1.24.2020

Fire Destroys Thousands of Chinatown Museum Artifacts

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



85,000 Pieces From Beloved Chinatown Museum Likely Destroyed in Fire
Officials at the Museum of Chinese in America said Friday evening that thousands of historic and artistic items it had carefully collected and curated over decades were most likely lost after a fire tore through New York's Chinatown building where most of its acquisitions were stored. The 85,000 items, some dating to the 19th century, told the rich story of the Chinese migration to the United States: textiles, restaurant menus, handwritten letters, tickets for ship's passage. The collection was one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable. And now destroyed.

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Oh no, Lizzo.
Popular and beloved music artist Lizzo is facing criticism for donning looks that sexualize and appropriate various Asian cultures in a recent cover photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine. One of the photos features Lizzo nude, adorned with accessories associated with Southeast Asian ceremonial dance, while another photo features the artist sporting headwear reminiscent of geisha culture. This is not a good look.

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Yes, Sikh Soldiers Served in World War I. '1917' Got It Right.
British actor Laurence Fox has been offered a history lesson over his criticism of the inclusion of a Sikh soldier character in the Oscar-nominated World War I film 1917. Appearing on a podcast, the actor complained that the inclusion of a Sikh soldier -- Sepoy Jondalar, played by Nabhaan Rizwan -- in the movie had distracted him from the storyline, claiming, "there is something institutionally racist about forcing diversity on people in that way." No, dude. What's institutionally racist is history erasing the fact that every sixth British soldier serving in World War I was from the Indian subcontinent, with Sikhs comprising more than 20% of the volunteer army. Nobody's "forcing diversity." Nobody's forcing shit. Go read a book.

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FX is Going Through With a 'Shogun' Miniseries
FX's upcoming re-adaptation of Shōgun, based on the novel by James Clavell, is set to go as a 10-episode miniseries with aims to shoot in Japan this summer. According to Deadline, Justin Marks the first two episodes with supervising producer (and wife) Rachel Kondo. The series' writing team also includes co-executive producer Shannon Goss, consulting producer Matt Lambert, script editor Maegan Houang and staff writer Emily Yoshida. I honestly roll my eyes at anything related to this book, but this writing team gives me a little hope...

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Minari
Heads up: Steven Yeun stars in the indie immigrant drama Minari, which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. Inspired by writer/director Lee Isaac Chung's own upbringing, the film follows a Korean American family whose lives are uprooted and turned upside down when they move from the west coast to chase the American dream on a plot of farmland in 1980s rural Arkansas.


1.23.2020

There's a New Bruce Lee Documentary Premiering at Sundance

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



Be Water
I can't make it to the Sundance Film Festival this year, but one of the films I'm dying to see is the premiere of the Bruce Lee documentary Be Water, directed Bao Nguyen. The film focuses on the legendary martial artist's rise to superstardom in the years before his death. Rejected by Hollywood, Lee returned to Hong Kong to complete four films. Charting his struggles in two worlds, Be Water explores questions of identity and representation through rare archive, intimate interviews, and his writings.

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Over 140 Prominent AAPIs Endorse Elizabeth Warren
More than 140 prominent Asian American and Pacific Islanders -- creatives, activists and academics -- announced their support Thursday for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The collective, which includes the likes of Constance Wu, Celeste Ng, Rabia Chaudry and Ellen Pao -- cites Warren's stance on a number of issues important to the Asian American community, including immigration, education and investment in entrepreneurship among the reasons for its support.

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To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Trailer
Netflix has dropped a new trailer for the hit romantic comedy sequel To All The Boys P.S. I Still Love You, which premieres next month. Starring Lana Condor and based on the bestselling young adult novel by Jenny Han, the new movie follows the next phase for Lara Jean and Peter, who have just taken their relationship from pretend to officially official when another recipient of one of her old love letters enters the picture.

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A24 re-teams with "Daniels" for Everything Everywhere All At Once
I'm pretty excited about this. A24 is re-teaming with filmmaker duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert ("Daniels") for the sci-fi adventure comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once, which begins production in Los Angeles this week. It stars Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, James Hong, Jonathan Ke Quan(!) and Jamie Lee Curtis. There's no word on the plot, but this is the team behind the farting corpse movie Swiss Army Man, and the masterpiece of a music video for "Turn Down For What." So yeah, I'm in.

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Parasite Live to Picture, January 26
This is just cool as hell. On Sunday, January 26, the Academy Award nominated film Parasite will have its score performed live to picture at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Featuring 37 musicians, the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Parasite composer, Jung Jaeil. Featuring an introduction by Oscar-nominated director Bong Joon Ho.


1.22.2020

Google Doodle Celebrates Screen Icon Anna May Wong

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



Celebrating Anna May Wong
Today's Google Doodle is a beautiful slideshow celebrating the life and career of screen icon Anna May Wong, the first-ever Chinese American movie star in Hollywood. The slideshow, created by illustrator Sophie Diao features snapshots of Wong's life, from her humble beginnings working in her parents' laundry to some of the more famous characters she portrayed in the more than 50 movies she appeared in over her career.

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LEGO 2020 Chinese New Year Playsets
Look, if you're not celebrating the Lunar New Year with an official LEGO 2020 Chinese Lunar New Year playset, then you're missing out. There's the very cool Lion Dance playset (882 pieces) featuring 5 dancing lions, 8 minifigures (including a man in a rat costume to mark the Year of the Rat), a percussionists' stage, a detailed temple gate and more. There's also the Chinese New Year Temple Fair playset (1664 pieces) featuring an ornate Chinese temple, stalls displaying an array of LEGO barbecue dishes, candy, toys, vases and dough figurines, plus 13 minifigures and a baby figure. Red envelopes included!

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MSG in Chinese food isn't unhealthy -- you're just racist
"To this day, the myth around MSG is ingrained in America's consciousness, with Asian food and culture still receiving unfair blame. Chinese Restaurant Syndrome isn't just scientifically false — it's xenophobic." Asian American activists, restaurateurs and medical professionals are calling monosodium glutamate's bad rap outdated, racist, and unscientific.

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What It's Like to Never Ever See Yourself on TV
Charles Yu, author of the forthcoming new novel Interior Chinatown, reflects on a lifetime of watching television, never seeing yourself reflected on the screen, and the generational feedback loop the denial of subjectivity creates for Asian Americans and America at large.

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Awkwafina is Nora From Queens
Awkwafina's new series Nora From Queens premieres tonight on Comedy Central. The half-hour scripted comedy is inspired by her real life growing up in Queens, New York. Raised by her Dad (BD Wong) and Grandma (Lori Tan Chinn) alongside her cousin (Bowen Yang), Nora Lin leans on her family as she navigates life and young adulthood in outer borough-NYC.


1.21.2020

"Ching Chang Chong": Piers Morgan Mocks Chinese on Live TV

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



Piers Morgan's response to royal's Chinese ad sparks outcry
Hey look! It's Piers Morgan being a racist asshole on live TV! The Good Morning Britain host was talking about Peter Phillips (I just learned that this is Queen Elizabeth's grandson) starring in a Chinese commercial for Jersey Fresh Milk, when he mocked the ad's Mandarin voiceover, saying -- you guessed it! -- "ching chong chang," or something to that effect. Just couldn't help himself with that shit. I'm just surprised he didn't pull his eyes back.

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Green Lantern: Legacy
The new graphic novel Green Lantern: Legacy, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Andie Tong, offers a new twist on the emerald ring-wielding DC Comics superhero. When 13-year-old Tai Pham inherits his grandmother's jade ring, he soon finds out it's more than just a piece of jewelry. Suddenly he's inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns. He is about to learn that being a superhero takes more than just a ring. Does Tai have the willpower and the imagination to uphold his ba's legacy?

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Apple Books


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"I'm plus-sized and Asian..." A Comic by Tenzing Lhamo Dorjee
"I'm so grateful to be living during the body-positive movement. I follow a ton of plus-sized women on social media. Any time I want a pick-me-up, I can look to them for inspiration. Some days, I look at myself in the mirror and wink at myself and say, 'Dang, you look good."=' There are times when people tell me: 'You're perfect sized!' 'You don't look fat!' 'Stop worrying!' This is sometimes hard to accept, having grown up in an Asian community."


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Missing: 16-year-old Yuping Guo, last seen in Hesperia
In Southern California, authorities are asking for the public's help locating a 16-year-old student visiting from China who has been missing since last week. Yuping Guo, who was traveling with a group for a four-day trip to the United States, was last seen leaving a host family's home in Hesperia on January 17. Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding Guo’s whereabouts to contact Detective J. LaDuke or Deputy J. Garay at (760)947-1526 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760)956-5001.


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'Kung Fu' Movie Remake Set At Universal
Universal Pictures has optioned the rights to the 1972 TV series Kung Fu for a contemporary-set action movie that will be directed by David Leitch, the co-director of John Wick and director of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde. The original Kung Fu infamously starred David Carradine, who is not Asian, as a Chinese martial arts master. Legend has it, the show was conceived by Bruce Lee, who didn't get the role because the network believed America wasn't quite ready to see an Oriental man star in his own TV show. Here's my question: is anybody really clamoring for a Kung Fu remake?


1.20.2020

Could 'Parasite' win Best Picture at the Oscars?

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



'Parasite' Makes History With Best Cast Win at SAG Awards
Parasite won the SAG Award for best performance by a cast in a motion picture on Sunday night, making history as the first foreign-language film to win in the category. Park So-dam, Lee Sun-kyun, Choi Woo-shik, Lee Jung-eun and Song Kang-ho were among the castmembers that took the stage to accept the award. The honor furthers the possibility of Parasite -- which earned South Korea its first-ever Academy Award nomination -- making a very serious run at becoming the first non-English-language film to ever win the best picture Oscar.

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ICE deported 25 Cambodian immigrants, most of whom arrived in the U.S. as refugees
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement quietly deported an estimated 25 Cambodian immigrants last week. The group largely consisted of individuals who arrived in the country legally as refugees after the Vietnam War but have been convicted of crimes. While this was the first round of repatriations this year, it's just the latest in an increased wave of deportations in the Southeast Asian community under the Trump administration.

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Body Found in Alhambra Identified as Missing San Gabriel Woman With Dementia
Coroner's officials on Saturday identified a woman whose body was discovered in a drainage ditch near an Alhambra golf course Friday afternoon as a 71-year-old woman with "severe dementia" and other medical problems who went missing from her San Gabriel home earlier this week.

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Train Like An Astronaut: Kelly Marie Tran and Naomi Ackie
Kelly Marie Tran and Naomi Ackie recently spent the day at NASA's Johnson Space Center training like astronauts and learning about NASA's plans to explore the Moon with the new Artemis program, which includes landing the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024. See Tran and Ackie training with NASA astronauts Meghan McArthur and Jessica Watkins on a gravity offload system, in the Orion crew capsule, an exploration rover and more. Literally more action than they saw in The Rise of Skywalker.

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16th Annual Asian Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City
If you're headed to the film festivities in Park City, Utah this week, join the Asian Pacific Filmmakers Experience -- now in its 16th year -- in celebration of the wide range of films and creative projects by Asian Pacific filmmakers at the 2020 Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals. There will be multiple events to attend from Friday, January 24th to Sunday, January 26th. Learn more here.


1.19.2020

Read These Blogs


New census ads speak to Filipino, Vietnamese, other undercounted Asian American groups
The Census Bureau has begun rolling out ads in multiple languages -- including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese -- to encourage people in hard-to-reach communities to participate in the congressionally mandated headcount.

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Why Is Vietnamese Food in America Frozen in the 1970s?
Forty years after the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese restaurants in America are still a tribute to a time and a place that no longer exists: 1970s Saigon.

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Why Doesn't the Academy Nominate Asians for Best Actor?
Even when predominantly Asian movies earn Academy Award nominations -- from The Last Emperor to Crouching Tiger to Parasite -- the actors in them don't receive nods for their acting.

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‘Parasite' was one of the best-acted movies of 2019. Why didn't the Oscars recognize that?
Despite the critical acclaim for Parasite, the Oscars still snubbed the film's actors for nominations, highlighting an ongoing issue of Hollywood seeing Asians as indistinguishable and interchangeable.

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How the Movie 'Parasite' Confronts Native Stereotypes
One major symbol that director Bong Joon Ho prominently places in Parasite to illustrate the absolute ignorance of the upper class is the young Park boy's obsession with what the film calls the "American Indian."

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Class as Smell: The Universality of Parasite
Margaret Rhee on stench and Parasite: "Out of all the senses, smell means a proximity even more intimate than touch, because it is the embodiment of a person." (Contains spoilers.)

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A Tale of Two Awkwafinas
Rapper, comedian, and actor Nora Lum, aka Awkwafina, on her two identities: "This is the one that's performing, and this is the one that's at home having a panic attack."

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Author Meng Jin On 'Little Gods'
Meng Jin's debut novel Little Gods is about a 17-year-old whose journey to China reveals the life of her mother, a former physicist who died in America.

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Migration and the Remains of US Empire
"The way we talk about history matters. And this is especially true in the case of the Philippines, which, in many ways, served as a laboratory for America’s imperial ambitions."

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How Mako Helped Pave Way for Asian American Actors in 1965 With L.A. Theater Group
Makoto Iwamatsu, also known as Mako, was nominated for an Oscar in 1966 for Sand Pebbles. He also co-founded East-West Players, an Asian American theater group in Los Angeles.

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Lana Condor Invites Us Home
To All The Boys I've Loved Before star Lana Condor shares that a casting person once asked her "to be more like Hello Kitty," whatever the hell that means.

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Kumail Nanjiani Thinks Immigrant Stories Can Still Be Hopeful
Comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani discusses Little America, his new anthology series on Apple TV Plus, and why "despite all the issues, I personally do feel optimistic about this country."

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Artist-in-Residence Jerry Ma: A Comic Book Odyssey
In A Chinatown Odyssey, graphic novel artist Jerry Ma retells the classic Chinese tale of the Monkey King in a modern, urban setting, and takes us on a journey through the 1980s Chinatown of his childhood.


1.17.2020

"Stop the Asian Invasion"? Yeah, we're coming to get you.

Racist car decal spotted on the streets of Alhambra, California.



Well, I suppose it's convenient when racists identify themselves. Especially while driving. This decal, urging no one in particular to "STOP THE ASIAN INVASION!" was spotted on a truck last week on Valley Blvd. in Alhambra, California. That also appears to be a racist caricature of an "Asian" ace in a coolie hat.

A sharp-eyed driver named Steve Kuo spotted the decal and snapped a photo and posted it on the Monterey Park Life Facebook group, imploring the internet to "find this person and contact his boss."

'Little America' is a Love Letter to Immigrants

Things to Know From Angry Asian America



Little America
Inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, and produced by the likes of Kumail Nanjiani and Alan Yang, Little America is a new anthology scripted series that tells funny, romantic, heartfelt and surprising stories about immigrants who come to the United States from all over the world. It's a marvelous series that premieres today on Apple TV+. I particularly enjoyed "The Grand Prize Expo Winners," written and directed by Tze Chun, and "The Manager," directed by Deepa Mehta and written by Rajiv Joseph.

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Evelyn Yang reveals she was sexually assaulted by her OB-GYN
Evelyn Yang, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, revealed for the first time she was sexually assaulted by her gynecologist when she was pregnant with her first child in 2012. In an interview with CNN, Yang said she kept the assault a secret, and only told her husband many months after their son was born. She said she decided to go public now after being moved by stories from voters she met on the campaign trail.

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Andrew Yang Explains Why the Democratic Debate Was So White
Andrew Yang didn't hit the required thresholds set by the Democratic National Committee to participate in Tuesday night’s presidential debate, which left only white candidates onstage in Iowa. On Wednesday's episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Yang offered his explanation for the whiteness of the debate: "What I said at the debate before this one [is that] fewer than 5% of Americans donate to political campaigns. You need disposable income to contribute to campaigns, and you need some form of security in order to run for office. So what happened on the stage last night reflects the inequities and realities in our economy."

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Apu Will No Longer Be Voiced By Hank Azaria
Hari Kondabolu's documentary The Problem with Apu examined the Simpsons character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and the character's impact on stereotypes of South Asians. Hank Azaria, who has performed the voice for over 30 years, says he will no longer be doing the voice of the Kwik-E Mart proprietor. "All we know there is I won't be doing the voice anymore, unless there's someway to transition it or something," Azaria tells Slash Film. Here's hoping the show doesn't get rid of Apu altogether. This is an opportunity to re-cast the voice, revamp Apu and do something interesting with the character.

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WTF Episode 1089: Randall Park
Randall Park is on the latest episode of WTF with Marc Maron, talking about his Hollywood career, the approval of his Korean immigrant parents, his friendship with Ali Wong, and the magic of a root canal.


Angry Reader of the Week: Paul Bae

"With my binoculars I can see Harry and Meghan mowing their lawn."



Hey, everybody! You know what's up. 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 Paul Bae.

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