9.18.2020

They Call Us Bruce 108: They Call Us Vaccine Trials

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. (Almost) 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.

In this episode, we welcome design/technology writer Gregory Han, who has been participating in a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. They discuss what it will take to end the pandemic, what the world might look like on the other side, and if karaoke will survive coronavirus.

9.15.2020

Boston City Councillor Michelle Wu is Running For Mayor

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.


Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu Announces Run For Mayor
It's official: Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu will run for mayor in 2021. Wu announced her candidacy Tuesday morning with a video in three languages that zeroed in on issues including public health, housing and transportation. "Now is the time for change," Wu said at the end of the video.

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Suspected Arsonist Caught on Video in San Francisco Printing Shop In San Francisco, a suspected arsonist was caught on video robbing and setting fire to an Asian immigrant-owned printing shop. The suspect reportedly broke in to Dragon Printing in the Sunset District, burglarized the store, and then deliberately started a fire -- burning the majority of the inventory, machines, and everything else in sight. The store, which was started by the Wong family nearly 35 years ago, is now in danger of closing. Friends have started a GoFundMe campaign in support of Dragon Printing.

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House Passes Bill to Name Houston Post Office After Slain Sikh Deputy
On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 5317, which would rename a post office in Houston, Texas the Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office, in honor of Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, a Sikh sheriff's deputy who was killed during a traffic stop last year. Dhaliwal was the first Sikh deputy to work for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, and the first deputy to be allowed to wear his turban while on-duty.

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Family Style: Season Two
Season two of Stage13's Family Style is now out and available for viewing. The award-winning food and pop culture streaming series features a group of friends and celebrity guests exploring popular Asian food restaurants and cultural locales. Each episode of season two centers on the stories surrounding the sharing of food both across a table and virtually over a video chat. Partically filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, this season showcases a diverse array of Asian chefs, celebrities, and foodies across multiple generations, sharing favorite recipes, traditions, and locations, representing an array of Asian ethnicities.

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Lovecraft Country: The Craft - Storyboard Artist Eric Yamamoto
Have you been watching the HBO horror drama Lovecraft Country? In this behind-the-scenes clip, Lovecraft Country storyboard artist Eric Yamamoto talks about how he helps bring directors' visions for the show to life.


All The Asians On Star Trek - Episode 04: Clyde Kusatsu

The Podcast In Which We Interview All The Asians On Star Trek.



All The Asians On Star Trek is the podcast in which we interview all the Asians on Star Trek. In Episode 4, we talk to veteran actor Clyde Kusatsu. He guest starred on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Vice Admiral Nakamura in the episodes "Measure of Man," "Phantasms" and the series finale "All Good Things..." With a career spanning nearly 50 years, his credits include Kung Fu, Midway, Magnum P.I., All in the Family and All American Girl, among many others. He talks about getting aged-up to play Jean-Luc Picard's classmate, the other Sar Trek role he auditioned for, and how his John Wayne impression landed him a job.

9.14.2020

Naomi Osaka Won in Two Amazing Ways

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.


Naomi Osaka Won in Two Amazing Ways: Athleticism and Activism
As you've likely seen by now, Osaka packed seven masks for the US Open fortnight, one for each match she’d play if she made it to the final. She made the final. She won her second Open in three years. Because of that, viewers were reminded anew of the seven Black Americans she remembered, five killed police and the sixth and seventh, Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery, killed allegedly by civilians for being Black in neighborhoods where vigilantes thought they didn't belong.... As Osaka did the customary post-match interview with ESPN, she was asked what message she was trying to send with the masks. "What's the message you got, was more the question," she said. "I feel like the point is to make people start talking."

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Reporter Josie Huang Arrested While Covering Protest
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies arrested KPCC/LAist Correspondent Josie Huang late Saturday while she was covering the ambush shooting of two deputies in Compton. Even as she was being thrown to the ground, Huang -- who was wearing a lanyard with her press credential hanging from her neck -- was recording the encounter. In video that continued to film after her phone was knocked from her hand, Huang can be heard repeatedly identifying herself as a reporter and shouting "KPCC" several times. You also can hear Huang yelling "you're hurting me" and crying out in pain.

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Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland Takes Top Prize at 2020 Venice Film Festival
Director Chloé Zhao's feature film Nomadland has won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, becoming the first woman to earn the top prize in a decade. Starring Frances McDormand, Nomadland follows a widow in a Nevada mining town decimated after the Great Recession who chooses to embark on a life on the open road.

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Sandra Oh, Michelle Yeoh Join Henry Golding in 'Tiger's Apprentice'
Sandra Oh and Michelle Yeoh have joined Henry Golding in the voice cast of The Tiger's Apprentice, the adaptation of the best-selling children's book by Lawrence Yep. The cast also includes Brandon Soo Hoo, Bowen Yang, Sherry Cola, and Kheng Hua Tan. The book tells the story of a boy in San Francisco who meets a shape-shifting talking tiger named Mr. Hu and under his tutelage and protection is introduced into a magical world that includes an ancient phoenix, a dragon and a clan of evil-doers. Oh will play Mistral, a friend of the tiger, who is an exiled dragon now living in San Francisco. Yeoh's character is unclear.

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Lifetime Sets Cast For Holiday Movie 'Sugar & Spice Holiday'
Jacky Lai and Tony Giroux will star alongside Tzi Ma in A Sugar & Spice Holiday, Lifetime's first holiday movie centered on an Asian American family. "Written by Eirene Donohue and directed by Jennifer Liao, A Sugar & Spice Holiday is centered on the story of a Chinese-American woman who draws on her family’s cultural traditions to spice up an old-fashioned Christmas baking competition. It follows Suzie (Lai), a rising young architect, who returns to her small hometown in Maine for Christmas where her Chinese American family runs the local Lobster Bar. Following the loss of her beloved grandmother who was a legendary baker in their community, Suzie is guilted into following in her grandmother’s footsteps by entering the local gingerbread house competition. Teaming up with an old high school friend Billy (Giroux), who grew up to be a catch, Suzie must find the right recipes and mix of sugar and spice to win the competition and perhaps find some love in the process."


9.13.2020

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America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral
"Here, then, are nine errors of intuition that still hamstring the U.S. pandemic response, and a glimpse at the future if they continue unchecked. The time to break free is now. Our pandemic summer is nearly over. Now come fall, the season of preparation, and winter, the season of survival. The U.S. must reset its mindset to accomplish both."

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How My Mother and I Became Chinese Propaganda
"Immigrant struggles in America forged a bond that became even tighter after my mother's A.L.S. diagnosis. Then, as COVID-19 threatened, Chinese nationalists began calling us traitors to our country."

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For Filipino migrant workers, coronavirus dashes their ticket to a better life
170,000 overseas workers have been forced to return to the Philippines since February.

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How Mina Kimes turned her passion for football into a profession
Mina Kimes, a sports journalist for ESPN, has turned her love of football into a budding commentary empire.

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Ann Curry Still Doesn't Know Why She Was Ousted From Today
Eight years after her departure from NBC's morning show, veteran journalist Ann Curry opens up about the painful experience.

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Warrior Takes the "Model Minority" Cliche and "Flips It on Its Ass"
Peak TV should mean Peak Inclusion, but the vivid Cinemax series Warrior has had to fight for its life

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Introducing Isabel Sandoval: The 'Lingua Franca' filmmaker on her indie drama
Isabel Sandoval wrote, directed, and stars in Lingua Franca, film about a trans Filipina immigrant in Brooklyn seeking to attain legal status in the United States, now available on Netflix.

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Back to School With Tan France
Queer Eye star Tan France has a lot to teach us about dressing.

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"Insecure" star Sujata Day redefines South Asian stereotypes in spelling bee movie
Actress Sujata Day talks about her directorial feature debut, Definition Please, making the festival rounds.


9.11.2020

They Call Us Bruce 107: They Call Us Mulan

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. (Almost) 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.

In this this episode -- our most super-sized episode yet -- we welcome writers Rebecca Sun and Frankie Huang to talk about Disney's live action adaptation of Mulan. We discuss The Good, The Bad, and The WTF of the film, as well as how we'd adapt the tale differently.

9.08.2020

All The Asians On Star Trek - Episode 03: Grace Lynn Kung

The Podcast In Which We Interview All The Asians On Star Trek.



All The Asians On Star Trek is the podcast in which we interview all the Asians on Star Trek. In Episode 3, we talk to actress Grace Lynn Kung. She guest starred on Star Trek: Discovery as "Psycho" -- that's the actual credit -- in the first season episode "Context Is For Kings." She talks about geeking out on the Discovery set, taking heavy hits for her big fight scene, and how poor Worf never got any respect.

9.06.2020

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'Mulan' 1998: A Moment of Joy and Anxiety for Asian-American Viewers
Disney's new live-action Mulan is coming at a time when the entertainment world is still feeling tremors from the success of Crazy Rich Asians and Parasite. It was a very different landscape when the animated Mulan debuted in 1998: American audiences were far less used to the presence of Asians onscreen and many Asian American moviegoers felt less comfortable with depictions of themselves.

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The controversial cut that solidified Mulan as an Asian-American film
Disney's live-action remake removes a scene many have debated since 1998.

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How I Finally Saw Myself Reflected in the Original 'Mulan' (Guest Column)
When Traci G. Lee watched Disney's Mulan for the first time as a nine-year-old, it was the first time she remembers being inspired by a film -- for very personal reasons.

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Mulan's Tzi Ma: After 120-Plus Roles, a Beloved Actor's Career Surges
Tzi Ma, who plays Mulan's father in Disney's new adaptation, holds a special place in the Asian American acting community. He talks about his unlikely path and the peers who deserved more recognition.

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No Vacation Is Complete Without a Cooler Full of Gimbap
"When I was growing up, these seaweed rice rolls symbolized how my family was different. Looking back, I think that's what I appreciate most about them."

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A Local Alternative to the Big Delivery Apps, in Los Angeles
Modeled after food delivery services in Seoul, a tiny Koreatown business keeps neighborhood restaurants running through the pandemic.

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In Louisiana, Love for a Chinese Restaurant and Its Magnetic Owner
For years, Lucky Palace has drawn fans for its intriguing wine list. Now, they come to help their dear friend Kuan Lim in his time of need.

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What Keanu Reeves taught me about white-passing privilege
"In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen racism against Asian people surge worldwide, as well as a collective reassessment of racial identity following the recent surge of Black Lives Matter protests, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mixed race woman. And I’ve been thinking even more about Keanu Reeves, the most decent man in Hollywood."

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How the 'Chinese Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' captured audiences' hearts
One of the most famous Asian American dance duos in history, Dorothy Toy and Paul Wing performed across the US and in England during the 1930s and '40s


9.04.2020

They Call Us Bruce 106: They Call Us USPS

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. (Almost) 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.

In this this episode, we welcome Kevin Gan Yuen, an employee of the United States Postal Service. He talks about getting into the "family business," reveals the weirdest things he's seen people send via mail, and gives us The Good, The Bad and The WTF of working for USPS.

8.31.2020

Syracuse University Professor Refers to "Chinese Communist Party Virus" in Course Syllabus

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.



SU places professor on leave after syllabus calls COVID-19 'Wuhan flu'
At Syracuse University, a professor has been placed on leave or using derogatory racist language in a course syllabus. The announcement comes after social media posts circulated a course syllabus appearing to belong to chemistry professor Jon Zubieta that refers to the coronavirus as "Wuhan Flu" and "Chinese Communist Party Virus." I don't know why anyone would need to use those words a chemistry course syllabus, other than to be a racist asshole. The university agrees. "The derogatory language used by a professor on his course syllabus is damaging to the learning environment for our students and offensive to Chinese, international and Asian-Americans everywhere who have experienced hate speech, rhetoric and actions since the pandemic began," the school said in a statement. The professor has been removed while the administration investigates the incident according to university procedures. I don't really know what there is to investigate. But go on.

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"What are you doing in this country?"
In the Bay Area, a man was caught camera shouting racist remarks at an Asian American couple outside a supermarket. Junie and Minh got into an altercation with the man in the parking lot of a Safeway store in Milpitas last week. The man can be seen yelling from his SUV, "He's a fucking Asian. What are you doing in this country?... We have enough people." Of course, the video was shared on social media, where it received the attention of the local news, the mayor, the internet. Wouldn't it be great to go out for some groceries without fear of getting accosted by racist assholes?

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Dispute Over Alcohol, Face Masks Turns Violent at Chinese Restaurant

In Massachusetts, the owner of a Chinese restaurant was pushed and the protective plexiglass at the front counter was knocked down when a dispute over alcohol and wearing face masks turned violent. Surveillance video from inside The Ming Dynasty in Marshfield showed a 49-year-old woman pushing the plexiglass after she became enraged when the management asked her and the group she was with to put on face masks. "The woman pushed one of the owners, pushed another customer, and then began pushing things over inside the restaurant," according to police. Real classy. Can people just wear a damn mask?

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Teen Activist Receives $2500 Bill For Police Overtime
A New Jersey teen thought she was only exercising her First Amendment right when she organized a rally in support of Black Lives Matter. Not long after, she received a bill for thousands of dollars in the mail from the mayor. Emily Gil was inspired to hold a rally in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, this summer after watching thousands of Americans show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The protest went off without a hitch on July 25 and lasted about 90 minutes. A few days later, Gil received a letter from the mayor, billing her for $2,500 worth of police overtime used during the protest.

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BTS video 'Dynamite' breaks YouTube record for most views in 24 hours
Korean pop stars BTS have made history after the group's new single "Dynamite" became the best-ever 24-hour debut of a music video on YouTube with more than 100 million views. The world's biggest K-pop group released the highly anticipated visuals for the record last Friday. By the end of the first day, "Dynamite" had racked up 101.1 million views to become the most-viewed music video premiere on YouTube.


All The Asians On Star Trek - Episode 02: Reggie Lee

The Podcast In Which We Interview All The Asians On Star Trek.



All The Asians On Star Trek is the podcast in which we interview all the Asians on Star Trek. In Episode 2, we talk to actor Reggie Lee. He appeared in the 2009 Star Trek movie reboot as "Test Administrator." But he's probably best known for playing Sergeant Drew Wu for six seasons on the supernatural drama Grimm. We talk about his career, the politics behind his stage name, and his minor role in Star Trek that ended up being -- unbeknownst to him -- a fairly important allusion to franchise canon.

8.30.2020

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Kelly Marie Tran on being the first Southeast Asian actress to lead a Disney animated film
The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran will be the first actress of Southeast Asian descent to lead a Disney animated feature film, starring in the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon.

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To survive the pandemic SF Chinatown has to adapt — again
The coronavirus has brought a shrinking economy and renewed xenophobia to San Francisco's Chinatown. But there's hope for the neighborhood's future in how it has weathered these problems in the past.

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Naomi Osaka Is Ready to Go Supernova
An interview with rising tennis superstar Naomi Osaka.

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Column: Naomi Osaka stood tall, and alone, in protest following Jacob Blake shooting
Naomi Osaka stood alone, with no teammates to lean on, when she withdrew from the Western & Southern Open in New York on Wednesday, in support of the protest movement moving through professional sports.

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My Family's Shrouded History Is Also a National One for Korea
Decades after the war ended, scars left by the Japanese occupation persist for millions of Koreans and Korean-Americans, including the author Alexander Chee.

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Miyazaki's Magical Food: An Ode to Anime's Best Cooking Scenes
Food plays an important role in Studio Ghibli animated films.


8.26.2020

Naomi Osaka Skips Match in Protest of Police Violence

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.



Naomi Osaka won't play in W&S semi in protest of Jacob Blake shooting
Naomi Osaka, the two-time major tennis champion, announced she would not play in Thursday's Western & Southern Open semifinal match in reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Several hours later, the tournament announced that it was pausing play for a day.

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The surprising story of the salesman who became L.A.'s first known COVID-19 patient
A 38-year-old salesman named Qian Lang was the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Los Angeles and the fourth in the United States. He played an important role, not widely known until now, in a frantic race to understand the deadly new virus before it hit the U.S. in full force. Public health officials and researchers looked to him as a real-time, flesh-and-blood case study.

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I'm the one who made Tomi Lahren call Trump a 'jackass' in Hindi.
Ali-Asghar Abedi waged $85 that a prominent Trump supporter wouldn't bother researching exactly what 'ulloo' really meant. He was right. The result: a video of conservative commentator Tomi Lahren calling Trump the colloquial Indian equivalent of "jackass," courtesy of the Cameo app. And India having a laugh as her clip ended up appearing across the country’s news networks.

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Welcome to Chinatown USA
"Chinatowns across the nation have been devastated by the pandemic. Their businesses, and Chinese restaurants everywhere, are struggling to survive. It felt necessary, then, to share reminders of how much these places matter to all of us, which in turn means we all have a responsibility to help them survive."

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Fauja Singh Keeps Going
The new picture book Fauja Singh Keeps Going, written by Simran Jeet Singh and illustrated by Baljinder Kaur, tells the true story of Fauja Singh, who broke world records to become the first one hundred-year-old to run a marathon. The book shares valuable lessons on the source of his grit, determination to overcome obstacles, and commitment to positive representation of the Sikh community.


8.24.2020

All The Asians On Star Trek

The podcast in which we interview all the Asians on Star Trek.



Check it out! I'm pleased to share the launch a new podcast project: All The Asians On Star Trek, the podcast in which we interview all the Asians on Star Trek. A geeky merging of some of my favorite interests.

The premise is pretty simple. Each episode I'll interview someone, who is Asian, who has worked in some capacity on the Star Trek franchise. Actors, of course -- including series regulars, guest stars, and even background extras -- but also writers, designers, stuntpeople, etc. All the Asians on Star Trek. I know, it's pretty niche. This project been in the works for a long time, with many delays due to, well, everything, but I'm pretty excited to finally get it up and running.

The first episode features actor Tim Lounibos, who guest starred on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Lt. Daniel Kwan, in the seventh season episode "Eye of the Beholder." I hope you'll give it listen, and I hope you dig it. For more information, visit alltheasiansonstartrek.com.



8.23.2020

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How a Joke Twitter T-Shirt Exposes a Frustration Many Asian Women Share
Asian women are tired of hearing about your Asian wife -- and a T-shirt design has made the discussion viral.

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How the story of Kamala Harris upends the Asian American 'model minority' stereotype
"Sen. Kamala Harris -- who is of Indian and Jamaican descent -- challenges our understanding of what it means to be Asian American. It is for this reason that her historic vice presidential nomination is so impactful."

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COVID-19’s Toll on People of Color Is Worse Than We Knew
The new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight a stark disparity: Deaths among people of color during the crisis have risen far more than they have among Whites.

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The DOJ says Yale discriminates in favor of African Americans. Here's what you need to know.
Why you can't just compare Asians and African Americans.

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Painted as spies': Chinese students, scientists say Trump administration has made life hostile
A sweeping initiative from the Trump administration targets alleged Chinese government spying and intellectual property theft, particularly at American universities and research labs. Critics say the administration's rhetoric is inflammatory and its actions have created a hostile climate for Asian students and researchers working and studying in the U.S. -- often working on cutting-edge scientific developments.

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'We didn't learn enough or some people have forgotten.'
Journalist and activist Helen Zia has seen hostility against Asian Americans before. When it comes to dealing with today's struggles, Americans didn't learn enough, or might have forgotten, the lessons of the past.

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A Kind of Blueprint
The radical vision of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictée.

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'Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj' spoke truth to power — and told our side of the story
Nayantara Dutta reflects on the impact of Hasan Minhaj's recently canceled Netflix news show Patriot Act -- and how the show's Desi references made her feel like she was in on the joke.

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How Comedian Nigel Ng Became the Internet’s Favorite Asian Uncle
Comedian Nigel Ng's YouTube video as "Uncle Roger," in which he hilariously mocks a now-infamous cooking demonstration of a BBC presenter preparing fried rice, made him an internet sensation.



8.21.2020

Finding the Fire: On Community, Burnout, and That One Scene from 'Deep Space Nine'

Guest Post by Sarah Kuhn



There are certain scenes from stories that stay with us forever, their lines looping through our brains like the stickiest of earworms. I can recite sections of the '80s era Anne of Green Gables movies word for word. I know every beat, every breath, in the first Princess Leia/Han Solo kiss scene like the back of my hand. And occasionally, my mind tubes will just randomly call up the post-teaser scene from season 2, episode 2 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "The Circle," and play it like it's my favorite song.

In this scene, tough-as-nails Major Kira Nerys (the iconic Nana Visitor) has been recalled to Bajor and is in the process of packing all her stuff. As she packs, she is constantly interrupted by her colleagues on the space station. They want to say goodbye, they want to give her gifts, they want to encourage her to challenge the reassignment and stay at her current post on the station.

"Fight for what you want!" shapeshifting security chief Odo growls at her. "It's what you do best."

As the door keeps chiming and more and more people pile into Kira's cramped quarters, the chaos builds to a perfectly calibrated pitch -- the dialogue snaps, the ensemble chemistry sizzles, and Kira's irritation grows from kindling to wildfire. Just as she's about to totally lose it and yell at all of them to get the hell out, yet another person enters, someone who's not a space station colleague -- hunky Bajoran religious leader Vedek Bareil. The hijinks bubble is pierced, the one-liners cease. Bareil apologizes for interrupting.

"No, please come in," Kira says hastily. "These are my..."

She pauses, the tension draining from her body. She looks around at all the faces who have intruded on her space, who won't shut up and go away. Her eyes soften, and a slight smile plays around the corners of her mouth.

"These are my friends."

This is a huge realization for Kira, a prickly freedom fighter with a hardscrabble past who never thought she would truly have friends -- or that she needed them. At that point, the beginning of season 2, DS9's varied, clashing ensemble of characters had fused into something she gave up on long ago: they are a family. A community. An assemblage of personages who will always show up for each other, even if it's in the form of totally irritating the friend they're trying to support.

I love this scene. It's like its own little story, its own little arc, each perfectly composed beat playing out to a satisfying conclusion. I love it so much, that I recently realized I've written a version of this type of scene in nearly every one of my books. My Heroine Complex books, in particular, always have this scene: the rag-tag crew of misfits that is my superheroine team have become their own kind of found family, and there's always some moment where they just have to pile into the protagonist's room and offer their own kind of chaos-packed support for whatever she's going through. The latest book, Haunted Heroine, actually starts with this scene, all of fire-wielding, pregnant superheroine Evie Tanaka's friends cramming themselves into a tiny bathroom to check on her after some unceremonious puking.

In a way, it is my favorite song.

8.20.2020

TCUB 105: They Call Us The Vice Presidential Nominee

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. (Almost) 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.

In this this episode, we welcome writer/comedian Anna John and WNYC's Arun Venugopal to discuss the historic nomination of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden's running mate -- the first woman of color on a major party ticket. They talk about multiracial identity, representation, and The Good, The Bad and The WTF of a possible Indian American Vice President.

8.17.2020

And This is How Racist Kids Grow Up to Be Racist Grown Ups

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.



Gwinnett School Apologizes for Racially Insensitive Yearbook Photo
In Gwinnett County, Georgia, a photo featuring multiple students making a racially insensitive gesture -- you know exactly what racially insensitive gesture I'm talking about -- was published in an elementary school yearbook, which was delivered to families last week. Officials at Dyer Elementary School sent a letter of apology to students and families for the photo's publication. The photo showed a group of students, some of whom were pulling their eyes back. The students had apparently been told to "make a silly face" for the photo. And the adults in charge were apparently okay with said silly face. And okay with the photo. And okay with the photo's publication. And okay with distributing it to the school community. Racism! It makes a fun yearbook photo!

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Newsweek Apologizes for Op-Ed Questioning Harris Eligibility
Newsweek has apologized for an op-ed that questioned Sen. Kamala Harris' U.S. citizenship and her eligibility to be Joe Biden's running mate, a false and racist conspiracy theory which President Donald Trump has not dismissed. "This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize," read Newsweek's editor's note on Friday, which replaced the magazine's earlier detailed defense of the op-ed. "We entirely failed to anticipate the ways in which the essay would be interpreted, distorted and weaponized," read the apology, signed by Josh Hammer, opinion editor, and Nancy Cooper, global editor in chief. But they ended the note by saying that the op-ed would remain on the site, with their note attached.

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USC Pacific Asia Museum Decolonizes Its Collections
"One institution leading the way in decolonizing its collections is the University of Southern California Pacific Asia Museum (USC PAM) in Pasadena. It has not only declared solidarity with Black Lives Matter but has announced plans to reevaluate its collection in this transformative moment. "We have a moment right now to deconstruct everything, take us down to the studs," said USC PAM director Dr. Bethany Montagano, who sees the museum as a human-centered space for social healing, "If we don't confront the fact that our collections are really loaded with the freight of racism and colonial and imperial structures, destructive forces, then we can't do that healing work."

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Awesome Asian Americans: 20 Stars Who Made America Amazing
Awesome Asian Americans: 20 Stars Who Made America Amazing, from San Francisco-based publisher Immedium, is an upcoming book for all ages that tells the spectacular stories of 10 women and 10 men who inspire us to change the world, brought to life with fantastic comic book artwork. Written by Phil Amara and Oliver Chin, and illustrated by Juan Calle, the book features the stories of real-life heroes such as Yuri Kochiyama, Bruce Lee, Lea Salonga, Helen Zia, Jeremy Lin and more. You can pre-order and back the book right now on Kickstarter.

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'Evil Eye': Revenge, Reincarnation, and Indian Mythology Come to Blumhouse
What if you suspected that your daughter's new fiancé was the reincarnation of a man who tried to kill you 30 years ago? That's the clever and creepy premise behind Evil Eye, a new Blumhouse horror movie that puts South Asian characters and mythology front-and-center. Directed by twin brother filmmakers Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani, Evil Eye tells the story of Pallavi, who has found the perfect man in New Orleans. But when she relays the news to her mother Usha back in Delhi, India, a terrifying family secret creeps to the surface. Is Sandeep the reincarnation of a man from Usha's dark past? Evil Eye premieres October 13 on Amazon Prime.


8.16.2020

Read These Blogs



Why Kamala Harris Matters to Me
Manisha Sinha is an Indian American professor of African American history. Experiencing Joe Biden's vice-presidential pick is a personal gift.

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Indian Americans want to claim Kamala Harris as ours. It's a trap.
"Recognition is primal. But it can also make us gloss over the complexities of identity — and their unpredictable implications for policy. The heady rush of recognition can lull us into complacency or lead us to quell our deeper ideological convictions."

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Dinesh D'Souza's Attacks On Kamala Harris Are Part Of A Bigger Problem In The Indian Community
As an Indian man, Dinesh D'Souza has the privilege of appealing to white conservatives by being the minority in the room willing to attack Black people.

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Voters will be looking for more than just symbolism in Biden and Harris
"We've never been closer to having a Black woman VP than now. We've never been closer to having an Asian VP than now. The likelihood that we'll see an Asian American president in my lifetime, something I would have found difficult to imagine just a few decades ago, is higher than it has ever been. But getting there will require connecting this moment to the movements surging around it, movements that want real change, real soon."

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Mourning my baby brother, Fahim
Ruby Angela Saleh remembers her brother, Fahim, who was found brutally murdered in July.

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With BCD Tofu House, Hee Sook Lee Built More Than A Restaurant Empire
When Hee Sook Lee, founder of the BCD Tofu House chain, came to Los Angeles, she didn't intend to launch a Korean restaurant empire -- she wanted her children to master English.

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Director Sujata Day on Exploring Mental Health in Feature Film Debut 'Definition Please'
Sujata Day's first feature film, Definition Please, tells the story of an Indian American spelling bee champion who must reconcile with her estranged brother when he returns to help care for their sick mother.

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How Justin H. Min Became The Umbrella Academy's Breakout Star
Rising talent Justin H. Min, who stars in The Umbrella Academy, talks about his Tumblr account, how fans helped his character develop, and the inspiring effect of an Asian superhero.


8.14.2020

Don't Use Asians to Maintain White Privilege

And Other Things to Know From Angry Asian America.



Don't Use Asians to Maintain White Privilege
The Justice Department's latest accusation that Yale University discriminated against Asian American and white students is an attempt to pit marginalized students against each other, using Asian Americans as the conduit, experts say. Several Asian American activists and scholars criticized the DOJ's letter sent to the Ivy League institution on Thursday. In lumping white students with those of Asian descent, the administration is using Asian Americans as a pawn to dismantle affirmative action.

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Love and Dignity at the End of Life
In 1997, Vu was wrongfully incarcerated and sentenced to 60 years in prison -- for a crime that would normally get a 10-year sentence. His friend later confessed that he was at fault for the crime. Still serving his sentence, Vu was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with less than a year to live. Due to COVID-19, he is not allowed visits and is dealing with medical treatment that leaves him susceptible to infection. Vu's family and friends are mounting a case to appeal to the state to allow him to live out his days around his loved ones instead of dying in prison alone. The've launched a GoFundMe campaign asking for assistance for their legal case. Read more about Vu's situation here.

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How Does a Restaurant Like This Happen in 2020?
"How do you mess up this badly? White people making Asian food isn't anything new, but this specific concept is especially inappropriate and confusing because this place doesn't seem to honor tradition or innovation. You usually open a restaurant like this and pick a lane: authentic or innovative. But they’re playing it straight down the middle. It's not authentic at all; it’s not executed to amplify well-made traditional or modern Korean food close to its authentic form. But it's not very creative or innovative, either -- just watered-down Korean food for white comfort and white taste buds."

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Open Casting Call: Korean Male Proficient in Korean, Japanese and English
This casting call for an unspecified series on a "major streaming service" is seeking "a Korean male actor in his 20s-30s that is very proficient or fluent in Korean, English, and Japanese. The language requirement is important because the character grew up in Japan and Korea, and came to the United States as a young adult." The series will shoot in Korea, Japan and Canada, and talent must be available September 2020 to March 2021. It doesn't mention the name of the series, but I'd put my money on the adaptation of Min Jin Lee's novel Pachinko, which is being produced as a series for AppleTV.

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Nina Dobrev, Jimmy O. Yang and Charles Melton To Star In Rom Come 'Love Hard’
Nina Dobrev, Jimmy O. Yang and Charles Melton are set to star in the Netflix romantic comedy Love Hard. Written by Danny Mackey and Rebecca Ewing, the film is described as When Harry Met Sally meets Roxanne, and "follows an LA girl, unlucky in love, who falls for an East Coast guy on a dating app and decides to surprise him for Christmas, only to discover that she's been catfished. But the object of her affection actually lives in the same town, and the guy who duped her offers to set them up IF she pretends to be his own girlfriend for the holidays." Hm. I feel like I already know where this is all going.


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