It may have started out with a classic question: "Who's hotter?" But an old interview with Hasan Minhaj is going viral because of his enlightened response.
Back in December 2019, Vanity Fair interviewed Hasan (while he was hooked up to a lie detector, mind you) and asked if the comedian was bothered that Dax Shepard rated him a nine out of 10. "No, I think that he was going way too high," Hasan responded.
The journalist then asked how he would rate Dax. Hasan called the question "not fair," but after what must have been a very thorough calculation, Hasan precisely responded with "6.57." The interviewer joked the score was "harsh," and Hasan's comeback shone a light on the way actors of color are held to higher standards than white actors in Hollywood.
The Patriot Act host explained, "Dax is part of a thing where, in show business, there's this whole movement of approachable white dudes whereas with, like, men of color, it's like Idris Elba, Henry Golding, Zayn Malik, or you work in IT. There's no middle."
That's not the case for white actors, who can skate by on being "schlubby," as Hasan put it. "You know how there's a whole class of white dudes, just like schlubby dudes who went to high school with me, but now made it in show biz? There no like that [for people of color]. You gotta have, like, the V-taper in your abs if you're gonna be Asian," he said.
Hasan went on to explain how, in Hollywood, men of color are expected to look like Hawaii Five-0 heartthrob Daniel Dae Kim holding a pencil between his pecs. "You gotta be Daniel Dae Kim ripped," he continued. "You can't ever have bread or cereal."
The viral clip ended with Hasan answering a loaded question: if he thinks he's better looking than Dax. Put in a tough position, the 29-year-old said, "Yes, but I will not get the same opportunities that Dax does."
Hopefully, there's no bad blood between the guys, since Hasan tried to make amends by finishing off with, "I'm so sorry, Dax." The Parenthood alum and father of two has not yet responded to the video's resurfacing.
Nearly one year has passed since the initial interview, and although Hasan's points about double standards and onscreen representation still hold true for many, what has changed are his thoughts on Dax's hotness, apparently.
After the video blew up on Twitter, Hasan retweeted it on Monday, Nov. 23, and wrote, "Guys, I spoke too soon. I just Googled 'Dax Shepard shirtless' — my bad @daxshepard" with a facepalm emoji. Plus, that's besides the point—we all know dad bods are in now.
Hasan's interview resonated with several creatives in Hollywood. Superstore actress Franchesca Ramsey wrote on Twitter, "Meanwhile we have HOW MANY with Adam Sandler as a romantic lead? Make it make sense. Give Hasan his rom com YESTERDAY."
#OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign agreed, writing, "I don't know what brought this on. But Hasan is 100% right on all points, especially the schlubby vs elite thing and opportunities given each." She added that Dax's 6.57 rating was "totally fair."
Writer David Dennis Jr. said he was "dying laughing" at Hasan's clever response, "because even the super nerdy dude from The Good Place is ripped as hell lmao."
Watch the lie detector interview above.