Oh Youtube, what would we do without you?
The lack of asian representation within Australia’s media industry has been a longstanding one, thus trying to change this situation is a terribly difficult challenge. However with the introduction of new digital platforms such as Youtube, an opportunity has been created for asians to create and spread content that reflect their diverse stories and voices.
Karen Hao’s article on how Youtube has made Asian-Americans impossible for Hollywood to ignore is a great read and applies just as well to Australian media.
‘The arc of the Asian-American story shows the power that emerging media technology has in empowering minority voices. Though I’ve focused specifically on Asian-American identity formation, this journey is an archetype for all underrepresented groups. YouTube, blogs, social media, and other self-publishing platforms have dramatically shifted the cultural landscape by bringing storytelling into the hands of everyday people.’
There’s so many obstacles preventing asians from thriving in mainstream media, with racial prejudice in casting and off screen roles as well as the belief that asian actors and actresses aren’t bankable. Yet, with Youtube, the platform has no such restrictions and allows freedom for anyone to create and share their content.
Wongfu is a great example of Youtube success. They have been creating short films that mostly feature Asians, and increasingly became so popular that they were able to produce the film mentioned in our previous post, ‘Everything Before Us’ which was crowdfunded by international fans. Youtube channels like these breaks the idea that asians stories and actors/actresses aren’t bankable.
By continuing to spread our stories through platforms like Youtube, we can help strengthen Asian visibility and start moving from just digital creators to merging into mainstream media.
Stay tuned for our next post on some successful Aussie Asian Youtubers that are making a voice for themselves and challenging the ways asians are represented in Australian media.