John Cho Talks About Barriers Facing Asian-American Actors

By Jamilah King Sep 23, 2014

Actor John Cho is starring in the new ABC primetime series "Selfie," which premieres on September 30. Cho plays the role of Henry Higgins, a marketing expert who’s tasked with rebranding embattled personalities. He spoke with Momo Chang of the Center for Asian American Media about his long and successful career, which includes "American Pie," "Harold and Kumar" films and "Star Trek."

Just from a creative standpoint there are just entire genres that I’m locked out of, being Asian, because of historical reality. You know, like the cowboy picture (laughs). Basically you’re doing immigrants, smaller immigrant roles. And if you’re doing bigger roles, you’re doing modern tales. That is to say, contemporary stories. And you can do futuristic stories. So I guess I’ve done those.

What I’m locked out of is American history. There just aren’t roles written for Asians in stories that revolve around American history. So you’re dealing with that handicap off the bat.

You can read more at the Center for Asian American Media. Watch the pilot for "Selfie" below: