Dat Phan in the new DirecTV Commercial: Good or Bad?

It’s always great to see more Asian faces on TV, especially in commercials. As more companies are integrating Asian Americans in their television ads, it’s opening up more opportunities for Asian actors and actresses. Although it is rare, there are still some commercials that play out stereotypical roles. For example, here’s the new DirecTV commercial featuring Vietnamese comedian Dat Phan.

In the commercial, Dat plays an unnamed Asian male that portrays a lot of negative Asian stereotypes. First, he has an strong Asian/Vietnamese accent when he speaks, he’s depicted as a gambler and he’s “small“. These are typical stereotypes that American society pegs on Asians which is not cool. So it’s a bit of a catch-22. Do we embrace the fact that we have a fellow Asian brother on TV? Or do we boycott the commercial for displaying such distasteful stereotypes? Press play to check out the commercial and let us know your opinion in the comments below.

Dat Phan DirecTV commercial Big Whale

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Comment (21)

  1. I don’t think you’re getting the message of the commercial. Its all parody. They did the same sort of thing with the russian billionaire one and the boxing one. They’re all parodying the stereotypes of their main character.

  2. I don’t think you are getting the message of the commercial. Just because it is parody doesn’t make it any less offensive.

  3. You forgot to point out the other stereotype as both of his token “hotties” are white. Gross commercial and yes BAD.

  4. Nowadays the Asian American Movement focuses primarily on representation and identity politics. While these issues are important to note, the bigger issue goes beyond these actors portraying negative stereotypes in the media. The media is meant to entertain and is all about being scripted and portraying people in a certain light. People need to take satire and parody less seriously (Jersey Shore, anyone?). The real subversion to Asian Americans is not our representation in media but the way the government has undermined our various Asian ethnic groups throughout history. It happened to the Chinese during the Gold Rush/Railroad, the Japanese and Filipinos during WW2, the Koreans during the Korean War, the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, and now the various Muslim populations of Western Asia due to the conflicts overseas. Look for the bigger issues! Read the news and research the wars. Dat Phan paved the way for comics like Ken Jeong to make it big.

    1. great point. Looking at history between asia and the west gives more information on their relationship. Conflicts are everywhere, but what can we do. Men like to fight and no one want to lose. So, I like what you said there, don’t take these stereotype seriously because these commercial only intend to catch dumb people. I am asian, and I just want our people to grow stronger and speak out more.

  5. Ok first off, I must point out the idiot who said it’s a rip-off of “mr chan” it’s chow but on to my point. All of those getting their feelings hurt for this commercial need to go jump off a bridge it’s a commercial most people fast forward thru them nowadays anyways. Lighten up people if you don’t think it’s funny and u don’t have a dvr then change the f***ing channel.

    1. That’s kind of a cowardly comment.
      If something is offensive you’re supposed to just take it lying down and look the other way, or even commit suicide? I guess in your ideal world people must be completely submissive, never to speak out against what gets their “feeling hurt”. You, sir, certainly are somewhat cracked.

      1. Yes, you are just supposed to take it (although I don’t agree with the suicide thing). Guess what… in this country you don’t have the right to NOT be offended. As a Jew, I find the KKK a pretty bad organization, but I understand that they have the right to their opinion and to even make speeches about it. I don’t give a f*%$ what they think or say. I’m not gonna change their minds, so I don’t care. Am I offended by what they say? Absolutely. But it’s still their right to say what they feel, no mater how disgusting I feel it is.

  6. All I got in this video was the sad fact that DIRECT TV is promoting
    the Asian Gambler in Las Vegas Motto who is called a whale.

  7. Wow, people have no sense of humor any more. It’s really sad. One of the funniest movies of all time is “Blazing Saddles” and one of the funniest TV Shows is “All In The Family”. Neither of these, if created today, would make it out for public consumption due to “interest groups”. You people need to lighten up. I will never understand why people get upset about stereotypes. We know that not ALL Asians have an accent, but a lot of them do. We know not ALL Asians gamble, but have you been to a Casino lately? We know not ALL Asians are small, but when an Asian becomes a Pro Basketball player, it becomes big news for a reason. People are smart enough to know the difference. Give us some credit. Comedy is parody. It’s exaggeration. It’s not supposed to represent real life. Lighten up!!

  8. If anything, these commercials are ripoffs of Ken Jeong’s Adidas commercials. And Phan is still nowhere close to being funny or original.

  9. I feel this is a very funny commercial! I try to see the humor first before I jump on the “racism” boat. I remember about 20 years ago, the stopped showing at Christmas,” the little drummer boy”, as it showed Arabs in a bad light. Give me a friggen break, its a show! This is a COMMERCIAL folks. They didn’t show the man in a rice field, with a straw hat. It’s supposed to be funny…which it is, not a political statement…. which it’s not!! The people who are do concerned are probably racist themselves, but won’t admit it so they jump on the “PC” bandwagon to try and feel better about themselves! GO AWAY YOU MORONIC, STUPID,IGNORANT IDIOTS!!
    Did I make my point?!

    1. “This is a COMMERCIAL folks”
      You think the media should have complete immunity and can say or do whatever the hell they please? What a progressive mentality you have.

      And yet the common populace aren’t allowed to speak their opinions, unless, apparently, they are the ones who are self-righteous, contemptuous people like yourself. What a progressive mentality you have, at least in regards for “smart, intelligent” people.
      Everyone who disagrees with you is obviously moronic and should shut up and crawl into a hole, because clearly the words of the gifted cannot be disputed, especially by those of lower intellect.
      I guess I shouldn’t have posted. I might be blinded by the intense aura of you and your high horse.

  10. To answer your question, you should embrace the fact that we have a fellow Asian brother on TV. Support what he does in every thing he does.


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