In Indonesia, the preference for Eurasians, or Indos, has been going on in the show business for years, probably since the early 1970’s, where Indonesian-German Tanty Yosepha and Indonesian-Scottish Rae Sita Supit were the queens of the screen. This preference got to its peak in the 1990’s, where actors Sophia Latjuba (Indonesian-Yugoslavian-German) and Ari Wibowo (Indonesian-German) broke into the scene in the late 1980’s and a lot other Indo entertainers in the early and middle of 1990’s.
It is a fact that local magazines and movies always sell more if they use Eurasian models or actors. These Eurasian celebrities sell more because, as quoted from Yanto Zainal, the president of Macs909, a boutique ad agency in Jakarta. “They look sophisticated and international, but still can be accepted as Indonesian.”
However, toward the end of 1990’s as the monetary crisis began to force the country to “love local products”, the demand for Eurasian entertainers began to decrease. Full blood Indonesian celebrities such as Lola Amaria started to emerge, and so did the ones of Chinese descent such as Agnes Monica. The latter is pretty much the result of the May 1998 riot that caused not only the fell of the 32-year Soeharto regime (which prevented the ethnic Chinese from keeping their tradition alive, i.e. celebrating the Chinese New Year), but also the massacre and mass rapes of ethnic Chinese.
Today, in spite of the big demand for Chinese and full blood Indonesian entertainers, the show business still does need a touch of Eurasian. A sitcom about a mixed household called “Laki Bule Bini Jawa” (Indonesian slang for “Caucasian Husband, Javanese Wife”) has been airing on Lativi every Friday at 07:00 PM local time since May 24, 2002. The sitcom stars the country’s famous comedians Nunung who plays the wife, an American expatriate called Andy Spencer who plays the husband, and two Eurasian stars, Indonesian-Italian Ciccio Bello and Indonesian-Slovak Jovanka Mardova who play the children. This sitcom was formerly called “Perkawinan Indo” (Indonesian for “Mixed Marriage”) and Jovanka Mardova’s role once belonged to Indonesian-Brazilian supermodel Tracy Trinita.
This is the first ever comedy about a mixed marriage. Movies or TV shows about mixed marriages is quite a rarity, but there were a few sad and serious movies and a TV show about mixed marriages which all happened during the Dutch colonial times.