The Asian American population has grown large enough to swing elections, but it remains one of the least politically active groups in the country. Hasan travels to Asian American communities to hear the issues that matter to voters and to sit down with two politicians running to represent them––presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Cory Booker. Hasan also reaches out to more conservative voices in the Asian American community, but gets barred from an event featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Indeed, data on the 2018 midterms shows that the voting rate of Asian Americans stood at 42 percent. In comparison, the voting rate among white eligible voters was 57 percent, AAPI Data points out.
Historically, neither Democrats nor Republicans have sufficiently reached out to the group, with a 2018 survey revealing that the majority of Asian Americans had not been contacted by either party. Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder of policy research & demographic data organization AAPI Data, told NBC News that this is in part due to campaigns lack of awareness, lack of staff capacity, or willingness to devote resources to outreach.”
In this piece, Minhaj interviews presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Interestingly enough, Minhaj shows how presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker has reached out to the Asian American community.
I emailed this link to a lot of my politically active friends and they thought this piece was terrific – which I agree. It provides a lot of background and context to Asian Americans and our civic engagement. Minaj also highlights the fact that Asian Americans are making significant difference in battleground states like Virginia and Nevada (something that presidential candidate Vice President Biden hasn’t ignored).
“When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father. “Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.””
Given the nature of the film, I wonder if they did all the dialogue in Chinese as well for the China market. It would be kind of weird to see a film set in China sub-titled in Chinese speaking in English (or dubbed in Chinese). From the trailer, it looks to be somewhat fantastical, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
This ad from Globe Telecom, a telecom provider in the Philippines, cashes in the upcoming hype for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It has an unexpected ending that I hope people do not spoil when sharing it. We have posted a number of Thai TV commercials in the past, and it’s great to see a commercial like this from the Philippines, although I am not used to seeing Tagalog TV with subtitles! Interestingly enough, I didn’t find out about this from anyone who was Filipino, but it was from a work colleague who is white. My Filipino work colleagues had not seen it either.
According to this article from Ad Age, the ad was created by Wunderman Thompson Philippines and dedicated to the company’s Chief Creative Officer Dave Ferrer, who recently passed away and was a big Star Wars fan.
I really enjoyed this commercial – hope that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be even better!
“Din Tai Fung, the Taiwanese restaurant chain known for its xiao long bao, will open a location at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas next year.
The new restaurant is taking over the space in the casino formerly occupied by the Aria Cafe. It will include an open kitchen where customers can watch cooks hand-stuffing and folding the soup dumplings. Besides xiao long bao, it will also serve pot stickers, pork buns, noodle soups and fried pork chops.”
Excited, since I travel occasionally to Las Vegas mostly for work to attend tradeshows (or to see Michelle Kwan), and love to check out new Din Tai Fung’s. Saddened because it was a dream of mine to open one up with a good college friend in Las Vegas. Alas, we will have to try to open one in another city …
Disney+ launched this week, and everyone is raving about the hundreds of movies and tv shows available for streaming. These are the same ones that we 90’s kids grew up watching. Who wouldn’t be excited?
The Disney channel was a staple in my household and a huge part of my childhood. While the nostalgia and excitement kicked in, I was mostly looking forward to one Pixar short in particular – Float. Float is part of the Sparkshorts series, about a Filipino dad who finds out that his son has the ability to float. This short is directed and brought to life by Bobby Rubio, a Filipino American whose idea stemmed from his relationship with his own son. This is huge!
Growing up as a Filipino American, I didn’t see characters that looked like me, let alone represent my identity. When I first found out about Float, I was ecstatic. I told myself, “it was about time we see faces and stories like ours on screen!” Pixar and Disney are platforms that will make an impact across the globe, and this is just the beginning!
Like any Pixar film, there are Easter eggs. One being the mug with a print of the Philippine flag, and another right next to it is a San Diego sign. Both of which are a nod to the director who grew up in Paradise Hills, San Diego. I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that the father and son both have prominent facial features that resemble Filipinos. While not all Filipinos look like them, it’s a sense of familiarity because it’s highly likely that we know of a family or friend who reminds us of these characters.
Filipinos and Filipino Americans have been widely misrepresented and underrepresented in media, and it’s so crucial for us to continue creating and make sure our stories exist. So any time I see Filipinos and Filipino Americans work, I make sure that I support the work by sharing it because if we don’t, who will? If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Bobby Rubio’s short on Disney+ today!
“Netflix announced that Ronny Chieng’s stand-up comedy special, “Asian Comedian Destroys America!,” will premiere Dec. 17. In his Netflix comedy debut, Chieng will share his perspective on the effects of consumerism while theorizing the efficacy of the United States under an Asian-American president. All of his experiences combined with his ideas will culminate in his personal theory on what will really make America great.”
When I saw that actor, standup comedian, and writer Jimmy O. Yang was going to be performing Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco, I wanted to see him perform. While waiting for a standby ticket to see the last show, I had heard a lot of positive comments from others on the show, and even one person stating he thought he was funnier than Ken Jeong, who I had also seen at Cobb’s.
I got a chance to meet Jimmy during an optional ‘meet and greet.’ I had to take a photo with him with my beloved ‘Pied Piper’ t-shirt, the fictional startup in ‘Silicon Valley’ where the protagonists work.
As for his standup comedy routine, I have to say he’s pretty hilarious. I might even agree that he might be funnier than Ken Jeong’s act. Maybe Jimmy should consider jumping out of the trunk of a car naked, like Ken did in ‘The Hangover’ which catapulted Ken into fame. Seriously, Jimmy’s got talent and I hope more people can see him live or on TV. Jimmy, along with comedians like Ali Wong, Ken Jeong, and Asiv Mandi (who I also saw at Cobb’s), shows that Asian Americans can be other than your stereotypical Model Minority.
Float is part of a series of films from Pixar’s Sparkshorts program, designed to find new storytellers from within Pixar’s ranks. Float debuts on November 12, 2019, on Disney+, Disney’s new streaming channel.
“When Fresh Off the Boat first premiered in 2015, it was the first time I saw a family on-screen that not only looked like mine but shared similar sentiments and memories of trying to balance contrasting cultures and heritages. But after four years and six seasons, it was announced on Friday that Fresh Off the Boat would be canceled after its sixth season. Despite the news, the series will forever be a trailblazer that paved the path for talent and films that have become instrumental to the media representation of Asians.
Since airing, Fresh Off the Boat became the longest-running sitcom revolving around an Asian-American family in broadcast TV history, according to Vulture. Each week, viewers have tuned in to mainstream television to understand one family’s experience of emigrating from Taiwan to America and coming into their own as minorities. It addressed themes of immigration, the American Dream, and cultural assimilation through the lens of parental characters Jessica and Louis Huang and their three sons Eddie, Emery, and Evan Huang. Despite its groundbreaking run on ABC, the show’s ratings have declined in the past few years, per Zap2It, making its cancelation barely a surprise.”
‘Fresh Off The Boat’ was the first U.S. television show since Margaret Cho’s ‘All American Girl,’ which was over twenty years of absence highlighting an Asian American family.
The series is set to conclude in an hour-long series finale set for February 21st, 2020. I am wishing the best to all the cast & crew, and I would like to see the cast in future television, film or more broadly, entertainment careers – whatever path they choose to go from here. I’m hoping that we’ll continue to see Asian American faces and stories being told in the future – it was pretty amazing to see both ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ and ‘Dr. Ken’ on broadcast television at the same time!