During this Week I was enlightened on the disappointing truth behind the TV show Fresh off the Boat. I was shocked to read various articles and interviews that depicted the real life of celebrity Eddie Huang. In an interview displayed on ‘Vulture,’ original visionary, Eddie Huang reveals how the network tried to sweep his life story up from underneath his feet. Eddie recants his interaction with producer, Melvin, whom seems more interested in profits and pleasing his network superiors rather than displaying Eddie’s vision. Melvin, in an effort to convince Eddie of his vision states,”Listen, buddy, the show is never going to be the book. What you are hoping is that people watch the show, buy the book, then say, ‘You know, that show is funny, but the book is better.” While a crass attempt to get Eddie to ‘sellout’ it is somewhat understandable. Fresh off the Boat is on a major family network and Eddie’s book is a bit too real for public TV.
Eddie’s persistence does pay off since he is able give input in the production of the show in order to make sure its not a, “Reverse-yellowface show with universal white stories played out by Chinamen.” Despite their disagreements Eddie sheds light into the unspoken world of TV show production. Regardless of the content, at the end of the day the show must not alienate it’s white audience. Eddie realizes that he must approach the situation in a more careful manner as to not alienate the white audience but at the same time, don’t portray a stereotypical Asian family. While his endeavors are a significant step in the right direction we are reminded that minorities who wish to succeed on the big screen must withhold a certain level of censorship, but so long as visionaries like Eddie continue to challenge hegemonic norms we will continue to push towards the dream of an egalitarian society.