Actors and actresses of South Asian heritage like Aziz Ansari and Mindy Kaling are finally getting the on-camera recognition they deserve ― and singer Jay Sean couldn’t be happier about the growth in diverse faces on TV.
The British star, who celebrated his South Asian background with the debut of his line of culturally specific desi emojis last month, told HuffPost’s Lauren Moraski that he’s “pleasantly surprised” to see more and more south Asian actors landing lead roles that aren’t based on stereotypical representations of their culture.
“I have to say, in TV, it’s really a beautiful thing to be able to see certain people in lead roles,” he said. “For example, my very good friend Priyanka Chopra [has] the lead role in ‘Quantico,’ [as does] Riz Ahmed in ‘The Night Of.’”
He said he used to see one-dimensional roles much more often in TV and film, many of which he turned down for their flat, stereotypical nature.
“I was like, ‘You know what? If I [take the roles,] I’m bringing my whole generation, my whole race back, because we’re trying to move forward,” he said.
Watch more from Jay Sean’s interview in the video above and click here to watch the full conversation.