I wouldn’t say that just visibility is important. I would say visibility as the stars of a show is important. That says that our stories matter. We’re not here to do the taxes of the white person, or to be the chipper best friend to the white person. It’s important to see Asians in those leading roles. —Constance Wu
When Master of None first debuted on Netflix in November of 2015, series creator and star Aziz Ansari wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Asian and Asian-American representation in movies and TV. Roles for actors like Ansari are few and far between, and the roles that do exist are mostly stereotypical. Master of None was inspired by the problem he was writing about in that op-ed — namely that, to find the right role, he had to write it for himself.
Though there have been recent series with Asian leads, like ABC’s family sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and FBI thriller Quantico, Ansari’s show helped signal the chance for a sea change. Much like The Mindy Project, which began airing in 2012, Master of None had an auteurist air about it, and came to fruition because Asian-American writers and actors were able to take the lead on their project.
Sadly, 18 months later, as Master of None season two is set to debut, and even as the industry is becoming increasingly aware of the economic benefits of inclusion, the landscape doesn’t look much different — though there are signs of improvement on the horizon. Read more (5/11/17)
We get into it, like in a good way. He’s so good, he is such a good actor and he is so committed in his part, and he has strong opinions–which I like. I’ve only ever worked with people who have strong opinions and big personalities. So, he would be the first to admit this, and he’s such a gentleman he would never bring it up. We have a very fun, super creative and loving, slightly tempestuous relationship, but I think it’s good for the show. – Mindy Kaling