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Why Bling Empire's Kelly Mi Li Is Determined to See More Asian Representation on Screen

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Kelly Mi Li explained why Crazy Rich Asians, To All the Boys and Bling Empire are all important projects for the AAPI community.

By Mike Vulpo May 17, 2021 7:46 PMTags
Watch: "Bling Empire's" Kelly Mi Li Talks Breaking Barriers: Ones to Watch

Kelly Mi Li has just begun her fight for more Asian representation.

As the executive producer of Bling Empire, the 35-year-old Chinese American is proud to be part of the very first American reality show with an all-Asian cast. But as season two begins filming, Kelly can't help but look towards the future and express her hope for even more opportunities.

"Hopefully, with the success of Crazy Rich Asians, we're going to be able to create more roles behind the camera and in front of the camera," Kelly exclusively shared with E! News. "In To All the Boys I've Loved, we have an Asian lead [Lana Condor]. Thanks to her mother's sacrifice, Kelly was able to study finance before co-founding Organic Media Group in 2018.

She added, "We're not just a typical quiet or nerdy or those kind of stereotypes."

After immigrating from China at 10 years old, Kelly remembers her mom working three jobs and living in a run-down apartment that cost $250 a month to rent. But thanks to her mother's sacrifice, Kelly was able to study finance before co-founding Organic Media Group in 2018.

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Crazy Rich Asians World Premiere

Today, she is using her voice to fight for more Asian representation on both the big and small screen.

Broadimage/Shutterstock

"Having Asian faces on screen and representation and role models, it's so important for the next generation," Kelly argued. "That's all we are here for really. We hopefully want to impact the younger generation and leave this planet a little better than we found it."

With the rise of AAPI hate crimes across the country, Kelly explained that it's understandable to get discouraged or feel shocked. But according to the Bling Empire star, it's a movement worth fighting for. 

"Speaking up is very important just because in the Asian culture, we were never really taught to speak up, but at this point, we have to speak up because if we don't speak up, nobody knows what's going on," Kelly shared. "We're all in it together. We're all human beings on this Earth. We're all in it together and I just hope that we can keep spreading love and positivity and build a loving and safe community."

Season one of Bling Empire is available to stream on Netflix now. 

E! News' AAPI Heritage Month Ones to Watch series will run throughout the month of May.

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's new streaming service here.