8.05.2020

"The Violence is Always There"

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.



Life as a Sikh in Trump's America
"Many Sikh civil rights groups believe that the Trump presidency is to blame for a 17% spike in anti-Sikh violence since the 2016 election, as well as a deluge of other discriminatory incidents in the workplace, in housing, in schools, at airport security checkpoints. The president’s inflammatory language about immigrants and foreigners, they say, has made official profiling more prevalent and emboldened racists to speak and act more openly."

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New York Politician Apologizes for Calling BLM 'Business Lives Matter'
New York City Council member Peter Koo apologized on Thursday for saying BLM stood for "business lives matter" during a speech. Speaking at a forum with the city's Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Koo was speaking in opposition to a proposal for a bus lane for stretch of street in Flushing, saying that the plan posed a problem for local small-business owners. "BLM, it means what? Business lives matter," Koo said to the crowd. Stop. That is the sound of my eyes rolling. You can make your point without saying shit like this. The councilman has since apologized for his remarks.

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Scientist Killed During Her Regular Morning Run
A 43-year-old scientist and mother of two was found dead near a creek in Plano, Texas, on Saturday morning after going out for her regular morning run. Sarmistha Sen had gotten up early for a run and at some point in time came across her attacker. Less than two hours later, a witness discovered Sen's body near the creek. Her death is being classified as a homicide and a person of interest is currently being held for a burglary that happened nearby, according to police. Local residents paid tribute to Sen by dropping off pairs of running shoes near the site where she was killed.

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Classroom Convos 1: Difficult Conversations About Race
The recent racial uprising has made us all aware of the extent of racism around us. More of us, especially the younger generation, are now willing to talk about race and find collective ways to combat systemic racism. But these conversations are not easy, and we may not even be comfortable talking about race, because we were never taught how to. However, these conversations are crucial to bring about a systemic change. Act to Change invites you to their first Classroom Convos, a youth workshop that will guide you on talking about race, especially with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Participants will be able to reflect on their challenges and discomforts with talking about race and racism, and will leave with concrete strategies to increase their influence and sustainability. It's happening Friday, August 7 at 1pm ET. Speakers will include Maulik Pancholy, actor, author & co-founder of Act To Change; and Richard Leong, leadership development coach & board member of Act To Change. Register for the webinar here.

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Lucky Grandma
Lucky Grandma is now available on digital platforms. Written and directed by Sasie Sealy, this darkly hilarious indie feature stars the legendary Tsai Chin at the center of a Chinatown gangster caper. An ornery, chain-smoking, newly widowed 80-year-old Grandma is eager to live life as an independent woman, despite the worry of her family. When a local fortune teller predicts a most auspicious day in her future, Grandma decides to head to the casino and goes all in, only to land herself on the wrong side of luck... suddenly attracting the attention of some local gangsters. Desperate to protect herself, Grandma employs the services of a bodyguard from a rival gang and soon finds herself right in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.


8.04.2020

'Mulan' is Skipping Theaters and Going Straight to Disney Plus

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.



'Mulan' to Premiere on Disney Plus
After months of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the live-action Mulan is finally getting a release next month, bypassing theaters altogether and going straight to Disney Plus. Mulan will debut September 4 on the streaming service, but it'll cost subscribers a hefty "premiere access" rental fee of $29.99. With the world currently on fire, and nobody reasonably headed to movie theaters anytime soon, this will be an interest test case for the future of moviegoing. So... will you pay thirty bucks to watch Mulan at home?

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Safe From Hate
Responding to sharp rise in violence and harassment targeting Asian Americans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, "Safe From Hate" is a new initiative giving away free personal safety alarms to Asian Americans in New York City's Chinatown. The initial launch, happening the morning of Saturday, August 15, will give away up to 600 alarms to pre-registered seniors over 60 years of age residing at Confucius Plaza. "Safe From Hate" was created by Gilbert Chan and Barbara Yau, two longtime friends who were fueled by a motivation to protect Asian Americans who have been targeted in recent racist attacks. Find out more here.

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Lifetime is Finally Making an Asian American Christmas Movie
Lifetime's 2020 slate for their "It's a Wonderful Lifetime" holiday programming will include A Sugar & Spice Holiday, the cable network's first holiday movie centered on a Chinese American family. Jennifer Liao is set to direct with Eirene Donohue writing. Casting is currently underway, with production set to begin this month. The official description: "Suzie, a rising young architect, returns to her small hometown in Maine for Christmas where, her Chinese American family runs the local Lobster Bar. Following the loss of her beloved grandmother who was a legendary baker in their community, Suzie is guilted into following in her grandmother's footsteps by entering the local gingerbread house competition. Teaming up with an old high school friend Billy, who grew up to be a catch, Suzie must find the right recipes and mix of sugar and spice to win the competition and perhaps find some love in the process."

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Could This Be a Casting Call for Shang-Chi?
This week in Sydney, where production is about to resume for Marvel's Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings, folks spotted a possible casting call for the movie, looking for Chinese men and woman with "archery skills." The full flyer posted here, reads: "Extras casting, Film in Sydney, Archery, Chinese Men & Women 18+. Archery Skills: not required to shoot an arrow. Knowledge of how to use a bow is required." Hey, Australian readers, maybe that's you! If you know how to hold a bow and look good doing it, you could maybe possibly maybe be an extra in Shang-Chi.

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A Thousand Cuts
A Thousand Cuts is a powerful new film about the attacks on the free press in the Philippines. Directed by Ramona Diaz, the film focuses on journalist Maria Ressa and her attempts to fight back and defend press freedom in the country from the authoritarian regime of President Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa places the tools of the free press -- and her freedom -- on the line in defense of truth and democracy. A Thousand Cuts opens Friday in virtual cinemas nationwide. For more information, go here


8.03.2020

Google Doodle Celebrates Olympic Diver Vicki Manalo Draves

And Other Things to Know from Angry Asian America.



Celebrating Vicki Draves
Today's Google Doodle celebrates Filipino American diver and coach Victoria "Vicki" Draves, the first Asian American woman to win an Olympic medal. On this day in 1948, Draves won the gold medal in the women’s 3-meter springboard event at the London Summer Olympics.

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Meet the Bay Area rapper working on a COVID vaccine
Ruby Ibarra will save us all. With her rhymes an her science. You might know her as an incredible ass-kicking Filipino American hip hop artist. But did you know she works a day job? As a freaking scientist? She's a scientist at a Bay Area biotech company, working in the quality-control department on COVID-19 test kits and even a vaccine. She's got the smarts and the flow. I should not be surprised.
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Suspect Arrested in Death of Professional Poker Player Susie Zhao
A suspect is in custody in connection to the death of professional poker player Susie Zhao, whose burned remains were found at a Michigan park in July. A 60-year-old man was arrested on Friday in the investigation of Zhao's homicide. Charges have no been released, and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI or submit tips online to tips.fbi.gov.

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BCD Tofu House Founder Hee Sook Lee Has Died
Hee Sook Lee, who founded the beloved, Los Angeles-based BCD Tofu House restaurant chain, known for its bubbling pots of soondubu and its late night hours, has passed away. The Koreatown Youth and Community Center announced her death last week in a post on its Facebook page. No date or cause of death was given, although it appears Lee died in early or mid-July. Pour out some soondubu jjigae in her honor. Rest in peace.

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Wong Kar-Wai's New Series Is an Ambitious Ode to Shanghai
Blossoms Shanghai, famed auteur Wong Kar-Wai's first dramatic series, is an adaptation of the epic, multi-award-winning novel Blossoms by Jin Yucheng. The series "tells the story of an enigmatic, self-made millionaire, Mr. Bao (Hu Ge), and his journey of reinvention from a young opportunist with a troubled past to the heights of the gilded city of Shanghai. Set against the backdrop of massive economic growth in 1990’s Shanghai, the series unveils the glamour that follows his dazzling wealth and his entanglement with four fabulous women that represent the pursuits of his life: adventure, honor, love and innocence."


8.02.2020

Read These Blogs



One Korean American's Reckoning
There's been an energized push of Asian Americans involved in and vocally supporting Black Lives Matter protests -- but the history of this group's organizing for racial justice isn't new.

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Fate and Desire in Asian America
The satisfaction people take in free will comes not from their ability to choose, but from their ability to feel like they've chosen.

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When I Couldn't Be With My Sister After Childbirth, We Practiced Zuo Yue Zi From Afar
"I wasn't supposed to be in charge of my sister's ritual postpartum recovery. But when my mom couldn't travel due to the pandemic, it was up to me."

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Interview with a writer: Ada Tseng
An interview with Ada Tseng, entertainment editor for TimesOC (and longtime friend of this blog).

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Marvel's 'Daredevil' Asian problem is really Hollywood's bigger Asian problem
"We must stop perpetuating the notion that Asians are inherently foreign or other and allow them to live on screen as we do in life: fully and unapologetically."

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He's probably been in more movies than any actor in history
Without exaggeration, James Hong might be the most prolific actor in Hollywood history. With more than 600 credits to his name, he may lay claim to the most credits of any actor, living or dead.

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Another Asian American Actor's Not-So-Hollywood Ending
To be Chinese in Hollywood meant that your name didn't matter -- no one in the audience would remember you or send you a fan letter. The story of enduring Hollywood actor and television star Victor Sen Yung.

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The personal experiences that Lev and Yara's actors brought to The Last of Us Part 2
Ian Alexander and Victoria Grace agreed that playing Seraphite siblings in the hit video game The Last of Us Part II was one of the most transformative experience they'd ever had.

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Angela Mao in Lady Kung Fu outsold Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon at US cinemas
The characters that legendary martial arts actress Angela Mao played fought mercilessly and she had an intense screen presence, but it was her Peking Opera school training that was key to her success.

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After facing tragedy, Yiyun Li has become a different kind of writer
The award-winning author behind Where Reasons End returns with her anticipated new novel, Must I Go.

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Kevin Kwan and Cornelia Guest Share Stories About the Crazy Rich and Famous
Kevin Kwan's fourth novel, Sex and Vanity, is set in New York and the Italian island of Capri.


7.30.2020

They Call Us Bruce 104: They Call Us Lucky Grandma

Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.



What's up, podcast listeners? We've got another episode of our podcast They Call Us Bruce. (Almost) each week, my good friend, writer/columnist Jeff Yang and I host an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America, with a strong focus on media, entertainment and popular culture.

In this this episode, we welcome the legendary Tsai Chin, star of the feature film Lucky Grandma, along with writer/director Sasie Sealy and co-writer Angela Cheng. We discuss why a 85-year-old Chinese grandma was the perfect star for a Chinatown gangster caper. Special thanks to our producer Nick Song for resurrecting and salvaging this episode from audio limbo.

7.29.2020

"You Yellow Bitches Shouldn't Be Here, This Is My Country..."

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.



Racist Cyclist Hurls Slurs at Asian Man For Honking
Look! Another guy caught on video doing racist shit! This incident, filmed in Brooklyn, was sparked when an Asian motorist, Zane Tang, honked at a cyclist because he was swerving in the middle of the road. The guy on the bike responded by flipping him off, brake checking and hitting Tang's vehicle, then getting into a verbal altercation when Tang got out of the car. The guy launched into a racist and homophobic tirade, telling Tang, "You yellow bitches shouldn't be here, this is my country, I was born here," and "You guys are the weakest race on the planet," among other things. Tang posted the video to Facebook, where it unsurprisingly went viral. [UPDATE: The cyclist has been identified as Harry Tzianakis, who apparently has a history of anti-Asian harassment in the area.] Yes, internet. You know what to do.

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All 50 States Have Issued Warnings About Mysterious Packages of Seeds
All 50 states have now issued warnings about mysterious, unsolicited packages of seeds that people across the nation have received in the mail in recent weeks. The packages appear to be coming from China, which has prompted fears that the seeds could be some sort of invasive plant species. And that's how those sneaky bastards get us! A literal attack on American soil! Actually, the leading theory is that the seeds are part of a "brushing scam" -- when third-party sellers send people items they didn't order and write glowing product reviews on their behalf. It's a thing. I don't know, they look like sunflower seeds.

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CNN Cuts Off Trump Adviser for Saying "China Virus"
CNN host John Berman shut down White House economic adviser Peter Navarro for repeatedly referring to COVID-10 as the "China virus" during an interview on Wednesday morning -- noting that Asian Americans have told the network they have become "the source of crimes" amid the pandemic.

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Adaptation of 'Number One Chinese Restaurant in the Works
Kerry Washington's Simpson Street Productions is developing an adaptation of Number One Chinese Restaurant, based on Lillian Li's novel of the same name. Li and writer/director Jessica Yu are attached to work on the series. The ensemble drama follows a Chinese family's obsession over legacy, power and money. The restaurant in question is inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family's controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

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Definition Please
Check out the trailer for Definition Please, the feature directorial debut of Sujata Day, who also wrote, produced and stars in the film. It's been 15 years since Monica Chowdry won the national Spelling Bee, and life hasn't quite panned out as expected for the young champion. When her estranged older brother returns home to help care for their sick mother, the siblings must find a way to reconcile in this late bloomer coming-of-age family dramedy. Definition Please will have its virtual world premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival in August.


7.28.2020

89-Year-Old Woman Set On Fire in Brooklyn Assault

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.



89-Year-Old Woman Slapped In Face, Set On Fire In Brooklyn
What is wrong with people? In New York, police are looking for two men accused of slapping an 89-year-old Asian woman and setting her shirt on fire. The incident happened on July 14 in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Police said the suspects approached the victim and slapped her in the face. When she moved away, they allegedly lit her shirt on fire with a match or lighter, then ran away. Fortunately, the woman didn't suffer any serious injuries. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call the NYPD;s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips.

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Did This Good Morning America Host Interviewing Kristina Wong... Think She Was Talking to Ali Wong?
Comedian and performance artist Kristina Wong was a guest on Good Morning America to talk about her incredible efforts with the "Auntie Sewing Squad," which has created and distributed thousands of masks for vulnerable communities. Awesome, right? Except... the opening moments of the interview seem to indicate that host Amy Robach thought she was talking to comedian Ali Wong. Am I tripping?

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Man arrested for incidents targeting Asians in Torrance, West Carson
Torrance again. Last week, a man was arrested on assault and vandalism charges after being accused of two attacks on an Asian man and a Japanese restaurant this month. 36-year-old Aaron Sutton Angeles allegedly approached an Asian man on the street and asked him multiple times if he was Asian before attacking him with a knife. Upon his arrest, deputies learned Angeles was also suspected of vandalizing a nearby Japanese restaurant a day before the assault, when he was seen throwing a rock through the restaurant's window. He was reportedly also overheard saying, "The Japanese caused 9-11." Yeah.

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Rep. Jayapal Asks Colleague to Properly Pronounce Her Name
It's pronounced JYE-ah-paul. Rep. Pramila Jayapal interrupted Rep. Debbie Lesko to correct how Lesko pronounced her name during a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday about protests and the use of federal intervention in major cities. "Jayapal," she said. "If you're going to say my name, please say it right. It's Jayapal." You're damn right it is. Make them say your name. Make them say it right.

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The Master of Martial Arts Battles an Army in Arthur Adams' 'Shang-Chi' #1 Cover
Here's a preview of the cover of Marvel Comics' upcoming new Shang-Chi series, written by Gene Luen Yang with art by Dike Ruan. The awesome cover art for the first issue, above, is by industry legend Arthur Adams. Shang-Chi #1 hits shelves in September.


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