Fil-American standup comedian Jo Koy revealed the reason streaming platform Netflix turned down his proposals back then. He shared that Netflix was calling his ideas too specific which the comedian didn’t understand.
“That was the ‘no’ Hollywood kept giving me. ‘You’re too specific.’ When you hear that in Hollywood, you replace that specific with racism. What does ‘specific’ mean? That doesn’t make sense,” Jo Koy shared.
The 51-year-old comedian recalled how difficult it was to pitch an idea as it was already being turned down even before its production. Jo Koy had to produce his own shows and sell them afterwards to the streaming platform.
“Not everybody knows the back story of success. How did I get this movie? This wasn’t a Hollywood movie that Hollywood wrote. I got this project done through a series of Netflix specials. That wasn’t offered to me,” he said.
“My first special Live From Seattle, they turned that down. Eight times they kept saying no to me. To the point where I said I would fund it myself. I paid for that special. I sold it to Netflix,” he continued.
As hard as it was for the comedian, Jo Koy harbors no hard feelings for Netflix. Currently, he has three shows that are all on the streaming platform. For Jo Koy, all he wanted to do was tell his and his mom’s story to everyone.
“I was going to tell the story and I’m going to tell my mom’s story. I’m not making fun of my mom. I’m talking about my mom. When you hear it, you can relate to it. You’re going to realize that my mom is just like your mom no matter what color you are. A mom is a mom,” he added.
Despite all the hardships that he had to go through, Jo Koy is now enjoying the fruits of his labor. The first Filipino-centered Hollywood film, Easter Sunday, is the comedian’s way of giving back to the Fil-Am community.
The film is distributed by Universal Pictures, which also features an all-star cast including Jimmy O. Yang, Tia Carrere, Eva Noblezada, Lydia Gaston, Eugene Cordero, and Lou Diamond Phillips.