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February 1st, 2020: Famous Fridays Blog Post - Darren Criss

Criss is of Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, English, German, and Irish heritage. In September of 2018, Criss became the first Filipino-American to win an Emmy in the acting category. Later, he became the first Filipino actor to win a Golden Globe when he took home the trophy in January of 2019. Upon winning, Criss acknowledged his heritage as one of his “favorite things” about himself.

In a recent interview with People for Hollywood, Criss admitted he never thought too much about his biracial identity, until he was confronted with what it meant to be “white-passing” in America.

“[White-passing is] not even a term I heard of until the past two years,” he told the outlet. “When people have a say in who you are — people you don’t even know — it makes you rethink what your balance is. Something you’ve had down your whole life. It’s a tricky cocktail in America. Anyone who is biracial can attest to this: No matter how much or how little they look like their respective mix, it’s a constant work in progress.”

After making controversial remarks in a 2018 Vulture interview, Criss tweeted to clarify, "[One] of my favorite things about myself is that I’m half Filipino. PERIOD. I happen to not look like it, but THAT fact is not what I like. I like the fact that most people don’t know it’s an ace up my sleeve, an ace I’m very proud of, regardless of what I look like." His openness about his identity allows him to give the spotlight to his fellow Asian-Americans as well.


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