10.20.2017

Kelly Marie Tran Rides the Space Horse

New 'Star Wars' promo art reveals closer look at 'Last Jedi' creatures.


Photo: Imgur

As you know, we are enormously excited to see Kelly Marie Tran in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

We don't know much, but we know her character, a Resistance maintenance worker named Rose, has the biggest new role in a galaxy far, far away. We know that she'll be paired up with Finn, their mission will take them to a casino city called Canto Bight, and at some point, they'll go undercover as First Order officers.

Also: they will ride space horses.

Some new Last Jedi promotional art gives us a closer look at creatures called fathiers -- aka "space horses." According to Star Wars News Net, they are extremely fast creatures that are exploited for racing and gambling on Canto Bight. And as depicted (in extremely small detail) on this theatrical standee, it appears that Rose and Finn will saddle up and make a run for it on the back of one of these majestic space steeds.

Angry Reader of the Week: Joel Kim Booster

"I get up on stage and talk about my butt."



Hey, everybody! It is time, once again, 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 Joel Kim Booster.

10.19.2017

Dammit. Jeremy Lin is out for the season.

Nets guard suffers ruptured patella tendon during Brooklyn's season opener.



Noooooooooooo! Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin has been diagnosed with a ruptured patella tendon of the right knee and is expected to miss the rest of the 2017-18 season, the team announced Thursday.

The injury occurred Wednesday night during the fourth quarter of Brooklyn's season-opener against the Indiana Pacers. Lin landed awkwardly on a drive to the basket and crumbled to court in obvious pain. His immediate emotional reaction seemed to indicate he knew the injury was pretty serious.

"I'm done," he said, shaking his head, before doubling over in anguish. It's painful to even watch.

10.18.2017

Ryan Potter cast as Beast Boy in 'Titans'

Upcoming live action TV series based on the DC Comics title.



Looks like we have a Beast Boy! Ryan Potter has been cast in the series regular role of Beast Boy in Titans, the upcoming live-action TV series adaptation based on the popular DC Comics title.

'Titans': Ryan Potter Cast As Beast Boy In Live-Action Series For DC Digital Service

Titans follows a group of "soon-to-be superheroes from every corner of the DC Universe." Recruited by Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), this fearless band of new heroes includes Starfire (Anna Diop), Raven (Teagan Croft), and of course, Garfield "Gar" Logan, aka Beast Boy.

As a child, Gar contracted a lethal disease on an African safari with his geneticist parents, only to experience some "bizarre side effects" after being treated with an experimental drug. In addition to his skin and hair turning permanently green, the wisecracking, fun-loving Beast Boy is able to transform himself into animals of any size.

10.17.2017

Charlyne Yi Recounts Racist Remarks from Writer and Director David Cross

By Jenn Fang. Cross-Posted from Reappropriate.



Charlyne Yi -- the award-winning actor, comedian, writer, and musician best known for her role as a series regular on House, her voice acting work on Steven Universe, and her starring role in Paper Heart which she also wrote -- took to Twitter earlier this week to describe her first encounter with writer, director and actor David Cross.

In a series of four tweets, Yi -- who is mixed race Filipinx and Korean American -- describes how when she first met Cross, Cross made fun of Yi for her appearance. When she didn't respond, Cross reportedly said: "What's a matter? You don't speak English?? Ching-Chong-Ching-Chong." Cross went on to mockingly challenge Yi to a karate match.

At the time of the encounter, Cross was over forty years old, and already an established comedian, writer and TV and film actor with several stand-up comedy specials already under his belt. Yi was a veritable newcomer to the comedy and acting scene, and was only about twenty years old.

Get this Awesome Shirt and Support 18 Million Rising

Celebrate 18MR's five years of organizing Asian Americans online.



Just wanted to point your attention to this awesome t-shirt design from our friends at 18 Million Rising. To celebrate five years of organizing Asian Americans online, as well as fundraise to keep it all going for the future, they're offering these super-cool limited shirts and hoodies.

Designed by Karl Orozco, the shirt is a re-imagining/inversion of the old political cartoon about the "yellow peril" tiger attacking the globe. According to 18MR, "we wanted our tiger to protect the globe as our communities increasingly find ourselves on the frontlines of state violence, gentrification, and climate change."

Federal judge in Hawaii blocks Trump's travel ban

Travel ban "plainly discriminates based on nationality" in a way that is "antithetical" to American principles.



Trump keeps trying to make this shit happen. And Hawaii keeps knocking it down. A federal judge in Hawaii has issued an order blocking major parts of Trump's newest travel ban, suggesting it violated immigration law.

The decision, ordered by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu on Tuesday, stopped the administration’s travel restrictions nationwide, hours before they were scheduled to take full effect Wednesday.

The newest travel rules, which Trump signed September 24, indefinitely ban entry to the U.S. by most nationals of Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea. They also restrict travel by certain Venezuelan government officials and their families.

Watson wrote that the ban goes against the Immigration and Nationality Act and "plainly discriminates based on nationality" in a way that is "antithetical" to American principles. He also said the order "lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries" would harm U.S. interests.

More here: Federal judge in Hawaii blocks Trump's new travel ban

Chinatown Art Brigade protests racist exhibition

"Chinatown lives are not poverty porn!"



On Sunday afternoon in New York, dozens of protesters from the Chinatown Art Brigade and other local art and anti-gentrification activist groups converged in the front room of James Cohan Gallery's Chinatown location, demanding that the gallery take down what the group is calling "racist art."

Their target: Omer Fast's new exhibition, August, which has transformed the space to appear like a poorly maintained Chinatown business. Visitors walk through the space to see the artist's video work in the backroom.

In a letter sent to the gallery last week, CAB called the exhibition a "racist aggression towards the community of Chinatown," and added "this show reifies racist narratives of uncleanliness, otherness and blight that have historically been projected onto Chinatown."

More here: Chinatown Art Brigade Protests Omer Fast's "Racist" Exhibition at James Cohan Gallery

10.16.2017

"Here's my problem with most racism: it's the inaccuracy."

Watch Kumail Nanjiani's opening monologue from 'Saturday Night Live.'



Hey, racists! Kumail Nanjiani would take you a little more seriously if you could just get it right.

Over the weekend, the Pakistani American comedian, fresh off the summer success of his indie romantic comedy The Big Sick, performed hosting duties on Saturday Night Live. During the opening monologue, he delivered a hilarious, timely standup set, taking on racism and... more racism.

Among other things, he pointed out the very real fact that Sikhs are often targeted with Islamophobic violence, mistaken for Muslims. This is a challenging thing to joke about, but Kumail just slays it. He also clarifies what bothers him most about racism: the inaccuracy. Racists, you're just not coming at this with correct information -- and it's not working out for you.

"I'm like, do the research," Kumail says. "Put in the work. You will see the benefits!"

Check it out:

10.15.2017

Read These Blogs


She Was Told Internment Didn't Happen. Now, Her Family's Story Is in School Books. Starting this semester, students in the U.S. will be able to learn about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans from Katie Yamasaki's 2013 children's picture book, Fish for Jimmy, which was selected to be included in the newest version of McGraw-Hill Education's anthology textbook for fourth grade students.

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29 Things That Are Too Damn Real For People Raised By Asian Parents: "If at first you don't succeed, don't come back home." Yet another one of these BuzzFeed lists so many of us can relate to...

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Chinese immigrants in Philly still recovering from home-invasion terror: More than a year after masked gunmen burst into their homes and robbed them, the terror remains vivid for Philadelphia-area Chinese business owners and their families.

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Definitive For Americans: A Refugee's Review of 'The Vietnam War': Beth Nguyen watched Ken Burns' documentary series The Vietnam War, which strives to give some Americans a sense of healing, but gives little perspective from the Vietnamese or Vietnamese Americans who were also there.

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A New Generation Of Therapists Is Fighting Asian-American Mental Health Stigma: When it comes to mental health, research shows Asian Americans are three times less likely than white Americans to seek help.

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Cyberpunk Cities Fetishize Asian Culture But Have No Asians: The Blade Runner universe is visually Asian -- a visual cue for the future. But if Asians shaped this cyberpunk future, where are they?

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Asian American TV Producers Speak Out About Making the Shows They Want, Whether or Not Networks Are on Board: TV producers Mindy Kaling, Daniel Dae Kim, Alan Yang, and more on creating a more inclusive storytelling landscape.

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Asian American TV Actors Expose the Difficulty of Landing Parts - With or Without an Accent: Daniel Dae Kim, Kal Penn, Jamie Chung, and more on role models, problematic auditions, breakthrough gigs, and the changing face of TV.

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Asian-Americans Are Disrupting An Unwelcoming Music Industry: "It's a different world now" - and one that's leveling the playing field for Asian American pop artists, who've traditionally been shut out of the American music industry.



10.13.2017

Angry Reader of the Week: Alice Y. Hom

"I'm a lover of pandas, plaid clothing, and good eats."


Photo: Erin O'Brien

Greetings, internet friends. 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 Alice Y. Hom.

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 25: They Call Us Randall Park

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



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

This episode, we welcome our good friend, actor Randall Park, aka "Asian Jim." He reflects on the fourth(!) season of Fresh Off The Boat, shares almost nothing about his role as Jimmy Woo in Ant-Man & The Wasp, and considers the Good, the Bad and the WTF of being "Asian Famous."

10.11.2017

In which Fred Armisen discovers he is actually Korean

'Portlandia' star learns some startling family secrets on the PBS ancestry series 'Finding Your Roots.'



After playing a cavalcade of memorable characters for years on Saturday Night Live, Fred Armisen has discovered he is not who he thinks he is. The Portlandia star recently appeared on the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. to find out some pretty damn earth-shattering truths about his lineage, including the fact that he is not a quarter Japanese, as he has believed his whole life.

He's actually Korean.

Appearing on season four of the acclaimed ancestry series, Armisen learns that his paternal grandfather, dancer and choreographer Masami Kuni, was actually quite famous. There's even a whole museum exhibit dedicated to him in Japan. But Armisen also seems unsettled to learn that in the 1930s and 40s, Kuni was employed in Germany (where he eventually met and had an affair with Armisen's grandmother) as a performer for the Nazis.

But wait, there's more. A 1944 report from the U.S. Office of War Information suggests that Kuni was actually leading a double life, moonlighting as a secret agent for Japan during his stint as performer among the Nazis. The perfect cover. Oh, the intrigue! This is the kind of stuff they make movies about.

Letters to Immigrant Parents on National Coming Out Day

Guest Post by Patrick Lee



Growing up queer is rarely easy. Throw on a heaping load of immigrant family sacrifice, cultural conflict, and language barriers, and you have something that starts to approximate how I felt coming of age in a very white suburb of Chicago.

I didn't know whom to talk to or confide in; I didn't even really know why I felt so different from other people around me. I just knew that I didn't see myself in any of my friends or classmates.

But now I know I'm not alone: As an adult, I moved to New York and started seeking out community. I met a handful of queer and trans Asian Pacific Americans, and then another handful, and then another. Our experiences are never the same; our families all unique. But we share some common threads and frustrations, and for the first time in my life, I felt like someone was hearing me.

I decided to make a film to document some of the stories of our community, and the struggles we have communicating with our immigrant parents about queerness, gender identity, and sexuality.

10.10.2017

Stupid Korean Games: Korean Drama Podcast - Boys Over Flowers #19

A K-Drama re-watch podcast by (and for) people who don't watch Korean dramas.



Are you a fan of Korean dramas? Then this podcast is probably not for you. The Korean Drama Podcast is the K-Drama rewatch podcast by (and for) people who don't watch Korean dramas.

In season one, host Will Choi (founder of Asian AF) and I -- both self-professed Korean drama beginners -- with help and hand-holding by our resident K-Drama expert Joanna Lee, attempt to watch and discuss the 2009 megahit drama Boys Over Flowers in its entirety, episode by episode.

In this episode, we discuss Perm Boy's mom's spy games, surprise pizza trucks, and how Pottery Boy sucks now, but Ringo is still keeping it real. Also, we explain the strange, punitive world of Stupid Korean Games.

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 24: They Call Us Jeremy Lin's Hair

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



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

This episode, we discuss Jeremy Lin's hair. Yes, his hair. Specifically, the recent dustup over our favorite Asian American point guard's decision to sport dreadlocks, and where it's situated in the larger conversation about cultural appropriation.

10.09.2017

Join the AAPI National Week of Action

Stand up, fight back and join the conversation, October 7-14



The Trump administration continues its attacks on immigrant youth and families. A rising wave a xenophobia, Islamophobia, hate speech and racial violence goes unchecked. Neo-Nazis, KKK and white supremacists march on Charlottesville. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders do not live in a bubble -- these acts affect us other marginalized communities. Will you stand up and fight back?

This week, October 7-14, is the AAPI National Week of Action. This is an opportunity to break the silence and make our voices heard in the public discussion on what is happening in our nation.

The primary focus right now is action around immigration, particularly in consideration of Trump's elimination of DACA and the proposed RAISE Act, which would significantly reduce legal immigration over the next decade and would have a devastating impact on family reunification -- particularly for Asian Americans.

AAPI Voices is partnering with dozens of community group around the country to organize events in 15 cities and online. To see the full updated list of organizations and actions, go to AAPI Voices.



10.08.2017

Read These Blogs


Trump Immigration Plans and Asian Americans, Part I: The RAISE Act would affect the majority of Asian immigrants to the United States. Asian Americans of all political stripes would do well to pay close attention.

For All Our Dreamers: Smith Surasmith, who moved to the United States when he was seven and grew up undocumented in the 80s and offers a call to support people in his position today.

Jagmeet Singh, Canada's Newest Political Star, Lifts His Party's Hopes: Jagmeet Singh's been elected to lead the New Democratic Party -- the furthest to the left of Canada's mainstream parties.

A Life on the Line: Cecilia Lam made the last call of her life at 5:05 a.m. on October 10, 2014. It was the eighth she'd made to 911 in a span of nine hours, asking police to protect her from her violent boyfriend. Why wasn't it enough to save her?

Ken Burns' 'The Vietnam War' offers same narrative, with little perspective: Author Aimee Phan on the thoroughly narrow lens of Ken Burns' PBS documentary series on the Vietnam War.

A New Musical - And Its Audience - Grapple With Asian Identity, Through K-Pop: KPOP, a new interactive musical tells a story about the delicate, dotted lines between being Asian, American and Asian American.

Behind the Scenes of the Long-Awaited Revival M. Butterfly: How director Julie Taymor and David Henry Hwang have worked to transform and deepen the Broadway revival of M. Butterfly this time around.

Aliens Would Probably Love Science Fiction: On this "Geek's Guide to the Galaxy" podcast episode, writer Charles Yu and John Joseph Adams talk about the anthology they co-edited, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Kelly Marie Tran Opens Up About Her Overnight Fame: How has Kelly Marie Tran's life been since picking up her role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi? "I just still can't believe it's all happening."

Vice reporter Mary H.K. Choi previews debut novel Emergency Contact - see an exclusive excerpt and cover: Mary H.K. Choi's debut novel, Emergency Contact, is about young live in the digital age.

'Fresh Off The Boat' Star Randall Park Expected More Lead Roles For Asian-Americans By Now: Randall Park chats about the upcoming fourth season of Fresh Off The Boat, Asian Americans in Hollywood (why aren't there more?), and his upcoming project with Ali Wong.

War baby: the amazing story of Ocean Vuong, former refugee and prize-winning poet : His grandfather was a US soldier who fell in love with a Vietnamese farm girl.But then Saigon fell and the family was blown apart. Ocean Vuong poured it all into Night Sky With Exit Wounds, winning him a Forward prize -- and comparisons with Emily Dickinson.



10.06.2017

Angry Reader of the Week: Chiwan Choi

"I am all about agitating, making the establishment feel uncomfortable."


Photo: Jess Castillo

Hey, everybody. It's time. Like we do every seven days, 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 Chiwan Choi.

10.05.2017

Still few answers in police shooting of Tommy Le

Seattle's Vietnamese American community experiencing a political awakening around Le's death



Police say he was holding a weapon. It turned out to be a pen. Officers claimed they fired after he charged at them. An autopsy revealed he had been shot in the back. It's been four months since 20-year-old Tommy Le was fatally shot by King County Sheriff's deputies, and there are still few answers about his death.

While public awareness around Le's death seemed relatively quiet, the Vietnamese American community in Seattle has begun to experience a political awakening around Le and the movement against police violence.

"His death has become a catalyst for a campaign by activists to make it easier in Washington state to prosecute police officers in shooting cases," the Los Angeles Times reports. "It has also emerged as a key example in a wider push to require police dash and body cameras, which were not in place when Le was killed."

More here: He was 20 and unarmed. A police shooting brings Seattle's Vietnamese Americans into the world of activism



Charges upgraded in kidnapping of missing Chinese student

Brendt Christensen could face the death penalty for killing Yingying Zhang.



The man charged in the disappearance of a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois could be eligible for the death penalty after new charges were filed, accusing him of kidnapping and killing her.

Illinois man could face death penalty in missing Chinese student case

According to an updated indictment released this week, 28-year-old Brendt Christensen has been charged with kidnapping resulting in the death of Yingying Zhang. Christensen was initially charged with kidnapping Zhang, but the new charges claim he kidnapped and "intentionally killed" her.

10.04.2017

Funko Pop! Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Rose in Disguise

A Funko Specialty Series exclusive


It's not secret that we're waaaaay hyped to see Kelly Marie Tran as Rose in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and thus gobbling up all Rose-related merchandise. The latest: Funko just announced that one of its upcoming Specialty Series exclusives will be a Pop! Star Wars: The Last Jedi Rose in Disguise.

Ken Leung opens up about the death of his brother

Listen to 'The Inhumans' actor on The Well podcast.



Ken Leung is one of my favorite actors. His credits include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Vanilla Sky, Rush Hour, Keeping the Faith, X-Men: The Last Stand, Lost, The Night Shift, and The Inhumans. Recently, he was a guest on The Well, a podcast about creative inspiration with Branan Edgens and Anson Mount. The conversation quickly becomes personal when Leung shares about the sudden death of his brother.

"Actor Ken Leung woke up one morning to a phone call. It was his father telling him that he had to fly to Thailand to bring back the body of his brother Kevin who had suddenly drowned while on vacation. Ken explains a mystery surrounding the circumstances; and goes on to tell us how the experience of handling his brothers affairs changed his outlook on both his life and his craft."

It's a wonderful, candid conversation that offers insight into Leung as a man and an artist. Listen:

10.03.2017

Ramyun Talk: Korean Drama Podcast - Boys Over Flowers #18

A K-Drama re-watch podcast by (and for) people who don't watch Korean dramas.



Are you a fan of Korean dramas? Then this podcast is probably not for you. The Korean Drama Podcast is the K-Drama rewatch podcast by (and for) people who don't watch Korean dramas.

In season one, host Will Choi (founder of Asian AF) and I -- both self-professed Korean drama beginners -- with help and hand-holding by our resident K-Drama expert Joanna Lee, attempt to watch and discuss the 2009 megahit drama Boys Over Flowers in its entirety, episode by episode.

This episode is just another episode of Boys over Flowers: innocent misunderstandings, Ringo fighting fools, Jun Pyo realizing that he's a jerk... wait that's new! Perm Boy finally learns that he's been a dick for the past 17 episodes and tries to make good, by learning to eat ramyun! Ramyun so good that we go off on an extended discussion on the goodness of ramyun.

10.01.2017

Read These Blogs


On American Identity, the Election, and Family Members Who Support Trump: Nicole Chung reflects on the burden of engaging with racism and educating white people, including some in her own family.

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The Ultimate List of Asian Hosted Podcasts To Listen To: In honor of International Podcast Day, Sheena Yap Chan has compiled a lengthy, "ultimate list" of podcasts hosted by Asians.

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American Pendulum I: What happens when the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, seems to get it wrong? Korematsu v. United States is a case that's been widely denounced and discredited, but it still remains on the books.

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Why Saturday Night Live's Most Intriguing New Hire Is Behind the Camera: NBC's flagship sketch show recently added comedian/writer Nimesh Patel to its almost always perennially white writing staff.

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A Michigan state rep dared to bring her daughter to a public meeting and some dude is pissed: "Some dude" needs to calm the fuck down and let Stephanie Chang be the awesome mom-legislator that she is.

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Filmmaker Kulap Vilaysack Can Teach You All About Lao Cuisine: Kulap Vilaysack is the comedian and filmmaker behind Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ and has also appeared in Parks and Recreation. Most recently, she shot her first documentary film, Origin Story, about the search for her biological father. Here, Vilaysack discusses Lao cuisine, cultural appropriation, and representation.

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Local restaurant temporarily closes doors to treat head chef to yearly trip home to Thailand: In Bakersfield, California, a local restaurant closes for two weeks every year so its head chef can make a special trip home to see his family in Thailand.

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Michelle Yeoh's Response To Millions Upset Over Her Character In Star Trek: Discovery (Spoiler Alert!) Were you bummed out by the bleak fate of Captain Philippa Georgiou on the two-part premiere of Star Trek: Discovery? Star Michelle Yeoh offers some assuring words.



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