Thanks to an 8asians’ reader, we came across this Samsung commercial starring Krista Marie Yu as ‘Maggie,’ a kind of socially clueless but technologically curious millennial trying to check out Samsung products in all the wrong settings. What’s interesting is that in this commercial, there are also a few other Asian Americans in the storyline, including actor Rich Ceraulo as a student in the library and Jessica Blythe Kemejuk as a Best Buy / Samsung Experience Shop employee.
I know the Samsung Experience store-within-a-store has been great deal for Best Buy, but I wonder if it’s helped Samsung at all compete against Apple and it’s Apple stores. Whether the Samsung Experience Shops are helping Samsung or not, it’s great that Samsung is highlighting more and more Asian Americans in its television campaigns, since when I can remember with the launch of their “The Next Big Thing is Already Here” campaign with Vince Foster (who was also in another recent Samsung ad).
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I was fortunate enough to meet Ken Fong of the Ken Fong Project this year during the V3con digital media conference in Los Angeles on June 20-21, 2014. Ken was part of the panel titled “Secrets Online: Topics that are Taboo in Real Life”, where the panelists tackled the issue of writing about things one would not normally talk about in general conversation. Ken passed along an interesting piece of advice, to beware, that if you’re willing to talk about a taboo topic online, you may become the go to person and spokesperson for that issue.
Ken Fong is a moderate Baptist pastor and subject of the documentary “The Ken Fong Project”. The documentary covers his journey as he reconciles his beliefs with the way gays and lesbians are being treated by his community. He has compared the way gays and lesbians are treated with the way Jesus was treated by the hyper-religious Jews in biblical times.
Additional information about the documentary is relayed in the video below:
The initial round of funding for the documentary was completed through Indiegogo, but the documentary team will be looking for additional funding in the near future to help with costs of completing the film.
Ken was gracious enough to agree to an 8Questions interview on 8Asians, and the result is after the jump.
With the tabling of SCA5, the Fisher vs University of Texas decision, and the lawsuit over admissions to New York’s selective high schools, non-race based alternatives to diversifying campuses are increasingly being discussed. Some of these discussions, like this one on the book “The Future of Affirmative Action: New Paths to Higher Education Diversity after Fisher v. University of Texas”, this one on place as a better emphasis than race, and this paper on affirmative action alternatives, hardly mention Asian Americans. What are the effect of these affirmative action alternatives on Asian Americans? Better yet, how will Asian Americans react?
Season 3, Episode 5 (originally aired July 15): “Luck of the Half-Irish”?
Microsynopsis: NASCAR racer Brad Keselowski returns for a second guest-star appearance, winning his first race in months after sitting on a barstool in Sullivan & Son. The patrons (old and new) are convinced that the stool must be lucky, so Ok Cha begins charging people for the privilege of sitting upon it. Steve tries to convince everyone, to no avail, that there is no such thing as manipulating luck.
Good: There’s plenty of Melanie, who gets to wear a pair of Jimmy Choos. That’s about it.
Bad: While there’s not much about this episode that’s very good, there’s not much that’s very bad. I could do with fewer guest stars, but I’ve been complaining about that since last season.
Hapa moment: The title of this episode is its most hapa moment.
Overall: This episode is so forgettable that when I watched it the second time several days later, I remembered none of it from the first time except a joke Melanie makes about who gives her the expensive shoes.
Final grade, this episode: C minus.
I saw this video posted earlier this month on Facebook by someone by budding self-described actress, director, writer Anna Akana and recently saw that The Huffington Post had picked it up. Although I’m a guy, I liked the message that Akana is delivering – that beauty is both outside *and* inside. The YouTube video has over 1.4 million views now!
If you’re starting off in Hollywood (or entertainment in general), it definitely makes sense to develop an audience on YouTube and in social media. The still precocious musician Taylor Swift wrote had some interesting insights when she wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal recently on the future of the music industry, which I think is applicable to entertainment overall:
“A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers. I see this becoming a trend in the music industry. For me, this dates back to 2005 when I walked into my first record-label meetings, explaining to them that I had been communicating directly with my fans on this new site called Myspace. In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.”
She of course, has an IMDB, but not famous (or infamous) enough I guess to have a Wikipedia entry yet and it doesn’t look like she’s on LinkedIn. It’ll be interesting to see if she can achieve mainstream success through her social media efforts or make a living off of YouTube, like KevJumba, Ryan Higa and Michelle Phan. Although I live in Silicon Valley, I don’t make it to LA that often, but would be interesting to meet her in person one day (I’m sure the degrees of separation are small), especially now that she’s declared herself single.
YouTube sensations, the Fung Brothers, are at it again with a hilarious and heartwarming glimpse into the struggles of young Asians growing up in immigrant households. Four different scenarios (including one starring the Fung Bros, themselves) depict the battles young Asians face while pursuing what they love to do. The Fung Brothers hope its message can empower today’s Asian youth.
With catchy lyrics, the Fung Brothers new video makes a play on the acronym V.L.T. The recurring theme is that there is Very Little Time to pursue one’s passion. VLT also happens to stand for Vita Lemon Tea, a beverage from Vitasoy. The beverage maker is running a photo contest concurrently with the Fung Brothers video launch. Submit a photo that showcases your own VLT.
Submission period is July 25 to August 22, 2014. You can enter multiple ways – through the myvltcontest.com website, facebook/myvltcontest, and via Instagram and Twitter with #myVLTcontest. All qualified entries are eligible to win two roundtrip air tickets to Hong Kong! After each week, the photo with the most votes wins a year’s supply of Vita Lemon Tea.
Editors Note: This is a sponsored post.
8$ is a series which occasionally highlights interesting crowdfunding projects. Every day, the 8Asians team is inundated by many worthy pitches. We are unable to highlight every one that comes our way, or even the ones we might individually support. The projects selected for 8$ are not endorsements by 8Asians. (To be considered for 8$, we highly suggest you not harass the writers or the editors of 8Asians.)
WHO: Artists at Play.
“Artists at Play is a theatre-producing collective of Asian American creative professionals in the Los Angeles area.”
WHAT: Indiegogo project: L.A. premiere of 99 Histories by playwright Julia Cho
This year we proudly present 99 Histories, a story about the bonds between mothers, daughters, and sisters. Written back in 2002, the first major play from acclaimed playwright Julia Cho revolves around Eunice, a Korean American former cello prodigy, who comes home pregnant and unmarried, and tries to mend her relationship with her mother. Haunted by violent memories, Eunice must confront her ghosts before she can move forward. In this riveting and poignant drama of memory, legacy and home, what is remembered might be made up, and the only homelands that seem to exist are imaginary.
WHEN: Deadline to contribute is TODAY, Friday, July 25, 2014 (11:59pm PT).
About the Indiegogo:
99 Histories will have a 3-week run at The Lounge Theater in September 2014. Our fundraising goal is $7,000, which will cover venue rental and rehearsal fees as well as stipends for artistic and technical personnel.
L.A. theatre colleagues have set forth a challenge to producers across the city to increase actors’ wages. Actors’ Equity, the union representing theatre actors, currently requires most companies to pay a minimum of $7 to $25 per performance. Yes, you read that right. This year, Artists at Play hopes to increase the stipends that we pay our actors as a show of appreciation for the work they do and to better value all that they give us onstage.
Artists at Play envisions a Los Angeles community where Asian Americans are recognized as both theatre-makers and theatre-goers. Our productions represent a new generation of voices in American theatre that transcend the label of “Asian American” or “minority.” Your support for 99 Histories and Artists at Play will help promote more diversity and inclusion of Asian American artists and stories in the local theatre landscape.
With our new show, we are proud to further contribute to the Los Angeles theatre community as we strive to create entertaining and challenging work that is accessible to anyone and everyone. Please note that through the fiscal sponsorship provided by Fractured Atlas, donations are tax-deductible.
Actor and activist George Takei was on The Daily Show the other day to promote the documentary, ‘To Be Takei,‘ about his life, about being an actor, activist from his early childhood to present day.
What captivated the host, Jon Stewart, the most was Takei’s experience as a child being forced with his family to be imprisoned into a Japanese internment camp during World War II – Takei was only 5 years old when that happened. Stewart emphasized that most Americans probably don’t know that much about this sad chapter in our country’s history. Takei emphasized the only thing that Japanese Americans were guilty of was looking like the people who had bombed Pearl Harbor.
As I had blogged before, I had the great opportunity earlier this year to meet George Takei, along with his husband Brad, at a fundraiser for Congressman Mike Honda (who was also imprisoned at a Japanese internment camp as a child). It was Takei and Honda’s shared experience of being internees and that shared ‘experience’ that formed the foundation of their friendship.
The documentary is available via DirecTV until August 5th and in select theaters and iTunes August 22nd.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Please see 8Asians’ previous coverage on the topic of anchor babies –Joz
I have covered quite a few stories about Chinese immigrants, and one of the biggest stories was the Chinese pregnant women going overseas to give birth so their babies can obtain a foreign citizenship, sometimes referred to as anchor babies.
America is one of the biggest markets for wealthy Chinese families who wants an America-born child. A couple of years ago, the controversy of these women and the local L.A. businesses that provided them housing and transportation had caused a big protest, following law enforcement cracking down some of the hotels. I recently talked to a Chinese mother who has two anchor children in Hong Kong and got a first personal glimpse of what life is like for them.
I saw this blog posting on Facebook the other day by NPR, and their series on ‘Code Switch’, discussing race. This particular post discusses the one the earliest uses of ‘ching chong‘ as a racial slur against Asians (and specifically the Chinese):
“But “ching chong” hurled as an insult at Asian folks in the U.S. stretches back all the way to the 19th Century, where it shows up in children’s playground taunts. … A book by Henry Carrington Bolton from 1886 — The Counting-Out Rhymes of Children — tersely describes this rhyme:
“Under the influence of Chinese cheap labour on the Pacific coast, this rhyme is improved by boys brought up to believe the ‘Chinese must go,’ and the result is as follows: —
Ching, Chong, Chineeman,
How do you sell your fish?
Ching, Chong, Chineeman,
Six bits a dish.
Ching, Chong, Chineeman,
Oh! that is too dear!
Ching, Chong, Chineeman,
Clear right out of here.”
You have to admit, that’s pretty messed up when a children’s book casually uses a racial slur.
into his own viral video to inoculate the slur into a nice tune. The NPR goes on to document the amazing endurance of this ridiculous slur, but doesn’t really go into the actual origins. Nor does a Wikipedia entry. I guess there is no definitive first use of the term documented out there?
I personally thought it was funny and was not at all offended. As this Buzzfeed article points out, some Filipinos agree with me while others thought it was racist. The comments on the above video also divide along these lines.
A short documentary by Matthew Hashiguchi People Aren’t All Bad is a finalist for Smithsonian Magazine’s In Motion Video Contest.
This film reveals 89-year-old Yutaka Kobayashi’s experience as a Japanese American before and leading up to WWII.
There’s an Audience Choice Award that will be determined by votes. If you’d like Smithsonian Magazine to recognize an Asian American story, you can vote daily for People Aren’t All Bad is at the bottom under the “American Experience” category.
Winners will be announced on August 11, 2014.