'Fresh Off The Boat' Live Viewing Party with Hudson Yang

Tuesday, May 3 at CAPITALEdc in Washington DC

This is for all you Fresh Off The Boat fans in the Washington DC area... On Tuesday night, I'll be hosting a live viewing party for the hit ABC comedy's latest episode, "Rent Day," followed by a discussion/Q&A with star Hudson Yang. It's happening Tuesday, May 3 at CAPITALEdc, and sponsored by APIAVote and APA Film.

Here are some more details about the event:

Meet the White House Champions of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling

The White House will recognize ten AAPI artists and advocates in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

On Wednesday, the White House will recognize ten individuals from across the country as "White House Champions of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling."

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To celebrate, the White House and White House Initiative on AAPIs are honoring artists and advocates who have used unique channels and diverse platforms to tell powerful stories, increase awareness around key AAPI issues, and encourage diversity and inclusion in all sectors of society. These ten individuals were selected for their leadership and tireless work to raise the visibility of diverse AAPI experiences and create dialogue around issues the community faces.

The Champions of Change event will feature remarks by Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady Tina Tchen, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu, and White House Initiative on AAPIs Executive Director Doua Thor. There will also be panel discussions with the awardees, moderated by myself and Jeanny Kim, Acting Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The event will be live streamed on the White House website at www.whitehouse.gov/live on Wednesday, May 4, at 2:00 PM ET. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.

The White House Champions of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling are:

Angry Reader of the Week: Will Choi

"Now living the dream being broke in Los Angeles."

What's up, 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 Will Choi.

Forrest Wheeler describing a pager will make you feel old

'Fresh Off The Boat' star says it's "like an iPhone." But without a screen or apps.

Photo Credit: Jenny Yang

As fans of Fresh Off The Boat are aware, much of the show's humor is derived from some good old-fashioned '90s nostalgia. But we sometimes forget that the show's young stars weren't even alive yet during the nineties.

On Tuesday at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, comedian Jenny Yang and I hosted a live screening of Fresh Off the Boat, featuring members of the show's cast and crew, including stars Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen and Lucille Soong, writers Ali Wong and Sanjay Shah, and executive producer Melvin Mar.

During the Q&A, an audience member asked Forrest and Ian, who play brothers Emery and Evan Huang, what Fresh Off The Boat had taught them about 1990s pop culture. Forrest proceeded to describe what he had learned about pagers... and made us all feel some kind of way.

Check it out:


Beyond Orientalism: The Forum

Monday, May 2 at Pope Auditorium, Fordham University

How can the creative community advance race equity in the theatre? How do artists and producers agree to work together to eradicate yellowface and brownface? What are lessons learned that can be shared? If you're in New York, you're invited to Beyond Orientalism: The Forum, an interactive public event featuring panel conversations, a breakout session and multimedia components to explore these questions.

Beyond Orientalism: The Forum is presented by the Asian American Arts Alliance, Asian American Performers' Action Coalition, Theatre Communications Group and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, with the Fordham University Theatre Program. It's happening Monday, May 2 at Pope Auditorium at Fordham University.

Here are some more details about the event:

Are you a turbaned Sikh American who is ready to shine?

Photographers Amit and Naroop and The Sikh Coalition are looking for turbaned Sikhs for The Singh Project.

The Sikh Coalition is looking for camera-ready Sikh Americans of all ages for the U.S. edition of The Singh Project, a groundbreaking upcoming photography exhibition with UK-based photographers Amit and Naroop.

The Singh Project explores the style and symbolism of the Sikh articles of faith -- in particular, the turban and beard. The original Singh Project featured 36 portraits of British Sikhs and demonstrated the diversity and beauty of the Sikh turban. The new American portraits will feature a combination of iconic Sikh Americans that have previously made an impression on the American psyche, along with untold stories that illustrate the complex Sikh American experience.

Amit and Naroop, in partnership with the Sikh Coalition, are currently casting for the Singh Project -- U.S. edition! Turbaned Sikh Americans of all ages and genders are invited to take part.

Sikh man falsely accused of terrorism on Greyhound bus

Daljeet Singh is demanding accountability after being falsely accused and imprisoned by fellow passengers.

In Texas, a Sikh man has filed an official complaint demanding that criminal charges be brought against individuals who falsely accused him of making a bomb threat and unlawfully restrained him on a bus.

Daljeet Singh, who wears a turban and beard in observance of his Sikh faith, was a passenger on a Greyhound bus traveling through Amarillo on February 21, 2016 when he was falsely accused by a fellow passenger of making a terroristic threat.

"The only crime I committed was wearing a turban, having a beard, and speaking in a different language to another brown man on a bus," said Mr. Singh. "I still cannot believe that this happened to me in America."

During the bus trip from Phoenix to Indianapolis, Mr. Singh met another Punjabi-speaking man, Mohammad Chotri from Pakistan, who invited Singh to sit with him. The two men were strangers and had never met before, but shared a dialect of Punjabi. Neither man could speak or understand English fluently.

Shortly after departing from Amarillo, the bus stopped on the side of the road. According to Mr. Singh, two passengers restrained him and prevented him moving or using his phone to call an English-speaking family remember. When authorities arrived, Mr. Singh was arrested, searched, made to remove his religious turban, handcuffed and detained.

Later, Mr. Singh found out that another passenger had complained to the bus driver and to the police that he and Mr. Chotri had made a terroristic threat and that they were "acting suspicious."

"Actually, she called it 'acting weird.'" Singh says.


Air passenger busted with 38 pounds of drugs

Khoua Vang landed at O'Hare International Airport with opium and methamphetamine pills in her luggage.

Asians behaving badly... drug smuggling air passenger edition! A Minnesota woman was arrested after more than 38 pounds of drugs were discovered in her luggage at O'Hare International Airport.

Woman arrested at O'Hare with 38 pounds of drugs had traveled to Laos

On Saturday morning, 49-year-old Khoua Vang landed in Chicago, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found more than 3,500 methamphetamine pills and about 37 1/2 pounds of opium in her luggage.

Jeremy Lin drops 21 points to help Hornets tie playoff series

Charlotte nabs their second straight playoff victory over the Miami Heat.

No big deal. Just Jeremy Lin being hella Jeremy Lin when the Hornets need it the most. The guard from Harvard has been on fire, dropping 21 points off the bench Monday night and helping Charlotte nab their second straight playoff victory over the Miami Heat, tying the Eastern Converence series 2-2.

Relentlessness of Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lin help Hornets tie series

Lin was the second-leading scorer behind Kemba Walker in the Hornets' 89-85 victory over the Heat. The guy has been relentless, not just in Game 4, but this entire series. In four playoff games, he's averaging 19.1 points per 36 minutes and shooting 50 percent inside the three-point line.

As usual, here's a conveniently compiled video of Jeremy's game highlights from Monday night:

"It's just not an option for us to throw another community under the bus."

The Daily's Show's Hasan Minhaj talks to Sikhs about how Islamophobia is affecting their community.

Since 9/11, the rise of Islamophobia has targeted groups indiscriminately with hate speech and violence. Sikhs, who wear a turban as an article of faith, have often been mistaken for Muslims. But as this Daily Show segment demonstrates, you won't find the Sikh community throwing Muslims under the bus.

Hasan Minhaj -- aka "Brown Ryan Seacrest" -- recently sat down with designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia and other Sikhs to find out how Islamophobia is affecting their community. Despite Hasan's urging to Sikhs to attempt to blend in, deflect and declare "We're not Muslim!" the group of individuals gathered here says they won't compromise their values -- as Sikhs and as Americans.

Racist messages emerge in SFPD texting scandal

Former San Francisco Police Officer Jason Lai allegedly sent racist and homophobic text messages.

The San Francisco Police Department has been embroiled in an ongoing scandal involving more than a dozen officers who allegedly wrote and sent racist and homophobic text messages. This week, new disturbing messages emerged from a former officer at the center of the scandal.

New Racist, Homophobic Texts Emerge In Ongoing SFPD Scandal

CNN has obtained a list of dozens of offensive texts sent to and from Officer Jason Lai, who used slurs that included a derogatory term for Hispanics, a shortened version of the n-word, and a message calling Indian people "disgusting," as well as homophobic language to refer to gay officers.

Lai's texts also made several references to "hak gwai," a derogatory Cantonese phrase for African Americans:


How Oklahoma cops took $53,000 from a Burmese Christian rock band

Muskogee County Sheriff's Office seized $53,234 intended for an orphanage and a religious college.

In Oklahoma, authorities announced that they would be returning over $53,000 in seized assets that it took from Eh Wah, a man who was pulled over in February while carrying the cash for a Burmese Christian rock band that had been raising funds for an orphanage in Thailand. They've also dropped a felony criminal charge against Eh Wah, who had been falsely accused of "acquiring proceeds from drug activity."

How police took $53,000 from a Christian band, an orphanage and a church

Not-so-coincidentally, the announcement came shortly after The Washington Post published a report about Eh Wah's plight. On February 27, a sheriff's deputy seized $53,234 in cash from Eh Wah, the volunteer tour manager for Klo & Kweh Music Team, a Burmese Christian music group on a tour of the United States.

Eh Wah had been driving with a broken tail light, and the deputy who pulled him over suspected that he was carrying drug money, despite having found no drugs or paraphernalia in his car. The cash was from concert ticket and merchandise sales and donations, much of it earmarked for an orphanage in Thailand, and some for a religious college back in Burma. Absolutely none of the money was derived from drug sales.

Again: no drugs, paraphernalia or weapons in the car. Eh Wah tried to explain where the cash came from -- it was difficult because English isn't his first language -- but officers weren't satisfied. He was taken to the police station for more questioning, and after six hours, eventually let go without any charges.

But the officers kept the money.

Every name has a story on 'Fresh Off The Boat'

Episode 221: "Hi, My Name Is" airs Tuesday, April 26, 8:00pm on ABC

ABC's hit Asian American family sitcom Fresh Off The Boat airs Tuesday nights at 8:00pm. The comedy, inspired by the memoir of chef Eddie Huang, tells the story of the Huang family, a Taiwanese American family getting their immigrant hustle on in 1990s suburban Orlando, in pursuit of the American dream. If you missed this season's episodes, they're available for viewing on the ABC website.

Fresh Off The Boat stars Randall Park as Louis, Constance Wu as Jessica, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery, Ian Chen as Evan and Chelsey Crisp as Honey. With special guest assist from Lucille Soong as Grandma Huang. This week, Louis and Jessica reveal how they acquired their American names.

Here's a preview of episode 221, "Hi, My Name Is...":

Steven Yeun joins the cast of Netflix sci-fi feature 'Okja'

'The Walking Dead' star rounds out Bong Joon Ho's anticipated follow-up to 'Snowpiercer.'

Steven Yeun, who may or may not or may or may not be back on the next season of The Walking Dead, has joined the cast of the sci-fi feature film Okja, director Bong Joon Ho's anticipated follow-up to Snowpiercer.

'Okja': 'Walking Dead's Steven Yeun, Lily Collins & More Round Out Cast Of 'Snowpiercer' Follow

Written by Bong and Jon Ronson, Okja centers on Mija, a young girl who befriends a genetically manufactured pig named Okja. When the pig grows up to gigantic proportions, the corporation that created him takes him, thrusting the girl, now a teen, into a mission to take it back.

No word on Yeun's role in the movie, but Tilda Swinton is playing The Ancient One the head of the corporation (and her twin sister), while Jake Gyllenhaal is a zoologist, and Paul Dano is an animal activist looking to expose the corporation's dastardly dealings.

Jeremy Lin leads Hornets to first playoff win in 14 years

Lin scored 18 points to lead Charlotte to a 96-80 rout over the Miami Heat.

Boom. In case you missed it.. Over the weekend, Jeremy Lin stepped up with 18 points to lead the Hornets to a 96-80 rout over the Miami Heat and helping Charlotte nab their first playoff win in fourteen years.

Lin Leads Hornets in Playoff Win

Miami took the first two games over Charlotte in the opening series of the Eastern Conference playoffs. But in game three, the Hornets stung back. The win is the Hornets' first in the playoffs since 2002, and snapped a 12-game playoff losing streak that would have tied the NBA's longest with another defeat.

Charlotte' bench outscored Miami's 34-13 on Saturday night, led by Jeremy's team-high 18 points off the bench. He also added four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 26 minutes.

And, of course, here's a video of Jeremy's highlights from Saturday night:

Teen charged in hate crime attack on Sikh man commits suicide

17-year-old Alexis Mendoza was accused of beating and running over Amrik Singh Bal.

In Fresno, a teen charged in the hate crime assault of an elderly Sikh man has committed suicide. The Fresno County Coroner's Office confirmed that 17-year-old Alexis Mendoza killed himself last week.

Teen Charged With Attacking Sikh Man Commits Suicide

Mendoza and another man, 22-year-old Daniel Coronel Wilson, were accused of beating and running over 68-year-old Amrik Singh Bal in vicious hate crime attack on the morning of December 26.

During the attack, one of the assailants reportedly asked him, "Why are you here?"

According to Fresno police, Mendoza and Wilson were driving when they spotted Bal, who was wearing a turban and traditional Sikh robes. Both men got out of the car and beat Bal with their fists, then got back into the car and intentionally ran him over. He suffered a broken collar bone and abrasions to his nose and right hand.

A security camera at a nearby home captured the suspects running over Bal.


Read These Blogs

Why Won't Hollywood Cast Asian Actors? Our friend Keith Chow drops truth in this New York Times op-ed about racist casting practices, the realities of the box office and the ongoing erasure of Asians in Hollywood.

* * *

The trial of Peter Liang and confronting the reality of Asian American privilege: Peter Liang's light sentence for the killing of Akai Gurley highlights the reality of Asian American privilege.

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No, Pro-Liang Protests Were Not the Largest or Most Impactful Asian American Protest Movements Ever: Let's be clear. This year's pro-Liang protests marches are neither the first, nor the largest, nor the most impactful protest movements organized by the Asian American community.

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Why does Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt keep choosing race as a hill to die on? This season of Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt tries to take on outrage culture. It never makes a clear point.

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'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,' Outrage Culture, And The Fight To Save Racism In Hollywood: "The constant cycle of outrage? Maybe that's because Hollywood keeps casting white actors as Asian characters. And making jokes at Asian-American people's expense. And if we would listen, instead of opting out, that outrage cycle wouldn't have to continue like this forever."


Family Reunion: A Storytelling Show

"Sound Mind" - Thursday, April 28 at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre

Hey, Los Angeles! It's story time! Disoriented Comedy invites you to the latest edition of Family Reunion, a monthly live storytelling show co-presented by Angry Asian Man Angry Asian Man, Tuesday Night Project, Mishthi Music and KAYA Press, featuring regular everyday folks talking story. No notes.

This month's Family Reunion theme is "Sound Mind." The evening's featured lineup of storytellers includes Shondalia White, Beau Sia, Neha Talreja, Brandie Posey, Benjamin To, Alfa Garcia, Paola Mardo and Anjali Alimchandani, with the proceedings hosted by Atsuko Okatsuka.

It's happening Thursday, April 28 at Family Reunion's new temporary venue, the Lyric Hyperion Theatre in Silverlake. Here are some more details about the show:

Angry Reader of the Week: William Lu

"I'm the son of a Taiwanese organic chemist and a Shanghainese physicist. I inherited none of their science genes."

Hello, internet friends. 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 William Lu.

Supervisor Jane Kim kicks ass in the baddest political ad

Jane Kim is running for California State Senate. And she will fight for you.

Our friend, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, is running for California State Senate. She recently dropped this rad political ad where she trades in her stilettos for a taekwondo gi and shows off her badass black belt skills. The former school board president is currently the District 6 supervisor, representing the Tenderloin, SoMa and Treasure Island neighborhoods, where she fights for affordable housing, safe schools and more.

Check it out:


Ken tries standup on the season finale of 'Dr. Ken'

Episode 121: "Ken Tries Stand-Up" airs Friday, April 22 at 8:30pm on ABC

On this week's Dr. Ken -- the season finale -- Ken pursues his lifelong dream of stand-up comedy.

Inspired by executive producer/star Ken Jeong's real life and career as a medical doctor, the multi-camera comedy Dr. Ken follows Dr. Ken Park, a physician with bad bedside manner trying to juggle medicine and being a family man to his wife and kids -- and not quite succeeding on either front.

Dr. Ken also stars the awesome Suzy Nakamura as Ken's wife Allison, Krista Marie Yu as daughter Molly, and Albert Tsai as his son Dave. They're all great. The cast is rounded out by Tisha Campbell-Martin as Damona, Jonathan Slavin as Clark, Kate Simses as Julie and Dave Foley as Pat.

Here's some more info about this week's episode, "Ken Tries Stand-Up:


#MyAAPIStory: Sharing the Stories of the AAPI Community

The White House is working with StoryCorps to document and share AAPI stories.

As part of its upcoming Heritage Month celebration, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is teaming up with StoryCorps to document and share the stories of the AAPI community.

#MyAAPIStory: Sharing the Diverse Stories of the AAPI Community

You are encouraged to share your story and those of others within the AAPI community. Highlight issues you care about, share about what your identity means to you, or interview others -- friends, family members, community leaders -- that are making a difference for the AAPI community.

You can share a story about any topic you wish, and the recording can be as short or as long as you'd like. Themes could include:

• Being the first in your family to go to college
• Your immigration story
• Defying the model minority myth
• Preserving culture and identity
• Overcoming odds

You can use the StoryCorps app to record your story or interview, and then post it on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #MyAAPIStory. Select stories may be highlighted throughout the month of May in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

For further information on #MyAAPIStory, visit the White House Blog.

The Daily Show's Tips for Flying While Muslim

Hasan Minhaj demonstrates how Muslims can fly without terrifying their fellow travelers.

Ah, Flying While Brown. After a college student was recently kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight simply for speaking Arabic -- shout out to all you racist, idiotic air passengers who get freaked by the sight of a brown face and the sound of a "foreign" tongue -- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah's Hasan Minhaj made a handy pre-flight video demonstrating how Muslims can fly without terrifying their fellow travelers.

"If you speak Arabic, don't. It's a scary language." Hasan advises. "But don't not speak either, because that's also super suspicious."

UCLA graduate student missing for 10 days

Alison Wu was last seen by her roommate on April 10.

In Los Angeles, a search is underway for a UCLA student who has been missing for the past ten days. Alison Wu, a graduate student in the Fielding School of Public Health, was last seen by her roommate on April 10.

Information on student sought

Wu is believed to be with a known male friend, identified Scott Helton. While family members say it appears as though she left on her own, they are concerned because they have not heard from her.

A UC San Diego student who identified herself as Wu's friend posted on Facebook that the couple was spotted at a coffee shop on April 13. The sighting was not confirmed by UCLA officials.


Join us for a live edition of Fresh Off The Show!

Special Screening with Cast & Crew, Tuesday, April 26 at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

If you're in Los Angeles, and you're a super-fan of Fresh Off The Boat, I invite you to join us for a special live edition of Fresh Off The Show at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Film Festival. We'll be screening two brand-new episodes of the hit ABC comedy, followed by a Q&A and meet-and-greet with cast and crew from Fresh Off The Boat. I'll be moderating the evening, along my pal Jenny Yang.

It's happening Tuesday, April 26 at the Japanese American National Museum. Here are some more details:

No jail time for Peter Liang in fatal shooting of Akai Gurley

Judge reduces ex-NYPD cop's manslaughter conviction to criminally negligent homicide.

BREAKING: Former NYPD police officer Peter Liang will receive no jail time for the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley. A judge has reduced his manslaughter conviction to criminally negligent homicide.

On November 20, 2014, Liang and his partner were patrolling the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn. At one point, Liang opened a door into an unlit stairwell and his gun went off. The bullet ricocheted off a wall and hit 28-year-old Akai Gurley, who was walking down the stairs, piercing his heart.

In February, a jury convicted Liang of second-degree manslaughter and official misconduct for failing to help Gurley after he had been shot. He could have been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

But last month, the Brooklyn District Attorney's office announced that it would not seek prison time for Liang, advising the judge that "a prison sentence is not warranted," and instead recommending probation, home confinement and community service.

On Tuesday, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun sentenced Liang to five years probation and at least 800 hours community service for Gurley's death.

More here: No Jail Time for Ex-NYPD Officer Peter Liang After Manslaughter Conviction Reduced to Criminally Negligent Homicide


C3: The Conference for Creative Content

Saturday, April 23 & Sunday, April 24 at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Hey, content creators! Visual Communications invites you to the sixth edition of C3: Conference for Creative Content, happening as part of opening weekend of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. It's this Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 at the Japanese American National Museum in historic Little Tokyo.

The only event of its kind, the Conference for Creative Content brings together foremost media professionals in film, television, cable, digital, and transmedia to create a dialogue on the ever-changing media industry, share best practices, network, celebrate and build a collective vision for our community.

Whether you're a filmmaker still trying to get a studio meeting or a working actor looking to showcase your talent and boost your career to the next level, hear from influential, talented industry leaders who are changing the way we view, consume and create content.

Here a rundown of the conference schedule:

A new name for a New Super-Man

Why the new Chinese Superman went through a name change before he'd even taken flight.

Meet Kenan Kong, the New Super-Man!

Last month, as part of its much-hyped "Rebirth" initiative, DC Comics announced that its newest high-flying hero, starring in the monthly title New Super-Man, would be a Chinese teenager from Shanghai who finds himself infused with the powers of Superman. Best of all, this decidedly Chinese take on the Man of Steel would be written by acclaimed graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, with art by Viktor Bodganovich.

Here's the cover art for New Super-Man #1:

How to Make Scarlett Johansson "More Asian"

An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the visual effects for 'Ghost in the Shell,' courtesy of RocketJump.

Sometimes the situation is so pathetically ridiculous, you just have to shake your head and laugh. In response to the widely-decried casting of Scarlett Johansson in the live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell, here's a funny video from the folks at RocketJump, in which they imagine the behind-the-scenes special effects tinkering it takes to turn the movie's white star into a Asian robot cyborg.

Viet Thanh Nguyen wins Pulitzer Prize for 'The Sympathizer'

"A layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a 'man of two minds' -- and two countries."

Vietnamese American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen has won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his debut novel The Sympathizer, published last year by Grove Press. The award, announced Monday, recognizes distinguished fiction published in book form by an American author, "preferably dealing with American life."

Viet Thanh Nguyen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for 'The Sympathizer'

The Sympathizer is part spy thriller, part political satire, telling the story of the fall of South Vietnamese government and subsequent events in American exile in Los Angeles, through the eyes of an undercover communist agent. The book explores life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

The Pulitzer committee lauded The Sympathizer as "a layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a 'man of two minds' -- and two countries, Vietnam and the United States."


Read These Blogs

Why Did 'Doctor Strange' and 'Ghost in the Shell' Whitewash Their Asian Characters? This week, two images from Doctor Strange and Ghost in the Shell are even more examples of Hollywood's whitewashing. Graeme McMillan and Rebecca Sun discuss the controversy around these films.

* * *

Chinese Americans Want NYPD Officer Peter Liang Held Accountable, Too: The historical racism directed at Chinese people is deeply felt, but the conviction of former NYPD officer Peter Liang was never an appropriate example of systemic racism.

* * *

Opinion: Akai Gurley's family deserves justice: "I know what it feels like to be denied justice by our country’s so-called justice system. Twenty-one years ago, my younger brother, Yong Xin Huang, was killed by an NYPD officer and my family never got justice. Our family's story and grief are not so different than that of Akai Gurley's family."

* * *

Charlotte Hornets' Jeremy Lin is a mystery to everyone but himself: Charlotte Hornets' guard Jeremy Lin discusses showing his personality and keeping some privacy on social media.

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Open Season on Jeremy Lin? In Video, Fan Highlights Hard Fouls: That fan-made video calling attention to the excessive number of hard fouls Jeremy Lin gets hit with on the court -- without ever drawing a flagrant foul -- has been viewed over a million times and even prompted an official response from the NBA (though it's probably not the responses you wanted to hear).

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Angry Reader of the Week: A.J. Calomay

"Nope, I'm not the guy who hosted 106 & Park."

Hey, everybody! Welcome to another edition of 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 A.J. Calomay.

Yellowface in 'Ghost in the Shell': There's an app for that.

Studio reportedly ordered visual effects tests to make Scarlett Johansson look "more Asian."

So the first image of Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell was released the other day, and a large portion of the internet responded with a collective "OH HELL NO." As most of us have been saying for a very long time, a whitewashed live-action remake of the manga/anime classic is a fantastically bad idea. Is it hard to believe that producers were considering using yellowface? Nope.

It's amazing what those darn computers can do these days. Paramount and DreamWorks apparently foresaw the pesky issue of casting white actors in an inherently Japanese story. The solution: computer-enhanced yellowface. Screencrush reports that the studio commissioned screen tests for several of the movie's non-Asian actors to try using CGI effects to "shift [their] ethnicity" and make them appear more "Asian."


Tennessee Girl Mistakenly Gets Tattoo of Jeremy Lin's Name in Chinese, Decides to Be His Biggest Fan

Cross-posted from Dat Winning.

All this poor young woman from Tennessee wanted was a tattoo of a Chinese phrase on her ankle to celebrate her love of languages and travel. So she asked someone on the internet to translate a phrase for her. And, of course as the laws of the internet decree, she got trolled. Somebody tricked her into getting NBA star Jeremy Lin's name in Chinese permanently etched on her skin.

"Always check your sources," is now something Holland Christensen will never forget. So according to the video above, she reached a crossroads. She could kill herself forever for making such a foolish mistake, or embrace it. She chose the latter.

Holland didn't even know who Jeremy Lin was, but she did her research, as thoroughly as she probably should have checked the tattoo, and quickly became Lin's biggest fan.

Randall Park guest stars on 'Dr. Ken'

Episode 120: "Korean Men's Club" airs Friday, April 15 at 8:30pm on ABC

On this week's Dr. Ken, Randall Park guest stars!

Inspired by executive producer/star Ken Jeong's real life and career as a medical doctor, the multi-camera comedy Dr. Ken follows Dr. Ken Park, a physician with bad bedside manner trying to juggle medicine and being a family man to his wife and kids -- and not quite succeeding on either front.

Dr. Ken also stars the awesome Suzy Nakamura as Ken's wife Allison, Krista Marie Yu as daughter Molly, and Albert Tsai as his son Dave. They're all great. The cast is rounded out by Tisha Campbell-Martin as Damona, Jonathan Slavin as Clark, Kate Simses as Julie and Dave Foley as Pat.

Here's some more info about this week's episode, "Korean Men's Club":

Our first look at Scarlett Johansson in 'Ghost in the Shell'

And now the full whitewash cycle is complete.

So this is really happening, huh? Production has begun on DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures' live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, based on the classic manga series by Masamune Shirow. And here is your first look at Scarlett Johansson as the character they're calling "The Major." I guess they didn't have the guts to refer to her by the character's original name: Major Motoko Kusanagi.

And now the full whitewash cycle is complete.

According to the studio's press release, Ghost in the Shell follows the Major, "a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic's advancements in cyber technology."


The Alphabet Squad: These Kids Are The Future of Television

Vulture held a roundtable with the 12-and-under stars of ABC's comedy lineup. It was adorable.

We live in extraordinary times. When I was growing up, I could not have dreamed of seeing two Asian American sitcom families, let alone an entire squad of kids of color on a single network, with shows like Fresh Off The Boat, Black-ish, Modern Family and Dr. Ken -- all on ABC.

What's it like being a child actor on television today? Vulture gathered seven stars from ABC's comedy lineup -- all aged 12 and under -- for an hourlong conversation at the network's headquarters in Burbank.

Let's call them The Alphabet Squad: Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat); Miles Brown and Marsai Martin (Black-ish); Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Modern Family); and Albert Tsai (Dr. Ken) talked about their experiences in front of the camera, and out in the world, as a result of their newfound fame.

Tilda Swinton teaches Dr. Strange the Mystical Asian Stuff

The Ancient One is a bald British lady.

Marvel just dropped the first teaser trailer for Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, who journeys to mystical Asia to learn Mystical Asian Stuff. The trailer also gives us our first glimpse of Tilda Swinton as the Sorcerer Supreme's mystical mentor, The Ancient One.

Racebent! In typical Hollywood fashion. Many of us were wondering how the movie would handle whitest actress Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, who has been traditionally depicted in the comic books as an old-ass mystical Asian man. Now we have our answer: she is bald.


See you at the 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Presented by Visual Communications, April 21-28 in Little Tokyo, Koreatown and West Hollywood.

All right, Los Angeles film fans. Mark your calendars, call up some friends and make some plans. Visual Communications presents 32nd annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, the premier showcase for the best and brightest of Asian Pacific American and international cinema.

Southern California's largest festival of its kind, LAAPFF runs April 21-28 in Little Tokyo, Koreatown and West Hollywood. The festivities kick off with the world premiere of writer/director Lena Khan's dramatic comedy The Tiger Hunter, starring Danny Pudi, on Thursday, April 21 at the Aratani Theatre.

Check out the festival trailer:

First Look at Heroine Complex, a novel about Asian American superheroes

Sarah Kuhn's forthcoming auperhero novel is the first in a trilogy.

BADASS! Check out this first look at Heroine Complex, an upcoming novel about Asian American superheroes, by our friend (and former Angry Reader of the Week) Sarah Kuhn.

In Heroine Complex, Evie Tanaka is stuck being the personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, who's San Francisco's most beloved superhero -- and Evie's childhood best friend. Too bad Aveda has grown up to be kind of a diva. Evie has everything under control, until she's forced to impersonate her boss and former friend for one night, and then discovers that she, too, has superpowers. Cue superheroic karaoke battles, deadly cupcakes, and a demon invasion that could just destroy the whole city.

Here's the recently unveiled cover of Heroine Complex by artist Jason Chan:

Writers respond to "Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?"

"Asian Americans are in the room, and although his poem wasn't meant for us, we're speaking back to it."

You may have come across writer and humorist Calvin Trillin's New Yorker poem "Have The Run Out of Provinces Yet?" in which a foodie bemoans the increasing, overwhelming presence of regional Chinese cuisine. The exasperated diner in Trillin's poem longs for the"Simple days of chow mein but no stress, / When we never were faced with the threat / Of more provinces we hadn't met."

Yes, it's satire. But as many critics of the poem have pointed out, it also reads like nostalgia for a pre-1965 era, before racist immigration quotas based on national origin were phased out. You see, America loves Chinese things. They want to consume Chinese things. They just don't want anything to do with actual Chinese people.

Trillin's poem "continues an American tradition of talking about Asia as if we Asians were not in the room," poet Timothy Yu writes in the New Republic. "It's an in-joke among white consumers of Chinese things, but actual Chinese people are at best absent from its lines, and at worst a looming peril within them. The eruption of response to the poem shows how wrong Trillin was: Asian Americans are in the room, and although his poem wasn't meant for us, we're speaking back to it."

The Asian American Writers' Workshop asked writers to submit their own takes on Trillin's poem -- to take up space in this room and speak back. They've posted fourteen different responses, like this hot bit of verse from poet Franny Choi:


Serial thief targeting Korean businesses in San Diego

Suspect orders dishes at restaurants that take a while to make and then uses that time to steal.

Beware the suspicious man who orders kalbi. In the San Diego area, police are searching for a serial thief who has been caught on surveillance video primarily targeting local businesses in the Korean community.

An unknown suspect appears to be targeting Korean eateries on Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. In each case, he order dishes at restaurants that take a while to make and then uses that time to steal from the business.

Thievin' is bad enough, but the dude is wasting perfectly good barbecued meat!

Before Tinder, there was the Taiwan Love Boat

Valerie Soe is making a documentary about the legendary Taiwanese cultural program, aka "Love Boat."

They're making a film about the legendary Love Boat. And I'm not talking about the TV show.

In the late 1960s, the Taiwanese government established the Study tour to Taiwan as an outreach program to Chinese American and Taiwanese American youth. While it was touted as a cultural enrichment program, it became notorious among Chinese American and Taiwanese American college students as an excellent place to hook up and find romance. Hence, its more commonly referred nickname: "Love Boat."

Since its inception, the Love Boat has served three purposes: 1) As a political tool for the Taiwanese government. 2) As a way for Chinese and Taiwanese American parents to insure the preservation of their bloodlines. 3) And as a place for young Chinese and Taiwanese Americans to find romance.

No actual boat involved.

Fox Animation picks up remake rights for 'The Eagle Huntress'

Sundance documentary tells the true story of Mongolia's first female falconer.

Some super cool movie news... The Eagle Huntress is getting the animated remake treatment. 20th Century Fox Animation is reportedly in final negotiations to acquire the remake rights for the feature adventure documentary.

Fox Nabs Animated Remake Rights to Daisy Ridley-Backed Film 'Eagle Huntress'

The Eagle Huntress, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, tells the extraordinary real-life story of a fierce Mongolian teenage girl named Aisholpan, who defies tradition to learn the skills and gain acceptance in the male-dominated field of falconry.

The film already has a distribution deal with Sony Pictures Classics. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox Animation sees remake potential for the girl-empowerment tale and is negotiating a separate deal.

Steven Yeun and Conan O'Brien went to Korea and made a K-pop music video

And other epic Korean adventures.

As you may have heard, late night talk show host Conan O'Brien recently took a trip to South Korea after receiving a nice letter and box of snacks -- let's be real, no one can say no to Korean snacks -- from his number one Korean fan. The resulting show aired on Saturday night, and it's an epic adventure featuring food, martial arts, video games, k-pop, terrible pronunciation, Steven Yeun and the Demilitarized Zone.

Here are some highlights from Conan's trip to the Land of the Morning Calm:

Woman blasts SFO customs officer for being a racist jerk

"Tell her if she wants her green card back she needs to learn to follow directions."

In San Francisco, a woman says she and her family were humiliated and disrespected by an airport customs officer who threatened to withhold her mother's green card because of her limited English proficiency.

In a public Facebook post published Sunday, Hsin-Hung Lin recounted her recent racist interaction with Theo Bruinsma, a customs officer at San Francisco International Airport while she and her family were returning home from an overseas trip for her grandmother's funeral. They were already emotionally drained, but she says Bruinsma made the situation worse when he began to mock and threaten her mother.

"So you're telling me she's lived in the U.S. for fourteen years, and she can't speak English?" Bruinsma asked incredulously, according to Lin. Then he said to Lin, "Tell your mom my Chinese is better than her English."

Up to this point, it can be argued that this guy was just being an unprofessional asshole. But things proceeded to escalate, and Bruinsma threatened to withhold Lin's mother's green card -- basically illegally detaining her.

"Tell her if she wants her green card back she needs to learn to follow directions," Bruinsma said. "She's clearly not cooperating so she doesn't want to get her green card back."

Here's Hsin-Hung Lin's full account of their experience:


Read These Blogs

A Rap Battle With The New Yorker's Calvin Trillin: In the April 4, 2016 issue of the New Yorker, venerable (that means "nobody tells him what he's doing is a bad idea anymore") humorist Calvin Trillin published a poem called "Have They Run Out Of Provinces Yet," bemoaning the oppressive variety of Chinese food. Authors Karissa Chen, Celeste Ng, and Beth Nguyen joined forces for an epic poetic response, which Chen describes as "in the style of a rap battle, inspired by Hamilton." Trillin, we see your racist doggerel and raise you this.

* * *

White Poets Want Chinese Culture Without Chinese People: Calvin Trillin's "Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?" is the latest in a long artistic tradition -- one that uses Chinese objects, Chinese culture, and even Chinese bodies to express white American anxieties and desires.

* * *

We analyzed the names of almost every Chinese restaurant in America. This is what we learned: An interesting taxonomy of American Chinese restaraunt names.

* * *

'A Conversation With Asian-Americans on Race': In this New York Times documentary, Asian Americans talk about how stereotypes unfairly confine them. It doesn't only devalue the experiences of other racial minorities, but it also renders the diverse experiences of Asian Americans invisible.

* * *

Why Are Filipino Americans Still Forgotten and Invisible? The perplexing case of the historical marginalization of Filipino Americans -- marginalization that still happens to this day.


You're invited to the dinner party from hell

Karen Kusama's indie psycho thriller 'The Invitation' now in theaters and VOD.

Welcome to the dinner party from hell. The indie psycho-thriller The Invitation, directed by Karyn Kusama, hits theaters in limited release this week from Drafthouse Films, opening in Austin, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and other cities. It's also available across on demand platforms, including Amazon and iTunes.

Following its world premiere last year at South By Southwest, The Invitation has picked up enormous praise, with reviews universally expressing cagey hesitation to explain too much about the film, dancing around the plot for fear of spoiling too much of film's shocking twists and turns.

But the short official version: While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests. Unfolding over one dark evening in the Hollywood Hills, The Invitation stars Logan Marshall-Green, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Tammy Blanchard, Lindsay Burdge, John Carroll Lynch, Michelle Krusiec and Mike Doyle.

Here's the trailer:

Angry Reader of the Week: Michelle Krusiec

"At my core I am someone who wants to use the Arts to heal."

What's up, internet? 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 Michelle Krusiec.

Ouch. When it hurts to be Jeremy Lin.

Jeremy Lin is consistently on the receiving end of particularly brutal fouls -- and referees never seem to notice.

Anybody who's followed Jeremy Lin's career closely is aware that the Asian American guard from Harvard takes more than his fair share of fouls on the court. Really rough, bloody nose-inducing flagrant fouls. But does he get roughed up more than the average player? And more importantly, do officials call it?

Let's go to the tape.

Props to the individual responsible for putting together this six and a half minute video, recently uploaded to YouTube, which painfully points out a number of incidents in which Jeremy Lin has been on the receiving end of some particularly brutal flagrant fouls that did not get called -- not even as a regular run-of-the-mill fouls.

It hurts. It's actually kind of hard to watch:

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