Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 4: Was The HBO ‘Girls’ Controversy About Racism Or Sexism?

Happy Thursday! Sick of me talking yet? I hope not, because this is my favorite of the Yo, Is This Racist? podcasts I’ve had the pleasure to participate in so far.

The cast of HBO's 'Girls'

The cast of HBO’s ‘Girls’

In this one, host Andrew Ti and I talk about HBO’s GIRLS, which got a lot of attention in its first season for the show’s lack of diversity. Was it fair? Or were people just piling on because the show was created by a woman? Have a listen:

The post I wrote last year about people of color finally appearing on GIRLS can be found here, and the one about women critiquing women is here.

[Yo, Is This Racist? podcast]

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Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian: The Ass Pants & Butt-Rubbing Edition

At Samsung, a phone isn’t properly tested until a butt has been rubbed up all over it. [BuzzFeed]

Donald Trump thinks the GOP lost the presidential election because they didn’t appeal to enough Latinos and Asians. [Talking Points Memo]

Asian American consumers are projected to have over $1 trillion in buying power in the next five years. Marketers, get going already. [Los Angeles Times]

China’s People Daily Online was fooled by The Onion‘s selection of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as their sexiest man alive for 2012. [The Daily Beast]

Some racists on Twitter are saying they hate Asians because of the recent remake of Red Dawn. [Racebending]

Some jerks vandalized the Vietnamese Student Union and a bathroom stall at UCLA with sexist and racist slogans this week. [Angry Asian Man]

Emily Joffe, who writes Slate’s “Dear Prudence” advice column, got a letter from a White dude who doesn’t want mixed race kids with his East Asian wife, and her reply was AWESOME: Continue reading Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian: The Ass Pants & Butt-Rubbing Edition

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Things I Thought I’d Never See: A Dude Rapping In Korean At The American Music Awards

My Facebook feed right now is almost evenly split between links about Gaza and video of the “Gangnam Style” + “2 Legit 2 Quit” mashup that closed out the American Music Awards last night.

I don’t know exactly what that means, though it speaks to our privilege as Americans that we can view war and entertainment simultaneously from the same distance.

I wasn’t going to click the Gangnam Style link because, I mean, ENOUGH ALREADY, and when something meme-ifies so quickly, you feel like you’ve been there, done that without actually having to have been there and done that because everyone else has already really been there and done that so there’s really nothing more to say or feel about what’s happened.

After, like, the 100th post of this video though, I relented. And I’m glad I did. At first, just to see PSY in Hammer Pants (aka Justin Bieber Everyday Pants):

Though the real picness of what I was witnessing hit me about a minute in.

There’s a dude rapping in Korean at the American Music Awards.

There’s a dude rapping in Korean at the American Music Awards.

There’s a dude rapping in Korean at the American Music Awards.

There’s a dude rapping in Korean at the American Music Awards.

And that dude just stole the show.

[Hollywood Reporter: PSY & MC Hammer Remix 'Gangnam Style' at AMAs 2012 (Video)]

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Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian: Hurricane Sandy Edition

CAAAV has been working tirelessly to help Chinatown residents affected by Hurricane Sandy. If you are in New York, they could sure use donations of food, water, batteries, flashlights, and blankets. If you’re not in New York but would like to help, consider an online donation. [CAAAV.org, @caaav]

BuzzFeed outed twitter user @ComfortablySmug, who tweeted false and scary information about conditions in New York City during Hurricane Sandy, as Shashank Tripathi, a former banker and current campaign manager for Republican congressional candidate from New York Christopher R. Wright. [BuzzFeed]

If you’re in New York City and without power or water due to the hurricane, stop by any New York Sports Club location. They are open and free to anyone who needs to take a shower, charge their cell phone, or just get in some stress-busting exercise. [well+good]

Open City discusses the impact of Hurricane Sandy on New York City’s Asian immigrants. [Open City]

A picture of New Jersey governor Chris Christie and President Barack Obama comforting a woman devastated by the aftermath of  of Hurricane Sandy has gone viral on Twitter after journalist Jeff Yang captioned it with “If enough people see it, this is the photo that singlehandedly re-elects @BarackObama.” [Twitter]

Anti-China sentiment has been so pervasive in this election cycle that the Ohio Republican Party used images of Chinese food containers and chopsticks in their mailers. [Huffington Post]

The New York Times takes a look at affirmative action and its impact on Asian Americans… [New York Times]

… and the importance of admissions tests to elite New York City high schools for Asian immigrant students. [New York Times]

I was down with the wenqing, or Chinese hipsters, before they were cool. [The Atlantic]

Honda made a car FOR THE LADIES, y’all! It’s called the “SHE’S”, it’s pink (obvs), and it’s the official car of DISGRASIAN™ interns. [BuzzFeed]

A man won $120,000 in damages when he successfully sued his wife for giving birth to what he considered an ugly baby. It seems that before they were wed, the mother had undergone extensive cosmetic surgery to change her facial appearance. [Irish Examiner]

In honor of LGBT History Month, which just ended, The Huffington Post put together a slideshow of their most influential Asian LGBT icons. [The Huffington Post]

Taipei’s tenth annual gay pride event was colorful and awesome and looked like a lot of fun. [The Huffington Post]

If you speak Korean, there is a Korean-speaking elephant who’d like to talk to you. [New Scientist]

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day!

  • Depending on what state you call home, you may still be able to vote early! [National Association of State Secretaries]
  • President Barack Obama has a page dedicated to AAPI voters and issues [BarackObama.com]
  • So does Mitt Romney [MittRomney.com]
  • 18 Million Rising wants to see more Asian Americans voting [18MR]
  • If you’re voting in New Hampshire, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) made a video to help with any questions you may have [BarackObama.com]

Source

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The San Diego Asian Film Festival Is Going On Now Through Nov. 9th

Sandy Eggans, nearby Southern Californians, and film buffs alike:

The 13th Annual San Diego Film Festival (SDAFF) is going on right now through Nov. 9th at the Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas.

As one of the largest film exhibitions of its kind in North America with more than 150 films from 20 countries, this year’s Festival features exclusive North American and West coast premieres, screening locations throughout San Diego County, a lifetime tribute to FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH director Chung Chang-wha, and a Gala Awards Dinner.

I had the honor of serving as one of the judges of the SDAFF this year, and I promise there are many excellent films to see in this festival!

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:

Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 3, at Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley (500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA), presented by Wells Fargo. An estimated 700 community and business leaders, and celebrities including George Takei, will attend as the Festival announces its top films, plus a live auction with business class tickets on Japan Airlines, and special performances from ALLEGIANCE THE MUSICAL, Culture Shock, and Goh Nakamura. Proceeds benefit REEL VOICES for at-risk youth, and other year-round programs. Scheduled to emcee: comedian Randall Park.

Jamie Chung in SDAFF's centerpiece film, EDEN

Centerpiece film on Sunday, November 4 at UltraStar Mission Valley with the powerful narrative film, EDEN, starring Jamie Chung (Hangover 2, Sucker Punch) and Beau Bridges (The Descendants, Brothers & Sisters). EDEN is based on the true story of Chong Kim, a Korean American who was kidnapped into an international sex trafficking ring. Chung, Kim, and director Megan Griffiths are scheduled to attend.

Closing Night film on Sunday, November 9 at UltraStar Mission Valley with the West Coast Premiere of Japanese romantic comedy LOVE STRIKES!. With its nervy Edgar Wright dazzle, LOVE STRIKES! is a romantic comedy for the neurotics, the romantics, and the new media junkies. It’s for the men who want to see the most insecure versions of themselves score, and for the women who think it’s cute when nerdy guys squirm.

SDAFF pays tribute to Director Chung Chang-Wha with a Lifetime Achievement award. In 1972, Warner Bros. sought a film to capitalize on America’s excitement for TV’s Green Hornet and Kung Fu. Enter Chung Chang-wha, a 19-year veteran in the Korean film industry turning out spectacular melodramas, swordsplay films, and costume pictures. The result was FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH which, under Warners’ watch, became an international sensation that remained on the North American box office charts for nearly three months. For a foreign production in a xenophobic market, the film was an unprecedented success that precipitated a two-year kung fu craze. Today, it continues to be emulated in films like Kill Bill and The Man with the Iron Fists. Director Chung brought a jolt of energy to Hong Kong (and beyond) with his craft and his cosmopolitan smarts. For his art, for his passion, and for his imprint on world cinema, the San Diego Asian Film Festival is proud to award Chung Chang-wha its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chung Chang-wha's FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH

As always, the San Diego Asian Film Festival premieres many of Asia’s hottest films. Notable North American Premieres include NUCLEAR NATION (Berlin Film Festival,Hong Kong International Film Festival), ARCHITECTURE 101 (one of the biggest Korean hits of the year), and CHA CHA FOR TWINS (Best Narrative Film, Taipei Film Festival). Major West Coast Premieres include the latest from the world’s top directors: Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s MEKONG HOTEL, Sion Sono’s THE LAND OF HOPE, Kim Jee-woon’s DOOMSDAY BOOK, and Yoshihiro Nakamura’s CHIPS. SDAFF is also proud to host the West Coast Premieres of some of the most talked-about discoveries on the international festival circuit: APPARITION (Philippines), SLEEPLESS NIGHT (South Korea), HENGE (Japan), LATE SUMMER (USA), MEMORIES LOOK AT ME (China).

Tickets can be purchased at the UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley box office for 2 (Member $8.00 | General $11.50) starting today, November 2. Student/Military/Senior/and Group discounts are available.

For ticketing info, full film details, and schedule, please visit the SDAFF official website or contact 619.400.5911 | info@Pac-Arts.org

[SDAFF official site]

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Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian

So apparently John Cho (before he was famous) met Morrissey (who has been famous for a long time, and is still famous now) once in a pool hall frequented by Filipino gangsters. There is nothing about this story that is not awesome. [Vulture]

Twitter user (and friend of Jen) @joshbearman found Jen’s car! Those vanity plates give you away every time. [Twitter]

Telev-Asian? Here is a list of Asian actors featured on new fall shows on broadcast networks. [Hollywood Invasian]

Hari Kondabolu of “Totally Biased” considers the visibility and successes of Indians on television: “You can’t just make up random racist shit and pretend it’s true!” [YouTube]

“The Mindy Project” has only just debuted this week on Fox, and there is already a backlash from bloggers and TV writers against the show’s creator and star, Mindy Kaling. Nisha Chittal weighs in for Racialicious. [Racialicious]

Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao is offering $65 million to the man who can get his Continue reading Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian

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Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian

Oh look, it’s just my top two celebrity boyfriends, Kal Penn and John Cho, hanging out and taking calls from the President. [YouTube]

Did you know a white Harvard dropout from the Upper East Side of NYC started one of the first Asian American studies programs in the country? Alexander Saxton, who helped establish UCLA’s Asian American studies program in the 1970s, died last week at the age of 93. [NYT]

Why does Xinhuanet list Heath Ledger as one of their super movie villains of all time using the poster from Brokeback Mountain? [Xinhuanet via Beijing Cream]

Here are some stills and a teaser for Chink, a movie about an Asian American serial killer Continue reading Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian

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DISGRASIAN Goes To The Movies: “4 Wedding Planners” [REVIEW]

Unlike another comedy that also features the words “four wedding[s]” in its title, there are no awkward, pasty Englishmen stammmering and stumbling about–thank goodness–in Michael Kang‘s third feature film, 4 Wedding Planners.

Instead, we have Lily (Kimberly-Rose Wolter, who also wrote the film) getting pulled into the family wedding planning business, and possibly into the arms of her ex-boyfriend, played by the always game and always SUPER HOT Sung Kang (aka “Jen’s boyfriend” here at DISGRASIAN HQ).

Yes, we are totally posting this because Sung Kang's shirt is off: Kang & Kang (4 Wedding Planners' director Michael Kang)

Lily is one of three daughters raised by a single white mother (Illeana Douglas) in Hawaii. Janel Parrish–crazy Mona from ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars–and Mia Riverton round Continue reading DISGRASIAN Goes To The Movies: “4 Wedding Planners” [REVIEW]

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Illustrated Comic Shows Why Claudia Kishi Was *The* 90′s Role Model For Asian American Girls

One of the hard things about growing up Asian in this country is finding some semblance of yourself reflected in pop culture. I think things may have gotten better, but how much? It still seems like Asian kids today end up settling for “whoever’s Asian” on TV or in the movies or in a band rather than that totally rad person who seems like them–and who also happens to be Asian–who’s on TV or in the movies or in a band.

When I was a kid, pop culture role model pickings were slim. In fact, I had to improvise a little when it came to my choices. Probably the earliest role model I can remember having was–are you ready for this?–Marie Osmond, in doll form:

Alright, alright. You can stop laughing now. But seriously. There was a little part of me that believed–wanted to believe anyway–that Marie Osmond in doll form was Asian. (I had enough sense to know that Marie Osmond IRL wasn’t, in fact, Asian.) With her jet black hair, she was certainly more Asian than my Barbie. And instead of just standing around on her tiptoes all day long, she also rocked the mic! Even as a young girl, I understood the value of cool points.

Jump ahead a few years, a few long, sad, dry-spell years of having no one to look up to Continue reading Illustrated Comic Shows Why Claudia Kishi Was *The* 90′s Role Model For Asian American Girls

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Sorry But Criticizing A TV Show For Its Lack Of Diversity Does Not Equal “Woman Hate”

I’ve heard this argument in discussions about the lack of diversity on HBO’s Girls and I’m hearing it again now with ABC Family’s Bunheads. The argument is: If you’re criticizing this show, which is for, by, and about girls/women, you’re misogynist.

Bullshit.

This week, Bunheads creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, of Gilmore Girls fame, responded to criticism made by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes about the lack of diversity on Sherman-Palladino’s new series about ballerinas with this exact argument:

“I’ve always felt that women, in a general sense, have never supported other women the way they should…I think it’s a shame, but to me, it is what it is.”

Sherman-Palladino, who says she has never met Rhimes before, went on to say that with the increased demands on showrunners — particularly while getting a new program on the air — there’s no room for criticism among peers. “I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t go after another woman. I, frankly, wouldn’t go after another showrunner,” she said.

Showrunner-to-showrunner professional courtesies aside–think how awkward running into each other in the ladies’ room at the Emmys will be!–Sherman-Palladino’s assessment of the situation, not to mention her assertion of victimhood, is utterly facile and self-serving.

Here is Rhimes’ actual tweet:

It’s important to note here that Rhimes directed her criticism at @abcfbunheads, the official Twitter for the ABC Family show. ABC Family is a subsidiary of Disney-ABC, which owns all of the shows Rhimes has developed, created, or had her name attached to since her TV career began. In reality, her tweet is less an attack on Sherman-Palladino than a calling-out of the network Rhimes has made richer. The people who resent the lack of diversity criticism directed at shows like Girls and Bunheads will be the first to tell you that the lack of diversity on TV is a systemic problem. Which is why Rhimes being called a woman-hater for pointing out that there isn’t even one non-white ballerina on Bunheads Continue reading Sorry But Criticizing A TV Show For Its Lack Of Diversity Does Not Equal “Woman Hate”

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Is Ann Curry Getting Fired From “The Today Show” Because She’s Too Asian?

There’s no shortage of theories as to why Ann Curry will be imminently fired, er, “replaced” as co-host of “The Today Show” after only a one year-stint, a fact first reported by the NY Times’ Media Decoder blog this week. The theories range from the timeless Ann Is Awkward to Ann Is A Bad Actor to the widely-acknowledged but still news-to-me Ann Prefers Hard-Hitting News To Fluff–I guess I’ve always been better-acquainted with this side of her work–to perhaps the least-relevant but still sorta-funniest theory of them all,  Ann Has Terrible Fashion Sense.

The Unfortunate But Perhaps Not Totally Unintentional Chyron That Appeared Under Ann Curry The Day After News Spread Of Her Getting Canned

It’s not just, as Gawker pointed out, that everybody hates Ann Curry, it’s that everybody loves to hate Ann Curry. And though we’ve partaken of this pastime considerably over the years–see Ann Is Making This All About Her or Ann Is An Idiot For Not Letting Ryan Gosling Put His Hands All Over Her or Ann Can’t Dance For Shit or the general Ann Is A Robot category–this latest national piling-on in anticipation of her firing just feels too mean.

Perhaps the most interesting theory put forth as to why Ann Curry’s failed to connect with her audience is that she’s Asian. The NY Times’ Mike Hale, who is himself of Asian descent, called Curry “The Today Show” family’s “stepsister,” musing:

I don’t know what personal factors might come into play in creating an on-screen distance. You could speculate about certain things. Ms. Curry is biracial (Japanese-American) and spent part of her early childhood living overseas, a situation that has been known to generate self-reliance and reserve. (Barack Obama probably wouldn’t make the warmest of morning hosts.)

Funny thing is, I never really think about Ann Curry’s Asian-ness. Except when contemplating her flawless, 55 year-old(!) skin. (Bitch, give me the name of your derm.) Then again, descriptors that have been used to describe Curry time and again and especially of late, descriptors like “robotic,” “awkward,” and “unable to emote,” are pretty much code for “Asian.” I mean, hug one of us if you don’t believe me.

Or better yet, save that hug for Ann Curry. She needs it, y’all, poor thing. And while you’re there, lightly feel around, between the shoulder blades I’m guessing, to see if you can make out the almost-imperceptible outline of a control panel. Won’t hurt to look, and it could potentially explain everything.

[NYT: Morning TV's Stepsister Feels the Ratings Heat]

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What’s Sexy In 2012? Not Asian, Black, Or Latina Women, According To Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret came out with their annual “What is Sexy?” list this week, and women of color basically don’t make the cut. Out of the 20 women named to the list, only two weren’t white.

Sexiest Actress – Charlize Theron

Sexiest Legs – Stacy Keibler

Sexiest Bikini Body – Annalynne McCord

Sexiest Summer Style – Blake Lively

Sexiest Summer Hair – Ashley Benson

Sexiest Smile – Jessica Chastain

Sexiest Eyes – Jennifer Lawrence

Sexiest Lips – Amanda Seyfried

Sexiest Curves – Amber Heard

Sexiest Sense of Humor – Continue reading What’s Sexy In 2012? Not Asian, Black, Or Latina Women, According To Victoria’s Secret

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