Asian Americans and TVLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 2/06/18 at 11:36PM EST
Why Fresh Off the Boat aired an episode that was about 50% in Mandarin
Jeff Chiang says of writing tonight’s episode: “Working as a TV writer, I never thought there would be a primetime network sitcom centered on an Asian family. The fact that I get to work on it and pull so directly from my childhood, being a half-Chinese kid raised in a Mandarin-speaking household, is still hard to wrap my head around.”
Posted Tuesday 1/30/18 at 8:39PM EST
BoJack Horseman creator confronts the “whitewashing” of white actors voicing minority characters on his show
Raphael Bob-Waksberg recently discussed with a Twitter follower why the Vietnamese-American character of Diane Nguyen was voiced by white actress Alison Brie. It’s something he’s wanted to talk about, but it's a topic that hasn't been brought up to him. “I think I used the idea of color-blind casting—(of) ‘It doesn’t really matter” — as an excuse to not pay attention,” he says. “I just said, okay, let’s find good people for every role … But I think if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to end up with mostly white people just because that’s how our industry is set up. If you want to go against that, you have to be active about it. You have to actively hire people of color. You have to actively think for every role: Can this be not a white person? If I’m not thinking about, it’s not going to happen.’”
Posted Thursday 1/25/18 at 9:04PM EST
Female Indian-American reboot of The Greatest American Hero gets an ABC pilot pickup
The new Greatest American Hero follows a 30-year-old Indian-American woman from Cleveland who takes on the William Katt role. The revival is from the Fresh Off the Boat team, with writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom penning the pilot.
Posted Friday 1/19/18 at 10:48PM EST
Why is The Assassination of Gianni Versace interested in killer Andrew Cunanan’s sexuality but not his Asian heritage?
Darren Criss, whose mother is Filipino and father is white, portrays Cunanan, who is the product of a Filipino father and a white mother. Yet for as much as this American Crime Story season delves into Cunanan’s struggles with homophobia, it seems to deemphasize the fact that he is of Asian descent, says Inkoo Kang. Kang credits Ryan Murphy for hiring a half-Filipino actor for the serial killer role, but points out that there are only a handful of TV shows with Asian leads. “So it’s a bit strange, and off-putting, that the latest series with an Asian lead—one of the most anticipated shows of the year, it so happens—isn’t being described as such,” says Kang. “In fact, its network—once a standard-bearer for prestige TV’s lack of diversity—is highlighting the drama’s focus on queerness and homophobia—and by doing so largely erasing its main character’s racial identity, especially in the first half of his story.” Kang adds: “A few character details here and there suggest Andrew’s racial self-hatred and the prevalence of anti-Asian racism within the gay community, but the relative sparseness of these implications is all the more noteworthy in contrast with the richly developed portrait of the decade’s homophobia.”
- Darren Criss on avoiding a “whitewashing” controversy: “I would joke with (Ryan Murphy) saying, ‘Hey man, I would love to do this, but if you don’t want me to do it with you, I defy you to find another guy who looks kind of like him, who’s in the same age range, who’s in your Rolodex of actors. Because if you don’t cast a half-Filipino guy, the Filipino community is going to cry bloody murder. So I don’t know what your other options are!’"
Posted Friday 1/12/18 at 6:58PM EST
Hank Azaria: The Simpsons will “definitely address” criticism over the Apu character
Azaria didn’t say if The Simpsons reached out to comedian Hari Kondabolu to discuss Apu after his The Problem with Apu documentary made headlines. But Azaria said at the TV press tour, while promoting Brockmire for IFC, that “they will definitely address, maybe publicly but certainly creatively within the context of the show, what they want to do, if anything, differently with the character.” Azaria also said he’s been thinking a lot about the criticism about the Indian immigrant character. "The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased — or worse — based on the character of Apu on The Simpsons, or the voice or any other tropes of the character is distressing, especially in post-9/11 America," he said. "The idea that anybody was marginalized based on it or had a time was very upsetting to me personally and professionally."
Posted Thursday 12/14/17 at 9:52AM EST
ABC and CBS earned good grades for Asian-American representation, NBC got a C+
In a new report card from the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, ABC scored the highest mark, a B, thanks to shows starring Asian-American actors like Fresh Off the Boat, the canceled Dr. Ken and Quantico. CBS was graded with a B- and Fox was given an “incomplete due to lack of data.
Posted Tuesday 11/21/17 at 9:19PM EST
King of the Hill’s Asian character Kahn Souphanousinphone stood in stark contrast to Apu from The Simpsons
While Apu has been getting grief in the new documentary The Problem with Apu, The Outline points out that Mike Judge’s Fox animated comedy got it right with Hank Hill’s Laotian immigrant neighbor. “He was a character that was confident,” says Guy Aoki, founding president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, which honored King of the Hill for the portrayal. “He didn't take crap. It wasn't what a lot of Asian-Americans fear, which is the wimpy Asian guy who gets taken advantage of. This guy was totally in control.” ALSO: The Problem with Apu’s Hari Kondabolu admits “I don't really care what happens to Apu.”
Posted Tuesday 11/14/17 at 10:11PM EST
A family drama with an all-Asian cast is in the works at NBC
The potential Los Angeles-set “multicultural soap” is described as a “modern-day Anastasia,” revolving around a family-owned Korean electronics corporation that is rocked when the CEO dies and a previously unknown heir surfaces in America, leading to a power struggle.
Posted Wednesday 11/08/17 at 9:32PM EST
Fox developing Model Minorities, an Indian-American comedy
Fresh Off the Boat co-executive producer Sanjay Shah is writing the potential series that is described as a “stereotype-busting comedy that follows a highly educated but struggling Indian-American who moves in with his uneducated, but rich, immigrant cousin.”
Posted Friday 10/27/17 at 10:04PM EDT
CW buys Indian-American dramedy Make Divya Great Again
Written by Indian-American writer Devanshi Patel, Make Divya Great Again follows an Indian-American woman who bails on her arranged marriage and invents a perfect Indian boyfriend.
Posted Wednesday 10/25/17 at 7:48PM EDT
The David Cross-Charlyne racist joke controversy shows how Asian jokes are often considered an afterthought
Tina Fey, Chris Rock and Stephen Colbert have also all been embroiled in Asian joke controversies in recent years. “Why are our smartest and most progressive comedians writing about Asian-Americans as if we are people they have never seen, met, or talked to?” asks Elysha Chang. She adds: "That some of our finest and most progressive comedians have pandered (intentionally or not) to White America’s worst impulses is disappointing but unsurprising. White America enjoys these jokes for the very reason that they are bad. That they lack insight and meaning. That they rest on lazy and incurious observations.”
Posted Friday 10/20/17 at 4:11AM EDT
Amber Tamblyn says “I believe her” after speaking to Charlyne Yi about her racism accusation against David Cross
Tamblyn, who is married to Cross, tweeted Thursday night: "I spoke to @charlyne_yi and her feelings/safety are all that matter to me. We’re good. I owe you nothing, Twitter. You’re lucky to have me.” The actress added later: “I will say this for the last time. Do not hold women accountable for the actions, decisions or words of their partners. Don’t. Do it.” Earlier Thursday, Tamblyn tweeted to one of her followers, regarding her husband: "He said he was sorry, publicly, several times."
Posted Thursday 10/19/17 at 12:55AM EDT
David Cross believes he was doing his “a**hole redneck racist character” for Charlyne Yi
“With the luxury of time and critical thought (two things antithetical to Twitter) in regards to all of this I believe I may have figured it out,” Cross says of his alleged racist behavior towards Yi, explaining that he was joking. ALSO: Cross demonstrated the worst way to apologize.
Posted Wednesday 10/18/17 at 2:18PM EDT
David Cross responds to Charlyne Yi’s racism accusation
The House alum accused the Arrested Development star of racist behavior, prompting Cross to write an apology on Twitter, saying he didn’t recall the incident.
Posted Tuesday 10/17/17 at 1:40PM EDT
An Asian-American basketball comedy is in the works at CBS
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Aline Brosh McKenna and Rene Gube are developing Big Men, a potential single-camera comedy series about an Asian-American rookie professional basketball player.