In a little over one month, the new season of 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days will begin.
The trailer for Season 5 gave us our first glimpse at the new cast and some of their storylines.
One of the new stars is Ella, who describes herself as "obsessed" with Asian cultures … and is dating a Chinese man named Johnny.
There are a few red flags in their story, with some fans wondering if Ella is the next Deavan Clegg.
Ella is a 29-year-old from Idaho.
She describes herself as a bit of a country girl who is fascinated by Asian cultures.
Through a dating app designed to connect Asian men with white American women, she met her "Asian prince."
That "prince" is a 34-year-old Chinese man named Johnny.
Ella has faced rejection in the past and these have been very painful for her, so she fears history repeating itself.
However, Johnny seems to accept her for who she is — even when she wears what appears to be a long anime-inspired wig.
There are clearly issues at play in this relationship despite no obvious financial imbalances or alarming age gaps.
The way that Ella speaks about "Asian culture" is a red flag and sounds less like appreciation and more like something worse.
At best, some cultural appropriation here and there. At worst, we’re talking about racial fetishization.
Being interested in other cultures isn’t fetishization, but zeroing in on a specific dating pool sure is.
The app that she used to find Johnny did exactly that — for both of them.
It will be interesting to see how their story plays out, because no one should be fetishized for their race.
It is also worth noting that Johnny’s family has concerns about his relationship, even though he is a grown man in his thirties.
Some fans suspect that their approval — or, more likely, disapproval — of Ella and of this relationship could be a factor in this season.
But Johnny will be traveling to Idaho, so we don’t know what shape this story will take.
Redditors were quick to zero in on these and other obvious red flags about Ella and Johnny.
One wrote: "Deavan 2.0 Asian fetish?" to get the conversation started.
"’Self proclaimed Asian obsessed me ton an Asian dating white women site’ no red flags here sir," another quipped.
It is easy to see what they meant by Deavan Clegg parallels … sort of.
See, Deavan and Jihoon also met online.
When they met in person for the first time, they conceived their son, Taeyang.
Jihoon is still in Korea and is now Deavan’s ex.
But she has moved on … notably, to another man of Korean lineage, Topher Park.
Fans have accused Deavan of fetishizing Korean men, even of styling herself to look more Asian.
One key difference here may be that Deavan is, you know, actually of Asian descent.
She has mentioned this in the past, but it has seemingly been ignored or forgotten by some 90 Day Fiance fans.
It is also worth noting that, even among the denizens of Reddit, not everyone is feeling glum about Ella and Johnny’s storyline.
"Not going to lie, pretty psyched to see a little more diversity with countries this year," one redditor admitted.
That same commenter added: "I don’t think they’ve done a Chinese partner before and I’m here for it."
The idea of fresh faces and new countries is certainly encouraging.