Emmy-winning writer, director and producer Alan Yang marked Jerry Seinfeld as the first character he saw himself in on television, telling Charlamagne Tha God on the latest episode of Emerging Hollywood, "There's a lot more to us than what we look like: What's your point of view? What shapes your sense of humor?"
Yang explained that even though Master of None, the Netflix series he co-created with Aziz Ansari, was compared to "auteur-ish shows or films," what people weren't considering were the Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm influences. "Some of the show is funny because we're inspired by those guys. We love Larry [David]. We love Seinfeld."
Yang went on to compare the experience of black and Asian artists in Hollywood, saying that the two groups both face marginalization but "often in opposite ways. Asian men have generally been emasculated, demasculinized, and historically, black men have often been over-sexualized, the reverse. Similarly, Asian women have been over-sexualized, and black women have been desexualized."
When it comes to whitewashing in Hollywood, Yang isn't sure the practice will ever fully stop, but he noted that "it's really the most disappointing when there are characters based on Asian characters and they still don't give it to an Asian actor, because if you're not going to give us that, we're not getting the normal shit either, so where are we going to start?"
Yang is set to release an anthology series for Apple called Little America, written with Oscar-nominated writing couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, and recently directed his first film, Tiger Tales.
New episodes of Emerging Hollywood, hosted by Charlamagne tha God, are available every Thursday on THR.com/EmergingHollywood.