Asian Americans and TVLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 1/07/19 at 6:19AM EST
Why Sandra Oh was Golden Globes' biggest winner
Source: The Atlantic
The Korean-Canadian Killing Eve star made history three times at the Golden Globes serving as co-host and with her victory for best dramatic actress. But it was her speech about diversity near the top of the show that really stands out, says Hannah Giorgis. "The speech was undeniably moving, even for those who’ve grown accustomed to viewing the industry’s glitzy gatherings with cynicism," says Giorgis. "And it was no surprise that Oh, with her preternatural talent and warm insight, offered the night’s first—and most profound—moment of inspiration." Giorgis adds: "Oh’s awards-night charisma never felt gimmicky. The host’s shoutout to the 'faces of change' in the audience cut through the politesse of Hollywood’s most common references to its own structural barriers. Oh herself is all too familiar with the reality of those obstacles: Though the Korean-Canadian veteran of Grey’s Anatomy has been acting for three decades, it was only last year that she landed a lead role."
Posted Monday 12/03/18 at 5:56PM EST
Daniel Dae Kim is teaming with ABC on another Korean drama adaptation -- this one would have an Asian lead
The former Lost star, who produces the successful ABC hit Korean adaptation The Good Doctor, is now developing legal drama Exhibit A. Based on the South Korean series My Lawyer, Mr. Jo, Exhibit A revolves around a "disgraced former prosecutor, Andrew Cho, whose career is sabotaged by the corrupt power brokers he’s working to take down. But in losing everything, Andrew discovers something new: a life of purpose." Exhibit A, written by Warren Hsu Leonard, would be one of the rare TV dramas with a lead actor of Asian descent. ABC already broke ground with Fresh Off the Boat, the first American television sitcom starring an Asian-American family in 20 years.
Posted Wednesday 10/31/18 at 1:31PM EDT
Fresh Off the Boat to tackle the Asian-driver stereotype
Source: Entertainment Weekly
On Friday's “Driver’s Eddie" episode, Randall Park's Louis will be blamed by a police officer for causing a car accident that he wasn't involved in because of his race.
Posted Friday 10/26/18 at 5:20AM EDT
Steven Yeun: On The Walking Dead, "I felt beige with Glenn" and "I felt cramped"
Yeun, who is promoting his new South Korean film Burning, tells Slate the AMC series limited him to the "American white gaze." "I won’t speak for other Asian American actors, because I don’t know what they’re being offered. But for me, it’s like: nice guy, dependable, supportive, benign. Beige. And as a Korean man, I am not beige. Was he playing beige on The Walking Dead? "Yeah, I felt beige with Glenn," he responds. "That was a little bit of the frustration that I could never explain to the wider society, to fans of the show. Am I incredibly grateful, and did I have a wonderful time on that show? Yeah! I wouldn’t take that experience back at all. I made lifelong friendships. I got to learn so much. But I will say that I felt cramped. I felt like there wasn’t space for me to fully spread all of who I was, and that was partly due to me, too, because when I started, all I was trying to do was to work within the parameters that they were giving me. And then, over time, I just outgrew it."
Posted Wednesday 10/17/18 at 9:37PM EDT
Study: Immigrant TV characters are more likely to be portrayed as less educated and more prone to criminality
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Immigrant rights group Define American teamed with The Hollywood Reporter and The Norman Lear Center to study how TV portrays immigrants. "With immigrants, everything seems to fall into two categories: the criminal hustling the system, or the high-achieving, pristinely perfect 'good' immigrant," says Noelle S. Lindsay Stewart of Define American. "That doesn't allow for the complexity or humanity that real people have. We believe that by humanizing people on television, you cause audiences to be emotionally invested in characters, and then take that emotional investment and project them onto the people in their lives." ALSO: Study also found that Asian immigrant stories are especially underrepresented on TV.
Posted Saturday 10/13/18 at 3:11AM EDT
Insecure's "Asian Bae" hopes his role is groundbreaking for Asian guys
Alexander Hodge says of his love interest role on the HBO series: "I think it’s so important to see a confident, outspoken, man bun-sporting Asian man on screen saying, ‘I want what I want.’ We haven’t had that before."
Posted Monday 10/08/18 at 6:10PM EDT
Awkwafina and Lucy Liu's SNL monologues show how Asian representation has changed in 18 years
Source: The Washington Post
The rapper and actress paid tribute to Liu in her SNL monologue on Saturday night, thanking for paving the way by becoming the first Asian female host, in 2000. Looking back at Liu's monologue, it contains one cringeworthy and outdated Asian stereotype after another, as The Washington Post's Amy B. Wang points out. “I just found out that I am the first Asian woman to ever host SNL,” Liu said to applause in 2000. “This is amazing and so cool and, believe me, Connie Chung is pissed. But seriously, Asians have had to deal with a lot of stereotypes, had to overcome a lot of stuff, and I wasn’t sure how sensitive everyone would be here, but ... ” SNL then cut to a "video diary" of Liu working as a masseuse, as a dry-cleaning assistant, and making a potluck dinner, saying she had “made her grandmother’s special recipe for cocker spaniel.” As Wang notes, "if Liu opened the door nearly two decades ago, then Awkwafina strode through it on her own terms Saturday night. She was there to represent herself — not anybody else’s outdated stereotypes." ALSO: Constance Wu and Awkwafina's Crazy Rich Asians co-stars had an SNL viewing party.
Posted Sunday 10/07/18 at 5:20AM EDT
Awkwafina thanks Lucy Liu in her SNL monologue for "opening the door" for Asian-American female hosts
“Back in 2000, I came here to 30 Rock and waited outside when my idol Lucy Liu hosted SNL,” the rapper and Crazy Rich Asians star, the second-ever Asian female host, said in her monologue. “I was a kid and I didn’t have a ticket so I knew I wasn’t getting in. I just wanted to be near the building. I remember how important that episode was for me… It totally changed what I thought was possible or an Asian-American woman...Standing here tonight is a dream I never thought would come true...Thank you Lucy for opening the door. I wasn’t able to make it into the building back then, but, 18 years later I’m hosting the show!”
Posted Thursday 10/04/18 at 5:24PM EDT
HBO developing Asian-American dark comedy KTown, starring Greta Lee and set in Los Angeles' Koreatown
Barry producer Jason Kim is teaming with Girls and High Maintenance vet Greta Lee on creating the dark comedy revolving around Koreatown -- described as “L.A.’s most eccentric zip code" -- and the kingpin family at the center of it. Lee is also set to star as Yumi, a "self-proclaimed Brentwood Barbie" and daughter of the Kang family, who reconnects with her “embarrassing” Korean roots to become a powerful Korean-American woman. Lee is a veteran of Girls, Inside Amy Schumer and Wayward Pines, as well as High Maintenance. Kim, who also worked on Girls as executive story editor, also wrote KPOP: The Musical.
Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 3:22PM EDT
Awkwafina is a Crazy Rich Asian in her first SNL promo
The Crazy Rich Asians and Oceans 8 star sports a fur coat and sunglasses in her first Saturday Night Live promo. As previously reported, Awkwafina will become the second Asian woman to ever host SNL -- Lucy Liu was the first, in 2000.
Posted Friday 9/28/18 at 11:40PM EDT
Saturday Night Live is way more fun if you watch it like a sport
"Comedy isn’t a sport, but you sure can follow Saturday Night Live as if it were. And doing so will make you enjoy it so much more," says Jesse David Fox. "You’re probably drawing the parallels already. Each sketch is an inning, quarter, or period in a game. Each episode is a game in a season. Season and season are the same word. The cast members (and the writers) are the players on a team, each with a different skill set and talent level. Lorne Michaels is like a fusion of a coach, general manager, and commissioner. It’s easiest if you don’t get wrapped up trying to apply the idea to one specific game and instead just think of it as its own abstract hybrid of a team/individual sport." Fox adds: "Especially when you watch Saturday Night Live live, a given sketch similarly operates through anticipation, resolution, and occasional surprise. SNL, like sports, has extra oomph in the 'don’t know what will happen next' category, because it literally hasn’t happened yet. For SNL, this means watching a sketch as both a piece of comedy and feat of human performance."
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 11:17PM EDT
CBC's Kim's Convenience has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon among Asian Americans since arriving on Netflix
The two seasons of the comedy about a Korean-Canadian family who runs a convenience store in Toronto strongly resembles ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat "in their broadness, unexpected poignancy, and not-always-successful efforts to maintain the tricky balance between cultural specificity and mainstream accessibility," says Inkoo Kang, who adds: "To watch Kim’s Convenience as a Korean American is to witness the immigrant culture in which I grew up strained through the cookie-cutter mold of the family sitcom genre...And yet Kim’s Convenience is undeniably a North American translation of Korean immigrant culture. Sometimes quite literally."
Posted Thursday 9/13/18 at 4:01PM EDT
Magnum P.I. accused of being "white-washed" with too few Asian/Pacific Islanders despite Hawaii setting
Media Action Network for Asian Americans president Rob Chan says it's offensive that a show set in a majority-Asian location doesn't have any leads who are of Asian/Pacific Islander descent. “We generally want a show to reflect the demographics it’s in," he says. "The show takes place in Hawaii, which is majority Asian, but if you look at the four stars, there’s no Asians reflected there. In fact, in the trailer, Jay Hernandez refers to four people by name, and none of them are Asian. We feel that time and time again there is a pattern of exclusion. And while some supporting cast may be Asian, they often times do not get as much screen time as the leads.” Asked to respond CBS pointed out that the cast includes two Asian-Americans, Sung Kang and Kimee Balmilero. CBS also noted that one-third of Magnum P.I.'s directors are of Asian descent, including pilot director Justin Lin.
Posted Wednesday 9/12/18 at 1:11PM EDT
BoJack Horseman creator: "The fact that I’m still making this show with mostly white people in every episode fills me with tremendous guilt"
"I say this not to just flagellate myself or to show off what a great guy I am," says Raphael Bob-Waksberg, "but because I want to put this on the record and to hold myself up to this when I go about making other shows. Also so that other white people making shows can see that this has been something that I have wrestled with, (instead of) looking at my show and saying, 'Oh well, he did it and it’s OK, so maybe it’s not that big a deal.' I would (also) like to be very open that my guilt does not solely come from a place of white progressivism. I do think that the show has been hurt by our all-white cast." Bob-Waksberg points to Alison Brie's casting as an Asian-American woman. "For a long time, because we cast a white actress to play Diane, I was afraid of this conversation happening," he says. "And because of that, we really downplayed her race and her cultural heritage. We’ve treated her basically like a white woman because I didn’t want to have a white woman playing an overtly Asian character, because that felt somehow more wrong to me. And now I feel the opposite. We did a complete disservice to the character by making her so white. Obviously what white-coded means is subjective, and there are Asian women who relate to Diane and I don’t want to discount their experiences. But I do think we have avoided stories that could have been more interesting because of my own fear and guilt about the casting."
Posted Tuesday 9/11/18 at 9:05PM EDT
ABC developing Chinese-American comedy pitched as "Lazy Rich Asians" from Rick and Morty's Emmy-winning "Pickle Rick" writer
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Jessica Gao, who won an Emmy over the weekend for writing Rick and Morty's famous "Pickle Rick" episode, is developing the single-camera comedy revlving around Janet Zhao, "a first-generation Chinese-American woman who struggles to set healthy boundaries with her crazy, exhausting family. When her wealthy grandmother dies and names Janet the sole inheritor, she suddenly finds herself the unwilling new matriarch of the family she's spent her life trying to keep at arm's length." The untitled project is one of two Asian-American series in the works at ABC following the success of Crazy Rich Asians at the box office. ABC is also developing Ohana, a potential drama about four mixed-race Asian women in Hawaii.