The token white guy

Photo by Cheng Yutao.

Jonathan Kos-Read is a white American who makes his living acting in Chinese cinema and hitting the talk show circuit.  Article from the LA Times.

“It struck me how cool it would be to be that guy who speaks fluent Chinese, to be that cool guy. That was still rare enough then as to be almost nonexistent,” he said. “I thought, ‘Hey, I could go to China and be awesome — to be the guy who goes to the weird foreign country and integrates himself into the culture and gets it.'”


8 thoughts on “The token white guy

  1. A white American guy who thinks he can go to a “weird” foreign country in Asia and “be awesome”. Now that’s something you don’ t hear about every day. *comment drenched in sarcasm*

  2. Is he mocking his younger self’s thought process, or not?

    I hope so, otherwise the article’s even more offputting.

  3. Against the field of the typical white guys you find in Taiwan (understand that this is a really low bar) this guy comes off as half okay, until the Uncle Tom comment.
    Oh, white people in Asia, please hear this:
    The tokenism. You can use it to prove you’re an extra-special white dude(TM). Or you can use it to understand how privilege works, for you and against others. The first way might make you feel good for awhile, but the second one is the best route to becoming a real human being.

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