12.07.2016

Apply to the 2017 Dat Winning Fellowship

A program for aspiring APIA writers interested in a career in sportswriting.



Hey writers! Are you interested in sports journalism?

The APIA sports blog Dat Winning is seeking applicants for the 2017 Dat Winning Fellowship, a program for aspiring Asian/Pacific Islander American writers interested in a career in sportswriting. The program is run in partnership with the Asian American Writers Workshop, VICE Sports, and NBC Asian America.

They're currently accepting applications for the 2017 program, which will run from February to August. Fellows will write and post six stories, as well as one long-form piece with the help of an established mentor. Mentors include Jay Caspian Kang, Andrew Keh, Mina Kimes, Ursula Liang, Sachin Shenolikar and Alex Wong.

The submission deadline was recently extended to December 31. There are no age requirements to apply -- you just have to identify ethnically as Asian/Pacific Islander American. For further information about the fellowship program, and to fill out the online application, head over to Dat Winning.



Was this guy's passport photo rejected by a racist robot?

"Subject eyes are closed."



Can robots be racist? Okay, we've heard all the jokes about Asians having small eyes. Fine. Get the f*ck over it. But here's how it can get really inconvenient. In New Zealand, an Asian man recently got his passport photo rejected when facial recognition software mistakenly registered his eyes as being closed.

New Zealand passport robot tells applicant of Asian descent to open eyes

Richard Lee was trying to renew his passport, but found his attempts repeatedly blocked by the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs' automated online passport system, claiming his photo did not meet the technical requirements. The reason given: his eyes were closed in the photo. But actually, his eyes are clearly open.

Lee posted a screen shot of the notification on Facebook:

12.06.2016

Joel Kim Booster developing comedy 'Birthright' for Fox

Booster will write and star in a single-camera comedy inspired by his own life.



Oooh, I would watch this. Fox has put in development Birthright, a single-camera comedy from writer/comedian Joel Kim Booster, based in part on his own life as a Korean American adoptee.

Joel Kim Booster To Topline Fox Comedy Project 'Birthright' Inspired By His Life

Written by and starring Booster, Birthright centers on "a child born in South Korea before being adopted by white, Midwestern evangelical parents. When it comes apparent to all involved that he's gay, the young fish out of water goes in search of his birth mother in the hope they can reconnect."

900+ Asian American Studies Scholars Issue Collective Statement Decrying Trump’s Proposed Muslim Registry

By Jenn Fang. Cross-Posted from Reappropriate



Over 900 Asian American Studies scholars from across the United States issued a joint statement today decrying President-Elect Donald Trump’s proposal to create a national registry of Muslims and Muslim Americans.

Trump has repeatedly said that as president he would institute aggressive measures to limit immigration of Muslims into the country and to place Muslims currently within the United States’ borders under close scrutiny. He has promised to halt the entry of Syrian refugees and to also ban immigration from a number of countries -- including Pakistan and the Philippines -- with large Muslim populations. He is quoted as suggesting the creation of a national database of Muslim and Muslim Americans -- a proposal that is likely unconstitutional -- and he staffed his White House transition team with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of the highly controversial NSEERS registry system which was used to monitor the movement of Muslim immigrants under George W. Bush and the first half of the Obama administration.

Earlier this month, Trump surrogate Carl Higbie went on Fox News to defend Trump’s alarming proposals to register Muslims and Muslims Americans. In an appearance on The Kelly File, Higbie suggested that Trump’s proposal for a national Muslim registry has legal precedent: Japanese American incarceration during World War II (for a note on language, see JACL’s Power of Words handbook).

It should come as no surprise that Asian American Studies scholars have something to say about that dubious line of reasoning.

12.05.2016

Jessica wants to be Jury Boss on 'Fresh Off The Boat'

Episode 307: "The Taming of the Dads" airs Tuesday, December 6, 9:00 pm on ABC



ABC's hit Asian American family sitcom Fresh Off The Boat airs Tuesday nights at 9:00pm. The comedy, inspired by the memoir of chef Eddie Huang, tells the story of the Huang family, a Taiwanese American family getting their immigrant hustle on in 1990s suburban Orlando, in pursuit of the American dream. Previous episodes are available for viewing on the ABC website

Fresh Off The Boat stars Randall Park as Louis, Constance Wu as Jessica, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery, Ian Chen as Evan, Chelsey Crisp as Honey and Lucille Soong as Grandma Huang. This week, Eddie and Alison hit a rough patch, and Jessica wants to be jury boss.

Here's a preview of episode 307, "The Taming of the Dads":

It's Asian Men! A Sexy Short Film

For anyone who thought 'Magic Mike' was sorely lacking some hot Asian men.



The sexy short film It's Asian Men!, directed by NaRhee Ahn, is a story about an Asian American wife and husband who get hot and bothered on a date night in, but the mood changes for the worse when they watch Magic Mike and see no hot sexy Asian men at all. (Thanks again, Hollywood.) But in the wife's dreams, she finds herself in an alternate all-Asian version of the film... then wakes up to a pleasant surprise.

WARNING: There is considerable shirtless gyrating.

Sammy Lee, first Asian American man to win Olympic gold, dies at 96

Dr. Lee won consecutive gold medals in platform diving at the 1948 London and 1952 Helsinki Games.


Dr. Sammy Lee in 2012.

Dr. Sammy Lee, the first Asian American man to win an Olympic gold medal and the first American to win consecutive gold medals in platform diving, died of complications from pneumonia on Friday. He was 96.

Sammy Lee, diver who became first Asian American to win Olympic medal, dies at 96

Lee won a gold medal in 10-meter platform diving and a bronze in 3-meter springboard diving at the 1948 Olympics in London, and a gold in platform diving at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, becoming the first male diver to win back-to-back gold medals in two different Olympics -- and at age 32, the oldest to win an Olympic diving title. He was named to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990.

(By the way, 1948 was a hell of a year for Asian Americans at the Olympics. At the same Olympic Games in London, Vicki Manolo Draves became the first Asian American woman to win an Olympic gold medal, and the first woman to win springboard and platform gold medals in the same Olympics.)

USC professor fatally stabbed by PhD student

David Brown stabbed psychology professor Bosco Tjan after a "personal dispute."



Damn. In Los Angeles, a doctoral student at the University of Southern California was taken into custody after stabbing and killing a psychology professor in a campus building on Friday afternoon.

USC PhD student accused of fatally stabbing professor on campus

28-year-old David Jonathan Brown, PhD student in brain and cognitive science, is accused of fatally stabbing Bosco Tjan, a co-director of USC's Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center.

Police received a 911 call from USC's University Park campus about a victim with multiple stab wounds. Emergency responders found Tjan's body in a science building. He had been stabbed in the chest.

12.04.2016

Read These Blogs


"If You Come for My Muslim Neighbors, You Will Have to Take Me Too": Lessons From Japanese American Scholars on the Internment Camps: Christen Tsuyuko Sasaki, Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Mari Matsuda sat down with Melissa Harris-Perry to talk about the lessons of Japanese American incarceration during World War II, amidst the Trump transition team's current considerations of a Muslim registry.

* * *

What's in a Word? History, Violence, and Erasure When the Words Are 'Japanese Internment' and 'Muslim Registry' When Trump supporters obliquely recall the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and cite it as a possible precedent for monitoring Muslims in the United States, it's a profound misreading of history. But it also shows how much language matters.

* * *

The incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II does not provide a legal cover for a Muslim registry: The "precedent" that Carl Higbie cites for a Muslim registry rests on a wartime Supreme Court decision that was based on falsehoods and suppressed evidence -- a decision that is regarded as a stain on American jurisprudence.

* * *

Does What Happened to This Journalist at the US-Canada Border Herald a Darker Trend? The recent abusive border search of Canadian photojournalist Ed Ou should serve as a warning to everyone concerned about press freedom these days.

* * *

What it's like to be an Asian-American actor: I'm the background of other people's stories: "As an Asian-American actor in New York City, 95 percent of my gigs place me in Chinatown. I'm the "set dressing" that helps create an exotic backdrop for lead performers. In the past five years, the majority of my trips to Chinatown have been specific to a scene, even as my real life rarely puts me there."

* * *

Race & Theatre: That Awkward Moment When You Realize Your Show is Racist: "As modern artists, how are we to respond when faced with potentially being affiliated with a show which contains racist content due to being produced at a time when such attitudes were common?"

* * *

Riz Ahmed: 'We have to be vocal. We're living in scary times': Actor Riz Ahmed, who stars in the HBO drama The Night Of and the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, says he still gets stopped and interrogated while going through airport security -- even when he was on the cover of the in-flight magazine.

* * *

How Being an Undocumented Kid Helped Atsuko Okatsuka Find the Humor in Life When comedian Atsuko Okatsuka and her family came to the United States when she was 10, she didn't realize they planned on staying. Okatsuka talks about the years her family spent in the green card lottery and the importance of comedy in her life.

* * *

Why 'Chew' and Asian American Superheroes Still Matter On why Asian American superhero comics are important in an increasingly hostile political climate.

* * *

How Elephants Sent 'Mean Girls' Actor Rajiv Surendra on a Quest for His Perfect Role: Catching up with Rajiv Surendra, who played the scene-stealing mathlete and self-desribed "badass emcee" Kevin Gnapoor in the 2004 cult classic Mean Girls.

* * *

5th Avenue Theatre's 'Little Mermaid' is Asian: 'Why would we not?': Diana Huey stars as Ariel in the 5th Avenue Theatre's holiday production of The Little Mermaid in Seattle. She happens to be Asian American. Because why the hell not?

* * *

Basement Bhangra, NYC's Longest-Running Dance Night, Blends Politics With Punjabi Beats Since 1997, Basement Bhangra has functioned as an inclusive, activist-minded party night championing DJ Rekha's preferred style of South Asian groove.

* * *

Shutting Down Hecklers Using Humor and Compassion: An Interview with The Slants: An interview with the infamous Portland-based all-Asian American Chinatown Dance-Rock band The Slants.

* * *

Ted Chiang, the science fiction genius behind Arrival: Award-winning science fiction writer Ted Chiang's complex, thoughtful and futuristic short stories should prove fertile ground for filmmakers now that Hollywood has discovered him.



12.02.2016

Angry Reader of the Week: Omi Vaidya

"I'm about learning and improving myself a little everyday."



Hello, good readers. You know what time it is. It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Omi Vaidya.

12.01.2016

Bruce Lee Is Your Roommate

Short story imagines what it would be like if young Bruce Lee crashed at your place for a few months.



This week marks Bruce Lee's birthday. He would have been 76. Before he became an action movie superstar, an international icon and arguably the most influential martial artist of all time, he was a hungry artist with some wild ideas and big dreams. Ever wonder what it would be like to hang out with the young Bruce Lee?

Bruce Lee Is Your Roommate, written by Patrick Miller and illustrated by Irene Koh, is a short story that explores Bruce Lee's off-screen life through his own words. Told in the second person, the tale imagines what it would be like if the young Bruce Lee -- not quite yet a superstar -- crashed at your place for a few months.

Congress passes bill to honor Filipino World War II veterans

House passes the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act.



On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.1555, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act, recognizing Filipino veterans who fought for the United States during World War II with a Congressional Gold Medal, our nation's highest civilian honor.

S.1555, sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), honors more than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino American soldiers who fought under U.s. command during the second world war. The Senate passed this bill unanimously over the summer, and it will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, applauded the passage of the bill and called the recognition of Filipino veterans "long overdue."

"During World War II, more than 200,000 Filipino soldiers served bravely alongside American forces and played a critical role in ultimately helping the United States to achieve victory in the Pacific," Chu said. "We in CAPAC have made it a top priority to ensure that these Filipino World War II veterans receive the benefits and recognition that they deserve, and the passage of today's bill is a tremendous victory for our veterans and the broader Filipino American community."

11.30.2016

'Brown Nation' is a slice of Indian immigrant life

New Netflix comedy series is a satirical look at the everyday hustle of Indians in New York City.



Because hey, Aziz Ansari doesn't have to be the only Indian dude on Netflix. The new comedy Brown Nation is a satirical slice-of-life look at the everyday hustle of Indian immigrants and other brown-skinned communities in New York City. The 10-episode season debuted on the streaming service on November 15.

The series, created and written by Matt Grubb, George Kanatt and Abi Varghese, centers on Hasmukh, an immigrant from Gujarat who runs a small foundering IT company in Queens. While holding his dysfunctional office together, Hasmukh must navigate various personal relationships, including his struggling artist wife, his live-in father-in-law (who has been visiting from India for more than nine months) and a dog he despises.

Here's a trailer for the series:

Whitewashing: A Time-Honored Hollywood Tradition

YOMYOMF's 10 Hollywood Films Where Asian Characters were 'Whitewashed'



With recent movies like Marvel's Doctor Strange and the upcoming live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell catching criticism (and ridicule) for casting white actors as Asian characters, it's brought a renewed spotlight on the racist, time-honored Hollywood tradition of whitewashing.

Over at YOMYOMF, Phil Chung has compiled an interesting list of 10 Hollywood Films Where Asian Characters were 'Whitewashed' -- characters that were originally intended to be Asian, but whose identities and backgrounds were scrubbed to be played by non-Asian actors.

In addition to helpfully clarifying the difference between "yellowface" and "whitewashing," the list includes recent glaring examples that people usually cite when railing against whitewashing, like Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender and Goku in Dragonball: Evolution, where the characters are Asian in the source material.

But the list also highlights real-life Asians who were magically changed into white people for the movies, like Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen, the brilliant Taiwanese research doctor who developed the cure for Pompe Disease. In 2010's Extreme Measures, the character became Dr. Robert Stonewall, played by Harrison Ford. What?

"While it sucks that the film denied giving credit to the real man who created the real cure for a real disease," Phil notes, "at least Dr. Chen didn't have to see his name associated with a shitty movie if that's any consolation." Well, there's that.

See the full list at YOMYOMF: 10 Hollywood Films Where Asian Characters were 'Whitewashed'



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