Archived Posts - March 2004


Plans are currently underway for an updated version of Elaine H. Kim's acclaimed documentary Slaying the Dragon. Researchers are on the lookout for any and all appearances of Asian women on television, and they need your help! Appearances/references can be for any type of program: drama, comedy, reality, commercial, etc. The more details, the better:

Name of show

Date & time of airing



Actress Name

Character Name

Send your findings to lilysunflower@hotmail.com. They'd appreciate it greatly. And spread the word to fellow keen-eyed TV watchers...


Another quick event this week for y'all Bay Area folks, specifically in the South Bay (represent!)—another fine edition of First Thursdays: Music Journalism 101 - The Asiatic Remix. Thursday night, 7:00pm, at Yu-Ai Kai in San Jose. A panel with four of the Bay Area's most prominent music journalists, who just happen to be Asian American. Featuring Jeff Chang, Oliver Wang, Todd Inoue, and my personal buddy, the very cool Marian Liu. Check it oouut.


Hey everyone, my crazy funny talented solo performer friend Kristina Wong is making a rare appearance in the Bay Area this weekend. She's doing two different shows in the Bay Area. This Friday, in San Francisco, she is performing "Laundry" and an excerpt of her latest solo show "Free?" On Saturday, in Berkeley, she is performing the full length version of "Free?" Ova Saopeng, a Lao refugee and solo performer will be doing his show "Lao as a Second Language" on both days alongside Kristina.

By the way, she wrote every single bit of the above text. Anyway, here are the event details:

Friday, April 2 - San Francisco

Kristina performs "Laundry" and excerpts of "Free?"

8 pm @ Galeria de la Raza

2857 24th St at Bryant

Admission: $5


Saturday, April 3 - Berkeley

Kristina performs "Free?" as a full length show!

An awesome double header—two shows for the price of one!

8 pm @ La Pena Cultural Center

3105 Shattuck Ave.

Admission: $10 adults / $5 students

Reservations: 510-849-2568 ext. 20 (Highly recommended)


And here's a neat little article: Free Time? Performance artist works to transcend Los Angeles itself. So go check it out. Because she's unstoppable.


Okay, so in the last week, Details' racist "Gay or Asian" feature (03.23.04) is the latest thing to really hit the fan. In a recent development, Details has apparently apologized to the gay/lesbian community through the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and will run a statement in the next issue. Here is GLAAD's reaction to the piece, posted last week: Details Magazine Uses Stereotypes Against the LGBT Asian Pacific Islander Community

The Asian American Journalists Association is demanding a formal apology: AAJA Responds to Details' Offensive Feature

Meanwhile, no word on Details taking any such steps towards un-offending the Asian American community. There are several protest efforts in which you can express and share in ther anger...

As previously posted, here traditional means of contacting the people at Details:


c/o Daniel Peres, Editor-in-Chief

7 West 34th Street

New York, NY 10001

(212) 630-4000


Managing Editor: Diana Bendasset

(212) 630-3820


Whitney McNally (writer)


You can also sign this online petition: To:† Advertisers in Details Magazine .

Along with this convenient letter writing campaign—just fill out the form, add a comment, and send it:

"That's not good enough, Details Magazine!"

Whitney McNally, shame on you!

If you're in NYC, join the protest outside the Details offices on April 16, spearheaded by Asian Media Watchdog. Contact them at contact@asianmediawatchdog.com for more information, or if you're interested in getting involved.

And if you're a journalist, please do everything you can to get the word out about this. KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS.


Back, after a few days off... and much has transpired. Still trying to catch up with all my crap. In the meantime, chew on these items:

I totally forgot about the disappearance of 9-year-old Cecilia Zhang, missing since October... Hopes of a safe return were shattered over the weekend with the discovery of her body in a ravine: 'We have lost this lovely child'. It's just tragic.

Think I've mentioned it before, but check out Unlikely Hero, a 60-minute documentary on the fight for racial equality in the Marine Corps.

Adoptive parents grapple with race, culture and growing up: All-American, with one foot in China

And on the dark flip side of international adoptions: Pedo-profiting: The Selling of Cambodian Babies

Asian/Pacific American same-sex couples make significantly less money than their non-Asian counterparts: U.S. report details gay Asian couples

A silly site for silly times: www.chinxploitation.com


I'm going out of town for a few days. Updates/emails will be unlikely. Peace.


At long last, album details (and audio clips) from William Hung's upcoming CD, Inspiration, are available at williamhung.net. His debut effort ships April 6th, and will include both a full-length CD and DVD with "A Day In The Life of William Hung"—all for the low retail price of $11.98. Goodness, what a steal. Although the album cover with dear William is thoroughly inspiring, I can't say I'll be buying this CD...


The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a former LAPD officer, Richard Nagatoshi, who claimed his supervisors and fellow cops harassed him because he is of Japanese descent: L.A. City Council Settles Suit Brought By Former LAPD Officer. That's right, suckas.


So, the big thang these days is Hollywood acquiring rights to remake various Asian movies. I personally have no problem with this—the Asian studios are giving up the rights willingly (and getting fat check in return), and we can choose whether or not to watch whatever Hollywood churns out. Not to mention that fact that Asian movies have been shamelessly copying Hollywood concepts for years...(The real shame is the manner in which Hollywood handles Asian films for American consumption. But that's a whole other headache..) Anyway, here's an interesting list of Asian films in various states of remake: Remaking the World (Starting with Asia) (part five of a much longer essay).


Police aren't sure if this is a hate crime: Monument Honoring WWII Japanese-American Soldiers Defaced. Man, this is a freakin' hate crime.


CHINAMAN! This is turning out to be men's magazine-themed week. First Details, now Maxim. Can anyone really be surprised? ... This month's issue (Paris Hilton or Marge Simpson on the cover) uses the slur du jour, 'Chinaman' on page 38. Specifically:

"Mao Money: Worried that the booming Chinese economy threatens the US? Cut out and glue this bill together, then mail it to a random Chinaman. The influx of cash will cause crippling inflation."

On the same page, they've got front and back scans of a Chinese Yuan bill. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? Another casual Chinaman reference, along with this offensive, xenophobic, dehumanizing joke. That's racist!

Racism you can always count on: Abercrombie, late night TV talk shows, morning radio, and men's magazines.


The Cuevas children, who grew up in Fremont and have lived in the U.S. for 19 years, have been ordered to leave the U.S. on April 7th: Family told it must leave U.S.; Filipinos lose fight to stay after 19 years . This sucks.


Chinaman Chinaman Chinaman Chinaman. In the March 1 episode of the sticom Yes, Dear, a character quipped to audience laughter, "Now are the Lakers the team that have that giant Chinaman?" That aint' right: CBS Wrong to Allow 'Chinaman' Slur. That's racist!


This review notes that Agent Cody Banks 2 throws in some ugly ethnic stereotypes, including some joke involving an Asian driving instructor: 'Agent Cody 2' trips over its own feet. That's racist!


Ah, count on Abercrombie, up to its old tricks again. This time around, it has drawn the ire of an entire STATE: T-Shirt Slight Has West Virginia in Arms. The article makes note of A&F's controversies, but fails to mention anything having to do with its infamous Asian-themed shirts. What's up with that?


Aaron Levine is among the final four contestants in ESPN's Dream Job... and I'm told he's got a great shot at winning.


Lafayette High School senior Ching Kit Ho, 18, will undergo surgery to fix a broken nose following a vicious assault by other students inside a third-floor stairwell on the way to class. The March 10 attack left him with a bloody nose, a bruised eye, cuts to his face and in fear of climbing the stairwell again: B'klyn student beat at H.S.. The attack comes about two years after series of high-profile assaults against Chinese and South Asian students that earned the school the name "Horror High." So was this particular attack motivated? Maybe. Police aren't saying so. But according to Asian students: Racism, beatings rampant. That's racist!


Who will be the first to apologize to Capt. James Yee?: Yee, Lee And Apology


According to a recent analysis of 2000 Census data: Most gay Asians are immigrants, many are raising children. Among other findings...


Numerous people have written to me in the last week about a racist feature in the April issue of Details. I was holding off mentioning it 'till I saw it for myself, but I had trouble tracking down a copy. Luckily, someone has posted this scan. The article in question (page 52) is entitled "Gay or Asian?" and it's even worse than it sounds. Basically it's an "anthropological" piece on how to distinguish Gay Men from Asian Men—whether his appearance/features connote ethnicity or homosexuality.

Here's the text from the article (accompanied by a photo of a fashionable Asian man):


One cruises for chicken; the other takes it General Tso-style. Whether you're into shrimp balls or shaved balls, entering the dragon requires imperial tastes. So choke up on your chopsticks, and make sure your labels are showing. Study hard, Grasshopper: A sharp eye will always take home the plumpest eel.

1 DIOR SUNGLASSES: Subs as headband and amplifies inscrutable affect.

2 RYAN SEACREST HAIR: Shellacked spikes, just like that crazy cool Americaaaaaaaan!

3 DELICATE FEATURES: Refreshed by a cup of hot tea or a hot night of teabagging.

4 DOLCE & GABBANA SUEDE JACKET: Keeps the last samurai warm and buttoned tight on the battlefield.

5 WHITE T-SHIRT: V-neck nicely showcases sashimi-smooth chest. What other men visit salons to get, the Asian gene pool provides for free.

6 LADYBOY FINGERS: Soft and long. Perfect for both waxing on and wacing off, plucking the koto, or gripping the Kendo stick.

7 LOUIS VUITTON BAG: Don't be duped by ghetto knockoffs. Every queen deserves the real deal.

8 EVISU JEANS: $400. A bonsai ass requires delicate tending.

9 METALLIC SNEAKERS: When the Pink Lady takes the stage, nothing should be lost in translation.

View a scan of the page here. (Props to K.O.A. Records?)

Yes, this is a tasteless humor piece. And I think it's a regular feature (previous months include "Gay or Jesus?" and "Gay or British?"). But this is simply freakin' blatant racist garbage. It seriously pulls out every offensive, stereotypical Asian pop culture reference imaginable, objectifying and exoticizing Asian men into a sexual stereotype. To me, this piece is written (by a woman!) for a straight white male's racist, homophobic frat-boy sense of humor—a major men's publication effectively categorizing Asian men (and gay men) as an objectified "Other." And they think they can pass it off as a lighthearted joke? It's chillingly reminisicent of those outdated, similarly racist early 20th-century taxonomies outlining the attributes of the "Mongoloid." That's racist!

Contact the perpetrators at Details:


c/o Daniel Peres, Editor-in-Chief

7 West 34th Street

New York, NY 10001

(212) 630-4000


Managing Editor: Diana Bendasset

(212) 630-3820


Whitney McNally (writer)


And sign the online petition.


Tzi Ma is in the starring cast of The Ladykillers, a Coen Brothers remake of the 1955 heist comedy. It opens this Friday, March 26.


Asian guy tonight on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. James M. is the Fab Five's latest makeover mission:

James is a grad-school student and grade school teacher who can't quite pass the Style Aptitude Test.

Can the Fab Five teach this teacher everything he needs to know to be a better boyfriend (and a better daddy to his untrained dog, Rocco) in time to surprise his gal?

I believe this is the first Asian guy to get Queer-Eyed. Learn more about the episode here.


On a recent very special spring break edition of MTV's Room Raiders... Asian contestant Diane must choose from three eligible white dudes:

Who will she choose?? You know, can't say that I care.


Yet ANOTHER report that Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha has picked up another project: Gurinder Chadha to Direct Sassy Girl. Yes, she'll apparently be helming the remake of the Korean smash hit, My Sassy Girl. As previously reported, Chadha is also slated to direct I Dream of Jeannie, Nine Wives and Tucker Ames. Busy woman...


Thoroughly Modern Millie is an award-winning musical currently running on Broadway. It's also based on the thoroughly offensive 1967 movie musical of the same title, starring Beatrice Lillie in yellowface as dragon lady white slaver Mrs. Meers. I'm not kidding. She's also got her two henchmen: Oriental #1 and Oriental #2. I'm told (by someone who's seen it) that the current musical has apparently cleaned things up a bit, but still stars Dixie Carter in pseudo-yellowface—she's "disguised" as an Asian woman, hiding out from the law. And faking the most godawful Chinese accent ever perpetrated by a white person. And of course, the audience laughs it up. That's racist!


Bush's campaign is selling sweatshop gear! Read here: Bush campaign gear made in Burma


This exhibit sounds absoulutely fascinating: Shimomura explores racism in all its guises -- from the racist's POV. "Roger Shimomura paints racist incidents from the racist's point of view. His cold, flat style -- a blend of American Pop and Japanese ukiyo-e or "floating world" graphics -- gets inside his hot subject and gives it a deadpan edge." If you're in the Seattle area, the exhibit runs through March 27 at the Greg Kucera Gallery.


Army Muslim chaplain James Yee, initially accused by the U.S. Army of espionage at the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, has been exonerated, and all charges have been dropped: U.S. drops all charges against Muslim chaplain. Man, this guy should get together with Wen Ho Lee and have a few beers.


Three elite players on China's women's basketball team are almost set to join the WNBA, including Ye Li from Shanghai—widely rumored to be the girlfriend of Houston Rockets star Yao Ming: Yao Ming's girl-friend to play in WNBA


Sandra Tsing Loh got fired from her radio job for using the F-word in a prerecorded segment. It was mistake, meant to be bleeped in editing for comic effect. After learning all the facts, KCRW reversed its decision and invited her back. But Loh ain't having that: Fired L.A. radio performer refuses return


Figure skater Michelle Kwan was voted the 2003 USOC Sportswoman of the Year on Thursday after winning her fifth world championship and seventh national crown last year: Kwan Voted USOC Sportswoman of Year. She is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history... the only thing left for her is the elusive Olympic gold medal. She's been hinting at competing at the 2006 games in Italy. At age 25, she'll be a dinosaur.


Check out Chop Block, a new Asian Pacific American entertainment site. It's still starting out, but it's got some interesting articles with artists like Vienna Teng and Greg Pak. It's worth taking a look.


Some follow-up to the recent hate incidents at the Claremont Colleges... and it's just jacked. In a bizarre twist, police have now determined that the woman whose car was vandalized, psychology professor Kerri Dunn, actually did the job herself—she's perpetrator, not the victim. Read here: Claremont Hate Crime Called Hoax. And here: Professor Is Accused of Staging Hate Crime by Vandalizing Her Own Car. Meanwhile, no doubt that tensions, anger and frustration continue to brew on campus. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON DOWN THERE?


In the latest issue of Blender (Maxim's music mag): Big Trouble in Little ChinaBlender investigates the extraordinary story of Asian hip-hop1s first star — and the rapper who took a bullet for him. Interesting stuff...


The Fusion Series in NYC presents another insight dialogue on multiracial issues. Next up: Visibility or Invisibility? Media Representations of Mixed Race People


White America, here's a doozy for ya. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation's Asian and Hispanic populations will roughly triple in size by 2050, when minority groups overall will be nearly equal in number with whites. This may scare the crap out those paranoid white folks who fear that America is being "invaded." Well, get used to it, suckas. That's simply the way the population is shifting—and hell, you were never entitled to this country in the first place. Interesting stuff. Read the article here: America's Face Is Changing. And here: U.S. to Be Nearly Half Minority by 2050. Oh, and come to California. We're already there.


TIME's review of Chang-Rae Lee's new novel, Aloft: Survival in the Suburbs


Here's something I just heard about... Dodge is apparently releasing a new car modelled after the retro "Woody" station wagons, made popular by surfers during the '60s. The car was to be called the Dodge Kahuna. Upon getting wind of this, a local resident got angry 'Kahuna' is actually an ancient Hawaiian word meant to describe a priest or shaman. In an effort to bring awareness to the ongoing misuse of the the word, the guy started a petition: Name for new model of Dodge car is offensive to Hawaiians and the Hawaiian culture

Here's a picture of the Dodge Kahuna. It's kind of ugly.


Hollywood sucks. But we knew that already. Great article from Alternet: From Anna May Wong to Lucy Liu


This article from The Onion is funny as hell: Rumsfeld Hosts No-Holds-Barred Martial Arts Tournament At Remote Island Fortress


Did a little more research... Turns out that Everyone Loves An Asian Girl is part of a line of "Everyone Loves..." t-shirts. Not only does everyone love an Asian girl, everyone also loves an Italian Girl, a Latin Girl, a Catholic Girl, a Jewish Girl, and even a German Girl, among others...

So where's the love? I'm feeling a little left out. So I've decided to join in the fun and created my own line of similarly-themed t-shirts: NOBODY LOVES AN ANGRY ASIAN MAN—available for a limited time only (maybe a week or so). So get 'em while you can. I threw these designs together pretty quickly, just for fun, and the markup is pretty nominal. All profits, if any, will go to cost of maintaining this website (I have bandwidth issues). Enjoy.


Here an interesting, provocative article... African American columnist Jimi Izrael's perspective on the William Hung phenomenon: What It Iz: William Hung, American Sambo


Yes, the rumors are true. Banzai is back. That damned racist show starts airing on Comedy Central tonight. It doesn't seem like the network has been giving the show much promotion (most likely in an effort to fly it under the radar). It barely gets a mention on the Comedy Central website, but it's definitely there, included on the schedule. From the looks of things, they're probably just airing reruns of the show that aired on Fox over the summer, along with episodes that didn't make it before the show got canned.THIS SHOW IS OFFENSIVE AND RACIST. Like I've said before, there is a dearth of positive Asian American images on television. While progress is being made at an aching snail's pace, Banzai is about a hundred huge steps in the wrong direction.

Get conscious:


asianmediawatch.net (different sites)

Get involved:

Asian Media Watchdog - Ban Banzai from Comedy Central

Asian Media Watchdog - Ban Banzai from Viacom

Asian Media Watchdog - No Ad for Banzai (Sign this one regularly—it gets updated with each airing.)

Sign the petition: Stop Comedy Central (Viacom) Banzai

Now, I'm not a proponent of censorship. The word "ban" unnerves me. However, I do think it's important that people are aware of the kinds of stereotypes and negative images that Banzai promotes. The most important thing is consciousness, on the part of the viewer and the network, and that's why we have to speak up.

That's racist!


VIETNAMESE WOMEN FOR SALE ON EBAY. I'm not joking. A March 2 auction item pictured three Vietnamese women—one standing at a bar, smiling—for sale at a starting bid of 180,000 Taiwanese dollars (approximately US $5,410). The ad appeared on Ebay's Taiwan site and said "will ship to Taiwan only." That is jacked up: Vietnamese Outraged at Women Trafficked on Website. That's racist!


For the past year, Cherry Sky Films (Better Luck Tomorrow) has been developing a series of short films/commercials for Apple Computer (sort of inspired by BMW Films and Project Greenlight). The website just launched: 2004 skyPod Shorts. All five short films are by Asian American filmmakers (my buddy Vince directed Walking Between the Lines). They look pretty cool.

Unfortunately, because they're still submitting these films for consideration in festivals, they aren't currently available online.††Hopefully later this year, after a run on the festival circuit, they'll post them up.††You can also check the "News" section to find out when/where the shorts will be screening at a festival/Apple Store near you. All five shorts make their world premiere next month at the 9th Annual Chicago Asian American Showcase.


Just in time for March Madness... Check out Venom Sportswear—"clothing for the bad-ass motherf&$#in' Asian American athlete with an attitude." And take a look at the ad campaign's commercial spots ("Battle of the Century" Parts 1 & 2). They're hilarious.

I'm rooting for Tony.


Red Trousers: The Life of the Hong Kong Stuntmen is a documentary/short film about, well, the life of the Hong Kong stuntmen. Directed by (and starring) Robin Shou. (Mortal Kombaaaaaaat!!!! ...um, sorry.) Now playing in select theaters.


Check out this t-shirt: EVERYONE LOVES AN ASIAN GIRL. What to think? More commodification/exoticization of Asian-ness? It wouldn't find it so suspect if it weren't for that fact that it's being sold by Urban Outfitters... It's written in that font I hate hate hate, and heck, does that girl in photo even appear to be Asian? You gotta wonder how you'd feel if saw that being on the street by someone who wasn't actually Asian... So what the hell does it all mean? That's racist!

Then again, everyone does love an Asian girl. I mean, I certainly do.

Speaking of t-shirts though, check out the new items from my fave t-shirt proprietors, Blacklava. I gotta get me one of those "Got Privelege?" shirts.


From the March 22 issue of Newsweek: American Masala. South Asians are apparently America's new asskickers. Holla.


Hey everyone out there, please stop sending me the link to that Flash cartoon involving cats and chow mein. No doubt, it's freakin' offensive. But I originally commented on it back in September 2002. And it's the same now as it was back then: that's racist!


By the way, previously mentioned G.I. Joe comic writer Larry Hama is Japanese American. His likeness is actually the inspiration for the character "Tunnel Rat"! I did a Google search and came across this informative interview: AAAF's Larry Hama Interview. Pretty interesting stuff for G.I. Joe geeks like myself...


Some more movie news... the script for a Rush Hour/Kill Bill martial arts parody film has been sold to Dream Entertainment: New Martial Arts Spoof Film in the Works . As a fan of martial arts films, I can conceivably see this is spoof being really good or really really really bad. But let's be honest with ourselves... this probably won't be pretty.

Bend It Like Beckham writer/director Gurinder Chadha is attached to direct Nine Wives, a romantic comedy about a commitment-phobic guy who breaks up with his longtime girlfriend and begins to wake up every morning with a different wife. As previously reported, Chadha is also developing I Dream of Jeannie at Columbia Pictures as well as Tucker Ames at Fox 2000...

There will apparently be "more crazy ninja action than you can handle" in the live-action G.I. Joe movie (currently in development): Screenwriter Talks G.I. Joe. Back in the '80s, G.I. Joe comic book writer Larry Hama basically went crazy with the ninjas. Ninjas all the time. Not that ninjas aren't cool. He just obviously had this thing for ninjas. Anyway, Storm Shadow better freakin' be Asian.


Check out Kim Spurlock's short film Fish, co-produced by David Chan, featuring an Asian American cast, and set in NYC's Chinatown. The film is competing in the Slamdance Anarchy Online film festival in March, and in the past year, it was also selected for the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Denver International Film Festival. So, check it out, and vote online for Fish!


With the title role in Kill Bill and the release of the old Kung Fu series on DVD this week, David Carradine is seeing a comeback of sorts: DVD Displays Carradine's 'Kung Fu' Roots. Boo! Not a fan. NOT a fan. Oh, by the way, that guy's not Asian.


Fueled by the popularity of anime and Lost in Translation, publishers are trying to bring more Japanese
books to English-speaking readers: Now That Japan Is Cool, Its Fiction Seeks U.S. Fans


Why one should watch Wonderfalls on Fox, Fridays, 9:00pm (an email from Tim Lounibos):

Hey, guys, I would love it if you could get the word out about the new FOX show "Wonderfalls" which airs on Friday nights, starting this week (March 12, 9 p.m. in most areas but check your local listings). It's smart, quirky, has depth and is a lot of fun.

We're very close friends with one of the creators/executive producers, Todd Holland (two-time Emmy winner for "Malcom in the Middle," as well as Emmy winner for "The Larry Sanders Show"). My wife Jenny runs the loop group (LouniLoops) and along with being Asian American, she hires a lot of AA actors to work on it. Also, one of the staff writers is Alex Woo.

"Wonderfalls" has a tough time slot because a lot of its audience will be out on the town on those nights.

So please get the word out to as many people as possible. If you and they can't watch it, please tape it. It's a numbers game. The more people who are made aware of the show...the more chance that Nielsen viewers will see it.

Todd Holland has a history of getting his pilots and series to reflect diversity--in front of and behind the camera...and I constantly bend his ear about it.

Thanks very much for your help and support with this,

Tim Lounibos

Good to know.


Check out this kid: Mark Mejia. He's a Grand Champion Junior Singer and winner of the $100,000 prize on Star Search: America Declares Mark Mejia Grand Champion. Kid can sing.


Once again, Saturday Night Live fills its weekly quota for offensive jokes at the expense of Asians. This weekend, there were a couple of sketches with cheap shot Asian jokes. In one of the episode's early sketches, Ben Affleck and Jimmy Fallon play obnoxious radio show hosts with running voice gags—including gibberish-inflected imitations of a heavily-accented South Asian man. That's racist! The show also had a series of Bangkok tourist "commercials." Without getting into too much detail, one of them involved a businessman (Seth Meyers), a motel room, a dead Asian hooker, incriminating photos, and the slogan: "What Happens In Thailand, Stays In Thailand." Hilarity ensues. Seriously, doesn't it seem like SNL has to have at least one Asian joke in every show? That's racist!


Mattel has created a new line of Barbie dolls called 1 modern circle. Brand new storyling/setup/characters. In this version, Ken's heritage is apparently part-Asian—the character's profile reveals that his grandmother is Japanese. Well, go Ken.


Badmash spoofs The Simpsons—it's the Singhsons. Let's hope they don't get sued.


According to a UC study released yesterday, Asian American students are less likely to be admitted into the University of California than students from other racial groups with comparable academic qualifications: Asian-Americans may get short shrift, says statistical analysis. Bad news for my boy Andre... first Pomona, now this. Dang.


Yesterday on Jeopardy... Alex Trebek said the answer clue about Chinese tea in a heavy mock Chinese accent. The question: "What is oolong tea?" Now was that really necessary? That's racist! Tell 'em so here.


Hey, tonight's the Closing Night of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, with a screening/reception for Ramona S. Diaz's Imelda: Imelda Marcos documentary steps beyond the shoes. See you there.


Couple of articles on Vienna Teng:

Waking up to the talents of rising star Vienna Teng

Baez gives a nod to now in choice of songs, Teng


Great. They're making another sequel to The Fast and Furious. The third installment will star the original's Vin Diesel and will take place on the fast, furious streets of Tokyo—apparently the "current Mecca of street racing." Expect screaming Japanese schoolgirls. Oooh I can't wait. Actually, no: Universal Green Lights The Fast and the Furious 3. For me, the real question is how cleverly they're going to incorporate '3' into the title.


All right, all you folks in southern California, it's time to get out to the theaters this weekend and watch Greg Pak's Robot Stories. It's been said many times before—attendance numbers on opening weekend are crucial for independent releases. So support Asian American film, independent media, smart science fiction, and/or emotionally compelling moviemaking, by being a part of Robot Stories' theatrical run in Los Angeles (Laemmle Fairfax) and Pasadena (Laemmle One Colorado). I've already promoted the hell out of this great little movie, so what more can I say? Well, you've got some great incentives to go check it out this weekend...

Robot Stories cast and crew members will try to attend every screening this weekend for Q&A sessions. Greg Pak is personally planning to be at all of the Friday screenings at the Laemmle Fairfax, the Saturday matinees at the Old Town Colorado in Pasadena, the Saturday evening screenings at the Laemmle Fairfax, and the Sunday screenings at the Laemmle Fairfax. And he wants to meet you there!

Also, there's a free party Friday night, with special discounts for folks with Robot Stories ticket stubs:

Opening Night Celebration of Robot Stories

Co-sponsored by Visual Communications

10 pm to 2 am, Friday, March 12

The Orchid, 3900 W. 6th St. (at Western), 213-251-8886

Special Guests: Director Greg Pak, Producers Kim Ima and Karin Chien, Actors Tamlyn Tomita and Sab Shimono

Cover Charge: None

Dress Code: No shorts or sandals

Parking: $2 valet or $1 at Wiltern Theater

$2 off all drinks with ticket stub; 20 percent off food and karaoke rooms (!) with ticket stub


See? It's so much fun. Tell 'em I sent ya.


So maybe you've been following the recent string of racist occurrences on the Claremont College campuses. This week, tensions have hit a major boiling point with another violent act of racist aggression. The following information is from emails being circulated through Claremont channels in the last 24 hours:

Deans from both CMC and Pomona College responded to the scene of a hate crime this evening and received the following information.

Between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9, 2004, a car belonging to a faculty member from CMC was vandalized in the parking lot at 6th and Amherst. The windows were broken, the tires were slashed, and the body of the vehicle was spray painted with various racial and homophobic epithets.

The Claremont Police responded, took a report and classified this incident as a hate crime. This act appears to have been directed at the faculty member who participated in a forum on hate speech and the First Amendment, which took place at 4:00 p.m. at CMC's Athenaeum. The faculty member made comments during the forum that were critical of recent incidents that have taken place the Colleges.

There should be further information available in the morning in the form of Campus Safety and Claremont Police reports. Additional information will be provided to the community when those reports are available.

It is shocking and appalling that an unconscionable act of this sort would be perpetrated against a member of our community. Every effort will be made to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.

This one's from the Pitzer College Center for Asian Pacific American Students:

To the Pitzer Community: Some Disturbing News - Hate crime @ CMC

Tonight, Professor Dunn's car was smashed, broken into, everything stolen, her tires slashed and on her car was spray painted "Nigger lover," "kike whore," and "shut up bitch"

On Tuesday March 9th at 4 o'clock there was a forum at CMC regarding "Hate Speech" Vs. "Free Speech." During the forum Professor Dunn stood up and supported Minority groups on the 5-c campuses, berating the racist events that have been occurring recently (Cross Burning at Mudd, OAD: Take a picture with ten Asians, Racist comments posted in response to Tony T's editorial in The Student Life: Pomona's school paper.)

Later that night, her car was found broken into, windows smashed, tires slashed, and with the words "Nigger lover," "kike whore," and "shut up bitch" spray painted on her car.

The word of the event spread quickly, and students, faculty, and administration met to discuss theses issues.

Some things to be aware of:

Pomona and CMC have declared that Classes will be cancelled for Wedsenday

Pitzer Admin is currently meeting to discuss a Course of action in response to the event. An e-mail will be circulating sometime tomorrow.

Here's the official word from Pomona's website: Pomona College joins other Claremont Colleges in canceling classes for one day on March 10 in response to hate crime. Here are photos of the vandalized car. And here's a discussion forum on the incident at PomonaStudents.org.

This is a freakin' hate crime. What the hell is going on over there? That's racist!


The Access to Justice Institute and the Asian Pacific Islander Law Student
Association at the Seattle University School of Law are presenting a
reflective documentary film and discussion of Say I Do on March 23. The film chronicles the stories of three "mail-order brides" from the Philippines now living in Canada. In order to escape lives of poverty and support their families, these women marry men they don't know, but upon arriving in Canada, they find themselves isolated in remote regions of the country facing uncertain fates... Sounds pretty interesting. Find out more info here.


Screenwriter Steve Conrad has signed a deal to write the adaptation of Chang-Rae Lee's upcoming novel Aloft for Warner Bros. Read all about it here.


The rumors are true. A recording contract, music video, and more TV appearances for William Hung... His fifteen minutes aren't up quite just yet: 'American Idol' cast-off cashing in on his celebrity. And here he is again in Rolling Stone: William Hung Bangs Out Debut


Asian Americans in hip hop are still looking for breakthrough respect: Hip-hop Hopes


Vienna Teng back on NPR, performing and talking about her new album Warm Strangers: Vienna Teng, Live at NPR


I got a LOT of inquiries regarding the Anna Mae He adoption case, so here's sort of an update. Organizers have created a website to spread the word about issues surrounding the case: www.isthisamerica.com. There's a place for
people to donate money (services are being provided pro bono for the He
family) and information/news to raise awareness. Check it out.

It seems that the media is starting to pick up on this case. We'll see what happens...


"Think William Hung. Think Long-Duck Dong.... better yet, don't think at all. Heck, you don't even have to be of Asian heritage at all.... just need to sound like it." Okay, these Craisglist posting are just damn racist:

WANTED: Thick Chinese-accented karaoke talent

William Hung impersonator

This company apparently needs a person to impersonate his voice for a commercial pitch for a new antifungal creme. Look, people can think what whatever they want about William Hung. Love him, hate him—he is what he is. But it's obvious when you start equating Long Duck Dong with William, especially to pitch your crappy products, you're bringing your own racist stereotypes and issues to the table. That's racist!


This is a little late, but I should plug USC's Asian Pacific American Student Assembly's Wide Film Screenings, March 8-11. They're showing Charlotte Sometimes, Robot Stories, Voices and Joy Luck Club featuring discussions with the filmmakers. Good stuff. Learn more here.


Sorry for the lack of updates. I have indeed been busy. The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival continues. I watched the Opening Night screening of Hero, which was pretty breathtaking—I really hope Miramax gets off its ass and treats this film with a full-fledged domestic release. It deserves it. But maybe that's hoping too much.

Watched a great little documentary called The Other Final, on the two worst teams in the 2002 World Cup soccer tournament, Bhutan and Monserrat. Fun, likeable, beautifully-shot film with a lot of heart. Also saw Purple Butterfly, which was intense, and very pro-China.

This evening, I saw a screening of Miramax's cut of Shaolin Soccer. Having seen the original Hong Kong version on DVD, I can honestly say the U.S. version (which will hopefully hit theaters this spring) actually holds up okay, and isn't the massacre internet sites were initially reporting... First off, they didn't dub the dialogue, so that's a relief. Some of the subtitles are cleaned up, and a few scenes got trimmed (mostly for length). Perhaps the most notable difference is the inclusion of a brief, hilarious "dance" number... All in all, I guess I was satisfied. Maybe some of the purists will take issue, but you have to realistically concede that they had to make some edits for a domestic theatrical run. And in this case, it turned out to be relatively minor. But again, now we have to hope Miramax gives it a decent release...

I'll update some more later, when I get the chance.


Been busy running around... Here are a whole mess of articles of varying relevance, though I don't have the time for much comment:

The carpet beggars. Joan Rivers is an idiot. (See the line about "parking valets")

Columbia University News. School's got its recent share of racial issues.

Lloyd Webber Offers Sneak Peek at 'Bombay Dreams'. Webber does Bollywood.

Hollywood Orient-ation. White dude tells us how far Asians have made it in Hollywood.

Radio Personality Pulled Off Air For Obscenities. Sandra Tsing Loh has Janet Jackson to thank for this.

BGCT to end LifeWay relationship. Texas(!) cuts ties with the makers of "Rickshaw Rally."

City officials in Silicon Valley town change tune in debate over karaoke booths. People need their noraebang.

Good Will Hung, sing: succeeding in comedy without really trying. I don't like this guy's tone.

Dice Murakami Wins the Michael Weiss Foundation Skating Scholarship. Kid's future is bright.

Hmong Refugees Welcome St. Paul Mayor. Interesting outreach.

Calling Down Fire On Your Own Position. National Review sucks ass.

Jasmine Trias. American Idol contestant gets voted as a Finalist.


It's on! The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival kicks off tonight, with the Opening Night gala/screening of Zhang Yimou's Hero. I'll be hanging out at the festival throughout the next week, checking out films and chatting with members of the Asian American film community. Should be a good time. I'll update with noteworthy stuff when I get the chance.


Hey HEY Hey. My man, BLT actor Parry Shen has started up a blog: www.xanga.com/parryshen—the uncensored, no-holds-barred, day-to-day musings and experiences of an Asian American actor in "the biz." No fear! Laying it out there for all to read. It's good stuff, so check it out, people.


Got this email sent to me, from someone who actually showed up at that Memoirs of a Geisha "casting call." Sounds like it was pretty weak, like many suspected:

SUBJECT: I went to Memoirs of Geisha casting call

I know many of you want to know about it so here it is.

Sorry, it wasn't even a real audition.

There were like a couple of small time agents and managers, soliciting for actors. Open bar and all, so it was more like party than casting. So if you couldn't make it, you didn't miss anything.

There was no casting director from the movie. That's why I said you didn't miss anything. Just agents and managers who submit actors to casting director. I don't even think the casting director is set for this movie. Just keep checking IMDB website and you'll see it as soon as it's named.

The agent who were getting pictures for the movie was Stanley Kaplan. He is known for submitting ANYONE, unlike the other more exclusive agencies. It's kind of like hit or miss but I did get some work from him (mostly commercials) and I know many people who did ... some of them even got more high profile projects such as "Law & Order" or "The Sopranos." So if you don't have a representation (meaning if you're not signed or exclusive with any agent) it doesn't hurt to drop off the pics at his office. Don't mail them because they may lose your pics. I'm serious. All you have to do is just call the office and ask if they are still looking for actors to submit for Memoir of Geisha. If you do it in a next couple of days, I'm sure they will say yes, come on in so you do that. They told me that they are going to shoot in NYC and Tokyo, Japan.

I don't know what kind of connection he has with Spielberg... But he does work hard and all, worthwhile checking him out. But if you are already exclusive with someone or signed with someone, speak with him/her first.

Having said all that, here is the info for Stanley Kaplan.

Stanley Kaplan Talent

139 Fulton Street, Rm503

New York, NY 10038


Obviously this is for East Coast People only.


Just letting you know.


John Cho (MILF!) has been cast in the series pilot for The Men's Room on NBC. The sitcom revolves around three men in different stages of their lives. Cho will play Bob, a thirtysomething guy who's one of the central focuses in the ensemble comedy. From writer/producer Danny Zuker (Coupling, Off Centre). More on this as it develops...


Another racist foo who won't go away... David Chang, creator of the "Ghettopology" board game, is suing
Hasbro, the makers of Monopoly: GHETTOPOLY TO RISE AGAIN? It will if its maker has anything to say about it. Give it a rest. Why must you insist on exploiting urban problems to get paid? You're not doing any of us any good, and simply creating more tension within minority communities. That's racist!


Terry Chen was on Smallville tonight as Detective Paul Kabe. And unfortunately, Francoise Yip's character, Dr. Lia Teng, kicked the bucket.


Took a while, but Bertha Bay-Sa Pan's Face is finally getting theatrical distribution next month. It actually premiered back in 2002 at the Sundance Film Festival (same year as Better Luck Tomorrow). Read more here.


John Singleton is currently in negotiations to direct a Luke Cage movie: Singleton to Unleash Black Superhero 'Cage'. Yes, Marvel Comics' original jive-talkin' superhero from the 'hood. Maybe he'll team up Iron Fist, like back in the old days. And maybe they'll even let Shang-Chi tag along!


There are those who believe that Yao Ming has not been playing to his full potential. Well, a "movement" is brewing to free Yao Ming : Houston, we have a solution!


In case anyone cares... Mr. William Hung is featured on Yahoo's homepage. He is one of the "Most Popular Yahoo! Searches," along with (at this moment) Fantasy Baseball, Charlize Theron, and The Passion of the Christ. That's notoriety for you.


Robot Stories' Greg Pak will be interviewed today on NPR's Fresh Air. Awesome. Gotta love that Terry Gross. Check your local listings, or listen to it later online...


Say you call up, write into David and Goliath to tell them what you think of their racist t-shirt line. What you get in response are even more offensive slurs and insults: David & Goliath's Customer Service Offends, Too. Really, what more can you expect? Sunny, helpful customer representatives? This company has built their reputation on its unrestricted desire to offend and shock—they've banked on it, and they love the publicity. Don't expect it to stop any time soon. That's racist!


Another Asian American book for your reading pleasure: Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images, a literature anthology that challenges and subverts Asian American stereotypes in contemporary mass media. Published in December, available from Amazon. Looks pretty interesting...


The previously mentioned Memoirs of a Geisha casting call in NYC is somewhat suspect. It sounds as though someone is trying to jump on the bandwagon to looking for Asians—and it's probably unlikely that they have anything to do with the real production. Steven Spielberg is the executive producer and Rob Marshall is directing. It's doubtful that a movie of this caliber would be holding an open call, don't you think? Unless they're looking for mad Asian extras.

I've been told my someone who has had a little bit of "in" on the process that first auditions have mostly been completed in Japan and in larger cities around the U.S. for experienced Asian actors sent in by their agents. It'll probably be a long casting process. (Thanks, K)

Still have bad feelings about this movie...


Though I'm not much of a fan of this site's politics, nor do I agree with some of this article's views, it does raise some interesting points and reports on practice known as "Chink Bashing": P.C. Media Ignores Racist Murder. That's racist! But does anyone else get the weird feeling that the author is simply trying to pit us all against one another?

Here's the original report of the murder from last month: Teens Charged with Beating Deliveryman to Death


March is a huge month, lots of happenings... This is week marks the much-anticipated premiere of Stir, "the first show for and about Asian America's next generation." It's a hip, half-hour, magazine-style weekly entertainment program produced in partnership by the national cable network International Channel, and San Francisco's KTSF, the nation's oldest and largest Asian-language broadcast channel. The show premieres on the i-Channel this Wednesday, 8:00pm PST.

Here is an article: A show of their own. Not our own network just yet, but it's a worthy start. Check it out.


GoldSea offers their list of the 50 Most Inspiring Asian Americans of All Time—pioneers who paved the way for other Asian Americans. While I have minor quibbles with some of the names included/omitted, as well as their rankings (not to mention that there seems to be a noticeable underrepresentation of women), it's just one website's opinion and they're certainly entitled to formulate their own criteria. And you have to give them credit for taking on the task. It's an interesting list, and worth checking out. (Thanks to theMM)


A police brutality claim against two rookie Asian American police officers in Palo Alto has been settled for $250,000. On July 13, officers Michael Kan and Craig Lee allegedly pulled Albert Hopkins, 60, from his parked car, beat him and pepper-sprayed him. Although this settlement has been reached, the officers still face criminal charges of assault under color of authority. Read more here: Claim against 2 cops settled. Was race a factor in this incident? Hopkins certainly thinks so. And I say hell yes. That's racist!

I actually recently had a minor brush with the law. I wouldn't go so far as saying I was in any danger, but it was definitely more dramatic than your average traffic stop. And it left an impression. I don't care what color you are—the threat of police brutality freaks me out.


Charlie Chan Is Dead 2: At Home in the World, the follow-up to editor Jessica Hagedorn's groundbreaking anthology of contemporary Asian American fiction, was released last week. The work brings together forty-two fresh voices in Asian American writing, including the likes Ruth Ozeki, Chang-Rae Lee and Jhumpa Lahiri. Sounds like good stuff.


The long-awaited third issue of Hyphen has arrived. Feature stories include an interview with writer Cecilia Tan; a look at blood requirements in ethnic league sports; and an investigation into how the domestic violence system fails to protect immigrant women...


Spotted actress Wai-Ching Ho (Robot Stories) in a cereal commercial last night.


Vienna Teng will be on the Wayne Brady Show this Thursday.


Roger Eberts review of Lana's Rain. Luoyong Wang is in the movie as Julian, "a nice Asian man." (eh?)


Oh, man. They're making it. Casting call for the movie adaptation of Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, directed by Steven Spielberg, spotted on Craigslist:

Casting For Asian Female/Males For Spielberg Movie Memoirs of a Geisha

Reply to: castingsny@aol.com

Date: 2004-03-01, 1:05PM EST

Casting For Asian Female and Males ages 18-30

For Steven Spielberg Movie "Memoirs of a Geisha"

(Actors with asian appearance is also fine)

Date: Wednesday March 3rd

Location: 59 Fifth Avenue (Corner of 5th ave and East 13th Street) NYC

Time: 6pm-9pm

Union and non-union actors will be considered for this production.

Please RSVP and submit photos or headshots to castingsny@aol.com

Compensation: SAG Union wages (as per contract)

Telecommuting is ok.

This is a part-time job.

OK for recruiters to contact this job poster.

Phone calls about this job are ok.

You may contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Reposting this message elsewhere is OK.

this is in or around New York

Can't you just already feel it? That this is going to suck?

Here are some more production details on the project: Memoirs of a Geisha, though here it says Rob Marshall it attached to direct...


When Kamala Harris was elected as San Francisc's district attorney in December, local press made special efforts to note that she was the "first black woman" to win this distinguished office. However, you didn't see much mention of the fact that Harris' mother is South Asian. Here's an interesting commentary on the limits and controversies of ethnic labeling: If the D.A. is of half Asian descent why does the press label her 'black'?


Hey, Jeopardy contestant Patrick Macaraeg, of Largo, FL, is currently kicking ass right now, with a three-day win total of over $80,000. In his first game, he took down the reigning four-day, $137,000 champion by a wide margin, and in the most recent game, he made an incredible comeback (from a $14,000 deficit) in the final minute of the second round to take the game in Final Jeopardy. Nice work, you smarty. What his goofy William Hung-esque promo clip here.


A trial in Memphis between two couples has exposed conflicting notions about what defines a good parent: Chinese and American Cultures Clash in Custody Battle for Girl. This is a load of crap. And more I think about it, the angrier I get.


Ming Na's in an NBC public service announcement about hate. That is, stopping and preventing hate. Listen to Ming Na. Don't teach hate to your kids!


More stuff out of Claremont McKenna... A quote from Dean of Admissions Richard Vos:

"I would suggest it just might be true that Asian and Asian-American students are sometimes more involved in solitary activities than Latino students or white students... it's more likely that an African-American student did not play the violin but maybe got involved in an athletic team, got involved in debate, got involved in student government, did things that we, in our value system at CMC, perceive to be a more CMCish fit. Leadership, group-oriented extracurricular activities that we feel are perhaps more in-line with our mission."

And here's the ensuing discussion.


IT'S THE FREAKIN' RACIST SHOW THAT WILL NOT GO AWAY: Comedy Central picks up 'Banzai'. Yeah, Banzai has found yet another life on Comedy Central. It'll be airing Thursdays at 10:30pm starting in March.

What is Banzai? I can best describe as a racist Asian minstrel show. It's filled with stereotypical Asian images and iconography, with over the top, screaming, leering caricatures. It's just a bunch of juvenile games and stunts, framed by a bunch of Oriental clowns. Some might argue, it's simply imitating the crazy game shows from Japan. Let me ask, with such a dearth of positive Asian representation on television, why must we continually be subjected to images like this? That's racist!

For those who are a little out of the loop, when Banzai showed up on Fox last summer, a large movement of angry Asian folks got vocal and protested this racist program. Fox eventually pulled the show, and we could all live in peace (or go on to fight other battles). Well, that ain't so, once again.

Contact Comedy Central:

1775 Broadway, 10th Floor

New York, NY 10019


2049 Century Park East, #4170

Los Angeles, CA 90067


This racist crap has got to go. Again.


Lemme tell you about a new blog out there: I Am Yellow (Curious): Sex and the Asian Guy. The title alone should intrigue you... He's one guy tackling the issue
of sex from an Asian guy's perspective. Interesting start.


New York Times article on author Chang-Rae Lee: Deep in Suburbia


So, the Academy Awards were last night. No Asians won.

Lost In Translation walked away with a Best Original Screenplay trophy... and honestly, I don't think it deserved it. All the charges of racism aside (Hit film gets lost in racism row), how much of that film was actually scripted, and how much can you credit to Bill Murray's characteristic improvisation?

Because of its Oscar win, this movie will be getting more recognition, and folks will be renting it and talking about it. It's important that people are aware that there are issues and concerns with this film's depiction of Asians. I'm not interested in flat-out condemning Lost In Translation—there are moments I really like. But it's far from perfect, and there are moments that I truly find problematic and irresponsible. Folks should just be aware of these representations when they see it for themselves. That's all I'm saying.

Wait, another note. So at the end of the whole deal they had all the winners standing up on stage. How many of the winners were people of color? Eh? And that's Hollywood for you. That's racist!


Yes, American Idol continues to milk it for all it's worth... tonight, they're airing a new special: American Idol: Uncut, Uncensored, and Untalented. Of course, this program would not be complete without "the man, the myth, the legend" himself, Mr. William Hung. He'll be in the house, performing the song that made him famous, "She Bangs." Complete with backup dancers.

Brother, I hope you're cashing in.


Campus and community members at the University of Iowa held an anti-hate rally last week: Rally battles hate This was in response to the alleged January 31 hate crime involving the assault on an Asian American woman and her white boyfriend: Possible hate crime investigated. No official word yet, but I've heard that the prosecutor actually won't be pursuing the hate crime charge. What?


Turns out there actually is a Shang-Chi movie in the works. My goodness.

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