The following description appeared in a recent casting call for an indie television pilot, as identified by the blog angry asian man:
[ CHANG ]
MALE: 20's - 40's. Asian. Petite, Average, or chubby. Great with comedic timing preferred. FRONTAL AND BACK NUDITY. MUST HAVE AN EXTREMELY SMALL PENIS. (Via The Hangover 2 joke) Pay rate: $100
Does he have to be a 'show-er' or a 'grow-er' or, we suppose it doesn't matter -- the producers are clearly looking for diminution that shows...whether or not it necessarily grows.
So, what's the deal, is this some racist b.s. or what? The production, called Mouthpiece is described thusly:
"An urban Entourage meets The Hangover dramedy. Five young men search for success, love, sex, and power in Los Angeles. One thing [sic] for sure...to make it, you have to have game, you have to know 'the laws,' you have to have a 'Mouthpiece.'"
It's not always entirely racist to require actors to look the part -- a quick read through of casting calls can tell you that. Acting chops aside, one doesn't exactly cast Patton Oswalt as the lead in a Manute Bol biopic. So why does Entourage 2.0 want to rip on an Asian guy with a tiny penis in a world of comedy already surfeiting with crotchal racism and bad body humor?
We talked to the show's director and executive producer to get the scoop. "Shit was outrageous," David Merritt II told us, referring to the casting call. "We had about ten dudes. It was nuts." Literally, we assume, as well as figuratively. He wouldn't go in to much more detail about the casting call or the shoot itself.
"So what's the deal with the ad?" we ask. "The show is based on true stories of what it's like to live in Los Angeles...and this is one of those stories," he explains. "We have this female friend that went out on a date with this dude who was real excitable. He kept going on an on: 'I'm gonna fuck the shit out of you,' etc., etc. And the girl had to chill him out."
Apparently, the would-be fornicators eventually did make it into bed together. Merritt explains, "So our friend is like 'Get to it, take off the drawers!' and he's got this dick and nuts...that can all fit into the condom. Real tiny....she said it was the safest sex she'd ever had."
So, again, why does the guy have to be Asian? "Well, my friend is Asian -- half black, half Asian -- and the dude was Asian," Merritt explains. Oh. "It would have been way funnier if the guy was black, trust me...The show is supposed to reflect what this city is really like...and we're telling these true stories as they really happened."
Mouthpiece, which is also produced by and stars Lamonica Garrett and Jimmy Costas, may be making up for the "other" part of Hollywood that Entourage seemed to miss, the actual multi-ethnic, multi-culti part. These guys may, more the most part, be telling it exactly like it is. But are they telling it like it is when it comes to penis size?
We do know of plenty of supposedly giant penises of Hollywood lore -- Milton Berle anyone? And there are of course filmic representations: Boogie Nights. And Eastern Promises. And others. Even the ancient comedic masterpiece the Bible had its size queens -- we're looking at you Ezekiel 23:20 ("...and thus she lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses...").
On top of legend are the plethora of maps on the internet, like this one, that seemingly correlate race and cocksmanship, and most of them totally conform to the worst racial stereotypes -- black men are huge, Asian men are tiny, and Hungarians (really?) might as well all have third legs.
Either way, there is little, ugh, hard evidence to suggest that any one race has statistically significant penis length superiority. There was that one study, but it had to do with finger length ratio, not race. So there. (Unless finger differential also has to do with race. Shit.) Unless this data somehow helps cure cancer or something, it still seems like a waste of time, no?
But here's the bigger problem: Regardless of whether it's racist, racialist, Orientalist or otherwise, are dicks even that funny any more? Actual male frontal nudity used to be pretty funny because of its rarity and thus its edginess. Seeing full man shaft in the original The Hangover with your mom might have been a shock to both of you...and tons of awkward laughter probably followed. But for the large part, male frontal nudity is becoming more commonplace. It's everywhere now. Even the second time around, The Hangover Part II's dick-showing had little uh, girth to it.
We're not going to list every recent on-screen dick-and-balls, but trust us, it's getting a tad pedestrian. Have all of the limits been exceeded? No. But, there's little room left in the space between "funny" and "unnecessarily fucked up" as Borat's balls-on-face gag proved. We're not not ready for grandma to get Danza-slapped, we're just not interested in it. (Ok, that might be kinda funny if done correctly.)
Before you ask "Whither the well-crafted dick joke?," rest assured, body humor is still funny and will always be funny if done correctly; t'aints, for example, are timeless and Sophocles killed with exaggerated codpieces. Can everyone just do comedy a favor and put a bit more creative effort into it? It's just no longer edgy or funny enough to show [Insert Racial Stereotype]'s giant/small/misshapen member anymore. Come on, let's step up our toilet humor game, shall we? More t'aints of all genders, races, creeds, and colors, and less shaft and scrotum, maybe?
So, all told, is this casting call racist? Out of context, it certainly might ruffle some feathers; in the context of a multiracial cast and in the spirit of verisimilitude? Maybe not. Is it funny? Merritt won't entirely ruin the joke for us, so we'll just have to wait and see.