Ignored by Hollywood, Asian-American Performers Get Their Revenge on YouTube

Among the many revolutionary changes brought about by YouTube is the fact that Asian-American performers can now more freely connect with their audience.

At the head of this burgeoning class are three performers who rank among the service’s top 20 most subscribed video channels. People like Michelle Phan, a 24-year-old Vietnamese-American who calls L.A. home. Her beauty and make-up tip reports have garnered close to 1.5 million YouTube subscribers and, per a New York Times piece by Austin Considine, one of the all-time great professional vindications:

Before her YouTube stardom, Phan was turned down for a job at a Lancôme makeup counter; now she is a company spokeswoman.

The other Asian-American stars in the YouTube top 20 are a pair of 21-year-olds comics: Kevin Wu, also based in LA, and Ryan Higa of Las Vegas. As Considine points out, the overall rise of this gang in non-traditional media is the subject of an upcoming documentary titled Uploaded: The Asian-American Movement. Sample Phan video below.