Asian Americans and TVLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 11:36PM EDT
Sandra Oh's Killing Eve Emmy nomination is a "bittersweet joy" for actors of Asian descent
"It isn’t simply the Emmy committee’s fault that it has taken this long—this year is the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards—for an Asian American woman to be nominated for the top drama award," says Nicole Clark. "In a landscape devoid of major acting opportunities for Asians and Asian Americans, the lack of nominations and wins really isn’t surprising. To win an award, you need to have a good role, and those roles are in short supply for Asians. Only two Asian actors have won Emmys—Archie Panjabi in 2010 as supporting actress for The Good Wife and Riz Ahmed in 2017 as lead actor in HBO’s The Night Of."
Posted Thursday 7/12/18 at 5:29PM EDT
Sandra Oh reacts to her historic Emmy nomination as the first Asian leading woman for Killing Eve
"You want to know what? Let’s celebrate it, man," said Oh, the first person of Asian descent to be nominated in the leading drama actress category. "I’m serious, just (expletive) celebrate it. It’s like, we’ve got to start somewhere, we’ve got to start somewhere. And I’m happy to get that ball rolling, because what I hope happens is that next year and the next year and the next year, we will have presence. And the presence will grow not only to Asian-Americans, you know, from yellow to brown, but to all our other sisters and brothers, you know, our First Nations sisters and brothers. Our sisters and brothers of different sizes and different shapes. If I can be a part of that change, like (expletive) yeah, let’s celebrate it." ALSO: Grey's Anatomy team celebrates Oh's nomination.
Posted Thursday 7/12/18 at 5:29PM EDT
More people of color were nominated for Emmys this year than ever before
According to TV Guide's tally, 38 people of color were nominated in the top categories, form Lin-Manuel Miranda to Sandra Oh to Trevor Noah. That's nearly double from 2016, when 21 people of color were nominated. ALSO: Sandra Oh and Darren Criss' nominations show the two ways to diversity casting.
# TOPICS: Emmys, 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Darren Criss, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sandra Oh, Trevor Noah, African Americans and TV, Asian Americans and TV, Diversity, Indian-Americans and TV, Latinos and TV
Posted Friday 6/22/18 at 11:17AM EDT
AMC renews The Terror for a second season set in a World War II Japanese-American internment camp
Season 2 of the anthology series will revolve around “an uncanny specter that menaces a Japanese-American community from its home in Southern California to the internment camps to the war in the Pacific." Alexander Woo, who co-created Season 2 and who will serve as showrunner, says: "I'm deeply honored to be telling a story set in this extraordinary period. We hope to convey the abject terror of the historical experience in a way that feels modern and relevant to the present moment. And the prospect of doing so with a majority Asian and Asian-American cast is both thrilling and humbling." AMC's announcement comes three days after Japanese-American internment camp survivor George Takei wrote an article for Foreign Policy comparing his experience to the Trump administration's immigrant family separation policy. "At least during the internment, my parents were able to place themselves between the horror of what we were facing and my own childish understanding of our circumstances," he wrote.
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 1:00AM EDT
American Experience delves into "The Chinese Exclusion Act"
The new PBS documentary by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu, premiering Tuesday night, is a sobering examination of the act Congress passed in 1882 that prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the United States and Chinese nationals from becoming citizens.
Posted Friday 5/25/18 at 7:45PM EDT
Racial jokes on network sitcoms too often reinforce stereotypes instead of subverting them
There is nothing wrong with jokes about race, says Yoonj Kim, who spent a week in March studying every network sitcom for racial jokes. But, he adds, "there’s a crucial distinction between gratuitous one-stop references and thought-provoking humor: The latter will feature another moment in the same episode that dispels or shows another side to the stereotype being invoked. Context turns the joke from a zero-sum remark to subversive humor that serves as a segue into meaningful commentary. To put it in facetiously simple terms, it’s the difference between 'No offense, but you’re really ugly,' and 'No offense, but you’re really ugly when you do this.'"
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Roseanne's jab at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat was "a dog whistle so strong that it might have brought Lassie back from the dead"
According to Emily Nussbaum, that one controversial joke about "all the shows about black and Asian families" explains Roseanne. Nussbaum says the joke was a racial dog whistle. If it wasn't, why not target shows about white families like The Middle or Speechless? Is it because those shows are "just like them"? "The jab," says Nussbaum, "was clearly aimed at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, comedies that share ABC’s Tuesday schedule with Roseanne. The line establishes a few things. One is that the Conners don’t live in the same America as the Johnsons, from Black-ish, or the Huangs, from Fresh Off the Boat. There will never be a crossover episode—no fun clash, say, between an aging Jessica Huang and Roseanne, on a Conner trip to Florida. Instead, the Conners are themselves bored, alienated ABC viewers, unable even to remember titles, just that these are the 'black and Asian' shows."
- ABC having the No. 1 show with Roseanne hasn't happened since Who Wants to be a Millionaire in 2000
- What is the point of Mary Conner? The one black Roseanne family member is nearly invisible
- Johnny Galecki's return was a perfect metaphor for the revival's messiness
- David being back only made sense in an alternate universe
- Did Barbara Bush actually call Roseanne Barr "brave," as Barr claimed? Not exactly
- 90-year-old Estelle Parsons looked really good in her return as Bev
Posted Saturday 4/14/18 at 12:07AM EDT
Asian-American Bob's Burgers writer shares the aftermath of criticizing a Roseanne joke
Kelvin Yu, who also appears on Master of None, went viral with his tweets slamming Roseanne for a joke taking a shot at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat. "Many of the comments I received were supportive — retweets, likes and the always flattering fist emoji," he writes in The New York Times. "However, I have to admit that the loudest voices to me were the ones that were vitriolic and shockingly mean," including racially disparaging remarks. Yu writes that he found it "so galling that a show celebrating ostensibly marginalized Americans would consider shows about even more marginalized Americans a punch line, tossed off between two yawns and a meh, followed by a roomful of people laughing. And although, admittedly, I have no idea what it means to be white or working class, there are at least a half-dozen shows out there through which I can experience it vicariously. Meanwhile, white working-class people have one — and only one — current network show to help them understand the lives of Asian-Americans (hint: it rhymes with Shmesh Off the Shmoat)."
- Even the haters should appreciate Roseanne: "When a TV show — or any pop culture artifact — is drawing that kind of a mass audience, it has something to tell us about ourselves and the times in which we live"
- Here's your first look at Roseanne's mom Bev's return next week
- Seth Meyers has Roseanne "fans" explain to him why they love the show so much
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 5:05AM EDT
Sandra Oh on experiencing racism: "I’m not going to not say that it’s not there, because it is"
The Killing Eve star opened up to Vulture about the long search for the perfect project, which she says was made more difficult because of the limited roles for Asian-American actresses. "Not only is sh*t hard, it’s extremely unfair," she says. "And racism exists. Let’s start there. I felt it, and I have felt it deeply. And I’m extremely fortunate. So I’m not going to not say that it’s not there, because it is. But it’s changing the mindset that being an actor of color, person of color, that you’re at a disadvantage in the creative life. That you don’t have opportunity. It’s all how you see the opportunity. And the clearer and deeper you get into what you really want, you just become a better artist."
Posted Friday 4/06/18 at 10:24PM EDT
It's simply not true that Roseanne is a rare comedy that tackles politics and the working class
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, in explaining last week why Roseanne in the wake of Trump's victory, said "we had not been thinking nearly enough about economic diversity and some of the other cultural divisions within our own country.” To which Vox's Caroline Framke and Todd VanDerWerff respond: "This falls in line with how some people, and especially conservatives, have been talking about the Roseanne revival. The way this logic goes, Roseanne is one of the only shows on TV that dares talk about 'economic diversity' and 'cultural divisions,' political correctness or whatever be damned. The weird thing about that line of reasoning, however, is that it’s not true. While Roseanne’s original run was indeed groundbreaking, in the years since, countless politically and socially relevant sitcoms have followed in its footsteps. Many of them are on the air right now; some are even already airing on ABC." In fact, Vox has a list of 11 shows that tackle politics and the working class, from One Day at a Time to The Middle.
- Roseanne isn't the only "real" working class sitcom: What about Mom and Superstore?
- What about black working-class shows?: It's "frankly ludicrous" to say Roseanne represents the working-class voters who elected Trump
- Former Fresh Off the Boat writer Kourtney Kang explains her problem with this week's Roseanne slam
- Why the whole Black-ish-Fresh Off the Boat controversy is dumb: Roseanne is supposed to be a modern Archie Bunker!
- Is Roseanne's gender nonconforming grandson designed to appease "anti-trans feminists"?
Posted Friday 4/06/18 at 4:27AM EDT
Bob's Burgers writer: Here's why Roseanne's joke about Fresh Off the Boat and Black-ish was so offensive
Kelvin Yu addressed the controversy over Tuesday's episode in a nine-tweet thread. "At the very least, it's reductive and belittling, as if to say those shows are nothing more than 'Black' and 'Asian' in their existence," he wrote. He said Tuesday's joke "implies that the point of any show about a minority family is simply to normalize them. That's it. The stories, the humor, the characters... not important."
Posted Wednesday 4/04/18 at 5:25PM EDT
Why did Roseanne take an "unnecessary jab" at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat?
Last night's episode contained what one critic called a "snide dismissal" of Roseanne's fellow ABC comedies, which Dan Conner called "shows about black and Asian families." As the Shadow and Act blog notes, "in an effort to represent 'middle America,' the network has completely missed the mark, and seemingly the writers room as well, for this not only unnecessary jab, but one that has the audacity to compare what the show represents to the plight of black and brown families." Asked about the remark, Roseanne co-showrunner Bruce Helford said the show was "commenting on the fact that all sitcoms really want everybody to feel included of all diversities and it's kind of a funny thing. That's all. When we did the George Lopez show, we didn't want anybody to feel excluded because it was about a Mexican-American family. And I don't think anybody wants to be excluded because it's (a show about) either a black family or an Asian-American family."
Posted Friday 3/30/18 at 9:30PM EDT
Actors of South Asian descent are all the rage this pilot season
New Girl's Hannah Simone starring as The Greatest American Hero on ABC and CBS' Pandas in New York, which revolves around an Indian-American family, are just two of examples of how actors of South Asian descent are landing key roles this pilot season. "Typically, South Asian-American TV characters tend to be terrorists, funny foreigners, or quirky best friends," says Sulagna Misra. "But while several South Asian-American actors have been cast to play sidekicks on this year’s crop of pilots—and even more of them are playing doctors, another stereotype—other roles are breaking the mold."
Posted Friday 3/16/18 at 10:02PM EDT
TV's new class of "Sexy Asian hunks" are putting Asian male stereotypes to rest
"There is an undeniable new class of handsome Asian male actors dominating TV right now," says Greta Lee, pointing to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Vincent Rodriguez III, The Good Place's Manny Jacinto and 13 Reason Why's Ross Butler. "These guys are putting to bed the absurd question Can Asian dudes be sexy? (An axiom that reminds me of a different one from not so long ago: Can women be funny? The simple answer to both being obviously, yes. You idiot.)," she says.
Posted Thursday 3/15/18 at 5:20AM EDT
Darren Criss is half-Filipino, plays a half-Filipino serial killer but says it would be "unfair" to identify as Asian-American
The Assassination of Gianni Versace star admits in a wide-ranging interview with Vulture that he has the "luxury of being half-white and looking more Caucasian," despite also being half-Filipino. So he says he has an advantage over fully Filipino actors like Jon Jon Briones, who plays Andrew Cunanan's father on the FX series. Criss says Ryan Murphy was impressed with Briones, and wondered why he had never heard of him. "He’s a Filipino man, dude," Criss recalls telling Murphy. "There’s only so many opportunities that people can lock themselves into accepting when they’re casting sh*t, unless he’s playing the Thai terrorist on CSI or something." Criss admits that his career has benefitted from his apparent white look. "I just look like a Caucasian guy, which is nice," he says. "I’ve got the multiethnic thing going on. People think I’m like Italian or Mediterranean. No, my mom’s very Filipino. I grew up with a Filipino mom." When asked if he identifies as Asian-American, Criss responded: "No. I think that’d be unfair. I think that’d sound like I’m reaching for the minority card on a college application. I think that would be unfair. Yeah, my mom’s Asian-American. She’s from the Philippines and came here and then married a white guy, and here I am. But maybe it’s because of the way I look. Maybe if I looked a little more pan-Asian and I was put in that box then I would be like, 'Yeah, I identify as Asian-American,' but maybe because the obstacles that may come up haven’t that I don’t think about it. But that’s a really interesting question. I’ve never thought about that. For better or for worse, I guess not. But I guess I am. What do you think? Am I? On paper I guess I kind of am."