Steve Harvey recently joked that white women don’t want to date Asian men, and Fresh Off the Boat author and restaurateur Eddie Huang responded to that comment in an article for The New York Times, where he wrote that Harvey is one of those “people who believe Asian men are inept and undesirable to any women outside their race.”
During a Jan. 6 episode of his talk show, Harvey ran through some dating books, including 2002’s How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men. “That’s one page,” he said. “‘Excuse me, do you like Asian men?’ ‘No.’ ‘Thank you.'”
In his piece, Huang writes about “the expectations the dominant culture” places on Asian-Americans. “I realized that people on the margins aren’t afforded the privilege of being complicated, whole, human beings in America; we have to create that existence ourselves, and it is that experience that I feel fundamentally binds us,” he said. “Over time, I began to find solidarity with my singularity and difference.”
“Yet the one joke that still hurts, the sore spot that even my closest friends will press, the one stereotype that I still mistakenly believe at the most inopportune bedroom moments … is that women don’t want Asian men,” he continued. “Attractiveness is a very haphazard dish that can’t be boiled down to height or skin color, but Asian men are told that regardless of what the idyllic mirepoix is or isn’t, we just don’t have the ingredients.”
He goes on to point out that Harvey’s comments are “so upsetting” because “he speaks openly about issues facing the black community, he is a man of God, and he has a huge platform to speak from.” “Unfortunately, he’s also the type of guy who orders Krug champagne for himself and Cook’s for everyone else,” he said. “For his own personal profit, he’s willing to perpetuate the emasculation of Asian men regardless of how hypocritical it is.”
Read Huang’s full piece here.