Fresh Off the Boat’s Eddie Huang Responds to Steve Harvey


Eddie Huang has a few bones to pick with Steve Harvey’s recent mocking of Asian men.


Huang, author of Fresh Off the Boat, inspiration for the TV show of the same name, and now a Viceland writer, aired Harvey out in a New York Times op-ed.

Huang discussed the same book Harvey spoke about in his mocking of Asian men—How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men—and wrote about how he had even teased an Asian friend about the book and had joked about it on his own Instagram account. Huang wrote that he figured no one would ever take a “gag” book seriously. Well, of course, that was before he saw Harvey on his show. Wrote Huang:

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. 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—and I know Joe and Steve do as well—is that women don’t want Asian men. 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.


Huang went on to intimate that Harvey, one who attempts to uplift the black community, doesn’t seem to have a problem perpetuating stereotypes of another community:

That’s why this Steve Harvey episode is so upsetting. 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 every one else. For his own personal profit, he’s willing to perpetuate the emasculation of Asian men regardless of how hypocritical it is. He isn’t the only one doing this in 2017, but as I told myself on New Year’s, I’m not drinking anymore of this Cook’s they’re trying to pour, and neither should you.

Huang, of course, has every right to express annoyance with Harvey’s comments. Hell, I felt the same way about several comments Huang made years ago concerning black women when it came to dating.

During a 2015 appearance on Bill Maher’s show, Huang, who once called himself the face of “big-dick Asians,” commented that being an Asian man when it comes to dating is like being a black woman.


“I feel like Asian men have been emasculated so much in America that we’re basically treated like black women. ... When I sit on OkCupid no one wants to talk to me, either.”

If you ask me, Huang and Harvey have a lot in common.

Bye, Kinja! It's been fun (occasionally).

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“I feel like Asian men have been emasculated so much in America that we’re basically treated like black women

Why is it that almost every “now I know what it feels like to be black” essay involves the most ridiculous example/incident? I mean, your experience on OK Cupid gives you such deep insight? And it wasn’t the possibility that, I dunno, your head looks like a pecan? Dude, there are quite a few other factors you need to rule out before you zero in on being treated like a black woman.