Are actors of colour given the same recognition as the whites?
- Comedian Hasan Minhaj is making waves after a 2019 Vanity Fair lie detector stunt
- In the video, Minhaj was hooked to a lie detector and asked a series a potentially embarrassing questions
- What followed was an honest diatribe about the pressures men of color are forced to navigate when it comes to fame and success
Comedian Hasan Minhaj has come into limelight after a Vanity Fair lie detector stunt he participated in 2019 resurfaced and went viral when a fan account shared it to Twitter.
In the video, Minhaj was hooked to a lie detector and asked a series a potentially embarrassing questions. It shows him talking about how male actors of color have to continuously fight to receive the same opportunities as the “schlubby [white] dudes” he went to high school with.
He was asked if he was hurt that Dax Shepard, a white comedian, called him a “nine out of 10”, and if he thought he was better looking than Shepherd.
What followed was an honest diatribe about the pressures men of color are forced to go through when it comes to fame.
“Dax is part of a thing where, in show business, there’s this whole movement of ‘approachable white dudes’,” Minhaj said hesitatingly. “Whereas with men of color it’s like Idris Elba, Henry Golding, Zayn Malik – or you work in IT. There’s no middle.”
After the video went viral online, the cmedian joked that he had googled Shepherd shirtless since and was given pause for thought.
Well if you disagree, here are some facts. Actor Kevin James continues to get paid millions for panned films such as Grown Ups 2 and Paul Blart: Mall Cop, while Minhaj’s own Peabody and Emmy-winning Netflix show was cancelled after only two years.
Minhaj argued that, too often, brown actors are expected to have unrealistic Avengers-esque physiques to achieve fame. He pointed to Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim and Zayn Malik as examples of this trend – stars who all have abdominal v-lines that scream $600-an-hour of gym training and highly priced protein shakes.
“You gotta have the v-taper in your abs if you’re gonna be Asian,” Hasan, whose Muslim parents immigrated from India to the US before his birth, said. “You have to be Daniel-Dae-Kim ripped. You can’t ever have bread or cereal.”
Minhaj later ended his conversation with a painfully honest admittance: “Do I think I look better than Dax? Yes. But I will not get the same opportunities that Dax does.”
Brown artists have to be as twice as good as their white counterparts in order to receive even half of the same success and this is the bitter truth.
The demands, and inequalities, are notably tough for actors of color. Even for the successful “household” names Minhaj mentioned.
Well it is a long argument and we would love to know your views! Tell us in the comment section below.