Tuesday, September 20, 2005

“Lost” Star Promotes Onscreen Diversity

Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim, stars of ABC's Lost
Last year, I was pleasantly surprised to see the ABC network cast a pair of Asian-Americans on their soon-to-be-hit series Lost. Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim, both Korean-Americans, play a Korean couple shown speaking their native language only, often with subtitles, and many flashback scenes depict their life in Korea before becoming stranded on the now infamous tropical isle. Although some have criticized the characters, for reasons ranging from the quality of Daniel Dae Kim’s accent, to accusations that the characters are stereotypes; for both actors, the series has been a major breakthrough in their respective careers. It has also made actor Daniel Dae Kim an ambassador of sorts, as the series is now exported to many countries besides the United States. In a recent appearance in Toronto, Kim said, "I'm really proud of the fact that they have two Korean characters as series regulars. I'd like to do whatever I can to promote this kind of television, this kind of programming, and if I can promote diversity on television in any country, I'm happy to do it." In my viewpoint anything that gets Americans to listen to dialogue in an Asian language and make them read subtitles, has to be a good thing. (comments by J.)