They Call Us Bruce - Episode 83: They Call Us Thankful

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.

On this special Thanksgiving-themed episode, recorded live at the Edison Theatre in Long Beach, we welcome some good friends -- actress Tess Paras (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), screenwriter Thuc Doan Nguyen (The Bitch Pack) and writer Shirley Li (The Atlantic) to talk politics, culture and the year in Asian America.


Read These Blogs

The Mandalorian: Deborah Chow Reveals the Inspiration For the Baby Yoda Rescue
The first female director of a live-action Star Wars story drew from her father's love of Hong Kong action.

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Dial Up!
How the Hmong diaspora uses the world’s most boring technology to make something weird and wonderful.

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Understanding the Struggles of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
"New findings from a study of California’s diverse Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) population reveals that while little attention has been paid to the economic vulnerabilities of this population, nearly one-out-of-four (23%) of AAPI Californians report working and struggling with poverty."

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Is Andrew Yang 'reclaiming' stereotypes with Asian jokes? Experts say not so much.
"The reality is that Asian Pacific Americans are much more diverse and by playing into stereotypes without challenging them, Yang minimizes the challenges faced by many in the Asian Pacific American community."

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Chinese Roast Duck, but Make It Turkey
With juicy meat and extra-crisp skin, Thanksgiving turkeys cooked in the manner of ducks are keeping Chinatown barbecue restaurants busy across the United States.

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How a family-owned music label conquered YouTube — and PewDiePie
The Indian music label T-Series boasts 118 million YouTube subscribers and billions of views a month, de-throning the most-subscribed user PewDiePie earlier this year.

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Best Supporting Grandma? For 'The Farewell,' an Oscar Campaign Begins
Lulu Wang's indie hit, starring Awkwafina and Zhao Shuzhen, may be an awards contender, but that doesn't mean the film is easily categorized.

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Already a star in China, US fame comes to 'Farewell' actress
While actress Zhao Shuzhen, who plays the beloved NaiNai in The Farewell, was previously unknown to most American audiences, the 75-year-old is not only a veteran of stage and screen in her native China, she's also a big star.

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Brenda Song on Her New Series Dollface, the Disney Channel Years, and Growing Up
The comedic performer got candid about growing pains and heartbreak.


Wat Misaka, first nonwhite player in the NBA, dies at 95

Japanese American point guard debuted with the New York Knicks in 1947.

Wat Misaka, the pioneering Japanese American athlete who became the first person of color to play in modern professional basketball, died Wednesday in Salt Lake City. He was 95.

Wat Misaka, First Nonwhite in Modern Pro Basketball, Dies at 95

Misaka, the son of Japanese immigrants, starred for the University of Utah on teams that won two national tournament championships. In 1947, he made professional debut with the New York Knicks -- then part of the Basketball Association of America, a forerunner of the National Basketball.


Read These Blogs

Jeremy Lin Undefeated In China
Linsanity now resides in Beijing.

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Bill Clinton Owes My Father an Apology
Bill Clinton took responsibility for contributing to mass incarceration. He has yet to say he's sorry for his role in mass deportation. Aarti Shahani talks about the decade-long case she fought to keep her father in the U.S.

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Dear Someone: On Asian-American Writers and Letters as Storytelling
Marie Myung-Ok Lee on Asian American writers and the epistolary form.

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How Hip-Hop Dance Groups Have Helped Asian Americans Find Belonging
While the art form has always been a space for community-building and resistance, its significance within Asian American youth culture can be tricky to parse.

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Can the Japanese community save Little Tokyo from gentrification?
In an effort to save these businesses, the Japanese American community started the Little Tokyo Community Impact Fund to collectively buy a local building and charge below-market rents to selected tenants.

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13 best Asian American children's and young adult books 2019
The list includes a retelling of Little Women, a story set amid Kuala Lumpur's 1969 riots, and an illustrated biography of Disney's first Asian American animator.

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In “Watchmen," just as in real life, feelings about Vietnam remain uncertain
Easter eggs can be found in the Milk & Hanoi bakery, Lady Trieu's name, and more. But what do they all mean?

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'Bojack Horseman' writer Minhal Baig's coming-of-age film from Apple TV Plus centers a Muslim teen caught between two worlds
Minhal Baig is the writer-director of Hala, a film about the daughter of Muslim Pakistani immigrants who tries to find her own path during her senior year of high school.

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Star Trek's newest star, Amrit Kaur, explains how damn hard it is to get on the Enterprise
The latest episode of Short Treks centers on Amrit Kaur as newcomer Cadet Sidhu and the very rigorous test she endures to get a spot aboard the famous starship Enterprise.

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Mindy Kaling and Constance Wu on 'Hustlers,' 'Late Night' and the Importance of Female Directors
Mindy Kaling and Constance Wu sat down to chat for "Variety Studio: Actors on Actors."


Take this survey on AAPI food habits. For research!

Study examines the eating habits of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Our friend Oliver Wang, professor of sociology at California State University Long Beach, is launching a pilot study to explore the eating habits of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and he could use your help.

Take this quick online survey: AAPI Food Habits

Oliver says the study came from a simple question: how do AAPIs eat? Specifically, he and co-author Mike Hoa Nguyen were interested in how those of us raised in the United States make decisions about what to cook at home or eat in restaurants. How often do we prioritize some kind of Asian food -- whether it’s the food linked to our family heritage or just any kind of Asian food -- when we think about what we want to eat?

"For me, that’s pretty important," Oliver says. "I live in Los Angeles's San Gabriel Valley -- practically the national capital for Asian American cuisine -- and it's easy for me to take for granted how many restaurants and markets I have access to. It certainly shapes my meal decisions, whether I'm getting a bite out to eat or I'm cooking for my family."


They Call Us Bruce - Episode 82: They Call Us The Asian American Film Canon

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.

On this episode, we welcome Brian Hu, artistic director of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, to talk about the list of the 20 best Asian American films of the last 20 years he helped curate for the Los Angeles Times. We discuss the challenges and considerations of creating an Asian American film canon. Film geekery ensues.

Two dead, three injured in shooting at Southern California high school

The shooter was reportedly a classmate, described as an "Asian male wearing black clothing."

Two students are dead and at least three others were injured, two of them in critical condition, after a classmate reportedly opened fire on Thursday morning at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California.

Santa Clarita, California, high school shooting leaves multiple people injured, suspect dead

Officials said they had located the suspected shooter and that the person is "no longer a threat." The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says the suspect is in custody and is reportedly in grave condition at a local hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The shooting occurred in the school's quad area. Officials say video from the scene shows the suspect pulling a semi-automatic pistol out of his backpack, shooting five students, and then shooting himself in the head.

The shooter has been identified as a 16-year-old male student at the school whose birthday is today. Earlier reports described the suspect as an "Asian male wearing black clothing."


This Faker Fit Right In With the Trump Administration

State Dept. official Mina Chang claimed to be a Harvard "alumna," among other lies.

Mina Chang's laughably fake 'Time' cover

From NBC News: A senior Trump administration official has embellished her résumé with misleading claims about her professional background -- even creating a fake Time magazine cover with her face on it -- raising questions about her qualifications to hold a top position at the State Department."

An NBC News investigation found that Mina Chang, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, has inflated her educational achievements -- like claiming, falsely, to be a Harvard grad -- and exaggerated the scope of her nonprofit's work.

More here: Senior Trump official embellished résumé, had face on fake Time cover

'Float' is the first Pixar film to feature Filipino Americans

Bobby Rubio's personal animated short premieres on Disney+.

I won't lie: I stayed up late to watch The Mandalorian on Monday night, as soon as the new Disney+ streaming service went fully operational. I'm a Star Wars geek and I could wait no longer. With that out of the way -- it was great -- I want to make sure you watch the best film on the platform: the Pixar original animated short Float.

Directed by story artist Bobby Rubio, Float is the first Pixar film ever to feature Filipino American characters.

In Float, a father discovers that his is son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgement, Dad covers him and keeps him out of sight -- but when his son's ability becomes public, Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is.

Rubio originally conceived the story as a comic... with a significant difference. The characters were white.

The Family That Sticks Together...

Your favorite family from the best damn movie of the year.

I just want to make sure everyone knows that this shirt exists, and if you're like me, and you believe that Bong Joon Ho's smash hit masterpiece Parasite is the best damn film of the year, you will order this shirt immediately. I won't say anything more about the film, except that if you haven't seen it yet, don't read anything and don't talk to anyone about it -- just go watch it and get your ass kicked. That is all.

Get the shirt at the Neon Shop.

This is how you make Alex Trebek (almost) cry on television

'Jeopardy' host gets choked up by contestant's heartfelt message of support.

You don't really expect to see a lot of emotional moments on Jeopardy! and you sure as heck don't expect to see Alex Trebek getting choked up. But that's what happened on Monday's night's airing of the perennial TV quiz show, when a contestant's heartfelt message of support had the host fighting back tears.

During the "Final Jeopardy" round, contestant Dhruv Gaur revealed his response to evening's final question: "What is we [heart] you Alex!" Not quite the correct response; just some real love for Mr. Trebek, who has been publicly fighting a battle with pancreatic cancer. Just before Gaur's message, Trebek had announced that he was undergoing another round of chemotherapy.

Realizing the message was intended for him, Trebek was visibly moved. "That's very kind of you, thank you," he replied with his voice cracking. Watch the touching moment, and I dare you not to get choked up too:


Brutal attack on Chinatown seniors caught on video

Suspects assaulted three elderly men in an attempted robbery.

In San Francisco, police are searching for suspects who were caught on video assaulting a group of elderly men in a violent attempted robbery on Saturday night.

Brutal attack on 3 men caught on camera in SF's Chinatown

Video of the attack shows a group of seniors walking near Portsmouth Square in Chinatown when they're approached by two suspects who begin throwing punches at them. One victim is hit directly in the face and falls down, appearing to be out cold.

The video was circulated widely on social media.


Read These Blogs

The Story of the Great Japanese-American Novel
John Okada's novel No-No Boy captures the injustice of incarcerating Japanese Americans during World War II -- and serves as a warning today for our own fractured society.

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The Rise (and Stall) of the Boba Generation
How bubble tea became far more than just a drink to young Asian Americans.

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Opinion: It's time for UC to stop using the SAT
Decades of research show that the SAT and ACT add little or nothing to the high school GPA's prediction of a student's performance in the first year of college.

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In Conversation: Bao Phi and Jane Kim
Poet/autor Bao Phi sits down to chat with his longtime friend, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, to talk about everything from Lost, to Ali Wong, to stepping into their power as marginalized people.

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Banchan, the Only Food I Like to Share
You can tell a lot about a Korean restaurant based on the banchan it offers.

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How Red Canary Song Is Advocating for Migrant Sex Workers
Red Canary Song is a grassroots organization that advocates for migrant sex workers, supports migrant leadership, and fights against unjust policies.

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BD Wong is taking 'The Great Leap' into directing
BD Wong, who starred in "A Great Leap" last year, is directing the play at the Pasadena Playhouse.

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Conrad Ricamora Is Ready to Be a Leading Man
Why is Conrad Ricamora starring in the musical Soft Power in New York while filming How to Get Away With Murder in Los Angeles? Because he finally gets to play the hero.


Angry Reader of the Week: Arthur Dong

"I was born in the same hospital as Bruce Lee..."

Greetings, good people of the internet. It is time, once again, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Arthur Dong.

'Fresh Off The Boat' to end after six seasons

The hour-long series finale is set to air on February 21.

It's official: Fresh Off The Boat will end this season. After six seasons, the ABC comedy -- the longest-running sitcom about an Asian American family in broadcast television history -- is coming to close next year.

Fresh Off the Boat Canceled After Six Seasons

The network reportedly informed Fresh Off The Boat's cast and crew this week that it would not be ordering further episodes, and the current season's 14th and 15th episodes would mark the end of the show's run.

Wat Misaka Throwback Jersey honors a basketball pioneer

Custom throwback jersey created by G Yamazawa.

Contrary to popular belief, Jeremy Lin was not the first player of Asian descent in the NBA. In 1947, Wat Misaka, a 5-foot-7 Japanese American point guard from Utah, suited up and played three games with the New York Knicks to become the first nonwhite player in professional basketball.

Now you know. Now check out this incredibly cool Wat Misaka Throwback replica jersey, created by acclaimed poet/emcee G Yamazawa, paying tribute to the pioneering sports figure.

Produced with the blessing of Misaka's family, this handmade, custom cut and sew throwback jersey comes in black and white inspired by Misaka's championship run at Weber College, as well as a fire red Japanese colorway. Each purchase includes a retro basketball card (including randomly inserted autograph editions) designed by Gabe Gets. 20% of profits will be donated to the Special Olympics.

Get it here.

Here are some more images:

To Kurt Suzuki: About That Hat and "Having Some Fun"

Guest Post by Joseph Shoji Lachman

Kurt Suzuki, a yonsei (4th gen. Japanese American) wore one of those disgusting white supremacist hats when visiting the White House. It was horrifying, and symbolic of larger issues of Asian Americans and adjacency to white privilege.

The question I always want to pose to these garbage Japanese Americans is, how can you support a guy whose campaign and supporters have voiced support for the incarceration of Japanese Americans and have used it as a justification for oppressing other minority groups?

Suzuki couldn't even muster an apology. He said he was just trying to "have some fun." I wonder if he could go to a migrant concentration camp, look a mother and child in the eyes while wearing that hat, and claim it's just about having some fun.

I wonder if he could look me in the eye as a fellow yonsei and say it's just about having some fun.


Read These Blogs

The Kingmaker is a movie about Imelda Marcos that snubs earlier documentary
A new documentary about Imelda Marcos blatantly ignores and erases Ramona Diaz's 2004 pioneering documentary about the former first lady of the Philippines.

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The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success
With "nunchi," all you need is your eyes, your ears and a quiet mind.

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Americans must search their conscience and ‘google Uyghurs'
A group of activists came to a Washington Wizards game with an important message: "Google Uyghurs."

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Death, migration and the loss of culture
In Chinese culture, the transition to the afterlife is memorialized in tomb-sweeping festivals and food rituals. But what happens when years of migration cause treasured family traditions to vanish?

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Why I Dropped Out Of An Ivy League College Just 3 Weeks Into Freshman Year
Jenny Lu knew deep in her gut that going to an Ivy League wasn't going to be good for her mental health.

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Translation and the Family of Things
Writer Crystal Hana Kim discovers her grandmother's literary secret.

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How to Unlearn Everything
When it comes to writing the "other," what questions are we not asking?

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When comfort food means a heaping plate of Tex-Mex
"My love of Tex-Mex is the story of my family's journey and the hardships they faced, what they lost and what they gained. It is a story that begins in a riverside village in rural Guangdong province in southern China, long before I am born."

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Dancing Past 60: ‘I Actually Forget That I Am Aging'
On this dance team at a Queens community center, being a grandma is a plus.

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This 'Queer Eye' Clip Shows the Impact of 'No Asians' in Gay Dating
Queer Eye's recent visit to Japan shows the heartbreaking results of discrimination.

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These Gen Z Americans fell in love with the sport of their immigrant parents
The Future Stars School of Cricket is a Virginia-based youth club comprised mostly of children whose parents are from South Asia.

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Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Ali Wong's Glasses—According to Ali Wong
"Glasses are like shoes for your face": The comedian shares the story behind some of her favorite frames.

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Where’s My Biopic? Actress Anna May Wong
A tribute to the pioneering, ahead-of-her-time career of actress Anna Mae Wong.

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She Invented Banana Ketchup & Saved Thousands of Lives. Why Have We Never Heard of Her?
The legendary story of María Orosa, the Philippines' greatest war hero.

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