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Diversity in Hollywood is something that audiences crave – yet there still seems to be so much resistance. There are some television shows that do genuinely showcase diversity in – among them is hit Netflix show 13 Reasons Why.
The show features a mix of Latino, African-American and Asian actors – and one of them is making a bid to be the next leading man.
Ross Butler, who plays lonely jock Zach Dempsey, is a 26-year-old American actor of Chinese-Malaysian descent. He believes it is time that it is time for there to be a change in casting.
In an interview with Mashable, Butler said he realised that there weren’t many Asian-American role models, and he realise that had to change.
He then told his agent not to send him out for the stereotypical Asian roles, and that is when he noticed a change in the roles he got to read for.
Minority groups shouldn’t be excluded because of their differences. They should still have full and complicated storylines outside of stereotypes. Yes, minority groups do have unique stories to tell because of their differences, but they aren’t the only stories.
As Butler points out about his 13 Reasons Why character – he is a popular jock who happens to be Asian.
“There’s so many Chinese or Asian Americans that were either born in another country like I was and raised in America, or born in America and raised in America. They’re normal Americans and they just happen to have a different heritage,” he explains.
Now, the Riverdale actor has his sights set on the feature film scene.
“As a community, we’re fighting for Asians to play Asian roles,” he said. “And then there’s the other battle which is Asian Americans playing roles that aren’t written for Asians, and I think that’s something that completely should happen; Why can’t an Asian American male just play a leading cop figure … or the Matt Damon roles?”
There are some fantastic Asian-American actors right now, from John Cho and Ross Butler to Constance Wu, who made the TIME 100 Most Influential people list.
Truly gripping stories feature people from all walks of life – and we desperately can’t wait to see Ross Butler being Hollywood’s next leading man.