Hollywood seemed to have made a distinct group decision to remove Asian male actors from leading roles after Sessue Hayakawa became a Hollywood star.
Hayakawa was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the silent era of the 1910s and 1920s.He was the first actor of Asian descent to find stardom as a leading man in the United States and Europe. His “broodingly handsome”good looks and typecasting as an exotic villain with sexual dominance made him a heartthrob among American women during a time of racial discrimination, and he became the first male sex symbol of Hollywood.
It was if Hollywood was afraid that Asian American men would have too much power being seen as sex symbols. Will this Twitter meme help? I hope so!
Other Asian American male actors who are swoonworthy:
Huge credits to Jenny & KP Chan for our first letter to the NBA!
Dear Commissioner Silver,
As fans of the NBA and its players, we care deeply about the quality and integrity of the game and the safety of the players. When we see excellence in officiating, as we sometimes do, we can’t help but admire the professionalism and skills the officials have brought to the game, often under difficult conditions. Conversely, when we see dubious officiating by the NBA referees, we cannot help but question the integrity of the game at its very core.
As we are sure you will agree, officiating is the life blood, as well as the heart and soul of the game. Fair and unbiased officiating elevates the game to its rightful place in our society that prizes above all, fair play, sportsmanship, and respect for one another. We are certain that this is your commitment to the game, and it will never be less than that.
With that in mind, we would like to bring your attention to one NBA player in particular, Jeremy Lin of the Charlotte Hornets. Throughout Lin’s six years in the NBA, we have continuously witnessed Lin as the recipient of numerous hard fouls with unnecessary and excessive force by other players. In these cases, the referees either didn’t make the calls or made incorrect calls.
Since these are not isolated instances, and they occur with regularity, we wonder what the league has against Mr. Lin. Many fans have contacted and requested answers from the NBA Fan Relations NY office at firstname.lastname@example.org, but have so far only received generic and dismissive responses, if at all. We also have sent numerous tweets regarding the questionable calls to @NBA, @NBAOfficial, and @OfficialNBARefs, but have received no response either.
To make matters worse, Lin continues to receive ticky-tacky foul calls on him and non-calls from the referees as Lin frequently gets hammered by other players. It’s not just the fans who have noticed. The TV commentators from various teams also have questioned the referees’ non-calls on the hard fouls Lin has suffered.
Below are two videos of some examples of the questionable fouls for your review. We are showing just a selected few examples, out of numerous incidents to illustrate the point. Please kindly provide a comprehensive response as to why these fouls were not called or called as flagrant fouls.
Lin’s health and safety are at risk, as Lin gets hit unnecessarily and excessively in the face, head, and neck areas by other players frequently. The most alarming aspect of these incidents is that the referees didn’t make the right calls to protect the player, Lin, from harm. Evidently, the lack of calls and reviews from the referees encourages other players to continue using hard foul tactics on Lin.
Fans want the NBA officiating to be more transparent and fair, whether the player is a superstar or not. When the referees step on the court, they are the extension and representatives of the NBA. The referees are to uphold the integrity of the game, show impartiality, and enforce civil behavior from all NBA players. Unfortunately, we do not always see this when it comes to officiating, especially pertaining to other players hard fouling Lin.
The NBA has a huge following in Asia and Lin is one of the very few active players with full Asian descent in the NBA. It’s disheartening to see Lin’s mistreatment by the NBA referees. As fans, we ask you to please review this matter seriously and to take action.
It is directed by Chinese film director Zhang Yimou. While it does feature a diverse cast, including Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, Willem Dafroa and Andy Lau, Wu and many internet commentators were still outraged at the choice of Damon in the lead role.
Constance Wu on Facebook:
It cuts off, so the rest of the text is:
Why do you think it was so nice to see a nerdy white kid have a girl fall in love with him? Because you WERE that nerdy white kid who felt unloved. And seeing pictures in Hollywood’s stories made it feel possible. That’s why it moved you. That’s why it was a great story. Hollywood is supposed to be about making great stories. So make them.
The backlash is only the latest in mounting criticism Hollywood has faced for its lack of diversity.
Have you seen this video, Safe, that Dumbfoundead made in reaction to #OscarsSoWhite?
After the last Academy Awards and the regular whitewashing of Hollywood roles, I wrote this song and made this video to add my piece to the conversation. If you have any experiences or stories about this issue join the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/dumbfoundead/
Men in the U.S. earn more than women. Whites earn more than blacks. But guess who comes out ahead when median hourly earnings are broken down by sex, race, and ethnicity? Asian men.
The Pew Research Center’s review of Current Population Survey data found that, when looking at full- or part-time workers age 16 and up, median hourly earnings for Asian males were $24 last year, compared with $21 for white men.
Median hourly earnings for Asian women were $18, compared with $17 for white women. And in a slight twist on the whole notion of the gender wage gap, white and Asian women outpaced black and Hispanic men, whose median hourly earnings in 2015 were $15 and $14, respectively.
According to the US Census, reported by Marketing Charts, the US minority population (all groups other than non-Hispanic single-race whites) climbed to almost 123.5 million people, accounting for 38.4% of the total population.
Asian-Americans were the fastest-growing minority group in the US last year, says the report, marking the fourth consecutive year in which their population growth has outpaced that of Hispanic Americans. The Asian-Americans’ population growth rate of 3.4% was larger than the rate of increase in 2014 and 2013, reaching 21 million as of July 2015.
The Hispanic population grew by a relatively smaller 2.2% (slightly above the previous year’s growth rate), but to a much larger 56.6 million. As such, Hispanics accounted for 17.6% of the population as of July 2015.
Population Growth Rate
Race or Ethnic Group
Growth Rate (%; 2014-2015)
Segment Size (MM; 7/15)
American Indians/Alaska Natives
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific
Source: US Census Bureau, July 2015
By contrast, the non-Hispanic white-alone population grew by just 0.1%, totaling 198 million. That population is much older than the minority population; the median age of the non-Hispanic white-alone population was 43.3 years, while it was 28.8 for the Hispanic population and under 35 for all non-Hispanic races save non-Hispanic Asians (36.5).
Minorities Share of the US Population
% of Minority Group
Source: US Census Bureau, July 2015
The relative youth of the minority population means that 50.3% of children under 5 belong to a minority group. Looking at various age groups, the data indicates that:
48.5% of Americans under the age of 18 are minorities (any group other than non-Hispanic single-race whites), as are 49% of Americans born since 2000
Minorities represent 46.1% of 14-17-year-olds
Minorities comprise 45.4% of the 18-24 bracket
42.8% of Americans aged 25-44 belong to a group other than non-Hispanic whites
31.7% of Americans aged 45-64 are minorities
22.2% Americans aged 65+ and 18.5% 85+ are minorities
Written and produced by Irene Chin and directed by Kurt Vincent, THE LOST ARCADE, is an intimate story of a once-ubiquitous cultural phenomenon on the edge of extinction, especially in New York City, which once had video arcades by the dozen. These arcades were as much social hubs to meet up and hang out as they were public arenas for gamers to demonstrate their skills. But by 2011, only a handful remained, most of them corporate affairs, leaving the legendary Chinatown Fair on Mott Street as the last hold-out of old-school arcade culture.
Opened in the early 1940’s, Chinatown Fair, famous for its dancing and tic tac toe playing chickens, survived turf wars between rival gangs, increases in rent, and the rise of the home gaming system to become an institution and haven for kids from all five boroughs. A documentary portrait of the Chinatown Fair and its denizens, THE LOST ARCADE is a eulogy for and a celebration of the arcade gaming community, tenacity, and Dance Dance Revolutionary spirit.
THE LOST ARCADE had its world premiere at the 2015 DOC NYC while going on to play numerous prestigious film festivals around the world, such as the 2016 International Film Festival Rotterdam, Melbourne International Film Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, Santa Cruz Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival in London and the San Diego Asian Film Festival.
Mom, Dad, Uncle, Auntie, Grandfather, Grandmother:
We need to talk.
You may not have grown up around people who are Black, but I have. Black people are a fundamental part of my life: they are my friends, my classmates and teammates, my roommates, my family. Today, I’m scared for them.
This year, the American police have already killed more than 500 people. Of those, 25% have been Black, even though Black people make up only 13% of the population. Earlier this week in Louisiana, two White police officers killed a Black man named Alton Sterling while he sold CDs on the street. The very next day in Minnesota, a police officer shot and killed a Black man named Philando Castile in his car during a traffic stop while his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter looked on. Overwhelmingly, the police do not face any consequences for ending these lives.
This is a terrifying reality that some of my closest friends live with every day.
Even as we hear about the dangers Black Americans face, our instinct is sometimes to point at all the ways we are different from them. To shield ourselves from their reality instead of empathizing. When a policeman shoots a Black person, you might think it’s the victim’s fault because you see so many images of them in the media as thugs and criminals. After all, you might say, we managed to come to America with nothing and build good lives for ourselves despite discrimination, so why can’t they?
I want to share with you how I see things.
It’s true that we face discrimination for being Asian in this country. Sometimes people are rude to us about our accents, or withhold promotions because they don’t think of us as “leadership material.” Some of us are told we’re terrorists. But for the most part, nobody thinks “dangerous criminal” when we are walking down the street. The police do not gun down our children and parents for simply existing.
This is not the case for our Black friends. Many Black people were brought to America as slaves against their will. For centuries, their communities, families, and bodies were ripped apart for profit. Even after slavery, they had to build back their lives by themselves, with no institutional support — not allowed to vote or own homes, and constantly under threat of violence that continues to this day.
In fighting for their own rights, Black activists have led the movement for opportunities not just for themselves, but for us as well. Black people have been beaten, jailed, even killed fighting for many of the rights that Asian Americans enjoy today. We owe them so much in return. We are all fighting against the same unfair system that prefers we compete against each other.
When someone is walking home and gets shot by a sworn protector of the peace — even if that officer’s last name is Liang — that is an assault on all of us, and on all of our hopes for equality and fairness under the law.
For all of these reasons, I support the Black Lives Matter movement. Part of that support means speaking up when I see people in my community — or even my own family — say or do things that diminish the humanity of Black Americans in this country. I am telling you this out of love, because I don’t want this issue to divide us. I’m asking that you try to empathize with the anger and grief of the fathers, mothers, and children who have lost their loved ones to police violence. To empathize with my anger and grief, and support me if I choose to be vocal, to protest. To share this letter with your friends, and encourage them to be empathetic, too.
As your child, I am proud and eternally grateful that you made the long, hard journey to this country, that you’ve lived decades in a place that has not always been kind to you. You’ve never wished your struggles upon me. Instead, you’ve suffered through a prejudiced America, to bring me closer to the American Dream.
But I hope you can consider this: the American Dream cannot exist for only your children. We are all in this together, and we cannot feel safe until ALL our friends, loved ones, and neighbors are safe. The American Dream that we seek is a place where all Americans can live without fear of police violence. This is the future that I want — and one that I hope you want, too.
With love and hope,
About this Letter This is the first letter in the Letters for Black Lives project, a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities.
Since its conception on July 7th, 2016, this open letter has been drafted collaboratively by dozens of contributors on a public Google Document — and translated by hundreds more into 20+ languages. The original intent of this letter was to serve as a multilingual resource for Asian Americans who wanted to talk to their immigrant parents about anti-Blackness and police violence, but the project has since expanded to include messaging for Latinx and African immigrants as well as people living in Canada and Europe.
All contributors to this project are united around one common goal: speaking empathetically, kindly, and earnestly to our elders about why Black lives matter to us. As many of us are first- and second-generation immigrants ourselves, we know first-hand that it can be difficult to find the words to talk about this complex issue, especially in the languages that resonate most with our elders. Our hope with this letter and its translations is to make it easier for people to craft their own starting points, and serve as a first step towards more difficult intergenerational conversations about race and police violence.
We are not looking to center ourselves in the conversation about anti-Blackness, but rather to serve as responsible allies — to educate, organize, and spread awareness in our own communities without further burdening Black activists, who are already doing so much. Please visit the #BlackLivesMatter site for more information on the core movement.
We wanted to write a letter — not a think piece or an explainer or a history lesson — because changing hearts and minds in our community requires time and trust, and is best shaped with dialogue. We know that this letter is far from perfect: it’s a bit homogenized, not comprehensive, and even excludes perspectives. Most of the important work of the letter is not being done in the English version, which was meant to be a basic template for translators, but in the translations themselves. Because we view translation as a cultural and not just linguistic process, many of the translations have changed portions of the letter to better address particular experiences, whether it’s the role of imperialism in their immigration or specific incidents in their community. Even beyond that, we encourage each individual to adapt this letter to their own needs to best reach their families. Every family has a different experience, and this is merely a resource for you to use. That’s why this letter, and its translations, are published with a CC0 Public Domain waiver — anyone can use any part of it, though we’d appreciate a linkback.
Our hope with this letter is to make it easier for people to start difficult conversations, build empathy and understanding, and move us forward to real change.
Letters for Black Lives is a a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities. Learn more about the project and get involved.