Alan Yang Says He and Aziz Ansari "Didn't Expect" Reaction to 'Master of None'

"We just wanted to make a show that was about us — it wasn't a political move, it wasn't a statement."

Alan Yang described the thought process he and Aziz Ansari had behind creating Master of None, their hit Netflix comedy series. "Let’s put our lives into this show, let’s put as much of ourselves in as possible and try to be truthful," Yang told The Hollywood Reporter during the Comedy Showrunner Roundtable. "To be honest, we’ve been blown away by the reaction by the Asian community, by the Indian community, all kinds of people. We didn’t really expect that. That’s not why we did it. We just wanted to make something that was personal."

Yang and Ansari met while working on the Amy Poehler-helmed series Parks and Recreation on NBC, and Yang lamented writing, yet again, for characters that did not look like him. He described moving from the NBC platform over to his own show on Netflix as "a situation where I was maturing as a writer."

"I just felt like the best stuff to me is the most honest stuff, and the most personal stuff, and the most truthful stuff and ultimately, that specificity is what gives you the universality. I know that sounds high-falutin, but I really think it’s true."

"With this show," he continued, "we really felt like especially with the freedom of Netflix, and the freedom of structure, and the freedom of who can be in each episode, and what kind of stories you can tell, the time frame, all these things combined to give us a sense where anything’s possible."

"We really want to surprise people," said Yang. "We really want to take the audience and really give them something they haven’t seen before."

More roundtables featuring comedy and drama actors and actresses, drama showrunners, and reality hosts and producers will roll out throughout June in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting June 26 on Sundance TV, with the premiere of the Comedy Showrunners Roundtable on Sunday, July 31. And look for clips at THR.com/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.

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