Bling Empire star Kevin Kreider is ready for viewers to see more sides to him.
The reality TV star and model recently chatted with People about season 2 (which dropped on Netflix on May 13) and revealed he’s hoping viewers will get to see the more intelligent side of him — especially because season 1 didn’t do him justice.
“I think season 1 only showed a little sliver of me. I was like the new guy, deer in headlights, this world is like amazing and cool and kind like the dumb ditzy guy. I have a lot more sides to me.”
In particular, Kevin is hoping viewers will understand his passion for positive Asian representation. He said,
“I have a very strong drive to make a difference, to help other people to succeed, and I felt like that was short-changed in that first season. So I hope in the second season and on, we can show more of that because I’ve been known to do Ted Talks and Google talks and doing acting and activism in the community for years — and none of that was shown.”
While season 2 does dig a bit deeper into Kevin’s life, particularly his sobriety and his romance with castmate Kim Lee, it nearly all but ignores his activism.
The only brief scene in which Kevin gets to discuss Asian representation is in episode 8 when he’s at a dinner party with former CEO of Elite Models (and star of Netflix’s My Unorthodox Life) Julia Haart. He tells her,
“I’ve always wanted to model because I didn’t see any Asian faces growing up. And it made me feel not attractive or sexy.”
This is something he’s reiterated before. In a video for his new supplement brand Be More Matcha, Kevin explained that he grew up “hating who he was as an Asian American”, especially since he was the only Asian child adopted into a white German Irish family.
He eventually gained confidence through fitness and sobriety and decided to start speaking out about the lack of positive Asian male representation in the U.S.
“From sobriety, I learned to find my voice to represent the Asian male and to speak out about our experience in the Western world.”
“From there, I started doing Ted Talks, Google Talks, Huffington Post, and from there, I met Kelly [Mi Li]. She found me on social media discussing Asian masculinity and then Kelly was working on Bling Empire. She thought that being a male representative in the YouTube and social media world was a perfect fit for a show to represent the male I imagined in the world.”
Although not everyone agrees that Bling Empire is necessarily a positive representation of Asian communities in America, it has certainly garnered a large fan base worldwide. Both seasons of the series landed on the “Top 10” list on Netflix pretty much immediately after dropping.
You can currently watch Kevin Kreider on Bling Empire season 2 on Netflix. The streaming giant has not yet renewed the show for season 3.