A look at gay and Asian intersectionality in Entourage

The earliest representation of a gay man that I can remember in media would probably be the character of Lloyd in the HBO television series “Entourage”. Lloyd is the personal assistant of the self-proclaimed “super-agent” Ari Gold. Ari Gold represents one of the main stars of the show, Vincent Chase. Lloyd is basically Ari’s errand boy, and Ari treats him as pretty much sub-human. This isn’t only exclusive to Lloyd, though, as Ari treats everyone that is not a client as sub-human. Lloyd is not only gay, but is of Asian descent as well. It is a running gag on the show that Ari not only makes fun of Lloyd’s sexual orientation, but also his heritage. Ari perpetuates stereotype after stereotype when him and Lloyd have dialogue together. There are a few examples of this in nearly every episode.

One example of Ari perpetuating an Asian stereotype is when his cleaning staff is on strike and he sees dust on one of his picture frames. He yells at Lloyd “… they strike, you work. You’re Asian, you’re supposed to be a neat freak, now go get a rag.”  An example of Ari insulting Lloyd about his sexual orientation is when Ari is working out inside his office during some of his downtime, and Lloyd walks in with important news. Ari says to Lloyd “It’s pretty urgent that in the 15 minutes a day that I have free, I take the time to keep this body fit. Not just so that you have a great ass to look at, I want to live!” These occurrences are not isolated incidents, either. Ari continually and unabashedly insults and degrades Lloyd on a consistent basis. There was one instance where Lloyd was trying out a new look that he called his “Andre 3000 look”, but Ari said that he looked like “Michelle Kwan in drag”. Ari doesn’t necessarily hate Asians or gays, but he is very insecure and takes his aggressive anger streak out on any and everyone that comes across his path.

Though Ari displays this kind of behavior repeatedly, he depends heavily on Lloyd to function everyday. There are a few episodes where Lloyd is unable to make it to work, and Ari starts to crumble. All of the previous instances occur early on in the show. In the later seasons Ari’s character starts to develop a more filtered mouth and attitude. His wife leaves him and he begins to look at the way he acts around others and starts to change. He stops saying gay slurs and Asian slurs towards Lloyd. The viewer can see that he realizes his past mistakes and starts to control his behavior.

 

 

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One thought on “A look at gay and Asian intersectionality in Entourage

  1. Do you think Ari’s character forced viewers to think differently about homophobia and heterosexism? Or do you think in some ways he reinforced those viewpoints in the name of humor?

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