Angry Reader of the Week: Peter Shinkoda

"Professionally speaking, I'm right where I want to be."

Hey folks! 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 Peter Shinkoda.

Who are you?

My name is Peter Masami Shinkoda. I am a Canadian actor of Asian descent from Montreal who was studying civil engineering at the University of Western Ontario when I decided that I would not let the biases and stereotypes of the day defeat me anymore and decamped to Los Angeles in the 90s permanently to pursue my acting dreams.

What are you?

I am a television and film actor, best known for action-oriented roles but capable of so much more, who is working my hardest to change the perception of people of Asian descent in media.

Where are you?

I live on the Westside of Los Angeles, but I commute a lot between New York, Toronto and Vancouver for many of the roles I essay. Professionally speaking, I'm right where I want to be.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised on the West Island of Montreal in the traditionally English-speaking section of the predominantly French-Canadian city. While I have traveled all over the world, Montreal is and will always be home as my parents still live there and are in possession of all my comic books. I do travel to Japan as much as I can and hope to repatriate to the country one day for at least a few years to strengthen my cultural identity.

What do you do?

I am currently featured in Marvel's Daredevil series on Netflix. I was previously a series regular on Steven Spielberg's Falling Skies on TNT. I star in the upcoming indie films The Lady Killers and Always (aka Inflection), the latter of which was shot in Hong Kong, and in the revisionist Western, Western Religion. When I'm not acting, I love hockey, music, hockey, travel, and hockey.

What are you all about?

My deepest desire -- and my primary goal in life -- is to stomp out discrimination wherever it exists. The truth is that the world is a better place than it was even a few years ago, but profound progress does not mean that we shouldn't aspire to more, much more. The blatant racists aren't the ones who worry me. Most people realize the extremists are crackpots and I imagine most of them will have died off within one or two generations. The ones who worry me are the latent racists, the ones who act like they're open-minded and accepting, but who are really seething inside.

What makes you angry?

Institutional racism, particularly in the media, pisses me off. When I left university to pursue acting full-time, my greatest fear was that I would be relegated to the stereotypical Asian male roles, i.e., martial artist, inept lover, smart guy, nerd. While it hasn't been quite that bad, it also hasn't been that good. Things are definitely getting better, but my question is why is this even an issue in 2015? Particularly when there is a template for viewing characters of Asian decent simply as people, rather than as Asians. Look back to the original Hawaii Five-O, which went on the air in 1968, almost five decades ago! In that show, many if not most of the characters were of Asian descent... and yet the fact that they were "Asian" was rarely if ever called out. They were people... If Jack Lord understood that in the '60s and '70s, why don't producers in Hollywood understand that now? Now that makes me angry!

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