By Nadine Kam I
I thought it was a joke when I saw a clip of comedian Ken Jeong lip-synching to the DJ Steve Aoki and BTS English-language collaboration “Waste it on Me,” which appears on Aoki’s album “Neon Future III.”
But it’s no joke. The comedian appears with an all-Asian cast in the music video directed by Joe Hahn, highlighting the moment that Asians are enjoying a rare time in the spotlight thanks to the supergroup, as well as the box-office hit “Crazy Rich Asians.”
In the video featuring the voices of Jungkook, Jimin and R.M., Jeong plays a lovestruck waiter with unrequited love for a celebrity played by Aoki’s sister Devon. The waiter forgets all about work when she walks into the room.
Among the Asian stars appearing with them are Ben Baller, Ross Butler, Jamie Chung, Jared Eng, Jessica Lu, Tiffany Ma, Leonardo Nam, Vincent Rodriguez III and Jimmy O. Yang.
👁 Watch: “Waste it on Me”
The long reality for Asians in America has been that as far as celebrity is concerned, there is the feeling that only be one Asian star at a time can register with the mainstream. What may have started with Anna May Wong in the 1920s led to France Nuyen, Nancy Kwan, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, and now Jeong and Awkwafina.
BTS’s reception in the United States opened eyes to the possibility that a new generation is more open and accepting of globalism, and people of color who do not speak the same language as ourselves. I welcome the change.