The TV show Superstore is a workplace comedy about employees at a St. Louis, Missouri, big box store. One of its stars is Nico Santos who recently gave an interview to Entertainment Tonight about being gay and playing gay on TV
“First of all, Asian representation hardly exists to begin with,” Santos says, adding that Filipinos, who make up the second largest Asian community in the U.S., are “hardly represented in the media.” In fact, there are only two other notable Filipino characters currently on TV — Andrew Cunanan on American Crime Story and Josh Chan on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — making Santos’ portrayal all that more special to the community.
“Filipinos everywhere say how touched they are and how excited they are to see themselves reflected onscreen,” Santos says. “It still baffles my brain that I actually get to portray a character on American television that’s this gay, femme-y Filipino guy. I never thought that would be a possibility, and here I am.”
In addition Nic Santos will be part of the highly anticipated screen adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, the first major Hollywood film featuring an all-Asian cast since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club.
It’s a project, Santos says, “everyone wanted to be part of because it’s such a huge moment for inclusion and diversity.”
“We would look around set like, ‘Oh, my God, we’re in Singapore, making this big Hollywood movie, and it was amazing because everybody in this cast are people who look like me,” Nic Santos recalls, demonstrating just how rare this experience is.
“You know, a lot of times when you’re a person of color, when you’re a queer person in Hollywood and do these jobs, you are the token. You are the only one. It wasn’t lost on me, looking around, it’s like, ‘Everybody here’s Asian, you know, in front of the camera, behind the camera, and it was being directed by an Asian person. It was a really special moment.”