Do you have a centurion black card with Amex? Is your closet filled with Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Christian Louboutins? Probably not, but if you happen to be the rare 1%, then you could become the next media socialite in an upcoming reality TV show, Ultra Rich Asian Girls of Vancouver.
The proposed show, being produced by new media network HBICtv, has garnered over 300,000 channel views on their Youtube channel since their release of teaser videos two weeks ago. Social media networks and online news outlets alike have taken notice due to its eye-catching title and the direct implications of a very common stereotype in Vancouver. The Asian community is indeed a huge part of Vancouver’s ethnic demographic, making up 43% of our populace and said to be the most Asian city outside of Asia. It is no surprise that such a show would base itself here and would be able to stir up the attention as it has for doing so. Although similar shows such as The Real Housewives of Vancouver and the rumored series, The Real Hipsters of Vancouver received little success, Ultra Rich Asian Girls of Vancouver has a promising start with its demographic advantage.
However, as an Asian girl born and raised in Vancouver who would not be characterized as “rich” under the standards put out by this show, what concerns me is the type of image that this show will present. Although these stereotypes of rich Asian immigrants residing in Vancouver has slowly become a part of Vancouver’s identity, I fear the blatant display of their extravagant lifestyle and behavior not only show an unrealistic side of the community it represents, but also over-dramatizes in true reality-show-fashion an entertaining, but negative image. Especially when the Asian community is still cautiously emerging into the mainstream entertainment industry in North America, I fear negativity may off-write some of the progress the community has tried so hard to break through. The question I’m curious about is how many of their viewers will be non-Asian? Are those non-Asians going to perceive and elevate their stereotypes of Asian people after this show?
It may still be too early to judge, as auditions for casting are still yet to happen. Despite my concern for the initial concept of this show, I am anticipating to see exactly which direction the show will take. The official broadcast place and date are unconfirmed, but you can follow their updates through their Facebook page.