Asian-American Reality Show Seeks to Shake "Model Minority" Stereotype

Producers of "K-Town" say they expected some people in the Asian-American community would view their show as shameful.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Executive producer Mike Le says the LA-based reality show "K-Town" is meant to shake the "one-dimensional model minority" image of Asian-Americans, but some Asian-Americans are worried the new web series depicting hard-partying twenty-something's will reflect negatively on their community. Angie Crouch reports from Koreatown for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 9, 2012. (Published Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012)

    A reality show based in Los Angeles’ Koreatown will be released on YouTube’s Loud channel this month and some locals are not happy about the unscripted show that depicts Korean Americans partying in the Southland.

    “They make K-Town look glamorous I guess, or trashy,” said a resident.

    The reality show, which airs on July 11, has been talked about for two years and dubbed the next “Jersey Shore” – the popular MTV show that follows eight 20- and 30-somethings as they party through their way through the summer.

    Unlike the MTV show, K-Town was not picked up by any networks. The trailer for the show describes it as “the reality show no TV network could show you.”

    While the show has stirred up controversy, producers praise the project as a way of exploring what it’s like to be Asian in the 21st century.

    “Asians have always been viewed through the media as either exaggerated stereotypes or the one-dimensional model minority. K-Town is a celebration of what it’s like to be a young Asian in American today,” executive producer Mike Le said in a statement on the show’s website.

    Singer/actor Tyrese Gibson is the creator and executive producer of K-Town. Gibson partnered with Ben Silverman’s multimedia entertainment studio, Electus, which owns Loud, their new pop-culture channel.

    “Loud is the perfect platform for chronicling the social rituals of this unique Asian American subculture,” Gibson said in a statement on the show’s website.

    Producers said they realize some people in the Asian American community view the show as shameful.

    “I think a little shame is a good thing at this point,” said executive producer Mike Le.

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