By Tracy Wang
I came across DICK HO: ASIAN MALE PORN STAR in the festival archives and I just had to watch. Probably a Freudian slip on my part. Basically Dick Ho is a pseudo-documentary about a controversy surrounding an Asian male porn star from the 70s, Dick Ho. Director Jeffrey Lei plays Dick Ho himself and has quite a lot to say about the making of the film. Check out my interview with him as he dishes about his very, very cold nude beach scene and Dick Ho’s eggroll, if you know what I mean. Behind the veneer of awkward humor that is the legend of Dick Ho, there’s a deeper issue that the film pokes fun at while criticizing. Where ARE all the Asian male heterosexual porn stars in America? Sure, there’s porn a plenty starring Asians front and center (or back and center?) in Asia and actually quite a few Asian Americans female leads, but where’s the male sexual representation here? It really got me thinking about, in general, how this has and still shapes my ideas about beauty and sexual appeal.
Asian American Studies Professor Darrell Hamamoto at U.C. Davis brought up an excellent point when he asked his class what and who exactly from the mass media did they fantasize sexually about and why. Consensus of his class was that Asian Americans just didn’t have a role in their fantasies when it came to pulling figures from popular media. Professor Hamamoto went on to create a pornography staring an Asian American male lead. Entitled Skin on Skin, this pornography was Hamamoto’s call to action. Maybe I’ll see it sometime.
Overall, I’m still processing my thoughts about this and I’m definitely still very curious about what else out there has been done or suggested to address the issue. In the meantime though, I’ll just put the Big-Foot candid camera-like beach scene from Dick Ho on replay and awkwardly chuckle. You have to see it to believe it.