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East Asian men are ‘desexualised and emasculated’ on stage and screen – Daniel York Loh

Daniel York Daniel York Loh
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East Asian men are “dehumanised, desexualised and made to look ugly” when they are represented in Western culture, actor Daniel York Loh has said.

York Loh, who is also a writer and director, argued that east Asian men are the “least represented demographic” on TV, and, where they are represented, they are “nullified”.

The comments were made at a conference at Goldsmiths University in London, on south-east Asian and British east Asian theatre playwrights, held last month.

He said: “East Asian males are completely invisible. I went to meet with the BBC and they got very defensive with me when I asked them when was the last time you turned on your TV and saw an east Asian man kissing a woman, or a man, or anyone for that matter, consensually, romantically or pleasurably. You don’t see that.”

York Loh said there was a “sinister history” of east Asian males being emasculated on stage and screen.

“East Asian males have been nullified, emasculated, desexualised, made to look as ugly and garish as possible, and that’s not a very attractive thing.

“It’s a very colonial thing, and it lingers on, and it’s a worrying situation. We have to be very vocal about this,” he added.

York Loh also said he was worried about the lack of young British east Asian male actors in training, due to a lack of role models.

He said: “I looked on the National Youth Theatre website and there was a young east Asian male on there and I was punching the air, because it’s so hard to find them. That is the least represented demographic on TV.”