Netflix has been stepping up its game when it comes to diversity. The streaming site has produced some phenomenal original shows, and the range of people represented gives us hope for the rising diversity in Hollywood.
Though stars like Mindy Kaling and Padma Lakshmi have been making waves for a few years, Netflix has highlighted some talented individuals deserving of the limelight. Check out our list of South Asian stars you need to check out on Netflix ASAP.
1. Hasan Minhaj in “Patriot Act”
Minhaj is an actor, former “Daily Show” correspondent, comedian and a new dad. Now we can add “first Indian-American to host his own show” to that list. Minhaj’s new weekly comedy show on Netflix explores the current political landscape and delves into problematic social issues. Of course, it’s all done with Minhaj’s unique skills of comedic storytelling as they investigate. The multi-talented star blew people away with his first Netflix special “Homecoming King.” It wasn’t long before he was hosting the White House Correspondent’s dinner and taking home awards for “Homecoming King.” With sold out comedy shows and a rapidly rising Twitter following, Minhaj is currently at the top of his game.
2. Sahana Srinivasan in “Brainchild”
“Brainchild” is the newest addition to Netflix’s lineup. This is a science series produced by singer Pharrell and hosted by Sahana Srinivasan for teens and preteens. With its vlog-like style and fun, hands-on approach to science, this show is like a new age “Bill Nye the Science Guy!” Srinivasan is a 22-year-old senior at the University of Texas in Austin and a stand-up comic. She uses her comedy skills to work with the writers of the show on her dialogues, so it sounds authentic and natural. She hopes to inspire minorities towards STEM fields, especially young girls of color with her work on “Brainchild.”
“In the STEM and STEAM fields, there’s a lack of representation of women, and we’re hoping that shows like this will inspire young women to go into science fields,” Srinivasan told The Daily Dot in an interview. “But also, people of color and Indian women, too. I’ve had people reach out to me on Instagram and say, ‘It’s really cool to see representation and to see myself on the screen.’ Also for acting, too. Not just science.”
3. Tan France in “Queer Eye”
Tan France was born Tanweer Wasim. The Pakistani-British fashion designer and television personality has won the hearts of viewers across the globe on his show “Queer Eye.” Netflix’s show is a reboot of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and brings back France with his four partners-in-crime to give people an entire lifestyle makeover. France is the fashion expert who has an extensive background in the field. His career in fashion has led him to positions at brands like Zara and Selfridges. He was also the director at Shade Clothing before starting his own company, Kingdom & State. Not only is France one of the few Pakistani’s in the mainstream, but he is also one of the few South Asians representing the LGBT community. He has been continuously providing support and inspiring young South Asians everywhere with his courage and kindness.
4. Brown Nation
“Brown Nation” was written by Abhi Varghese and stars numerous talented South Asian Americans in Hollywood and Bollywood like Melanie Chandra, Shehnaz Treasury, Omi Vaidya, and comedian Akaash Singh. With an all-star cast, this comedy-drama is a riot. The story revolves around Hasmukh Parikh, a Gujarati IT consulting company owner in the predominantly South-Asian neighborhood of Jackson Heights in Queens, New York. His staff is a group of misfit and lazy employees, his wife is constantly complaining and is frustrated at being jobless, and the naive Hasmukh is just trying to balance it all.