most Asian. The video, though playing on stereotypes such as; who was better at kung fu, who was fastest at math, who had the smaller part (you know what I’m referring to), revealed the stupidity of the stereotypes as well as being funny. YoshiEatsWasabi made a video on how to be an Asian nerd, in the video, he makes fun of the ‘Jah pah nee su ac cen tou’, the fact that Asians were obsessed with video games, wore high waisted panrts, and were forever lonely. WongFuProductions made a video joking that all Asians know martial arts. The video featured them, and others fearing them because they thought that they knew kung fu. Asian YouTubers are very popular and funny nowadays and are becoming even more popular. They talk about topics that are racial issues that need to be cleared up while being funny at the same time. They also make very funny videos that do not involve racial issues.
Here is the link to the racist UCLA girl’s video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlVQ64g1XWs
nigahiga’s Website: http://www.higatv.com/
kevjumba’s Website: http://www.kevjumba.com/
MichellePhan’s Website: http://www.michellephan.com/
justinchon’s Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/justinchon (for Twilight saga fans he’s Eric Yorkie. For others, he’s a Korean-American actor and he often collaborates with kevjumba.)
TimothyDeLaGhetto2’s Website: http://timothydelaghetto.com/ (the t-shirt model is his girlfriend)
StillNotDavid’s Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/StillNotDavid
WongFuProductions Website: http://wongfuproductions.com/
TheJin7 (Jeremy Lin’s Channel): http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJlin7 (yes he does do some comedy.)