Lilly Singh Makes History as the First Queer Asian to Host a Late-Night TV Show
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Lilly Singh attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
YouTuber Lilly Singh made history this week as the first Asian queer woman to host a late-night TV show.
Singh, a Canadian of Indian descent, is presently the only woman hosting a daily late-night program on a major network.
For the show’s premiere, she performed a rap song and a monologue talking about her bisexuality and being a woman of color.
The rap song touches on breaking stereotypes, including lines such as “I know you’re only used to Jimmys in the spotlight, but Imma throw some melanin up in your late night.”
She also mentioned Bollywood stars such as Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, and Alia Bhatt, whom she suggests to replace the cast of HBO’s “Girls” as minority representation becomes increasingly visible in Hollywood.
“There is no other way I would want to introduce my new show to the world than this rap anthem cold open,” Singh captioned the rap on Instagram.
“I hope this does a good job in explaining to you the type of host I strive to be. Written by me, with love. Let the ride begin.”
The Ontario native came out of the closet in February, describing herself as “female,” “coloured,” and “bisexual” in a tweet.
“Throughout my life these have proven to be obstacles from time to time,” she wrote. “But now I’m fully embracing them as my superpowers. No matter how many ‘boxes’ you check, I encourage you to do the same.”
Throughout my life these have proven to be obstacles from time to time. But now I’m fully embracing them as my superpowers.
No matter how many “boxes” you check, I encourage you to do the same x
The announcement of her sexual orientation came a few months after she took a break from YouTube, citing that she needed to work on mental health. Her main channel currently has 14.9 million subscribers.
“I’m not my optimal happiness right now. I could be mentally healthier,” she said in a video.
On Monday’s episode, Singh had fellow Indian celebrity Mindy Kaling and her “The Office” co-star Rainn Wilson as guests.
“I’m so thrilled to be your first guest. Only for you would I be here at 1:30 in the morning,” said Kaling, before joking, “I don’t know who’s watching my child and I don’t care.”
Singh has since received outpouring support for her show. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined fans in wishing her success.
“Good luck tonight, @Lilly! We’ll be watching from north of the border,” he wrote on Twitter.
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