7.16.2018

A Filipino American DJ finds her groove in 'Flip the Record'

Marie Jamora's retro short is screening as part of the PBS Online Film Festival.



A little-known but lasting explosion of hip hop culture grew out of the Filipino American community of 1980s San Francisco. The short film Flip the Record, written and directed by Marie Jamora, takes us into the beat of an aspiring mobile DJ crew in '84. Vanessa, sick of the constraints and boring piano lessons in her conservative Filipino American household, starts teaching herself on the sly how to scratch on her older brother's turntables. Flip the Record follows Ness as she discovers her talents and place in the local music scene of the era.

After screening on the festival circuit, Flip the Record is now available to watch as part of the 2018 PBS Online Film Festival. The key to this film is in the feel of the details, from the retro fashion to the fresh dance moves, and even the hot-off-the-press homemade business cards. And of course, the music. It's a fun, vibrant look back at an influential but overlooked era in Filipino American pop culture.

Check it out:

So you've got a problem with our anti-Trump lawn sign...

"Get the fuck off my property."



On this edition of White People Feel Entitled To Tell You Shit... In North Carolina, a man felt to compelled to get out of his pickup truck, walk on to the property of an Asian American household and express his negative feelings towards the anti-Trump sign on their lawn... before calling them the N-word, among other things.

The incident, which occurred on Sunday, seems to have been sparked by the lawn sign that reads "Fuck Donald Trump." (The other signs include "Refugees Welcome Here" and "Black Lives Matter.") Truck Guy claims to take issue with the vulgar language, not the political sentiment -- "I voted for Bernie Sanders," he declares -- but then proceeds direct several varations of "fuck" at the house's residents.

Then, abandoning the flimsy pretense that this was actually about civility or decency, the guy runs off towards his truck, turning around to call them the N-word while making a vulgar gesture towards his own crotch. The guy eventually drives off, but not before declaring, among other things, that he "built this country" and warning that refugees will "steal everything you own" (according to Google, he cites).

Most of the altercation was recorded on video and shared to social media:

7.15.2018

Read These Blogs


Sandra Oh on Her Emmy Nomination for Killing Eve: 'It’s Not Just Me at This Moment’
An interview with Sandra Oh, who is the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for a leading actress Emmy for her excellent work as Eve Polastri on the BBC America spy thriller Killing Eve.

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Sandra Oh's Emmy nomination represents a new wave in Hollywood
"It feels like we are experiencing a significant ripple in Hollywood, suggesting that a deeper and more persistent change is about to occur. And it's something Asian actors and creators have been waiting for, for decades."

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#PrettyPlaneGirl and White Exploitation of Women of Color
UGH. If you’ve been following the #PrettyPlaneGirl and #PlaneBae story, you’ve watched exactly how toxic social media can be for Asian women specifically, and how white people profit off of people of color in general.

* * *

Dr. Eugene Gu Accused Of Sexual Misconduct, Responds In The Worst Possible Way
In a bizarre and disappointing story, a medical student accuses famous #Resistance figure Dr. Eugene Gu of sexual assault and harassment.

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I Know What Incarceration Does to Families. It Happened to Mine.
"History is repeating itself. This time without even the pretext of war, and with added heartbreaking cruelty."

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From Bangladesh to the United States: An Advocate's Story
"My immigration story has shaped my work -- and my whole life -- in profound ways."

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Watch What Happened When These Two Men Swapped Grindr Profiles
"What The Flip?" examines how racial stereotypes play out in the queer dating scene. In the debut episode, a gay Asian man and a gay white man swap profiles to see how their interactions with prospective suitors differ.

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Do You Eat Dog?
The practice of eating dog meat is at the center of many racist stereotypes about Asians. Is it possible to reexamine both the stereotype and the practice?

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'Hold These Truths' Remembers One Man's Refusal to Cede His Civil Rights During WWII
Joel de la Fuente stars as Japanese American civil rights icon Gordon Hirabayashi in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's 2018/2019 season opener, the Bay Area premiere of Jeanne Sakata's Hold These Truths.

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Incantations: The SCOTUS Decision in Trump v. Hawaii
"We live in a legal regime akin to a witch-demon-evil spirit system, currently being used to weave a fascism that is quickly moving from proto to actual. In the face of this, I put out a call for contributions of magic spells in response to SCOTUS’ Trump v. Hawaii decision and the incarceration of children and families in ICE concentration camps."

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Meals You Can Eat on the New York City Subway
Turns out, you can eat all kinds of food on the subway. A comic by Connie Sun.

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Severed Ties: An Interview with Dickson Lam
Dickson Lam talks about cultural memory, cross-generational trauma, and familial separation in his new memoir Paper Sons.

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Crazy Rich Asians Star Henry Golding Says It's Fair to Question His Casting
Henry Golding might be relatively unknown right now, but for the star of this summer's hotly anticipated Crazy Rich Asians -- the 31-year-old's first ever acting gig -- that's all about to change.


7.13.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Nina Yang Bongiovi

"My heart is in Oakland, my serenity is in Hawaii, and my bloodlines are in Taipei and in Shanghai."



All right. You know what's up, everybody. 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 Nina Yang Bongiovi.

7.12.2018

Darren Criss makes history with Emmy nomination

'American Crime Story' star is the first Filipino American to receive a lead actor Emmy nomination.



Well, hey. Alongside Sandra Oh's historic lead actress Emmy nomination, Darren Criss scored himself a nod for best lead actor in a limited series or TV movie for American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace., making him only the second actor of Asian descent to be nominated in the category, and the first ever Filipino American to receive a lead actor Emmy nomination. Heck, is he first Filipino American actor to receive an Emmy nomination, ever? Somebody please confirm.

Criss received wide acclaim for his haunting star turn as real-life killer Andrew Cunanan (who was Filipino American, like Criss). Season two of the FX true crime anthology series chronicled Cunanan's notorious 1997 murder spree, in which he killed four men before shooting famed fashion designer Gianni Versace in Miami.

Overall, the series garnered a total of 18 nominations, including nods for co-stars Edgar Ramirez, Finn Witrock and Ricky Martin(!). Criss is considered a front-runner in the limited series lead actor category, which includes Antonio Banderas (Genius), Benedict Cumberbatch (Patrick Melrose), Jeff Daniels (The Looming Tower), Jesse Plemons (USS Callister) and John Legend (Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert).

Just give Sandra Oh all the Emmy awards

'Killing Eve' star is the first Asian actress ever nominated for lead in a drama series.



Well, would you look at that. The 2018 Emmy Awards nominations were announced this morning. Among the surprises and snubs, something historic: Sandra Oh's lead actress nomination for Killing Eve. The nod makes Oh the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a drama series.

Sandra Oh Is the First Asian Actress Nominated for Lead in a Drama Series

Oh stars in the critically acclaimed BBC America spy thriller as Eve Polastri, a MI5 officer who is pusuing a wily assassin played by Jodie Comer. While their fierce cat-and-mouse chase plays out across Europe, both women slowly become obsessed with one another. It's a brilliant show, and Oh is pitch perfect in the kind of lead role she should have been playing years ago. She deserves the nomination. Hell, she should win.

The 46-year-old Korean Canadian happened to be with fellow Asian (American) actor Michelle Krusiec when she got the news of her Emmy nomination. They had been discussing Hansol Jung's play Wild Goose Dreams when Oh finally glanced at her phone and realized it had been blowing up on silent.

"I really love the fact that when all those calls were going off, my phone was on silent," Oh tells Vulture, "[because] Michelle and I were talking about this play about a North Korean refugee."

7.11.2018

Going On the Heroine’s Journey and Finding Hope in the Dark

Guest Post by Sarah Kuhn



Heroine's Journey, the third book in my series starring Asian American superheroines, came out last week. It's the end of a trilogy -- but also the launch point for a new one because I just signed on to continue the series with three new books and a novella! I could not be more thrilled and I still can't believe I get to write more adventures, romance, and ridiculous battles against things like demonic cupcakes for these girls.

But there was a moment when I definitely, absolutely, one hundred percent thought I would never finish Heroine's Journey. Like, ever.

The issue was, shall we say, multi-fold. First, since becoming a "professional" "author," I have more demands on my time, more deadlines to stay on top of, and more reasons to procrastinate on Twitter. Second, I chose personally difficult subject matter. Heroine's Journey belongs to Bea Tanaka, little sister of Evie Tanaka, the fire-wielding protagonist of the first book. Bea is impulsive, tempestuous, and bad at sharing food. She has a power that's akin to mind control and a moral compass that could easily turn supervillain when things go bananas. She's also still grieving the death of her mother a decade earlier, and her conviction that this loss has messed her up for the rest of her life is a big part of what she has to deal with in the book. I lost my own mother to cancer right after I graduated from college, and all these years later, the topic still feels delicate to write about, talk about, or even bring up. I never thought I'd put it in a book -- but that's where the book, and Bea, wanted to go.

And third, of course, is the general state of the world these days, which feels like an endless stream of trash fires raining down upon us, our basic human rights, and any social and political progress we've made the last few decades. I don't know a single writer who hasn't been affected by this, who hasn't struggled to get words on the page since the current administration took power.

7.10.2018

Rally for Rose Tico at San Diego Comic-Con

By Keith Chow. Cross-Posted from The Nerds of Color



It goes without saying that we are huge fans of Rose Tico and Kelly Marie Tran here at The Nerds of Color. Unfortunately, there’s a significant portion of Star Wars fandom that doesn't agree. Even worse, they’ve taken their disdain for a fictional character and used it to harass the actress so much that she had to delete her Instagram.

Online harassment in the Star Wars community -- and fandom, writ large -- is nothing new. Recently, Phantom Menace actor Ahmed Best revealed he contemplated suicide as a result of the fan backlash to his portrayal of Jar Jar Binks. Just the other day, a cadre of angry fanboys cried foul and singled out StarWars.com personality Andi Gutierrez over a mug she owns. But as Rose Tico famously said at the end of The Last Jedi:

7.09.2018

A 2,000-Mile Bike Ride for Citizenship for All

Citizenship for All: Journey to Justice is a 37-day bike trip from Seattle to San Diego.



This summer, get on your bike and join the Dream Riders!

Citizenship for All: Journey to Justice is a 37-day bike trip from Seattle to San Diego, happening August 1 to September 6, and organized by National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC). Dream Riders from all over the country will be riding and making stops in 33 cities to talk about the importance of citizenship for all, and what citizenship means for marginalized communities.

The national Citizenship For All campaign rejects attempts to tear families apart and cut immigration on the backs of undocumented youth, and demands instead a clear pathway to citizenship for all non-citizens who have been denied this opportunity, including undocumented immigrants, temporary protected status recipients, diversity visa holders, and intercountry adoptees. The campaign also believes in a broader definition of "citizenship" that demands equal rights for every member of our society, regardless of their immigration status, race, or any other identity marker.

The border-to-border bike journey will be an opportunity to educate and engage diverse communities about the campaign and offer the opportunity to seed cross-cultural alliances that are critical to building a transformational movement towards justice for all.

7.08.2018

Read These Blogs


Here's What's Going On With Affirmative Action And School Admissions
School may be out, but there has been no lack of news this summer on race and admissions: an announcement from Jeff Sessions, a Harvard lawsuit, changes in the Supreme Court and proposals for selective high schools in New York City. Here's a rundown of the facts in place, and the latest developments, according to NPR.

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‘A Huge Blind Spot': Why New York Asians Feel Overlooked
In New York City's efforts to desegregate its elite public high schools, many Asian Americans feel silenced and targeted. Community leaders say that in New York, far from being the "model minority," they are the overlooked minority, taken for granted in the city's calculus of political power.

* * *

Telling the wrong story about racial discrimination in education
"While many assume that high performance on standardized tests results from hard work and studying, research suggests otherwise. Among the most important predictors of test scores are parents' education and income."

* * *

Asian-Americans on being "likable" in the modern workplace
A lawsuit claiming Harvard ranked Asian-American students lower on personality traits like "likability" reflects stereotypes that persist in the workforce, too.

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‘Choose the important over the urgent,' and more writing advice from Min Jin Lee
Min Jin Lee, author of the historical novel Pachinko, shares her daily writing routine, the best writer's advice she's ever received, and the overlooked books she thinks are important to read now.

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After Inheriting My Grandmother's Jewelry, I'm Finally Embracing My Chinese Background
"My grandmother never had a doubt of who she was, and by passing down her heirloom jewelry, she's showing me who I am and my family roots."

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Brown Girls Creator Fatimah Asghar on Turning Microagressions Into Dark Comedy
"I've found my chosen family in queer communities of color and with other queer Muslims. What I long for most are spaces where I don't have to explain myself, in which my identities are not contradictory, places where I get to be my full self. Where I -- not a man or husband—decide who I am."

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New Bruce Lee bio debunks myths about the 'kung fu Jesus'
A new biography debunks some of the most popular myths -- and exposes new truths -- about Bruce Lee.


7.06.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Raymond C. Lai

"All around medium talent."



Hey, everybody! Thanks for checking in. 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 Raymond C. Lai.

7.05.2018

Apply to AAWW's Open City Fellowships

Now accepting applications for the Neighborhoods Fellowship and the Muslim Communities Fellowship



Hey, writers! They Asian American Writers' Workshop is accepting applications for the Open City Fellowships.

Specifically: the Neighborhoods Fellowship, a unique opportunity for emerging Asian American writers to publish narrative nonfiction over the span of six months on the vibrant Asian American communities of New York City; and the Muslim Communities Fellowship, a six-month opportunity for NYC-based writers from Middle Eastern and North and East African communities and Muslim writers of color to write about the Muslim American communities in the city.

Both fellowships offer a $2,500 grant, skill-building workshops, and publishing opportunities to write about the Asian immigrant and Muslim communities of New York City. The fellowship is six months long, beginning in September 2018 and ending in March 2019.

Here are some more details:

7.01.2018

Read These Blogs


How the Supreme Court Replaced One Injustice With Another
Karen Korematsu's father, Fred, defied Executive Order 9066 and was imprisoned. His case against the federal government famously landed in the Supreme Court. Now, with the recent decision on Trump's travel ban, Karen sees how one injustice has been replaced with another.

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I Was Detained in a U.S. Internment Camp. Here's Why America's Current Tragedies Have the Same Causes
Norman Y. Mineta served as a cabinet member under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He and his family were also incarcerated during World War II -- and today, Trump's policies and rhetoric eerily echoes the political climate of Mineta's childhood.

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Ours is a History of Resistance
Karin Wang, Executive Director of the public interest law program at UCLA, on Asian immigrants challenging racism and changing American history through court cases.

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Just stop with the slanted-eye racist gestures
SIGH. After South Korea's 2-0 World Cup victory over Germany, racism and insensitivity once again.

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I Found My Birth Mother. It Didn't Rock My Life -- And That's OK
There's seemed to be an uptick in international adoptees searching for their biological parents. Amy Westerman was one of them -- traveling to the Philippines to meet her birth mother.

* * *

Mission Accomplished
In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger stunned the nation when it broke apart 73 seconds into flight. This is the story of the soccer ball that survived -- and the family that sent it into space, twice.

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How The Instant Pot Became A New Immigrant Classic
The creator wanted to facilitate a comfort dish for each of the newest clans in North America: porridge for the Chinese, dal for Indians, beans for Latinos.

* * *

A Day In The Life Of The San Gabriel Valley's Hardest Working Dim Sum Makers
Kenny Chen gives a behind-the-scenes look into NBC Seafood, a well-oiled machine that churns out hundreds of delicious morsels of dim sum staples every day.

* * *

'Seven Seconds' Creator Veena Sud On How Lack Of Asian American Representation Influenced Her Career
Veena Sud, creator of the Netflix series Seven Seconds and AMC's The Killing, vows to make sure more stories from marginalized communities make it to the screen.

* * *

Treya Lam and the Shape of a Person
An in-depth profile of Grammy Award winning musician Treya Lam.

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BD Wong Doesn't Want Fame -- He Wants Success
The 57-year-old actor is the most enduring character of Jurassic World, and an off-Broadway legend. So when is he going to be front and center?


6.29.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Rebecca Sun

"I still (mostly) believe in appealing to people's sense of reason..."



Greetings, people of the internet. It is time, once gain, 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 Rebecca Sun.

Steven Yeun does not play all the Asians on TV

"We're getting to some real shit right now."



To promote his new movie Sorry to Bother You, actor Steven Yeun sat down with co-stars Jermaine Fowler and Armie Hammer for a couple of rounds of the WIRED Autocomplete Interview, in which they answered some of the internet's most searched questions about themselves. You might already know where this is going.

It starts off fairly trivial (i.e. "how do you pronounce steven yeun?" "where did steven yeun grow up"), but further down the list, the search questions reveal a sad truth about Yeun's career and the state of Asian representation in media: he is consistently mistaken for other Asians in movies and television. The former Walking Dead star takes the opportunity to drop some knowledge.

"We're getting to some real shit right now." Watch and learn a thing or two:

6.24.2018

Read These Blogs


Inside the Movie That Made Bruce Lee a Legend
45 years ago, Bruce Lee starred in one of the most famous martial arts films of all time, Enter the Dragon -- the movie that posthumously launched him into international superstardom. Here, Matthew Polly, author of the new biography Bruce Lee: A Life shares his favorite stories from the set of the landmark action film.

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A Former Japanese Internment Camp Prisoner on the Dire Effects of Putting Kids in Detention
Satsuki Ina was born in a U.S. prison camp -- the government called it a "segregation center" -- during World War II, and knows firsthand how detrimental it is to detain and separate people.

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'At Least During the Internment...' Are Words I Thought I'd Never Utter
"I was sent to a camp at just 5 years old — but even then, they didn't separate children from families." George Takei on the Trump administration's separation of families at the border.

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Who Is Dolly Gee? A Look at the Judge Deciding the Fate of Trump's Executive Order
A little about Judge Dolly M. Gee, who is deciding the fate of Trump's racist Executive Order.

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Harvard may discriminate against Asian Americans, but its preference for legacy students is the bigger problem
While it is true that court documents reveal that Harvard consistently gave Asian American applicants lower personal ratings, it's important that a bigger bias has affected the college's admissions decisions: The preference for legacy applicants.

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Hiding my mental illness from my Asian family almost killed me
For years, Amanda Rosenberg felt ashamed by her mental illness -- and it almost killed her.

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The Last of the Tiger Parents
On growing up with strict immigrant parents, and undoing the pattern of tiger parenting.

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These Tiny Desk Contestants Set Stories Of The Asian-American Experience To Music
Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama create songs that illuminate the Asian American experience in their multimedia project No-No Boy. Their Tiny Desk Contest submission "Two Candles In The Dark" is a song about Aoyama's grandmother, who was incarcerated in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

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How rare is Pat Chun's path in college sports? 'You'd have to be an Asian American to understand this.'
"From the time he began playing sports as a young boy with neighborhood buddies, Pat Chun stood out as the only Asian American on the block. It’s no different professionally for Chun, who has grown accustomed to being the only Asian American in the room since his start in athletics administration."

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Comedian Hari Kondabolu on the response to his documentary The Problem With Apu
Since his documentary The Problem with Apu aired, Hari Kondabolu's received a lot of hate mail, but he also knows that's because it resonated with a lot of people.

* * *

his Is the Netflix Exec to Thank for Your Wild Wild Country Binge
Lisa Nishimura, head of documentary and comedy programming at Netflix, is changing the way filmmakers and viewers approach nonfiction TV.

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After a decade on YouTube, Wong Fu Productions still has a story to tell
Despite being seen as trailblazers, Wong Fu Productions still self-funds many of their new projects -- including their latest webseries Yappie.

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Constance Wu Talks "Crazy Rich Asians" and Championing Asian Representation in Hollywood
As her star continues to rise, Fresh off the Boat and Crazy Rich Asians actress Constance Wu has become one of the leading voices calling out Hollywood's skewed portrayal of Asians.

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'Mulan' Turns 20: Ming-Na Wen Reflects on Animated Disney Classic
"I just remember being so taken aback that Disney was able to take an all-Asian story and was brave enough 20 years ago to go, 'You know what? We want to make this story, because it's an incredible one and it's very inspiring about a young girl who really followed her heart and believed in herself,'"


6.22.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Erin Quill

"We all need far more empathy and kindness for one another, and we need bravery now more than ever."



Hey, everybody! It's that time again. 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 Erin Quill.

Season two of 'The Terror' will be set during Japanese American internment

AMC's horror drama is now an anthology series.



AMC has renewed the horror drama series The Terror for a second season, with some significant changes: it's now officially an anthology series, and the next iteration will switch up its historical setting to center on the Japanese American community during World War II.

'The Terror' Renewed For Season 2 By AMC Set During World War II

Season one of The Terror was inspired by the true story of a doomed Arctic expedition from the mid 19th century. But season two "will be set during World War II and center on an uncanny specter that menaces a Japanese-American community from its home in Southern California to the internment camps to the war in the Pacific," according to a press release from AMC.

6.21.2018

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 43: They Call Us Will Choi

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.

On this episode, we welcome Will Choi, the multi-hyphenate mastermind behind the hit bi-coastal Asian American variety show ASIAN AF. We discuss improv, the art of trolling Scarlett Johansson, and the Good, Bad and WTF of the Asian American hustle.

6.19.2018

Drunk Randall Park tells the Drunk History of Frank Emi

Starring Aaron Takahashi as Frank Emi.



The premise of Drunk History is fairly simple. People go on camera and narrate the story of a noteworthy historical figure or moment... while drunk. Then they present a re-enactment of this alcohol-fueled account.

On the latest episode of the hit Comedy Central series, Fresh Off The Boat star Randall Park gets liquored up and tells the story of civil rights activist Frank Emi, played here by Aaron Takahashi. Incarcerated at Heart Mountain during World War II, Emi protested against the drafting of Japanese Americans into military service.

An important part of the story of Japanese American incarceration, told under the influence, burps and all.

6.17.2018

Read These Blogs


Refugee to Detainee: How the U.S. is Deporting Those Seeking a Safe Haven
Since the 1994 Crime Bill signed into law by Bill Clinton, refugees have been deported in droves. And Southeast Asians are being targeted. An illustrated breakdown of this history by comic artist Thi Bui.

* * *

Asian-Americans Face Multiple Fronts in Battle Over Affirmative Action
A lawsuit that accuses Harvard of systematically discriminating against Asian-Americans in admissions, as well as a proposal to change the way New York City’s specialized high schools admit students, have brought new attention to fault lines in the racial politics both inside and outside the country’s diverse Asian communities.

* * *

De Blasio's Plan for NYC Schools Isn't Anti-Asian. It's Anti-Racist.
Minh-Ha T. Pham says it gives a diverse group of working-class kids a fairer shot, which shouldn't be controversial.

* * *

I grew up in striking distance of North Korea's artillery. Covering Kim's summit with Trump was sobering and personal
For Los Angeles Times reporter Victoria Kim, going to Singapore to cover last week's summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump was a strange, sobering, and personal experience.

* * *

'Guilt by association' logic poses dangers to schools, community
In Palo Alto, some community members are objecting to renaming a middle school after local hero Fred Yamamoto, arguing that he shares a name with an unrelated Japanese admiral of World War II. But other parents are urging the school board to reject prejudice and the faulty logic of "guilt by association."

* * *

The mystery of the million-dollar California congressional candidate
Amid a crowded field in the 39th Congressional District, Herbert H. Lee was a mystery candidate who seemed to be on the ballot as a potential spoiler intended to sap votes from top Democratic contenders.

* * *

Who was this mysterious candidate with little presence on social media or on the streets? Amid rising concerns that California’s top-two primary system could lock Democrats out, party operatives began to worry Lee was a potential spoiler who could sap votes from top contenders and keep them from advancing.

* * *

'Star Wars' Doesn't Belong To You: A Message To The Men Harassing Kelly Marie Tran
Kelly Marie Tran, who played mechanic-turned-resistance fighter Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, recently wiped her Instagram account clear. While Tran hasn't spoken publicly about it yet, most believe it has something to do with the vile harassment she received from certain corners of the internet. Toxic fandom had struck again.

* * *

I'm Not Here to Play the Suffering Minority for White Readers
Chen Chen on how expectations and stereotypes limit writers of color.

* * *

Pixar's Bao Is so Much More Than an Appetizer for Incredibles 2
This moving encapsulation of the Asian-immigrant experience is the studio's best short in years.

* * *

In Pixar's First Female-Directed Short, A Dumpling Child Fills An Empty Nest
In Bao, a Chinese woman with empty-nest syndrome finds relief when one of her dumplings springs to life. Director Domee Shi talks about the making of this Pixar short.

* * *

If You Can't Stop Crying About Pixar's "Bao," Read These 20 Facts About How It Was Made
Some behind-the-scenes factoids about the new ugly-cry-inducing Pixar short.

* * *

Padma Lakshmi: I could have been that immigrant child torn from her mother
The host of Top Chef recounts her mother's journey to the United States, and how under Trump's regime, her fate could have been so much different.

* * *

These Japanese-Americans Were Sent To Internment Camps, Then They Helped The U.S. Fight Nazis
Rob Sato's comic 442, which tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, draws from his family history: Sato's grandfather was first interned, and then drafted to fight the Nazis.

* * *

Omakase
Weike Wang's short fiction for The New Yorker, “Omakase," breaks down some of the frustrations and complexities of a Chinese American woman dating a white guy. Well worth reading.

* * *

Weike Wang on the Privileges of Not Having to Think About Race
An interview with Weike Wang on race, dating, and her short story “Omakase."


6.15.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Helena Ku Rhee

"I write books for kids and the young at heart."



Greetings, good people of the internet. It's that time again. Allow me to introduce you to 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 Helena Ku Rhee.

6.13.2018

Ajumma EXP is back, behind the wheel and busting a move

Baby, remember my name.



Awwwwwwww yeah. Grab your visor and get that perm tight. The ladies of Ajumma EXP are back, behind the wheel, and busting a move. This time, we find our favorite gang of ajummas getting caught up in the groove when Irene Cara's 1980 classic "Fame" comes on in the carpool. You will be unable to resist substituting "remember" with "AJUMMA AJUMMA AJUMMA" the next time you hear this song.

6.11.2018

The 'Crazy Rich Asians' parodies have begun

"They're just the brokest family in all of San Gabriel Valley."



Well, it was pretty much inevitable. The Crazy Rich Asians parodies have already begun.

I mean, somebody had to do it. First of all, if you haven't seen the hilarious, highly relatable first episode of Will Choi's webseries Crazy Poor Asians, check it out. It's well worth the 40 seconds of your time.

Similarly but differently, check out this video by improv troupe Miss Golightly, also entitled Crazy Poor Asians -- a beat-for-beat parody of the Crazy Rich Asians trailer. It's silly as hell. I don't know why the shot of "Rachel" holding a jar of nuts makes me laugh so much. And Kim Cooper does a pretty mean Awkwafina.

Just watch:

Just some everyday racism in the supermarket checkout line

"Go back to your country."



Another day, another encounter with everyday racism in the U.S.A., caught on camera. This one comes to us from a supermarket in Northern California, where over the weekend, a family encountered a fellow shopper who told them to -- take a wild guess -- "go back to your country," among other racist remarks.

The scene unfolded Sunday at the Lucky supermarket in Daly City, where a Filipino American family got into some kind of altercation with a woman in the checkout line. In an Instagram video posted by user @jennyveladera, you can see the woman behind them going off on her own little racist mutter tirade.

"Licky licky licky." She taunts them with some kind of gibberish, then asks, "You don't want me to talk Philippine?" Then, putting her groceries onto the belt, she says to no one and everyone listening, "Come on. Look at all the groceries they buy. Steal our food, steal our money, our jobs." (By the way, accusing someone of stealing food makes absolutely no sense when they are literally paying for their food right in front of you.)

Jenny, holding the camera, is understandably exasperated, and can only comment, "So racist. Oh my God."

6.10.2018

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This valedictorian began to talk about sexual misconduct at her graduation. Then her mic was cut.
When Lulabel Seitz, valedictorian at Petaluma High School, started to speak about sexual misconduct allegations at her school during her commencement speech, school officials shut off her microphone.

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The Other Asian.
Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed reflects on learning about Asian American movement history, and then learning about South Asian American movement history.

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This Vanderbilt doctor got political. Then he sued Trump and won. Now he's out of a job.
Dr. Eugene Gu, who became a social media sensation because of statements on President Donald Trump, racism and Colin Kaepernick -- and who later sued the president over First Amendment rights -- is losing his job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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How my grandparents taught me about loss, memory and the power of Pyongyang cold noodles
Michelle Ye Hee Lee on naengmyun, her family, and the significance of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-recently sitting down to share the cold noodle dish.

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The Quiet Rage Of Mazie Hirono
A profile of the amazing Democratic Senator Mazi Hirono, who some may assume is polite and quiet -- the apparent "good girl" of Hawaii politics -- but she's one tough, funny cookie. And a fighter.

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Quantico, Twitter Trolls, & Resisting The Erosion of Truth
Writer Sharbari Zohra Ahmed shares her experience resisting the erosion of truth on social media, after she was recently attacked by Twitter trolls for a fictional storyline she did not write for ABC's Quantico -- a show she hasn't written for since 2016, "a fact that had escaped these people's notice."

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The Groundbreaking Queerness of Disney's 'Mulan'
Jes Tom makes the case that Disney's animated feature Mulan is a queer Asian American narrative. However unintentionally, the film depicts a queer narrative that explores both gender identity and sexual orientation.

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How Awkwafina Went From Rapping To Ocean's 8 And Crazy Rich Asians
"What would you do to get out of Queens? What would you do to have a better life?" After years of hustle, Ocean's 8 and Crazy Rich Asians actor Awkwafina is bound for superstardom.

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3 Questions With 'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Tan Kheng Hua
Colorlines talks to Singaporean actress Tan Kheng Hua, who appears in this summer's Crazy Rich Asians, about her relationship with Asian America and why representation matters.

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Every Bruce Lee Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best
Most people don't know that Bruce Lee was a child actor. By the time he was 18, he had made nearly 20 Cantonese films -- none of which were kung fu flicks. Here, Matthew Polly, author of a new biography on Bruce Lee, ranks all 24 of his films, from Lee's on-camera debut at two months old to his final film Enter the Dragon.


6.08.2018

How Anthony Bourdain helped a Flushing family food stall become a New York noodle empire

Xi'an Famous Foods will donate 100% of Friday's net sales to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.



The tragic news of Anthony Bourdain's death by suicide stunned fans and colleagues of the internationally renown chef, television personality and world traveler, with a deluge of tributes to his unique life, career and legacy pouring out Friday across social media and beyond.

One such remembrance came from Jason Wang, CEO of New York City noodle chain Xi'an Famous Foods, who shared about the time Bourdain visited and ate at his family's tiny basement food stall in Flushing for Travel Channel's No Reservations in 2007. The endorsement lit a spotlight that helped propel Xi'an from a small noodle stand to a popular restaurant mini-empire boasting a dozen locations and counting.

Wang was still a college student at the time (and no idea who Bourdain was). But years later, he had the opportunity to tell Bourdain how that visit to his family's restaurant had changed their lives.

On Friday, June 8, in honor of Anthony Bourdain's memory, Xi'an Famous Foods will be donating 100 percent of all net sales to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Here's Wang's tribute, shared on social media:

Angry Reader of the Week: Ethan Young

"First and foremost, a storyteller."



What's up, internet friends? 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 Ethan Young.

6.06.2018

Searching for Queer Asian Pacific America

Guest Post by Patrick G. Lee



I grew up thinking that you could be queer or Asian, but never both. That definitely had to do with the TV shows I watched (Will & Grace; Sex and the City) and the people I met at my Korean church (all straight or super super super closeted).

So when I started coming out as a queer Asian person in my twenties, I just assumed that I was on my own. Almost all of my gay friends from college were white, they all spoke the same language as their parents, and they had long ago dealt with the coming out process.

But a few years later, I moved to New York and made my first gay Asian friends in the city. We all met at a family acceptance workshop for Asian Pacific Islanders at the LGBT Center in Manhattan. That summer, we danced together, sang karaoke together, and ate Korean BBQ together -- and our chosen family just kept growing.

Many of us shared anxieties over communicating with our immigrant parents and coming out to our families. Visiting relatives abroad meant re-entering the closet. But we had each other to commiserate and confide in.

At the same time, I felt lost and unmoored in my personal history as a queer Asian American: I had found my chosen family, but who were our parents and our grandparents, our aunties and our ancestors?

6.03.2018

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Aunties I Have Loved and Hated (Sometimes at the Same Time)
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Democrats Hope an Asian Influx Will Help Turn Orange County Blue
Asian American voters could be a deciding factor in this year's midterm races in Orange County, where Democrats are counting on immigrants to help the party pull off, if not quite a blue wave, then at least an unmistakable purpling.

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There are Dozens of AAPIs Running for Congress This Year
In this critical election year, where more than two dozen seats in the House are deemed to be "toss-ups," dozens of AAPI candidates are running for office.

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Watch out, world: The Dragon Babies are graduating from high school this year
This year's high school graduates were mostly born in 2000, a dragon year in the Chinese zodiac.

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10 Must-Listen Audiobooks for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Author Minh Lê and illustrator Dan Santat collaborated to make the forthcoming picture book, Drawn Together about the relationship between a Tho-Speaking grandfather and his American grandson.

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Steven Yeun's Revelation: 'There Are No Rules.'
An interview with Steven Yeun, who stars in Lee Chang-dong's Burning and this summer's Sorry To Bother You.

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Famous Author Alexander Chee Never Promised You A Rose Garden
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East West Players' Snehal Desai Is Creating a Theater of Community
Snehal Desai, artistic director of East West Players, sees theater as a opportunity to invite performers and audiences to imagine life in other peoples' shoes.

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10 Must-Listen Audiobooks for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
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6.01.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Nathan Ramos

"So I guess I'm saying we should all just cuddle more?"



Greetings, good people of the internet. 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 Nathan Ramos.

5.30.2018

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 42: They Call Us John Chiang

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.

On this episode, we welcome California State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate John Chiang. He talks about his reputation as the so-called "no drama" candidate, how family tragedy informed his passion for public service, and the Good, Bad and WTF of running for Governor of California.

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 41: They Call Us Jane Kim

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.

On this episode, we welcome our friend, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim to talk about her bid for mayor. They discuss the city's hotly contested sprint to election day, the issues that divide and unite us, and the Good, Bad and WTF of running for Mayor of San Francisco.

This is really happening: Ali Wong and Randall Park's rom-com begins production. With Keanu. Whoa.

Daniel Dae Kim and Keanu Reeves round out the cast of 'Always Be My Maybe.'



That Ali Wong/Randall Park romantic comedy, once just a hypothetical dream flick sprinkled with social media-fueled fairy dust, is a real thing. The Netflix feature film has begun production, has a title -- Always Be My Maybe -- and has assembled a crazy amazing cast that includes Daniel Dae Kim and Keanu Reeves. Whoa. As if we weren't already losing our minds over this project, it's now officially our most anticipated movie of 2019.

Keanu Reeves, Daniel Dae Kim Board Ali Wong/Randall Park Netflix Comedy 'Always Be My Maybe'

Wong and Park star as childhood sweethearts, Sasha and Marcus, who have a falling out and don't speak for 15 years. They reconnect as adults when Sasha, now a celebrity chef opening a restaurant in San Francisco, runs into Marcus, a happily struggling musician still living at home working for his dad. They discover the old sparks are still there, but can they adapt to each other's world?

The film began shooting this week in Vancouver.

5.29.2018

They Call Us Bruce - Episode 40: They Call Us David Henry Hwang

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.

On this episode, we welcome celebrated playwright David Henry Hwang to talk about his wildly original, form-busting new "play with a musical" Soft Power. We discuss political fantasies and realities, Hillary Clinton as a romantic lead, and that time David got stabbed (but lived to tell the tale).

5.27.2018

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"The pins struck me as a small and dignified act of rebellion. They are a symbol of defiance to the idea that all Japanese Americans shared a single identity or that their forced captivity would obliterate their creative spirit."

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Where 'Asian-American' came from
This year's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration is unique, because May 2018 quietly marks our golden anniversary: the 50th birthday of "Asian-American." And as far as we Asian-Americans have come over this past half-century, it's time to figure out who we are.

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Trust me: Separating immigrant families isn't humane
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Two Pakistani girls shot; two different responses. For some, that reeks of hypocrisy
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Exclusive: George Takei's Accuser Has Changed His Story of Drugging and Assault
A fabricated coffee meeting. Key facts withheld or walked back. A "great party story" about a sexual assault -- which the accuser now says may not have actually happened. What happens when an activist's legacy is tarnished by the story of an old friend who later says it could have all been a misunderstanding? And how do we process such an anomaly in an era of overdue social justice?

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Why Asian-Pacific Islanders Care About Incarceration
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Registered and ready to join the elite 17% of voters who rule L.A.
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7 Plus-Size Asian Bloggers Talk About Representation
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How The Chinese Exclusion Act Can Help Us Understand Immigration Politics Today
The Chinese Exclusion Act barely gets mentioned in U.S. history classes. A new PBS documentary from directors Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu could change that.

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In a rare move, Allure's cover features three Asian models
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5.25.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Maurene Goo

"I'm an angry person and I'm very okay with it."



Hello, good people of the internet. 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 Maurene Goo.

Google Doodle honors cinematographer James Wong Howe

The pioneering Chinese American cinematographer worked on more than 130 films during his career.



If you've done any internet searching today, you may have noticed that today's Google Doodle pays tribute to legendary Hollywood cinematographer James Wong Howe. The pioneering Chinese American cinematographer worked on more than 130 films during his career, including the heralded 1934 comedy-mystery The Thin Man, which was released on this day, 84 years ago.

Howe was born in Guanzhou, China in 1899 before immigrating to the United States when he was five years old, but could not become a U.S. citizen until the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943.

Despite fighting prejudice his entire life -- you can only imagine what it was like for Asians in Hollywood in his era -- he forged a groundbreaking career in movies, starting as a cleaner sweeping the studio floor, becoming an assistant cameraman to legendary director Cecil B. DeMille, and eventually building a reputation over more than 50 years as one of the most innovative, influential and sought-after cinematographers in history.

5.22.2018

Hey Student Leaders! Apply to the Youth Leadership Summit.

Asian American Advancing Justice is accepting applications for the 2017 Youth Leadership Summit.



Hey, student leaders! Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC is accepting applications for the Youth Leadership Summit, a three-day leadership development program for high achieving college students. The program brings together a group of students to Washington DC for advocacy trainings and leadership development workshops focused on civic engagement.

Through interactive workshops, hands-on activities, and a visit to Capitol Hill, participants build advocacy skills and gain a deeper understanding of how advocacy and activism affect policy decisions. Student leaders will work with experienced policy advocates and have opportunities to interact with the legislative staff of U.S. Senators and Representatives. This year's Summit will take place September 13-15.

5.21.2018

Let's Go, Atsuko! A Woke Japanese Game Show

Monday, May 28 at Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles.



Atsuko Okatsuka was born to be on a Japanese game show. Her parents apparently met on one. Now she hosts one, sort of. If you're in Los Angeles, join Atusko and friends for Let's Go, Atsuko!, a night of interactive games, videos, discussions and talent from notable comedians, political thinkers and public figures in the style of, yes, a Japanese game show. The lineup includes standup by Aparna Nancherla, music by Dynasty Handbag, and panelists Guy Branum, Nik Dodani, Parvesh Cheena and Jibz Cameron.

It's happening Monday, May 28 at Dynasty Typewriter at The Hayworth. Here are more details:

Casting call seeks Taiwanese actors for 'Tigertail'

Upcoming Netflix feature film from writer/director Alan Yang.



Hey, wanna be a in a movie? This casting call, currently circulating on social media, is looking for Taiwanese and Mandarin-speaking actors of various ages to star in the upcoming Netflix movie Tigertail, written and directed by Alan Yang. No previous acting experience is required.

A quick and dirty internet search for TigerTail comes up with this synopsis: "After a hard childhood growing up in Taiwan, Grover takes a risky opportunity to move to America with a woman he doesn't connect with to start a new life, abandoning his love and a home he genuinely loved. He looks back on this decision throughout his life, perhaps stubbornly, especially as he sees his daughter Angela grow up to be a stubborn woman herself. Grover and Angela don't realize how similar they are, but eventually come to understand each other as they experience regret and failure, but enough happiness to keep moving on."

Yang is best known as the award-winning co-creator of Master of None, and as a writer and producer for NBC's Parks and Recreation. The film's title, "Tigertail," appears to be a reference to Yang's own family origins. In a 2015 Fresh Air interview, he mentioned that his father hailed from a small village in Taiwan called TigerTail.

Anyway, here's the casting call:

No female snowboarder has nailed this trick. Until Chloe Kim.

"You'll definitely see it in competition next season."



She may have won an Olympic gold medal at the PyeongChang Winter Games, but it's pretty clear that Chloe Kim was just getting started. Last week, the teen snowboarding champ landed a frontside 1260 in practice -- a move no female pro has ever landed in competition. But, from the looks of it, not for long.

Kim shared a video of her landing the 1260 on Instagram:

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