Home Features Ross Butler from ’13 Reasons Why’ is the internet’s new obsession: here’s why it’s important
Ross Butler from ’13 Reasons Why’ is the internet’s new obsession: here’s why it’s important

Ross Butler from ’13 Reasons Why’ is the internet’s new obsession: here’s why it’s important

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I’m in the thick of 13 Reasons Why and struggling through it. It’s a hard watch, which I understand is exactly how it was intended to be. And while I have every intention to write my thoughts on the series, there is one very important thing I wanted to talk about first…a potential game changer of sorts.

Ross Butler stars as Zach in the controversial Netflix series, and also has a role on the hit CW series Riverdale as Reggie. Relatively unknown until his recent breakouts, Ross makes a big impression. Not only can he act and throw down amazing replies on social media, but he’s also wonderful to look at…and I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

Hollywood has been historically awful at recognising the beauty of Asian men. Male actors of Asian descent are typically cast as sidekicks, weirdos, computer geeks, or mystical, wise old men who dish out sage advice to white male heroes. It just perplexes me.

We live in a world where 50-year-old white men are consistently cast as the love interests to 20-somethings, and where young white men are the go-to as romantic interests and action stars. It’s like it’s inconceivable to Hollywood to view men like John Cho, Harry Shum Jr., Daniel Dae Kim, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Ken Watanabe as viable love interests. So when someone like Ross Butler plays a gorgeous jock in a popular television show, it gives me all kinds of hope.

Sure he’s not playing the lead, but the fact that he’s also not the weird foreigner who can’t speak to women is encouraging. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one, because if Hollywood starts making those much-needed changes to casting processes, then something tells me Butler could very well be first on the call sheet one day.