Asian American Performers Action Coalition Releases Latest Diversity Data for 2014-15 NYC Theatre Season

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Got this sent out to me and wanted to make sure and post it up as there is some great information on - well - what is and is not there for us.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New York, May 2, 2016)


The Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) released its annual report, "Ethnic Representation on New York City Stages," detailing the ethnic distribution of actors hired last theater season on Broadway and at the top sixteen not-for-profit theater companies in New York City. It is the only publicly available report of its kind.
In the 2014-15 season, the NYC theatre industry hit a record high in the 9 years AAPAC has data collected. For the first time, 30% of all available roles went to actors of color, a jump from 24% the previous year. After three years in a row of exceeding the nine-year average of 23%, it seems safe to say that there is a definite upward trend in the casting of actors of color.

• African American actors were cast in 17% of all roles, Latino actors in 3%, Asian American actors in 9% and all other minorities (including disabled actors) comprised less than 1% when looking at both Broadway and the non-profit theatre companies. Caucasian actors filled 70% of all roles. Caucasians continue to be the only ethnicity to over-represent compared to their respective population size in the New York City/the Tri-State area.

• On Broadway in the 2014-15 season, numbers for minority actors dropped to 22% of all roles from 24% the previous year. Despite Asian numbers increasing from 2% to 11% (largely due to The King and I which was responsible for employing more than half of all Asians hired in the industry) and Latino representation increasing slightly from 1% to 2%, numbers for African American actors suffered a severe drop, from 21% in the 2013-14 season to only 9% this year, one of the worst showings on record and leading to a net loss for the Broadway industry as a whole.

• The non-profit theatres were clearly the driving force behind the upswing in total minority actors, filling 38% of all available roles with actors of color, a 13 point jump from 25% last year and the highest point on record. Only one non-profit theatre company in the study hired no actors of color this season, MCC Theatre Company.

• In the non-profit sector, African American employment saw the largest increase, filling 26% of all roles, a significant leap from 13% the previous year and a record high for African American employment for the years we have data. Of all the non-profit theatre companies, The Public Theater hired the most African American actors with the largest number of contracts going to its production of Hamilton.

• Latino representation within the non-profit sector remained unchanged from the previous year, holding steady at 4%.

• Asian American representation within the non-profit sector increased to 7% this year from 5% the preceding season. Percentages of Asian American representation among the non-profits have been higher than the 9-year average of 4.4% for the past 3 years, indicating an upward trend. This year, every one of the non-profit theatres studied employed Asian American actors except for MCC Theater, Primary Stages, Signature Theatre, and York Theatre Company.

• Only 10.2% of all available roles were non-traditionally cast this season, down from 11.2% the previous year. This year’s levels revert back to the nine-year average of 10% after slight upticks in the preceding two seasons. Non-traditional casting percentages have largely remained stagnant over the 9 years studied and have not moved as significantly as the percentages for total minority employment.

• 5.3% of roles went to African American actors for roles that were not defined by their race.

• 2.3% of roles went to Latino actors for roles that were not defined by their race.

•2.0% of roles went to Asian American actors for roles that were not defined by their race. Asian Americans were the minority group least likely to be able to transcend their race.

MOST DIVERSE: The following theatre companies hired the greatest number of actors of color based on the percentage of available roles at their theatre. The Public Theater topped the list of companies this year.

4. PRIMARY STAGES (44%--tied)


LEAST DIVERSE: The following theatre companies hired the lowest number of actors of color based on the percentages of available roles at their theatre.
 MCC Theater was the only theatre studied that hired no minority actors at allthis season.



HIGHEST NON-TRADITIONAL CASTING: The following theatres had the highest percentage of roles that were cast non-traditionally out of all available roles at their theatre.

1. CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY (100% of 6 minority actors)
2. VINEYARD THEATRE (78% of 9minority actors)
3. NEW YORK THEATRE WORKSHOP (75% of 8 minority actors)
4. THEATRE FOR A NEW AUDIENCE(61% of 18 minority actors)
5. THE PUBLIC THEATRE (48% of 61 minority actors)

LOWEST NON-TRADITIONAL CASTING: The following theatres had the lowest percentage of non-traditionally cast roles (though one, The Signature Theatre, was one of the theatres that hired the most minority actors but in racially-specific roles).

1. THE NEW GROUP (0% of 5 minority actors--tied)
1. MCC THEATER (0% of 0 minority actors--tied)
1. YORK THEATRE COMPANY (0% of 1 minority actor--tied)
1. SIGNATURE THEATRE (0% of 29 minority actors--tied)
1. PRIMARY STAGES (0% of 7 minority actors—tied)

The full report is available for download on the AAPAC website:
ABOUT AAPAC: The Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) was formed in 2011 by a group of American actors of Asian descent to expand the perception of Asian American performers in order to increase their access to and visibility on New York City’s stages. In addition to publishing the only publicly available statistics on ethnic diversity in mainstream New York theatre, AAPAC engages in consciousness raising around issues of difference and access to equal casting opportunities by hosting symposia and roundtables as well as through outreach and dialogue to specific theatre companies. AAPAC has led and advised on several international campaigns this past year surrounding Asian impersonation and exclusionary casting practices, most recently against the Roundabout Theatre Company and its Broadway production of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." AAPAC is actively working with its allies within the industry to create change, including being a participant in the Broadway Diversity Summit, a dialogue organized by the Broadway League bringing together the unions and organizations working within the Broadway space. More information:

Film School Shorts + AAPI Heritage Month

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

To celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Film School Shorts put together a playlist films from the past few years featuring Asian characters, and many that have also been made by Asian filmmakers, including shorts like the Student Academy Award-winning Above the Sea and Pagpag (The Refuse), directed by John Paul Su, who was named the Director Guild of America’s Best Asian-American Filmmaker for his work on the short.

5X Work: Dances, Covers, Andrew Garcia, 5Mil+, Alice J, And More

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Make sure and pick up Andrew Garcia's album "Hell & Back" on iTunes.

1 Million out of the dance studio in SK.

Still smooth.

I'll take a piano cover - I'm not like that.

Is that Dave Grohl in the background? Check out her Ariana Grande cover.

Just Socks: It's Our Month. Time To Get Naked.

Monday, May 02, 2016


It's our month.

Sure. We shouldn't have a month if all things are equal.

But they aren't.

So I say get naked and let the excuses roll.


I'm writing this with nothing else but my socks on.

From George Takei On Hillary Clinton

Monday, May 02, 2016

What else can you say?

Out But In: Jeremy Lin's Hairstyle To Points Average, GQ, And Where's He Going Next?

Monday, May 02, 2016

While Lin and the Hornets were out in Game 7, and the debate on where he ends up after this summer (when he'll most likely get courted by a nice big stack of green) is only just beginning - if you need some more Linpostsanity-sanity and didn't already see this article in GQ, What Hairstyle Does Jeremy Lin Play Best In?, from a few days ago - check it out - because I feel like the next NBA stat is here...

Perhaps most notable is the success of the comb-over, which Lin favored from early January until mid-March. The Hornets were a middling 17-18 when Lin truly adopted the look, and he dropped 26 points on the Clippers in a losing effort on January 9, one of his best offensive outputs of the season

Kina Grannis + Nataly Dawn = Meghan Trainor "No" / 90s Mashup

Friday, April 29, 2016

From a few weeks ago - this song is catchy...

Let The Debates Begin. Football Names + The Slants

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This is an interesting side to the debate on The Slants name and their trademark case, and I was all for them doing what they were doing - but you knew there could also be consequences.

Sure, they're both completely different - because one is taking back the name from the group it's meant to slur and one is not (and I'm sure there's other minutia to talk about) - so I don't think it's fair to say "Well - see what you did Slants?" - but the overall topic is up for debate.

Here's some info from the Washington Post article Why the Washington Redskins are using the case of an Asian American rock band to save its trademark:

...the name, "The Slants," which front man Simon Shiao Tam came up with "to make a statement about racial and cultural issues in this country," to "reclaim" and "take ownership" of Asian stereotypes. Its lyrics are in part inspired from "childhood slurs and mocking nursery rhymes," its albums including titles like "The Yellow Album and "Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts." [...] "Redskin’ has a long history of oppression, the football team treats the people as mascots. On the other hand, Asian-American activists have been using ‘SLANT’ to present a bold portrayal of our culture for decades now. THE REDSKINS reinforce stereotypes of savage Native Americans. THE SLANTS breaks stereotypes about Asians Americans, especially in the entertainment industry."

Here's a link to The Slants case on why their cases are dissimilar:

1.Unlike REDSKINS, THE SLANTS is not an inherent racial slur. “SLANT” means a number of different things and the racial connotations are so obscure, nearly every major dictionary publisher removed the racial slur from its list of possible definitions. REDSKINS always has been used as a racial slur and has a long history of demeaning Native Americans. “SLANT” has not. It has been and is a commonly used “neutral” term (according to dictionary experts, it was obscure even during the height of its racial use in 1920-1940). Furthermore, two national surveys showed that Asian American do not find our name disparaging (92%-98% of Asian Pacific Islanders support our use of the name).

2. REDSKINS has a substantial composite of Native Americans demonstrating serious concerns over the name. THE SLANTS has not garnered wide protest from Asian Americans; in fact, quite the opposite. Our band has been supported by lifelong activists, organizations, academics, and other experts who understand the sentiment of our community. We’ve partenered with over 200 social justice and advocacy organizations across North America to focus on anti-racism work.

3. The owners of “REDSKINS” are not members of the “referenced group,” unlike THE SLANTS. It’s important to remember that of the 800+ trademark applications for variations of the term “slant,” only one was denied for being a “racial slur.” In other words, the Trademark Office never considered it to be a slur against Asians until an Asian applied. The Trademark Office clearly expressed that the only reason why they associated our trademark application with a racial slur was because of my race. They wrote, “it is uncontested that applicant is a founding member of a band…composed of members of Asian descent…thus, the association.” In other words, if I were white, like every other applicant in the history of the country, it would have not been questioned to begin with.

Last Call + Time For The Earmuffs: Peter Liang, Addendums, Right Lefties, And I'm Not A White Guy (That's Important)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spending a few days up north (and yes, I already am up north - but I was even farther up north) hanging with Baby Slanty in a hotel room for quite some time because K-Wife was doing what she does and I had to be along there, it gave me some nice alone time with more thoughts including those on Peter Liang - and for better or for worse - some addendums, questions, randomness, and doubling down.

  1. I would have been fine if Peter Liang got some jail time. I don't think it should have been 15 years - but I would have been fine with 1-3 and his 5 years of probation (which there's a lot to abide by).
  2. The sentence that was handed down - I was still fine with. I wanted a conviction and I wanted him off the force and some sort of other punishment. The fact that he didn't get jail time -- I absolutely can see how some people don't think it was justice served. At the end of the day for me though - I felt it was a fair sentencing. I don't think Liang should take the brunt for all of it. His partner - who was just as negligent in letting Akai Gurley die should have been prosecuted. The police department - who put them in that situation (and they can say whatever they want) should get sued for millions of dollars - and I would assume they will, and I hope they have to pay out. To me it has to be spread around and I think Liang is taking his part.
  3. If Liang should have had jail time how much should it have been? 1-3? 5? 10-15? Life? Just a general question to throw out in the universe.
  4. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't think this shooting is the same as Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, or Jamar Clark (to name just a few) - or in the same vein as Fong Lee or Map Kong.
  5. It can be said - as anything can - but the argument that Liang got off easy because of having an Asian American judge just falls short. Completely.
  6. K-Wife couldn't believe I was fine with what was handed down to Liang. I added my addendums to it - but she like others - didn't really like that I said I was fine with it as far as being fair (or what I felt was fair enough in light of all the circumstances). She likes Bernie. I like Hillary.
  7. I'm fine if people disagree with me on my opinions - but I'm completely tired of the generalization that me thinking what I do about the Liang verdict in taking Akai Gurley's life, makes me an inept person who doesn't understand about the privileges that we can have as Asian Americans, or that I somehow think he should have gotten off easy because he's Asian American and I'm Asian American, or that I somehow value Black lives less. That type of thinking to me is myopic and it's the type of thinking from what I'll call Right Lefties - the "progressive" left leaners, who really use the same tactics and obtuse thinking that they themselves don't like (and I can't help but think to myself about all the progressive people I know who love their football, baseball, and hockey even though it supports such blatant racism and disregard for Native populations which plays a role in causing a cycle of self hatred, poverty, and death. Some progressive Asian Americans don't have a clue about Native/American Indian populations much less Native people in their sphere of influence - and I'm not saying if you like football you're a bigot - all I'm saying is that there are degrees and things are gray).
  8. Just as Liang shouldn't have had the charges dropped because he was Asian American, he shouldn't get it harder because he is Asian American.
  9. I'm always up for respectful debates on this or any other topic.

I'm Just Gonna Say This Like This AKA Feel Free To Just Cover Your Eyes And Move On

I get it.

We can't even come to a census in my own house on it.

There's a lot to it.

But this tone sometimes - not always - but sometimes - that I may not care about the lives of the Black influences in my life - that I just don't give a fuck about co-workers, friends, teachers, writers, musicians, filmmakers, artists, mentors, neighbors in my community --- people who have and do make an impact on my life --- or that I somehow came to the viewpoints I did simply because I'm Asian American and have Asian American bias and can't see past my own racial and cultural makeup - that's what I'm not good with.

This either or mentality with strings attached.

If anyone ever wants to put me in that box (and I'm guessing other people feel the same way) and tell me, or infer that this is who I am because of my thoughts on this - first they can go fuck themselves - and second - they can go fuck themselves some more. I have people in my life where we do not see eye to eye on this, K-Wife just but one, but it's respectful. There's no shit throwing. They're not telling me I'm a piece of shit who doesn't give a fuck about Black lives. And I say it like that because that's the way it sounds sometimes. That's the way it can come off. And they're blogs, articles, etc. that don't have the same viewpoint as me - but that don't have that either. It may be hot. But it's not making that general statement. It's not using the same language that would be used for clueless White People (and I do find that insulting because in so many ways it completely White Washes the experiences of Asian Americans because you can't judge Asian Americans like White People---because we're not White People). I'm not saying there shouldn't be discussions on race and privilege and the degrees and differences of those - internally and laterally, and outside of communities - because you have to. I just believe it doesn't need to be done in that way. I think there's a middle ground in how it can be talked about.

This Kelly Ripa "Live" Thing Just Reminds Me Of Ann Curry

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It's not the same - and I actually don't watch "Live" - but just the fact that you have this woman who's dedicated her time to the show - who's half the show and helped carry it after the Regis - be kept in the dark about something so important (and it doesn't sound like Michael Strahan had a choice in what he could say so nothing but yeu there) - well - it all just reminds me of Ann Curry getting the boot from "Today".

No respect.


Damn....and I thought the Ann Curry wound was closed...

Jeremy Lin Goes For 21. Sports Outlets Calling Him Dominant

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

With the what could be the deciding game this Wednesday, Jlin went for 21 last night and gets a crucial rebound at the end of the game to help tie up the series.

Yeah - MJ and everyone is loving it.

What If Hillary Was An Asian American Woman?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

So I realize she's not - and she would be different if she was.

But what if?

What if she was exactly the same as she was now - except just Asian American.

I wonder what (if any) difference that would make.

Just a random Sunday thought.

Ten Questions For Koji Steven Sakai

Friday, April 22, 2016

Here's a link to a new post down at the YOMYOMF POV section. A quick teaser:

Outside of your work and projects you’re an Asian American dad raising an Asian American son. What is something you’ve struggled with as a dad (and then overcame or made a decision on) from the perspective of being Asian American or as a Person of Color?

Great question. I’ve struggled with “how to” and “when to” talk to my toddler son about the Japanese Americans concentration camps during World War II. I want to make sure he knows what happened to our people—and our family.
Read it in full.

You Can Still Go Tonight: I Hate Big Phony Documentary Premiere

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hosted by Jin Yoo-Kim and Milton Liu
Friday, April 22 at 6:30 PM - 11:30 PM in PDT
The Downtown Independent
251 S Main St,
Los Angeles, California

From The FB page:

A lot of you were wondering what I was doing in Asia last year, and more specifically Seoul. Of course it was the food, booze,(and seeing family), but it was also the opportunity to make my first doc!

About 3 years ago, James Minor introduced me to singer/songwriter Bobby Choy who goes by the name 빅 포니 Big Phony -- I immediately fell in love with not only his melodic and melancholy songwriting, but also was so intrigued by his story of growing up alone in NYC when he was a teenager, starting his music career in his late 20s, and then giving up his life in the States and moving to Seoul to reconnect with his heritage. And in 2015 he not only played at SXSW (solo and with punk band No Brain), but he also had a leading role in the film Ktown Cowboys. I knew I had to document his journey. And then make a scrapbook.

Please join us for the World Premiere of "I Hate Big Phony" on Friday, April 22nd at the Downtown Independent Theater.

BONUS: Many of you are in the film and I didn't get releases signed. (please don't sue).

BONUS BONUS: Bobby will be at the screening -- and we're organizing an after-party to listen to his new DEATH METAL album!

Written & Directed by Milton Liu
Produced by Milton Liu & Jin Yoo-Kim
Edited by Jin Yoo-Kim
Cinematography by PJ Raval, Justin Marshall, Tristan Noelle
Post Sound Mix by Valen Hernandez
Starring Bobby Choy
Featuring Original Music by Bobby Choy


PROGRAM NAME: People, Places, and Things


*Bonus. Bobby Choy AKA Big Phony will be at the screening.

#TBT For A Prince: The Cities Are Mourning You. Long Live Your Music And Legacy

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I wasn't born or raised in MN, so I don't have the connection to Prince like some of my friends or people I know here do - but he still holds a special place in my heart and in the pantheon of music.

Genius and talented can only describe so much.

The cities are mourning you and celebrating your life.

Rest in peace.