2.23.2020

Read These Blogs


Lana Condor and Ali Wong Will Not Be Taking Questions At This Time
Ali Wong interviews Lana Condor about what it's like for Lara Jean to find her voice as a young woman, to fall in and out of love, and how the women in her life uplift her through it all.

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On Virality, Corona or Otherwise.
"More than ever, scholars have a responsibility to historicize and unpack how metaphors of contagion, uncleanliness, and infection become attached to marginalized bodies. This attachment is both violent and sticky -- part of what Paula Treichler has described as the 'epidemic of signification.'"

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Asian Americans make up a big part of the Nevada electorate — enough to sway the caucuses
Comprising 11 percent of the electorate in the state, Asian American and Pacific Islander voters are poised to play a significant role in the Nevada caucuses.

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"Too bad you were born a girl"
The first thing Helena Ku Rhee did when she returned home from her Fulbright fellowship year in South Korea, she thanked her family for immigrating to the United States.

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Artist Christine Sun Kim on 'deaf rage,' the Super Bowl and the power of sound
From signing the anthem at the Super Bowl to shifting attitudes about sound in the art world, this artist hopes you'll think again about deafness.

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Decades after footage was shot, son helps father finish film on history of Chinese American activism
"Once he started seeing it again and reliving some of the things, I could tell it had become important to him, that he wanted to finish it." Decades in the making, Chinatown Rising is a documentary about Chinese American activism in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.

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A Korean American stand-up comic walks into a bar in Korea. Hilarity ensues — or so he hopes
Veteran Koreatown comic Danny Cho is trying his hand at the nascent stand-up scene in South Korea, telling jokes in Korean and mentoring new Korean comics in the American art of stand-up comedy.

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Filipina burlesque show embraces sexuality, defies cultural taboos
A bawdy dance show might not be typical cultural programming for a group like FilAm Arts, but organizers are working to ramp up recognition and excitement for nontraditional art forms in the community.

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ACTRA honouree Jean Yoon reflects on her fight for onscreen diversity
Jean Yoon, star of Kim's Convenience, is flush with honors these days. The Toronto-raised performer and playwright has also spent years fighting for onscreen diversity.

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Korean culture wave rises high on 'Parasite' and BTS. Ride it with novelist Steph Cha
Novelist Steph Cha looks at the rise of Korean pop culture in the U.S.


2.21.2020

Coronavirus Racism is Spreading Faster Than Coronavirus

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



What's spreading faster than coronavirus in the US? Racist assaults and ignorant attacks against Asians
Rampant ignorance and misinformation about the novel coronavirus, experts say, has led to racist and xenophobic attacks against fellow Americans or anyone in the U.S. who looks East Asian.

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A 'Fresh Off the Boat' Producer Recounts the ABC Comedy's Path to History
In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, ahead of Fresh Off The Boat's series finale, producer Melvin Mar reflects on six seasons of the show that helped usher in a new era of inclusion on the small screen.

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Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang & Eddie Liu To Co-Star in 'Kung Fu' Reboot
Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang and Eddie Liu have been cast as series regulars in the CW pilot Kung Fu, a reimagining with a female lead of the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series. Prasida will play Ryan Chen, a quick-witted medical student who has to deal with the sudden return of his estranged older sister, Nicky. Dang will portray Althea Chen, Nicky’s larger-than-life older sister who’s newly engaged and on her way to planning her dream Chinese wedding. Liu will play Henry Chu, a martial arts instructor and Chinese art history buff who has instant chemistry with Nicky.

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H.E.R. Talks Black Music Icons & Cooks Authentic Filipino Dishes
Rising R&B star H.E.R. sits down for an in-depth interview to talk about her music, her career, and her Bay Area upbringing in a Black and Filipino household -- all while enjoying Filipino food at Kabayan Authentic in Queens.

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Los Angeles Roar Story Slam 2020
KoreanAmericanStory.org's ROAR Story Slam is a live storytelling competition where 6 finalists perform on stage presenting their unique, creative, and authentic Korean American story. Each finalist has six minutes to tell their stories, without the use of scripts nor props. It's happening Friday, February 28 at Dynasty Typewriter. I have the privilege of being one of the evening's judges. Hope to see you there!


2.20.2020

Surprise, Surprise: Trump Has Shitty Taste in Movies

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



Trump Trashes Korean Oscar-Winner Parasite at Rally
President Donald Trump is apparently not a fan of Parasite winning the Oscar for Best Picture, his biggest complaint being that the movie was made in South Korea. "What the hell was that all about?” Trump said at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs. "We've got enough problems with South Korea with trade. On top of that, they give them best movie of the year. Was it good? I don't know." Neon, the U.S. distributor of Parasite, shot back: "Understandable. He can't read." And there it is.

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University at Albany Students Hosted a Coronavirus Party
Over the weekend, students at the State University of New York at Albany apparently hosted a coronavirus-themed party. Video from the party reportedly showed a bucket of Corona beers and a person wearing a surgical mask with the caption, "Corona virus isn't gonna stop anyone from partying." Asian American Alliance, a university student organization, condemned the party, calling it insensitive and racist, while the university is investigating whether the party violated the college's student code of conduct.

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Asian American Content Banner Launches With Valence Media Investment
A-Major Media, a new production company focused on Asian American content, has launched with a majority investment from Valence Media. Led by Mary Lee, projects include I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Yulin Kuang's adaptation of Maurene Goo's 2015 YA novel; an untitled autobiographical project based on the high school experiences of Fresh Off the Boat co-executive producer Kourtney Kang; We Stan, about female friends and fellow K-pop stans, penned by Atypical scribe Lauren Moon; an untitled feature film produced by John Cho; and an untitled television series produced by Gemma Chan, among others.

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'The Black Tapes' Co-creator Inks Multi-Series Deal With Spotify
Podcast veteran Paul Bae, co-creator of fiction series The Black Tapes, has inked a multi-series deal with Spotify, with two new fiction projects in development. In Amanda Chi and the Ghost Sessions, he will tell the story of a Korean-Indian girl who moves to a new school and is initiated into a secret society that finds the town's ghosts and expels them. Boyland, meanwhile, will focus on a disgraced K-pop star who finds new life in Los Angeles when he is recruited into a new supergroup poised to take over the American pop scene.

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The Claudia Kishi Club
If you're headed to SXSW next month, don't miss the world premiere of the documentary short The Claudia Kishi Club, directed by Sue Ding. "For many Asian American women—and other women of color—Claudia Kishi was the first time they saw themselves in popular media. A main character in the best-selling Baby-Sitters Club books, Claudia defied stereotypical portrayals of Asian characters: she was creative, popular, and bad at school. As a blossoming artist, she was a role model for aspiring young creators—many of whom are now making groundbreaking work of their own. Asian American artists and writers share their memories of Claudia and read from their favorite books, alongside stop-motion collages that bring the character to life. Nostalgic yet timely, this film highlights the personal and universal importance of representation."


2.19.2020

'Fresh Off The Boat' Series Finale Airs This Friday

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



'Fresh Off the Boat' leaving indelible mark on TV landscape
Time to say goodbye to the Huangs. After six seasons, Fresh Off The Boat ends its trailblazing television run on Friday. "Without question, the sitcom, centered on a Taiwanese-Chinese American family in the 1990s living in predominantly white Orlando, Florida -- will be immortalized in the canon of Asian-American representation."

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Senator Mazie Hirono's Remarks on 2020 Day of Remembrance
Thursday marked the annual Day of Remembrance, commemorating the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Remarks by U.S. Senator Maizie Hirono were supposed to be shown during the 2020 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance program, held at the Japanese American National Museum. However, the museum's Board of Trustees apparently deemed her remarks inappropriate, and the video was not shown during the event. So here's the video.

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Andrew Yang joins CNN as a political commentator
If you couldn't get enough of Andrew Yang during his run for president, and wondering where you can get your Yang fix now that's dropped out of the race, look no further than CNN. The former Democratic presidential candidate is joining CNN as a political commentator, the network announced Wednesday.

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A taxi driver saved an elderly woman from being scammed out of $25,000
Authorities in Roseville, California are praising a cab driver who saved a 92-year-old woman from giving a scammer $25,000. Rajbir Singh knew something sounded fishy when his elderly passenger said she needed a ride to the bank to withdraw $25,000, allegedly to settle a debt with the IRS. Singh pleaded with the woman to reconsider, saying he thought this could be a scam. He even detoured to a police station, where an officer convinced her not to withdraw her money. Shout out to a good citizen.

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Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards
If you can't get enough of Parasite, check out the historic, Oscar-winning film as a graphic novel drawn by director Bong Joon Ho himself. In hundreds of mesmerizing illustrations, Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of the film. As part of his unique process, Bong storyboarded each shot of Parasite prior to the filming of every scene. Accompanied by the film's dialog, the storyboards he drew capture the story in its entirety. The book includes a foreword by the director and early concept drawings and photos from the set.



Letter To My Father

Guest Post by Rachel Pak



The Tahirih Justice Center is a national, nonprofit organization that serves immigrant women and girls seeking safety and justice. We amplify the voices of survivors in communities, courts, and Congress to create a world where women and girls enjoy equality and live in safety and with dignity.

Dear Dad,

I know this country was not always kind to you when you immigrated. Your parents brought you to America in the 1970s, seeking a better life from a developing South Korea. You entered a country that in the past has chosen to exclude Asian immigrants during moments of national panic, and then include at economically opportune times—from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to the incarceration of close to 120,000 Japanese descendants during World War II.

With legislation passed in 1965 and a need for skilled laborers, migration from Asia reopened, allowing you and my grandparents to move to the U.S. In a country that did not fully welcome you, with policies that historically excluded you, you worked hard to provide my sister and me a better future in America. I am immensely grateful for your sacrifices -- however, I want us to pay attention to the current state of immigration policy in the U.S.

The racism in our laws hasn't gone away. It continues -- it is vicious and is targeting migrants arriving at our southern border. Even more tragic, our government’s policies are stripping away the right to simply seek safety from people who are fleeing for their lives. I saw this first-hand when I was at the border between El Paso and Ciudad Ju├írez last December.

2.18.2020

Interpreter Sharon Choi's Wild 'Parasite' Journey

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



Interpreter Sharon Choi Relives Historic 'Parasite' Awards Season
From her first appearance at Bong Joon Ho's side in Cannes, where he accepted the Palme d'Or for his sensational Parasite, interpreter Sharon Choi has been an unwitting award season MVP. Clad in minimal black and permanently clutching a notebook, the retreating student filmmaker has imparted Bong's messages of gratitude on the most coveted stages of Hollywood. After declining hundreds of interview requests, Choi shares exclusively with Variety the 10-month ride that began with a phone call last April, and ended two weeks ago at the Dolby Theater with a Best Picture trophy.

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'Are You Sick?' For Asian-Americans, a Sneeze Brings Suspicion
The coronavirus outbreak has so far largely spared the United States, with only 15 confirmed cases across this country, even as the virus has rapidly spread around the globe and killed more than 1,100 people, most of them in China. But many Asian Americans have felt an unnerving public scrutiny, noticing that a simple cough or sneeze can send people around them scattering.

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Tzi Ma & Kheng Hua Tan To Co-Star In the CW's 'Kung Fu' Reboot Pilot
Tzi Ma (The Farewell) and Kheng Hua Tan (Crazy Rich Asians) have been cast as series regulars in the CW pilot Kung Fu, a reimagining with a female lead of the 1970s David Carradine TV series. Ma and Kheng will play the parents of the protagonist in the project.

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Comedian Jo Koy to Star in 'Easter Sunday'
Comedian Jo Koy will star in the feature film Easter Sunday, inspired by his life experiences. The film, written by Ken Cheng, will be a Filipino narrative set around a family gathering to on the high holy holiday of Easter.

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The Paper Kingdom
The Paper Kingdom, written by Helena Ku Rhee with art by Pascal Campion, is a dazzling new picture book for young readers about a loving family who turn a routine and ordinary experience into something much grander. "When the babysitter is unable to come, Daniel is woken out of bed and joins his parents as they head downtown for their jobs as nighttime office cleaners. But the story is about more than brooms, mops, and vacuums. Mama and Papa turn the deserted office building into a magnificent kingdom filled with paper. Then they weave a fantasy of dragons and kings to further engage their reluctant companion–and even encourage him to one day be the king of a paper kingdom."


2.17.2020

Calfornia to Officially Apologize for Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



Calfornia to Offically Apologize for Incarceration of Japanese Americans
Almost 80 years after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the incarceration of 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans during World War II, the state of California will formally apologize to Japanese Americans for its role in the internment. On Thursday, the California Assembly is expected to approve a new bill, HR-77, which officially apologizes for supporting the "unjust exclusion, removal, and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and for its failure to support and defend the civil rights and civil liberties of Japanese Americans during this period."

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Hundreds Gather To Support Boston's Chinatown Amid Coronavirus Fears
On Saturday, nearly 400 people gathered for a community-organized "dim sum brunch" at the China Pearl restaurant in Boston's Chinatown in an effort to allay fears about the coronavirus.

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NYC Taxis Are Avoiding Chinese Passengers Over Coronavirus Fears
In New York City, cabbies and ride-share drivers are reportedly discriminating against customers over fears of the Coronavirus, refusing Chinese passengers and avoiding driving to Chinese areas of the cities.

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Rest in Peace, Kellye Nakahara Wallett
Kellye Nakahara Wallett, a film and television actress best known for playing Lt. Nurse Kellye Yamato on 11 seasons of the classic series M-A-S-H, died Sunday after a brief battle with cancer. She was 72.

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2020 Seattle Asian American Film Festival
Heads up, Seattle cinephiles. The 2020 Seattle Asian American Film Festival is going down this week, February 20 to 23. Showcasing feature-length and short format films by and about Asian Americans across North America, SAAFF is the only film festival in Seattle to provide a space for Asian American voices, perspectives and histories by screening independent films that reflect the diversity and richness of the city’s Asian American community. For more info, go here.


2.16.2020

Read These Blogs


Absinthe makes the face glow stronger
Lucas Kwan writes about coming to terms with having infamous Asian Glow.

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The coronavirus and the long history of blaming ‘the other’ in public health crises
"Although the epicenter of the illness is in China, where tens of thousands have been affected, there have been only 15 cases in the United States as of Thursday. Still, Asians in America have been subjected to suspicion and ridicule, and not for the first time in this country's history."

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Korean liquor store. Black neighborhood. A quarter-century after the riots, misgivings still run deep
A 2017 incident involving a Korean-owned liquor store employee chasing away a Black patron reminded many of an unresolved past and ongoing community tensions.

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Thank you, Andrew Yang
Jeff Yang reflects on the impact of Andrew Yang's run for presidency.

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Could Andrew Yang and His Gang Make It in New York’s Mayoral Race?
When Andrew Yang dropped out of the presidential race last Tuesday, he immediately stoked speculation he was ready to seek another prestigious office: mayor of New York City.

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From shame to pride: Why I lost my Cantonese and want to get it back
"By that time, English was already the language in which I was most proficient. Cantonese, the Chinese dialect my parents, grandparents and more than half a million people in Canada speak — and the first language I learned — was already fading in me."

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A Love Story: My parents Were the First Couple to Wed While Interned With Other Japanese Americans
"My parents, Milton and Molly Maeda had the dubious distinction of being the first couple to wed while incarcerated with other Japanese Americans."

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First Asian American sheriff in California vows to protect immigrants from Trump policies
Paul Miyamoto, who was sworn in last month as San Francisco County's 37th sheriff in 150 years, is the first Asian American sheriff in California history.

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'Parasite' became an Oscars success story overnight because of years of Asian American support
Over the years, Asian American audiences and institutions have given Korean cinema viability and profitability.

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'Survivor' has moved on from its #MeToo scandal. Former contestant Kellee Kim has not
While CBS focuses on the 40th season of Survivor, last season's contestant Kellee Kim is asking everyone not to forget the #MeToo scandal that happened during her tenure on the show.

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How Lauren Yee Took the Khmer Rouge Genocide and Turned It Into the Joyful Cambodian Rock Band
While Cambodian Rock Band addresses the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, playwright Lauren Yee made sure to talk about the legacies and resilience of survivors.

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Where Is All the Asian American YA Historical Fiction? A Conversation with Author Stacey Lee
An interview with author Stacey Lee, whose young adult novel Outrun The Moon is historical fiction written from the perspective of a Cantonese Chinese American.

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What's It Like for an Author to See Her Story Turned Into TV?
Celeste Ng's bestselling novel Little Fires Everywhere will make its debut adapted as an eight-episode Hulu series starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

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'To All the Boys 2': How Lana Condor and Jenny Han made a teen heroine for themselves
Actress Lana Condor and writer Jenny Han collaborated to make sure the sequel To All the Boys: P.S. I Love You included a teen heroine for themselves.

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‘Birds Of Prey' Breakout Ella Jay Basco Carries Torch For New Generationof Representation
13-year-old Ella Jay Basco, who stars as Cassandra Cain in Birds of Prey, is blazing a trail for Asian American girls who are looking to see themselves on screen.

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How 'Birds of Prey' Director Cathy Yan Saved Harley Quinn From Joker and the Male Gaze
Cathy Yan, the first Asian American woman to direct a superhero film, opens up to Melissa Leon about giving Harley Quinn the crazy-fun movie she deserves.

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After Birds of Prey, meet the real Cassandra Cain in Shadow of the Batgirl comic
Written by Sarah Kuhn, Shadow of a Batgirl is the latest young adult graphic novel from DC, and features Asian Batgirl Cassandra Cain.

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Getting Ready for the Oscars With Activist Amanda Nguyen
Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist Amanda Nguyen shares about her night out at the Oscars.


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