Posts tagged Representation
Defying the Odds to Become Hollywood's First Asian American Movie Stars

Beginning their careers in the 1910’s silent film era, Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa defied miscegenation laws and Yellow Peril sentiments by becoming overnight Hollywood sensations. Throughout their careers, they experienced the highs and lows of being Asian onscreen, gaining leading roles and Oscar nominations along the way. True icons often left out of history, we celebrate their lives and are inspired to build the world on our own terms.

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Why It Matters That ‘Emily Doe’ in the Brock Turner Case Is Asian-American

“I am not Brock Turner’s victim. I am not his anything. I don’t belong to him. I am also half Chinese. My Chinese name is Zhang Xiao Xia, which translates to Little Summer.” We must continue to listen to survivors, with all of their intersecting identities, whether or not they choose to publicly share their traumas. We must support, confront and disrupt, and work to eradicate systemic issues of toxic masculinity, rape culture, and sexual violence.

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How Asian American Storytelling Is (Finally) Moving Forward In 2019

Finding that community of Asian American creatives wanting to work and make things together is key. Nancy Wang Yuen emphasizes that “The talent has been there. There is more support, more platforms, [people are] more nurtured. There are more Asian Americans behind-the-scenes working on Asian American projects…a desire for Asian American writers to tell the story.”

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Theater MuRepresentation, TV/Film
Asian men shouldn’t need to meet Western masculinity standards to be considered “hot”

In doing so, we’re reinforcing the basic premise of critics: that adherence to Western masculinity should be the yardstick by which manhood and sexual appeal are universally measured. Instead of rejecting objectification and fetishization—realities that Asian women face every day—Asian men are aspiring to such circumstances.

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Bruce Lee’s family calls ‘Once Upon a Time’ ‘a mockery.’ Is it insult or homage?

“There’s nothing else to call him but the butt of the joke, because everything that makes him powerful is the very thing that makes him laughable in the film,” said Yuen, who found the depiction and her theater’s reaction to it insulting. “His kung fu becomes a joke, and his philosophizing becomes a fortune cookie, and the sounds that he makes as he does kung fu are literally made fun of by Cliff. They made his arrogance look like he was a fraud.”

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Hollywood Doesn't Fully Represent Asian Americans Yet

But while the current wave of movies makes the necessary first steps of representation, we must interrogate whose stories are being told. Judging by the roster of what's hitting theaters, Hollywood—and the people talking about its successes—seem stuck in the problematic loop of conflating "Asian" with "East Asian," boiling down the "Asian American experience" to one phrase that doesn't actually suit all.

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A Classic Reframed: A Diverse Cast Infuses 'The Three Musketeers' With Profound Humor

Actors of color are often offered roles that, despite their depth and complexity, ask the actors to depict some sort of trauma or oppression in order to shift the audience’s perspective or spark conversation. By putting humorous and silly stories on stage, we continue to remove the boxes put around people of color and broaden the contexts in which we see them represented on stage.

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I. M. Pei and the Asian-American Experience

But Pei was different. His name—not to mention his unmistakable appearance, with the enormous round glasses he always wore—seemed to have little effect, in this country, at least, on how he was viewed. He wasn’t famous because he was a good architect among Asian-American architects. He was famous because he was a great architect who happened to be Asian-American. To a young immigrant from China, this decoupling of identity was exhilarating.

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