Be like Nike: Nike Racism Lawsuit Settled for $7.6M, but did the slavemasters get off too easy?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

So here’s the deal. According to the lawsuit the Chicago Niketown store and its managers used racial slurs against its black employees and shoppers, segregated jobs so that the higher paid jobs went to white workers, and routinely told security to monitor not just black customers but also black employees because of their race.


Accordingly - although it has taken 4 years since the 2003 claim - Nike finally had to accept defeat. They have to pay out $7.6 million to 400 employees (those who have worked from 1999-the present), hire a diversity consultant not only for the Chicago store but also for their home base in Beaverton, hire on an ombudsperson, conduct diversity training, institute a mentorship program, and review store policies from equal opportunity to theft.

It’s definitely a win and I congratulate all the workers there who had the courage to stand up and fight in what must have been an already hostile environment.

But….

If you figure the settlement to be about $20,000 per person, you have to ask yourself if Nike got off TOO EASY? I mean for 400 employees, some as far back as 1999 that got relegated to the back of the bus status - shouldn’t that be worth more?

Actually scratch the question of if NIKE got off too easy.

NIKE DID GET OFF TOO DAMN EASY.

I mean c’mon - for a company that has built its name on some of the greatest athletes and icons in the world who are people of color you’ve got to be kidding me - I mean basically Nike is saying to the world:

If you are a person of color and you are a great athlete, please come and sit at the dinner table with us, because we would love to have you. But if you’re not, go to the back of the bus, drink at the other fountain, don’t vote, stay below the ceiling, and be a nice little slave boy and girl like you should be.

If that’s the message - and it is - Nike definitely got off too damn easy.

The Contender Muay Thai style in Singapore

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This sounds pretty cool - apparently they are going to do an Asian version of the show “The Contender” in Singapore, and telecast it across Asia in October 2007 based on Muay Thai instead of American boxing. 16 unknowns will go head to head until one winner emerges for a $250,000 prize.

I smell the next action hero….

Fox Chapel High School students create anti-Asian Web site

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Well you might as well start while you’re young:

“An Asian-American hate-crime watch group has accused a group of Fox Chapel Area High School students of racism for posting an anti-Asian Web site.

A student affiliated with the site said it was a joke that got out of hand.

‘Anti-Asians Anonymous’ surfaced on the social networking site Facebook several months ago and included the names of 16 Fox Chapel Area students who had joined. Asian-American Fallout Central, which operates a Web site designed to “mobilize Asian-Americans against the racism and prejudices facing us in the United States and beyond,” posted pages from the Facebook group in June and urged critics to complain to school officials.

The Facebook group, which the Fox Chapel students have removed, contained postings about Asian stereotypes. It had ungrammatical and misspelled references to Pearl Harbor, chopsticks and anime. Included was a photo of an Asian man with a cartoon-style caption: ‘I ate your dog and I’m not sorry.’ “

Read the full article here at Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - and yes, at the top of the article is the Fox Chapel Area High School logo….makes you wonder…..

Utada tops the digital sales charts with 7 million units sold

Monday, July 30, 2007

If you don’t know who Utada is, she’s pretty much one of the best selling J-POP artists in the world who grew up both in NY as well as Tokyo and is more widely known by Utada Hikaru, and Hikki.

According to EMI, Utada’s single “Flavor of Life”, regular and the ballad version, is the world’s biggest selling digital single with sales of seven million units across all formats including mobile phone ringtunes, full-track mobile downloads, fixed line downloads, ring videos and ringback tones.

Sandra Oh and Masi Oka get Emmy nods

Monday, July 30, 2007


In case you missed it Masi Oka from Heroes got nominated for a 2007 Emmy under the category of Best Supporting Actor, Drama, while Sandra Oh from Grey’s Anatomy got nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Drama.

N.Y. high schoolers blog from China

Sunday, July 29, 2007

This is pretty cool - 11 high schoolers from the Bronx are blogging in from China:

Eleven students from Bronx Lab High School are headed for mainland China. They’ll live with students from Shanghai’s Luwan High School and teach classes on American culture to their counterparts on the other side of the world. For their once-in-a-lifetime, two-week experience, the New Yorkers will be sending dispatches to the New York Daily News Web site.

Check out more info here at the NY Daily News.

Michelle Wie back in form at Evian Masters/Hong Jin-joo of South Korea in lead

Sunday, July 29, 2007



Michelle Wie is finally playing some damn good golf again and has broken par and made the cut at the Evian Masters in France where she was last seen playing some of her best golf as well - go go golf prodigy.


In related news Hong Jin-joo of SK is in the lead of the Evian Masters as well :-)

Vietnamese Traffickers Get Nabbed….

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Check it:

Six jailed for selling Vietnamese girls to Taiwan, Malaysia

A Ho Chi Minh City court sentenced Thursday a Vietnamese woman to 12 years in prison and her Taiwanese husband to seven years for selling 126 Vietnamese girls to Taiwan and Malaysia.

Tran Thi My Phuong, 35, and her husband Tsai I Hsein, and four accomplices who all got five to ten years were convicted for “trafficking women”.

One of the accomplices, 35-year-old Phan Thi Hong Yen, got 10 years.

They were also fined VND10-50 million (up to US$3,125) each.

The ring was busted after a victim, who managed to escape back, complained to Vietnamese police who arrested Phuong and Hsien in March last year.

For several years the gang cajoled young girls, mostly from rural regions in the Mekong River Delta, to go to Taiwan for marriages. Once there, they were sold like chattels.

In 2005 it switched from Taiwan to Malaysia where girls the fetched $1,500-2,000 each. Their Malaysian suitors, mostly disabled or old, could ‘return’ the girls if they were not satisfied after a week of living with them.

The gang even sold the women publicly at bars for 17,000-25,000 ringgits (up to $7,285).

At the hearing, the traffickers claimed to lose money from most of their transactions.

From victims who either managed to escape or were released after they paid off the gang the court learned that those who refused to marry would be beaten or kept in isolation.

Many were forced to work in brothels until they were ‘registered’ by a suitor.

Many escaped by walking to Thailand and were arrested there for illegal immigration.

The court rejected the defendants’ request for leniency based on the fact that some of the victims had themselves desired the marriages.

This is one of the biggest trafficking cases busted in Vietnam.

Jesus. While you’re definitely glad that these MFs got their due and you know doing time in a Vietnamese jail isn’t like a country club here in the U.S. - 12 years and a fine? PLEASE. I know it’s difficult to catch these MFs, but when caught - they gotta be harsher with their penalties….

The Weinstein Company picks up rights for the Vietnamese actioner "The Rebel"

Sunday, July 29, 2007

From Kung Fu Cinema:

“Vietnam will soon be on the radar of martial arts movie fans in the west, if it hasn’t happened already. Home video rights to THE REBEL, a Vietnamese action drama from emerging action star Johnny Nguyen have been acquired by The Weinstein Company.”

….

“Nguyen, who not only stars but co-wrote the script and co-produced the pic with Jimmy Pham, has already gotten his feet wet in world action cinema by co-starring opposite Tony Jaa as a martial arts-fighting villain in TOM YUM GOONG (aka THE PROTECTOR), another acquisition of TWC that was released in theaters and on DVD in 2006.

Although a drama, the pic is heavy on martial arts action, which we all know sells well internationally. It appears geared as a breakthrough film for Nguyen as an international action star and for his homeland, Vietnam.

Although born in Vietnam, Nguyen has grown up in the U.S. where he trained in kung fu, tai chi, aikido, and wushu. After having been a member of the U.S. Wushu Team, Nguyen began working his way into the film industry and had his first real break when he was cast as a hitman in CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE, starring Jet Li and Mark Dacascos.

THE REBEL takes place in 1920s Vietnam. The long standing French colonization over the country has inflamed anti-French sentiments. At the height of the conflict, rebel forces emerge in many forms to disrupt the foreign occupiers. In response, the French employed elite units of Vietnamese agents to track and destroy these rebels.

The film follows the journey of Le Van Cuon (Johnny Nguyen), a French-cultured undercover elite. Although branded with the perfect track record, Cuong’s conscience is troubled by the sea of Vietnamese blood he has spilled to uphold a French washed ideal.”

Events: Beau Sia in August

Sunday, July 29, 2007


From the iambeausia myspace page:

08/02/2007 07:30 PM - the bowery poetry club, new york

I’ll be performing for 40 minutes for urban word, then i’ll be doing a question and answer. which will be moderated by queen godis.

08/04/2007 08:00 PM - the brentwood theatre, los angeles

hosted by rob zabrecky. here’s the list of other performers: jeffrey mcdaniel, derrick brown, buddy wakefield, amber tamblyn, mindy nettifie, bucky sinister

tickets at: poetrytickets.com it seems like this will sell out.

Bobby Lee…

Friday, July 27, 2007


Harry Potter and Racial Identity

Friday, July 27, 2007

I’ll have to think more about this, but it is an interesting topic covered down at The American Prospect (which btw seems to give away some Harry Potter secrets - so don’t read if you haven’t read it or want to know yet):

What are the politics of Harry Potter? The rift in the magical world described over the course of J.K. Rowling’s epic pits the young wizard and his companions against the terrorizing, fascistic Lord Voldemort, who seeks to “cleanse” the wizarding community of “mudbloods,” those witches and wizards born into non-magical families. Parallels to the Holocaust and other genocides and apartheid regimes are easy to draw.

A Shared History and Vision - Asian and African American

Friday, July 27, 2007

Article down at AsianWeek.com on the shared history and vision of Asian Americans and African Americans:

AsianWeek’s February publication of an article by a Chinese American columnist entitled “Why I Hate Blacks” created a stir among Asian Americans and African Americans. The lessons of the article provided an opportunity for us — Asian Americans (and specifically, Chinese Americans) — to reflect and to act.


Richard Wong and Colma: The Musical Story

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Combine 3 recent high school graduates, the town Colma where the dead outnumber the living 1500 to 1 because of cemetaries, and throw in 13 musical numbers and you have ”Colma: The Musical Story” directed by Richard Wong.

Definitely peaks the interests doesn’t it? It has been awarded the Special Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and San Diego Asian Film Festival. It was honored with nominations for the Gotham Award (”Best Film Not in a Theater Near You”) and the Independent Spirit Award (”Someone To Watch Award”).

Check out the article down at IFC as well as well as the movie’s web site.

News Roundup

Monday, July 23, 2007

Yang: A taste of racism in the Chinese food scare (The Statesman):

“The French delight in preparing food; the Italians adore eating it. But no people on Earth are so engrossed in food as the Chinese, for whom it is not just craft, pleasure and sustenance but the fundamental building block of society. In the West, acquaintances greet one another with “How are you?” The Chinese ask, “Have you eaten?” So for the Chinese, tainted food is more than a health hazard — it’s a kind of sacrilege. As one Chinese shopper told National Public Radio, “People here think food is as important as the sky. If there’s something wrong with the food, it’s as if the sky is falling.”

Nevertheless, China has been portrayed as a nation blind to hygiene and blissfully unconcerned about recent reports of food contamination. That’s troubling, because it reinforces the notion that befouled food is the consequence of a foul culture.”

NAACP calls for federal probe of racist e-mails sent to troopers, police probe under way (SignOnSanDiego.com):

“A photograph and video were e-mailed to private accounts in February. The photo is of a black man lying on a street surrounded by pieces of watermelon and a bucket of chicken, while the video shows a young white girl repeating racial slurs with the encouragement of off-camera adults.”

Tintin’s Racist Past (Forbes):

“When British lawyer David Enright opened the pages of a comic book entitled Tintin In The Congo while in a shop with his wife and two young boys, he was probably expecting a benign adventure story full of fun for all the family. Instead what he found was a “highly offensive” collection of racist caricatures of Africans, from superstitious natives to incoherent simpletons…”

Pop Winner: Victor Lee and the Twisted Misters

Monday, July 23, 2007


Victor Lee and Twisted Misters: Winners of the WSOP 2007
Because you shouldn’t forget it that quickly….

Asian American Women Artists Association: Cheers to muses

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) celebrates the arrival of their latest creation, a soon-to-be-released anthology titled Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women (expected publication: August 2007) with a panel discussion from select artists and writers featured in the book.

The event will be held at the Chinese Culture Center gallery, where an exhibit of the same name displays work from over 30 different Asian American women visual artists and writers from the anthology. The exhibit is being co-sponsored by the Chinese Culture Center and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.

About the Exhibit: Curated by Cynthia Tom, the exhibit showcases work by select visual artists and writers from the anthology in tribute to the muses who have inspired their work. Exhibiting artists include: Terry Acebo Davis, Susan Almazol, Olivia Boler, Ann Carli, May Chan, Lenore Chinn, Shari Arai DeBoer, Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, Naoko Haruta, Nancy Hom, Kay Kang, Machiko Kondo, Amy Lam, Summer Mei Ling Lee, Sharon Leong, Genny Lim, Christina Mazza, Vanessa Merina, Melani Nagao, MariNaomi, Norine Nishimura, Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen, Suzanne Onodera, Barbara Jane Reyes, Cynthia Tom, Sue Tom, Anna X.L. Wong, Flo Oy Wong, Nellie Wong, Debbie Yee.


For more information please see the Asian American Women Artists Association as well as Laughing Squid.

PANEL PRESENTATION DETAILS

July 21, 2007, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor,

Hilton Hotel, San Francisco Chinatown, 94108

For more information: Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen 510-763-1313, Ext. 424

poetesshoa@yahoo.com or http://www.aawaa.net/

Victor Lee: World Series Of Pop Finals

Friday, July 20, 2007


Well - here it is - the FINALS in the World Series Of Pop. While all of our other Asian Representation went out the door faster than you could say Kung Fu-Me So Horny-Long Duck Dong-Got Geisha — the Twisted Misters, the trash talking “greatest collection of pop culture minds in the Western Hemisphere” with the indomitable Victor Lee, is in the finals kicking ass and taking no prisoners.


Good luck young pop warriors.

Kate Winslet and Clive Owens: A little racist?

Friday, July 20, 2007

You may have seen the news clips on L’OREAL and how they’ve been beaten down for only hiring white women in some of their operations to promote their productcs. Some of you may also know then that the beloved Kate Winslet, and Clive Owens, are also spokespersons for L’OREAL.

At the moment they are being pressured to step down as spokespeople:

“We would ask those high-profile ambassadors to think carefully about whether or not they want to be associated with this organization,” said a spokesperson for the Commission for Racial Equality. “What a wonderful opportunity this could be to stand up to racism, to show that it simply has no place in today’s society.”

Simon Woolley of race campaign group The 1990 Trust adds, “It is shameful that those on L’Oreal’s payroll keep conveniently quiet. The correct thing to do would be to at least speak out or resign.”

Full Article

So the question that comes to mind is, if they stay at L’OREAL are they helping to keep a racist regime up and running? Are they spokespersons for racism by staying on? And then does that make them a little racist?

Does being paid by a company that just got nabbed for racist tactics make those on their payroll racists automatically?

To that question I’d have to say no - the person delivering mail surely isn’t a racist because of that - and I’m sure there are many fine people who work there, that aren’t racist or practice racist hiring practices (or had anything to do with the situation).

But when you’re a spokesperson it is different. You have power. You’re a spokesperson for a reason. And for the most part - while I’m sure the money is great - I’ll go out on a limb and say they don’t need the money they are getting from L’OREAL.

Because they have power and affluence, in this case they have only two choices:

1. Call out their employers - it happens all the time. Call a press conference - people will come. Don’t quit, but also fight it from the inside while you still take their money and use it for something good. If L’OREAL drops them - so be it.

2. Quit. Bash L’OREAL and their practices with something like “I tried talking with top executives, but we didn’t see it the same way so I’m severing my relationship with L’OREAL because of their racist practices”.

The only other option is to do nothing, continue collecting a check, and be a good little Spokesperson For Racism - hey doesn’t that kind of sound like “Springtime for Hitler”? Maybe it could be a musical….

News Roundup

Friday, July 20, 2007

White Boxing Promoter Calls Fighter a ‘Black Freaking Monkey’

Gary Shaw, a White boxing promoter who handles eight African-American fighters, called one of his own clients a “Black monkey,” according to a taped interview with boxer Anthony Hanshaw’s manager, Bryan Justus.

L’Oreal fights back from racism charge

L’Oreal were allegedly up in arms about the verdict stating that Garnier will appeal the case, with the stigma attached to being involved in the case thought to dent the company’s reputation in the cosmetics industry.

The Open stunned by racism and drugs rows

The racism issue was the first to rear its head. It concerned a speech made at the Association of Golf Writers’ annual bash by Graham Brown, a former captain of Hoylake and a member of the R & A’s rules committee. In it, he referred to the Japanese as “Nips”…

Louisiana Racism vs the Jena Six

Last week in Detroit, the NAACP held a mock funeral for the N-word. But a chilling case in Louisiana shows us how far we have to go to bury racism.

WP: Culinary xenophobia? A Taste of Racism in the Chinese Food Scare?

Jeff Yang notes that “food libel” has long been a part of a larger fear of China and the Chinese. Actually, in general culinary xenophobia, has been a way to establish a difference between “us-ness” and “them-ness.” (note how both Filipinos and Koreans have been labled “dog-eaters”).


It’s finally here! Secret Asian Man goes into global syndication! If you’re wondering why this is such a big deal there are a few reasons:


  • It’s being distributed by United Feature Syndicate , the same company that markets and distributes “Peanuts”.


  • This is the first comic to EVER be nationally syndicated with an AA male character lead (or AA lead for that matter). So even if Hollywood says no, newspapers across the globe say YES, and that means that everyone who opens up a newspaper and turns to the comics section will being seeing Asian American faces.


  • It’s a kick ass comic strip!


Here’s an interview with Tak Toyoshima from the Nichi Bei Times on the strip and going into massive syndication.

If you’re Gay and Asian you get beaten to death

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Satender Singh was having a picnic with some friends celebrating a promotion in his job. Days later he was pronounced dead because of a vicious attack on him because of his racial and sexual identity.



The tragic and sad event is a sickening commentary on how far we still have yet to go in the fight against hate crimes and in embracing diversity.


My thoughts go out to his family and friends and for those whose lives were enriched because of him.


…..



While I feel immense sadness at the death of Satender Singh, I can’t also help but feel angry and jaded.


When people like Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness get quoted as saying “there is a strong probability” that the assault was a hate crime I’m appalled.


A strong possibility?


While there is still news that is coming out and the killers have yet to be caught there is enough information - witnesses have said the killers were shouting racists and homophobic comments previously in the day leading up to the killing.


A strong possibility that this was a hate crime?


What the fuck needs to happen for this to be fucking classified as a godamn fucking hate crime? Do people need to leave notes that say “I killed this person because….”?


What more fucking proof do you need?


THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH SUBTLE RACISM. IT ALLOWS BULLSHIT LIKE THAT TO SEEP IN.



Go and write to Sheriff McGinness and tell him he needs to rethink his review either through the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department website or at:


2006 Sacramento Sheriff’s Department
711 G Street, Sacramento, CA 95814



NJ’s Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What else can you say except kudos to the opening? Here’s a snippet from the full story:

Asian-Americans are being turned away from election polls, they are being made fun of at polling sites, and they face language barriers that make it nearly impossible to access legal services.

Rise: London United Against Racism

Saturday, July 14, 2007

While some people claim racism is just a U.S. problem, we know that’s not true…and it’s great to see festivals like this continue on. I just wish I could be there - maybe next year!

London’s free anti-racist music festival, Rise: London United, will take place on Sunday 15 July 2007at Finsbury Park. Featuring acts from the world of hip-hop, indie, pop, jazz and reggae.

This is the seventh year that the Mayor of London has organised this free festival to oppose racism and celebrate the diversity of London.

In 2006, nearly 100,000 young people and families attended the festival, (view a slideshow of the festival).

http://www.risefestival.org/

L’Oréal is guilty of racism - fined and jailed

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wow - the verdict is in - and it’s spectacular:

The French campaign group SOS Racisme brought a case against L’Oréal already back in 2000 saying they excluded non-white women from promoting its shampoo, and the ruling is just in: Guilty. The Garnier division of the beauty empire, along with a recruitment agency it employed, were fined €30,000 each after they recruited women on the basis of race. A senior figure at the agency given a three-month suspended prison sentence.

Read the full article here

TMZ, Al Sharpton and robotics…

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A little late with this one, but if you weren’t aware, Al Sharpton had called TMZ - a popular news/gossip entertainment site - racist for TMZ referring to Beyonce at the BET Awards as RoboHo. Here is their response.

Giuliani & Arthur Ravenel, Jr.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More links to Giulini and Arthur Ravenel Jr. - talk about bad for business…

Burying the N-word

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Great news story:


Hundreds of onlookers cheered on Monday as a leading civil rights group in the US put to rest a longstanding expression of racism by symbolically burying a racist slur generally referred to as the “N-word”.


Delegates from across the country gathered during the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Detroit and marched about 400 metres for the ceremony and rally. Along the way, two Percheron horses pulled a pine box adorned with a bouquet of fake black roses.


Read more at The Age.

Sarah Silverman sings racist song

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Got this sent to the old inbox….apparently Sarah Silverman is getting more “hype” because of her crap-ass comedy. More on SS later on (isn’t that apropos and ironic at the same time?). Check out the link to her youtube song and dance.

The World Series Of Pop: Asian Representation

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


How can you not like this show? Just know about pop culture, put a team together, and you too can win a ton o’cash. And this year the Asian representation is high. Check the teams:


  • Fat Guys In Little Coats


  • Carlton Banks Dance Academy


  • Twisted Misters



Check out more at the VH1 site.

COWBOY vs. SAMURAI: Cyrano de Bergerac with an Asian twist

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

“A no-holds-barred romantic comedy, “Cowboy vs. Samurai” re-imagines the “Cyrano de Bergerac” story with an asian twist. The lives of the only two Asian Americans in the tiny western hamlet of Breakneck, Wyoming are turned upside down when the beautiful Veronica Lee, a Korean American teacher from New York City moves to town.”

Check more out here at the Asian American Theater Company.

Students Launch Campaign to Dismantle ‘Asian American’ at UCs

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Students Launch Campaign to Dismantle ‘Asian American’ at UCs


The title of Asian Pacific American can give and take. It can empower and at the same time engender the feeling of being a minority within a minority group.

APAs make up 34.6 percent of the University of California’s new freshman admits in 2005 - the second largest group next to Caucasian, according to university data. The same report defines APAs as: Chinese, East Indian/Pakistani, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Other Asians.

For Nefara Riesch, who is of Samoan descent, being “other” or just “Asian” doesn’t encapsulate a Pacific Islander’s struggle for access to higher education. The 19-year-old history major is one of about 40 Pacific Islanders on the University of California, Los Angeles campus of over 24,000 undergraduates. For Riesch, the numbers just don’t add up.

Rep. William Tong Gets Funding For The Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission

Friday, July 06, 2007

While it’s not much - $25,000 compared to the $500,000 that’s needed to actually run a state commission - Rep. William Tong (D-Stamford) did manage to get the Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission off the ground with at least some funding. Read the full article here at The Advocate.

Kimora Lee Simmons Gets In The Fast Lane

Friday, July 06, 2007

Well I wondered how long it would be before Kimora Lee would get her own reality t.v. show:

This August, the Style Network will debut Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, a new reality series offering an exclusive look at the life of Kimora Lee Simmons, a fashion designer, former model and ex-wife of music industry mogul Russell Simmons.

Read more here

I’m more Vera Wang than Kimora Lee - but a reality T.V. show based on Vera Wang’s life may not pull in quite the same drama that Kimora’s will (maybe she’ll get another set of mugshots like in ‘04).

Add Top Chef 3’s Hung Hyunh to the list of reality-tv stereotype smashers

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


You’ve already heard me briefly talk about Top Chef: Land of the Asian-Americans - but there’s a good article down at the San Jose Mercury News by Susan Young titled Reality-TV stars smash Asian-American stereotypes - and I just had to make sure that I plugged my guy Hung from Top Chef 3 because he’s definitely helping to smash those stereotypes as well.

Out of all the Asian American reality t.v. stars who else do you remember who has referred to themselves as a C.P.A. - as in Certified Public Asshole - and says it with a smile - and who is as brash as he has been already in just a few episodes?

And he’s extremely talented, even impressing the hard to impress Anthony Bourdain, AND he has a link to last season’s instigator and colorful personality (some would say villian) Marcel (they’ve known each other for a few years).

So he’s a talented, egomaniacal, self proclaimed asshole (certified) who likes to hang out with other evil chefs who also think highly of themselves….hmmmm….definitely NOT the quiet and reserved mystical little Asian guy who’s going to give you the keys to nature and how it works after he cures that knot in your back with some acupunture…..grasshopper.

I’d say that qualifies as stereotype smashing.

Live Free Or Die Hard You Ass

Monday, July 02, 2007


I’ll just get to the point - the movie Live Free or Die Hard could have been a great action movie, but instead - because of its racist language towards Asians and Asian women - it’s racist moviemaking at its best - and I’m proud to say I walked out of that piece of trash before it was done.

Maggie Q - a great actress in her own right - plays one of the villians in what seems to be a great multicultural cast - but alas the screenwriters - and indeed Bruce Willis himself, just couldn’t resist throwing in some of the most offensive language I’ve heard towards Asians and Asian American women in a major motion picture.

Here’s the rundown of language:

1. When Bruce Willis is relaying to Timothy Olyphant (who plays the movie’s main villian Thomas Gabriel) that he just killed his partner/girlfriend Maggie Q he refers to her as his little bitch Asian girlfriend whom he just killed. Now - while I’m all for the hero of the movie kicking the villians ass - nowhere else in the movie is there a line which refers to someone’s race. It’s just for the Asian villian. The plain fact is that in this context, no screenwriter would have written, and no white actor would have agreed to say something to the effect of I just killed your little bitch black girlfriend.

But if they’re Asian - it’s O.K.

2. And that just sets you up for the most horrible line towards the end of the movie where Bruce Willis says to Timothy Olyphant that he killed his “Asian bitch hooker girlfriend” and that “she was hot” and that “he should’t have a hard time finding another one”.

WTF?

This is complete bullshit racist language which keeps the ideas alive that:

1. Asian women - and Asian American women - are whores. They deserve to be sold and traded as commodities. Plain simple hookers. Objects.

2. Asians are expendable. Hey - we’re all alike - don’t worry - you can mame and kill a couple of us because there are more of us where we came from. We’re not individuals - we’re all a collective.

Asian women? They are there to be fucked, raped, and killed - and don’t worry - there’s millions more where they came from.

And the audience - they didn’t laugh either - there were hushes and ohhs - and it makes me wonder if the studio executives - like Bert Livingston who called the character Bruce Willis plays an “everyman” - used a group of white racists for the focus group.

BOTTOM LINE - AVOID THIS MOVIE AND DON’T GIVE 20th Century Fox or Bruce Willis any of your money - SPREAD THE WORD.