MY ROOMMATE’S A VIETNAMESE POP STAR, written in late 2010, makes perfect sense in a post-Gangnam Style world. Before Psy broke, I had doubts sending it to people for fear of the absurdity of the concept not landing. Who knew that 2 1/2 years later there would be a similar real world example I could point to.
I never really considered investors in the beginning, but had marketability been a concern, I probably never would have written the series. There’s too much racial humor for consideration. Later on, when it was clear I wouldn’t film it myself and a friend asked for shootable scripts, I sent her this, never to hear back.
Personally, I feel all race humor is problematic at its core. Whether it’s thoughtful or not, there will always be a segment of the audience that becomes offended, the origins of the offense are almost always rooted in personal experience outside of the writer’s control. Therefore, the writer is choosing to enter into a difficult relationship with the audience, regardless of intent, and the dynamics of the relationship can cloud the larger point being made.
As with most writing, I feel the best approach is to write with the audience in mind but ultimately for myself. I know what I believe, and so if I write something that seems to have crossed the line, then I can conclude that I either didn’t express myself well, or the offended person is overly sensitive.
That’s my overwrought disclaimer for Episode One of what’s basically a Zach Braff meets Gangnam Style webseries.