The Aziz Moment

A successful TV Show, a burgeoning movie career, voiceover work, a national comedy tour that sold out arenas and several highly watched comedy specials later, I think its safe to say that Aziz Ansari is the current king of the mountain when it comes to culturally relevant American Brown people.

Of course, he isn’t the first to hold this title– with others such as M. Night Shyamalan and Kal Penn before him. He also won’t be the last as Brown people see more opportunities in television and movies, with Mindy Kaling and Hannah Simone leading the way. It’s great that these actors are helping push the boundaries of how Brown people are portrayed. We’re no longer just cabbies, doctors or convenience store owners.

Having said that, it wasn’t Aziz’s career that caught my attention recently, it was the following story that was trending on Twitter and featured in celebrity gossip guide, Us Magazine:

Aziz Ansari Dating Courtney McBroom: Exclusive Details

With that one story, Aziz went from actor/comedian to celebrity. It’s a fine line that most brown people in his position haven’t crossed.

Granted, some people will say “who cares about actors’ personalize lives?” or that the Kardashianization of his life is a bad thing, but that’s not the point.

20 years ago would you have ever thought that a major American magazine would write about the relationship status of an Indian dude? Let alone a short, dark-skinned, bearded Indian dude. Hell, could you have even imagined it 10 or 5 years ago?

Even if you could have imagined it, would you have thought that the article would have no mention of the racial differences?

More often than not, Asian (both East and South) actors and male characters are seen as unsexualized sidekicks or hypersexualized social deviants. It’s nice to see one of us get the same type of attention often reserved for..ahem, “traditional” leading men.

Of course, I can be a cynic and say that this was all a publicity stunt, or she just wants him for his money. But hey, call me a romantic.

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~ by joysonism on October 14, 2014.

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