Super producer Shonda Rhimes owns an entire night of programming in the same way Aaron Spelling used to in the early 80s. She is dominating prime time television like no one else. But what she is also being hailed for is adding diversity to all of her shows. The cast is made up of characters that are Caucasians, Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Gay. This is what America should look like, an integrated cast.
With the exception of Grey’s Anatomy, there has been a shortage of Asian characters on her show. Until now. On How To Get Away With Murder actor Conrad Ricamora portrays the only openly gay Asian American character on prime time television. Not only is the character gay, but HIV positive as well. His character, Oliver Hampton, is seduced by Connor Walsh who is the resident Caucasian Gay Lothario. This is all in an effort to get information from Oliver. But an unexpected relationship develops, which is realistic. In real-life if a gay white guy was looking for a hook-up, I don’t think he would give an Asian guy the time of day. It is only when the two really get to know each other through circumstance, that a relationship start to blossom.
Recently Conrad Ricamora accepted the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award. In his speech he says
“I will say that it’s a little ironic to be getting the Visibility Award because so much of growing up as a kid was spent trying to be invisible. It was rough, not only being gay, but having the colored skin that I have. I was terrified that someone would see me as gay and I was also terrified that I would see myself for what I naturally was.
“I’m happy to be playing Oliver, and to be providing that visibility now not only for gay men but also for gay men of color and HIV positive people,” he said.
Watch his inspiring speech below.