‘The Slants’ Rejected $4 Million Offer to Replace Lead Asian Singer with ‘Someone White’
The founder of the Portland, Oregon-based band, The Slants, allegedly once turned down a major label offer that asked to replace their Asian American lead singer with a White male.
Known for their controversial name, The Slants is founded by Simon Tam who named the band in order to reappropriate the derogatory slur.
Tam recalled to the Washington Post, that he once was approached by major-label company rep, who presented a $4 million offer. However, the contract asked that he place the lead singer with “someone White.”
Sticking to the values that his parents imparted and believing signing such a deal would undermine everything he fought for, Tam tore up the contract.
Tam has spoken out about reclaiming the disparaging terms once used against him.
“Kids would pull their eyes back in a slant-eyed gesture to make fun of us. … I wanted to change it to something that was powerful, something that was considered beautiful or a point of pride instead,” Tam told NPR.
“When communities co-opt terms for self-reference or self-empowerment, it’s saying you can’t use that word against me. It belongs to me now,” he explained to the Washington Post. “In that sense, refusing to be defined by others is an act of creation. It is both activism and art.”
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.