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  • LA Times' Film Critic Justin Chang and Film Reporter Jen Yamato debate 'Ghost in the Shell' and the dangers of Hollywood Whitewashing

    Posted by: AC Team

    April 6, 2017

    Los Angeles

    What does the current crop of film and TV shows accused of whitewashing Asian roles say about Hollywood’s ongoing diversity crisis?

    L.A. Times film critic Justin Chang and film reporter Jen Yamato sat down to discuss the latest example of the issue - Scarlett Johansson’s casting as a futuristic cybernetic cop in Paramount’s “Ghost in the Shell,” adapted from the Japanese manga of the same name.

    View video excerpts and Read the entire conversation at LA Excerpts below:

    Justin Chang: "Hello, I'm Justin Chang, Film Critic for the Los Angeles Times and I'm with my Times colleague film reporter Jen Yamato. We're talking about "Ghost in the Shell" and the casting of Scarlett Johansson as the main character and how that fits into this ongoing problem we've seen of Hollywood whitewashing of Asian roles and Asian stories in cinema."

    Jen Yamato: "This is certainly the biggest studio product to so blatantly whitewash out any sort of semblance of Asian identity from a source material. But its not alone. We're in a sort of renaissance period of whitewashing in Hollywood. We had Marvels' "Doctor Strange" attacked for, and rightfully so, for playing..."

    Justin: "a Tibetan mystic."

    Jen: ..."a male Tibetan. We're coming off Matt Damon and "The Great Wall" saving Ancient China." 

    Justin: "There's "Iron Fist" as well, in the Netflix television realm, that's a Marvel property as well. ...It seems especially egregious in the case of "Ghost In the Shell" - a movie I hasten to add that, we talked about this Jen. I liked this more than you, despite its many, many flaws."

    Jen: "I forgive you. That's fine." 

    Justin: "But at the same time...I do like Scarlett Johansson's performance in it, despite the massively problematic nature of her casting as the Major, but in fact her original character in the graphic novel, films and tv shows is Mayor Motoko Kusanagi."

    Jen: "A Japanese woman. Clearly."  CLICK HERE FOR MORE

    Justin: "A...

  • Foodies Alert - How NOT to Eat Chinese Soup Dumplings

    Posted by: AC Team

    April 10, 2017

    Food writers Alert! writer Erin Chew finds a food story written and produced by TIME OUT LONDON about How To Eat Chinese Soup Dumplings, and yes, we agree with Erin, its just wrong, wrong, wrong!

  • AsAmNews Reports: White House Initiative for AAPI Apparent Casualty of Trump Presidency

    Posted by: AC Team

    January 21, 2017

    By Ed Diono for AsAmNews

    In President Barack Obama’s first year in office, he reinstated the White House Initiative for AAPI that was first created by President Bill Clinton but had lain moribund during George W. Bush’s two terms.

    As President Donald Trump took office, the White House website was redesigned within a hour of his swearing in. Gone are any mentions of civil rights, environmental protections and climate change. In their places are jobs and law and order. Unfortunately, the Initiative appears to be another casualty in the change of leadership. The link to the Initiative has been taken off the White House website, a pretty good indication that the Initiative is no longer in existence.

    Click here to full story at AsAmNews


  • Disney Animator Tyrus Wong 1910 - 2016

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    December 30, 2016

     Los Angeles 

    One of America's most celebrated Chinese American artists of the 20th century, Tyrus Wong has died at age 106. Despite his immense artistic talents and signficant contributions to Walt Disney's "Bambi," as well as other works such as “The Sands of Iwo Jima” (1949), “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955) and “The Wild Bunch” (1969), his life and career was largely unknown to the public until his 90s. 

    "Tyrus" a feature documentary released in 2015 by filmmaker Pamela Tom is the first in-depth portrait of Tyrus Wong's life and career. Tom's documentary is currently screening at film festivals. For current screening information and broadcast dates go to:

    For more about Tyrus Wong's life and career:

    New York Times - Tyrus Wong, 'Bambi' Artist Thwarted by Racial Bias, Dies at 106

    Los Angeles Times - Tyrus Wong, artist whose paintings inspired Disney's 'Bambi' and other films, dies at 106 - Walt Disney 'Bambi' artist dies at 106

    Tyrus the Movie - on Facebook

    Tyrus - the official trailer





  • 2016 - The Year That Launched A Movement

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    December 29, 2016

    Photo: Asian American Demonstrators San Francisco Bay Area Circa 1968 

    2016 will go down in history as the year that sparked a movement.

    This was the year that Asian Americans came together en masse to fight for fair representation and visibility in our American society, and to stop racist, irresponsible and inaccurate coverage of our communities in the press, and the continuing practise of whitewashing, and outright erasure of Asian Americans in Hollywood movies.

    Not since the late 60s - early 70s have Asian Americans stepped forward so boldly to fight back, when community leaders held press conferences and threatened lawsuits against San Francisco television stations to force them to hire Asian Americans to work in the white male dominated newsrooms in front of and behind the cameras.

    Once the first Asian American faces went on camera, and TV station owners saw no backlash and in fact it was good for business, the trend spread nationwide to hire Asian Americans on camera. Asian American college students took to the streets to protest for rights to have Asian American studies programs at universities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    There have been causes which our communities have rallied around over the years, but this time, the voices are coming from everywhere.

    As we enter 2017, we will reflect on this new movement, and learn who are some of the people who were the first to lead the way forward. 

  • I Was Never Jackie Chan, and I'm Not Jeremy Lin - New York Times commentary by Andrew Keh, Video by Yousur Al-Hlou and John Woo

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    October 25, 2016

    As Jeremy Lin takes to the basketball courts for the Brooklyn Nets just minutes from Manhattan where "Linsanity" began back in 2012 when he played for the New York Knicks, New York Times filmmakers Yousur Al-Hlou and John Woo produced this video looking back on it - "the good, the bad and the gaffes." 

    Accompanying the video is commentary by New York Times writer Andrew Keh.  

    Click here for the full story and video at the New York Times.

    Photo by New York Times. Actor Randall Park appears in New York Times video.

    Photo by Suzanne Joe Kai, In the locker room with Jeremy Lin, March, 2012


  • Jeremy Lin and Brooklyn Nets Teammates Show Solidarity Against Violence in Minority Communities

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    Photo Credit by Suzanne Joe Kai - Jeremy Lin in the locker room faces press at Madison Square Garden March 11, 2012

    October 7, 2016 - Brooklyn

    Jeremy Lin, the Brooklyn Nets new point guard and his team mates stood with locked arms around each other's shoulders in a show of solidarity against violence in minority communities as the Natonal Anthem played before the first preseason game last night against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center.

    Lin said, "This isn't anti-cops, this country needs cops...This isn't anti-minorities, this country needs minorities. This is what makes our nation great. We need more of both and we need compassion, more sympathy where guys can take the time and really put themselves in somebody else's shoes."

    Lin has matured since his explosive NBA debut. For the October 6, 2016 full story by Tom Lorenzo at and a photo of the team looking arms around each other in solidarity, read here. 

    The photo you see here is one I photographed back in March, 2012 (can't believe that was 2012 - time flies!) when I was in the locker room with Jeremy Lin at Madison Square Garden during a Knicks game at the height of Jeremy's "Linsanity" days. 




  • Firestorm Over Fox News' Jesse Watters Racist New York Chinatown 'Man-On-The-Street' Report

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    October 5, 2016 (updated October 9, 11, 12)

    The Asian American Journalists Association's MediaWatch Committee, and AAJA's president Paul Cheung issued a statement (Oct. 5th 2:30 pm ET reprint below) condemning the October 3rd segment by Jesse Watters of "Watters' World' on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor.'  

    AAJA MediaWatch requested a meeting with the show's producers, and announced a town hall on Sunday October 9 at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York. Check the website for updates.

    Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, "O'Reilly Factor" goes on the air on a Fox News segment to discuss the piece by Jesse Watters. View his entire video interview below.

    O'Reilly said, "No, it wasn't over the line...we ran that piece on Monday of last week, okay, 5 million people plus saw it live time."

    "Do you know how many negative letters we got? Less than ten. How many phone calls came into Fox News? Zero - as far as I know, and we checked. Okay?"

    "It was 36 hours later that this outrage appeared. And where did it appear? Far left websites, far left precincts...I read every single one - they were all the same. So, this is uh, an attack on Fox News - that's what it is. It's happened before."

    O'Reilly said "I thought it was a gentle piece. There were a few things that were over the line, the old lady I would have taken that out I should have seen it before but I'm so busy with the election that I didn't. But Watters is a gentle satirist. He's worked very well for us. We're proud of him. And uh, this is an organized campaign this is what they do, they've done it before." 

    UPDATE: FOX NEWS SEGMENT PARTICIPANTS RECOUNT ENCOUNTERS WITH CORRESPONDENT (Oct. 12)'s 2016 VOICES staff member Vivian Wang, a former editor at the Yale Daily News talks with people interviewed by Jesse Watters. For her full story go to

    Excerpt of Wang's article: Before last week, Qanta Shimizu didn’t know who Jesse Watters was – even after the FOX correspondent...

  • ROSE PAK (1947 - 2016) San Francisco's Tireless Leader

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    September 18, 2016 

    San Francisco

    by Suzanne Joe Kai

    Its not fair, Rose. You left us way too soon. This portrait of you looking good was taken just a week ago on September 9 by photographer Frank Jang, another San Francisco treasure. 

    So many stories are running through my mind... We shared some great, crazy times. I will miss you dearly. 

    I'll never forget the evening decades ago I was driving with you through a narrow, dark alley in San Francisco Chinatown at the height of that period when gang wars were terrorizing and murdering people.  

    We were going out together just the two of us, and we could see youth blocking the alley and hear what sounded like a war zone between feuding gangs.

    As we got closer we could see their faces - Rose you grabbed and lit cherry bombs I had in my car leftover from the Chinese New Year, and threw them back at them yelling 'get out of our way!' They did. 

    Rose, you then waved and smiled at the youth, we both giggled, as they stepped back from our car. I sped out of the alley. I'll never forget that.  

    I was a 22 yr old TV news reporter for KRON TV (NBC). You wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. Chinatown was your beat, and no one was going to mess with your home.

    Those days are long over, thanks to you and other community leaders. You stayed and devoted your life to make the community a better, safer place and you were still on a mission with many new improvement projects.

    We can see that in the sparkle in your eyes, as captured in photographer Frank Jang's portrait of you.

    Rose - Thank you for being brave and relentless all these years, fighting for the underdog, for the voiceless, the forgotten, the poor, for immigrants, for women, for youth, and for all the good you have done looking after all of us. May you rest in peace.

    Rose Pak portrait photographed by Frank Jang on September 9, 2016

    Rose worked briefly for the New York Times, and spent eight years as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle...

  • RIP Edward Albee - American Playwright 1928 - 2016

    Posted by: AC Team

    Playwrights Edward Albee and David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

    RIP Edward Albee, American Playwright

    1928 - September 16, 2016

    Albee was last photographed by Lia Chang on our pages here in 2013, and is re-posted below. Albee was with playwright David Henry Hwang:

    New York City

    by Lia Chang

    The Dance and the Railroad is extended through March 24, 2013.

    Click on the title link above to go to the full story.

    Tony award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) celebrated Signature Theatre’s revival of The Dance and The Railroad starring Ruy Iskandar as Ma and Yuekun Wu as Lone, and directed by May Adrales, which opened February 25, 2013.

                         Edward Albee and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

    Renowned playwright and multiple Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") was among Hwang's honored guests to attend the opening night performance. The play is at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street in New York. 

    Ruy Iskandar, David Henry Hwang and Yuekun Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

    The Dance and The Railroad premiered as part of a commission by the New Federal Theatre in 1981, and had its professional debut on July 16, 1981 Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. It was directed by John Lone, with Lone and Tzi Ma in the cast. The Dance and The Railroad is set on a California mountaintop in 1867 near the Transcontinental Railroad where two Chinese workers struggle through poverty and hunger to reconnect with the traditions of their homeland. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for a 1982 Drama Desk Award. The Dance and The Railroad follows the twice-extended Golden Childas the second production in the Residency One: David Henry Hwang Series.

    Ruy Iskandar, David Henry Hwang and Yuekun Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

    The design team includes Mimi Lien (Scenic Design), Jennifer Moeller (Costume Design), Jiyoun Chang (Lighting Design), Broken Chord...

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