Friday, July 20, 2018

TGIF Feature: 'Bucket List Family' unpack their bags in Hawaii

INSTAGRAM
The Bucket List Family are, from left, Manilla, Jessica, Garret, baby Cali and Dorothy.

AFTER VISITING more than 60 countries in less than three years, the Bucket List Family is finally unpacking their bags -- at least for a little while.


The Filipino American family is settling down and buying their first house according to People magazine.

We first met Garrett and Jessica Gee three years ago. He had developed an app that he sold to Snapchat for $54 million. The young couple started wondering what they wanted to do in the next chapter of their life.

They started a bucket list and soon realized that it involved a lot of traveling to places they wanted to see and cultures they wanted to experience.


As they explained on their website, "we still have so much to learn about life and happiness before we can set up our future life and home."  


So the Utah-based family sold all their belongings and embarked on 3-year journey with their two small children. Since then, they've added another child to their family. They welcomed baby Cali on Feb. 11.

Believe it or not, they're living this enviable life without dipping into that huge sum of cash from the app sale, which they deposited in the bank; they're doing it by monetizing their blog and social media platforms, all under the name The Bucket List family. Even Baby Cali has 194,000 followers on Instagram. 

Some of their adventures include diving with sperm whales in Dominica, taking yoga classes in Bali, grocery shopping in Paris, flying kites in Thailand and sleeping in an Irish castle, according to People. 


As they travel, they spread love through little acts of philantropy. "Charity and humanitarian work is a big part of our travels. Each new place we visit we do our best to connect with a non-profit, a charitable service project, or sometimes just a local family that we may be able to serve and help" they said.  For example, their anonymous donations paid for a family's trip to Disneyland, someone's surgery and a student's college fees. In India, they joined a campaign to raise $500,000 for a girl's school to help stop human trafficking.

“We want to pay it forward,” said Garrett, who in the future looks forward to scaling the family’s benevolence to larger, more impactful projects.


The Gee's new home is an 80-year old fixer-upper located on beach on the island of Hawaii. Once again, the Gee's have found a way to pay for their home and renovation. The whohle home makeover will be the subject of Home Loe Network series called Traveling Home. Each room is inspired by their travels.



“I’d been dreading the day when we’d finally settle down,” Garrett tells People, “but I’m surprised at how excited I am now to have a place to call home. We always wanted something humble and cozy instead of something big and fancy, and we were thrilled to find this old home that needed our love and care.”

But just because they bought their first home, don't expect the vagabonds to become homebodies.

“We already have seven more countries booked between August and the end of the year,” Garrett Gee, 30, tells People. “And just because we finally have a house where we can purchase things and store things, doesn’t mean that we’ll stop living the stress-free beauty of a minimalistic lifestyle. My goal is to find a happy balance between time at home and continuing our adventures around the world.”
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Chloe Kim wins ESPY's 'female athlete of the year' award, then shows her rapping skills

SCREEN CAPTURE
Snowboarder Chloe Kim accepts the trophy as Female Athlete of the Year.

CHLOE KIM is not about to forget the year 2018 during which she won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics, she turned 18, got accepted at Princeton. Last night, she was named Female Athlete of the Year at the ESPY's.
The California teenager earned the honor Wednesday evening (July 18) during ESPN's annual award show in Los Angeles honoring the year's best athletes and sports moments.
Besides winning the top award for women, Kim was also was picked as the Best Female Olympian and Best Female Action Sports.

"This year has been filled with so many incredible memories I will hold onto the rest of my life," Kim said as she held the silver trophy. "I really want to thank my family. They've sacrificed so much for me."
She traded in her teenage attire for a new grown-up glamorous look at the ESPY's wearing an18k gold diamond Cuban choker, with 24 carats in diamonds and weighing 300 grams in gold. Oh, and we're told it's valued at $40,000. The gold matched her hair whic she had dyed blond and contrasted with her black, off the shoulder dress.

At the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Kim dominated the women's halfpipe finals, taking home a gold medal for Team USA. Her exuberant personality shone through her use of social media making her accessible to a wider audience beyond the sports world, winning the internet's heart with her relatable tweets about breakfast sandwiches, ice cream and her love for her parents.

Besides earning the spotlight at the Olympics, she also took gold in the SuperPipe at the X Games in Aspen.

After the awards ceremony she attended the official awards after-party at L.A. Live ... and like she does on the half-pipe, Kim didn't even hesitate when Young Gerald asked her to rap Cardi B's verse on his hit, "No Limit." She knew all the words -- even the x-rated ones.

Needless to say, she would have won another gold medal for her rapping stint. Naturally, she crushed it.



UPDATED, July 17, 3:25 p.m. to include after party.
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Comic-Con 2018: Fantasy and sci-fi grapple with sexism and politics


WHILE COMIC-CON focuses on worlds of fantasy, super-heroes and galaxies far, far away, it increasingly has to bring it back home to the ordinary rock, the third planet from a star in an insignificant solar system located in an outer spiral of the Milky Way -- home.


Comic-Con formally kicks off Thursday (July 19) in Sunday with an expected attendance of 130,000 converging on the San Diego's convention center spilling over into downtown's nearby hotels over four days.

The perception that Comic-Con as the product of white fan-boy culture is not the reality. Asian Americans have always had a strong presence earning a panel addressing Asian American inclusion and influence on the horror, fantasy and scence fiction TV shows and movies. 

Once again Racebending is sponsoring the 8th annual panel where fans assess celebrate the state of Super Asian America. It will feature Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6, Titans), Mallory Yu (All Things Considered), Tonya Kong (Daredevil, Arrow), Joy Regullano (Supernatural), and Keith Chow (The Nerds of Color). Moderated by Racebending's Mike Le.

Super Asian America will be held Sunday, July 22, 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. in room 5AB.

Marvel Comics and Disney have cut back their participation this year but that opens the door for other studios and franchises to grab the spotlight by presenting its products and introduce its stars. The Walking Dead franchise always draws a big crowd and expectations are high to see the actors who play the heroes from DC Comics such as Wonder Women, Batman and Superman.

The CW's entire superhero roster (Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow) will be back with individual panels. Other shows represented with panels include Vikings, Riverdale, Star Trek: Discovery, Preacher, Legion, and so many more returning favorites.


The world of geeks and nerds is as diverse politically and socially as any cross-section of American society. At times the small, but vocal conservative sector has come out of the woodwork recently to express their disappointment and disagreement with comics, films and television efforts to reflect American society in their products.

Recently, through the power of social media, they have expressed their displeasure and unsuccessfully tried to launch boycotts against Star Wars and Star Trek movies and television shows that had women and minorities in prominent roles. White fan-boys were responsible for harassing actress Kelly Marie Tran for starring in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and reportedly drove her off of Instagram.

COMIC-CON
The exhibitors' hall at last year's Comic-con.

A review of some of the panels gives an idea how the real world is rimpacted by and eflected in these fictional stories:

Diversity and Comics: Why Inclusion and Visibility Matter: Panel will discuss how comics have become more inclusive of women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community to better reflect today's culture and expand to a changing fan base.

Are Superheroes Social Justice Warriors? How to Educate, Illuminate, and Bring Diversity and Social Change Through Comics: Comic books have been pointing out injustice and bringing social issues to light since their outset. Over the years, this has ebbed and flowed, and currently, there is a clash between those who say "too much" and those who say "not enough."

Beyond Wakanda: Intersectional Afrofuturism: This panel digs deep into the cultural archive of Afrofuturism to connect the broad audience of popular films like Black Panther to historical resources related to Afrofuturism, especially the work of Octavia Butler.

"#METOO to #TIMESUP: An Action Summit for Comics." An all-star lineup of female and gender-nonconforming comics pros brainstorms at this idea summit, including Amy Chua, in a lively discussion of how to stamp out under-representation, harassment, and bad labor practices in order to make comics into a consistently safe, diverse, innovative workplace that thrives on inclusion.

Truth, Social Justice, and the Academic Library Way: Comics in Academic Libraries: Bringing a comic culture to underserved populations, and strategies for outreach and engagement using comics and graphic novels.

What Rebellions Are Built On: Popular Culture, Radical Hope, and Politically Engaged GeeksA conversation with geeks making activism their superpower by hacking popular culture for social justice, civic activism, and participatory politics-including efforts in anti-bullying initiatives, advocacy, and for charity.

Click here for the entire program.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

People Acting Stupid: College professor maligns Asian men

TWITTER
MATTHEW DE STARKEY
ASAM NEWS

Matthew De Starkey, an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, is being slammed on Twitter for a photo he posted of himself supposedly imitating Asian men, We are Resonate reports. 

In the photo, De Starkey is squinting his eyes, pressing his hands together, and wearing a wooden bowl as a hat. He captioned the photo, “When your crush says she only dates Asians.”

When members of the Asian community began to criticize his tweet, De Starkey responded with a tweet of his middle finger captioning this post, “Short ass finger.” According to a blog post from a blog called ProAsian that discussed the racist tweet, De Starkey’s response was a reference to the “tired stereotype that Asian men are less endowed.”


De Starkey has since deleted the post and changed his Twitter handle. What remains are screenshots of his tweets taken by other Twitter users.

De Starkey reportedly serves as an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. According to his LinkedIn account, he is both a student and a supplemental instructor at the university.

Many people are calling on the university to address De Starkey’s tweets. One Twitter user has sent a complaint about De Starkey to the university. The University responded by thanking him and informing him that the complaint had been forwarded to the Chief Human Resources Officer.

As of this posting (July 18), the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has not taken any administrative action, but it has taken to Twitter to let those criticizing De Starkey know that the institution has a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination and bias.


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Four Korean women claim racial bias by Delta Airlines

KIRO7.OOM
Four women of Korean descent claim racial bias when they were fired by Delta Airlines.

FOUR WOMEN allege they were fired from Delta Airlines for speaking Korean.
Ji-Won Kim, Lilian Park, Jean Yi and Jongjin An with a combined total of 50 years of experience working for Delta Airlines at Sea-Tac Airport, filed a lawsuit claliming they were wrongfully terminated in May 2017 from their jobs as customer service and gate agents at Sea-Tac International Airport near Seattle.
“I treated all Delta passengers as my family - brothers and sisters, parents,” Park told KIRO 7. "Everything came from the heart.”
The four women were born in Korea. Park, Yi and An are now U.S. citizens. Kim expects to be one soon.
They have filed a lawsuit alleging “race and national origin discrimination and retaliation.”
The women believe their fluency in the Korean language was one of the reasons they were all hired by Delta, which flies daily between Sea-Tac and South Korea. According to Yi, Korean-speaking passengers “were so glad to see me. They say, 'Oh I feel so comfortable. You know, they don’t speak English.'”
In their lawsuit, the women say they were "assigned to work flights to and from Korea, composed of many Korean-speaking passengers, they were singled out and admonished for speaking Korean," with their Korean-speaking passengers.
An said she was told by her Delta manager there were complaints “from the other non-Korean-speaking agents. They feel uncomfortable, so please limit speaking Korean.”  But the women – who are all over 40 and all plaintiffs in the lawsuit – claim other foreign language-speaking Delta employees were never told to limit their speech and that only the Korean speakers were.
 “I thought this was a pretty clear case of discrimination,”  said their attorney, Jennifer Song, who works at the Law Offices of Judith A. Lonnquist in Seattle,
The women also believe their termination came as retaliation for complaints they filed against another Delta employee for sexual harassment.
The women were reportedly harassed multiple times by the same person while on the job. Yi told KIRO 7 she tried to “avoid touching” from the harasser “so when he came to the gate, I just moved out of sight. I didn’t want to deal with him touching, whispering.”
The women reported the misconduct to their superiors but the alleged harasser is still employed by Delta. 
According to the lawsuit, the women "were suspended and ultimately terminated for allegedly offering unauthorized upgrades." The woman said an upgrade offers are standard practices.
“Offering free upgrades, especially on an oversold flight, is a common practice” Kim said, “but suddenly, it became a reason to be terminated, just for us, for Korean women.”
In a statement, Delta Air Lines denied the allegations and said the women were terminated for “violated ticketing and fare rules.”
"Delta does not tolerate workplace discrimination or harassment of any kind. Such behavior runs counter to our core values of diversity and inclusion and our mission of connecting the world.  
"We take allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination very seriously and our investigations into allegations made by these former employees were found to be without merit.  
"These former employees were unfortunately but appropriately terminated because the company determined they violated ticketing and fare rules.  
"Delta is confident that these claims will ultimately be determined to be without merit."  
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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Jury Convicts Texas man of hate crime in the burning of Texas mosque

SCREEN CAPTURE / CBS
A new mosque is being built in Victoria, Texas.
IT TOOK less than three hours Monday (July 16) for the jury to come back with a verdict saying a man committed a hate crime when he burned down a mosque in Victoria, Texas last year.
The jury found Marq Vincent Perez, 26, of Victoria, guilty for a hate crime in the burning of the Victoria Islamic Center on Jan. 28, 2017, and for use of a fire to commit a felony. In addition, they found he possessed an unregistered destructive device for an incident that occurred on Jan. 15, 2017.

“This is a statement from our country, from the USA, showing everyone is equal under the law. This verdict shows that this country upholds the law, whether you are a minority or majority,” Abe Ajrami, treasurer for the Victoria mosque, said Monday at the entrance to the federal courthouse moments after the verdict was announced.

“Justice has been served,” said Omar Rachid, a longtime mosque member who testified during the trial. “We are a land of laws.
“All people are entitled to live free from violence and fear, regardless of their religion or place of worship,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “Perez’s actions were criminal, unlawful, and dangerous. This Justice Department is committed to holding hate crimes perpetrators accountable under the law.”
The jury heard from a total of 19 government witnesses, including law enforcement officers, experts, and others who testified about communications with Perez, one of whom detailed how Perez called Muslims “towelheads.” An FBI agent took the stand and described hate-filled messages found on Perez’s Facebook account.  
Testimony in court detailed how Perez planned the event and revealed how he had done “recon” of the mosque in the days leading up to the fire. A witness who was with Perez on the night of the fire described how excited Perez was upon seeing the mosque in flames, explaining that he was “jumping up and down like a little kid.”
Additional evidence presented in court revealed that items taken during two burglaries at the mosque were found at his home, and also an improvised bomb similar to what was used in an attempted car-bombing approximately two weeks prior to the fire.
The jury also heard from an arson expert who concluded the fire was the result of an “intentional application of an open flame.”
Perez faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the hate crime and up to 10 years for possessing an unregistered destructive device. For use of a fire to commit a felony, the penalty is a consecutive and mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. All of the counts also carry a potential $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been set for October 2.
“Hate crimes are not only an attack on a specific victim, they threaten the cornerstone of diversity that America was built upon,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner. “Perpetrators of hate crimes, like Perez, aim to chip away at our nation’s foundations by instilling fear into entire communities with violence.”

While Ajrami said the jury's decision left him with optimism, he also admitted to suffering emotional trauma to the Victoria Advocate.


“Especially when the kids are around, I personally pray with my ears open, hoping not to hear the click of a weapon,” he said. “I often listen ... to ceremonies with my back against the wall, watching the front door. Anytime you smell something burning, it brings back the memories.”
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Filipino Night Market returns to the Filipino Cultural Heritage District in SF


Some of the food of 5A BBQ will be among the culinary offerings at the night market.

SAN FRANCISCO'S Filipino American night market won't be like Manila's Divisoria or Legazpi markets but it will have the same spirit, good eats and joyful entertainment of those traditional markets with a Filipino American spin. And the food -- oh -- the food!

The second season of the wildly popular night market will begin Saturday, July 21 and returns every third Saturday through October.

The primary model was never the palengke night markets that you can find all over Manila, but rather some combination of Off the Grid, Outsidelands, and the Renegade Craft Fair, according to Desi Danganan, executive director of Cultivate Labs, the nonprofit that runs the market along with Undiscovered SF.

The food is what Danganan calls the “third wave” of Filipino cuisine in America—not steam-table joints (the first wave) or Frenchy fine dining (the second), but next-generation Filipino American chefs “flipping Filipino food in a hundred different directions,” whether that be via lumpia that tastes like a cheeseburger or a Filipino-Mexican burrito stuffed with pork sisig.

There will be at least a dozen food purveyors, including the popular Senor Sigsig, Jeepney Guy, Sarap Shop and Bombzies BBQ.

Last year's wildly popular inaugural season drew 35,000 and was held indoors at the historic San Francisco Mint building. This year, the night market will be even more reminiscent of Manila's markets by relocating it outdoors in the alley ways of the South of Market neighborhood where thousands of Filipino Americans reside.

“We are creating an experience around what the Filipino-American community in the Bay Area feels like, looks like, sounds like, and tastes like," said Gina Mariko Rosales, event producer and co-founder of Undiscovered SF.

"Last year, we were limited by capacity in the SF Mint, so this year we’re excited to move fully outdoors into open public space for everyone to enjoy," she said.

UNDISCOVERED SF
Last year's night markets attracted 35,000 people.
Marketgoers will be able to buy books, hats, unique, deisgner clothes, arts and crafts from the 50 retailers present. 

Since its a Filipino event, music will play a big part of it. Besides the expected Karaoke, kicking off the festival on July 21 are the legendary DJs Qbert and Shortkut of the Invisbl Skratch Piklz, 
playing a rare collaborative set together on 4 turntables; alongside new school tastemaker Kronika of Soulection.

"Filipino American DJs Qbert and Shortkut are considered the pioneers of Turntablism and rank up there with Hip-Hop's elite. They also happen to be from the Bay Area, and we’re thrilled to showcase two local legends who paved the way for an entire generation of DJs, including myself," said Marky Enriquez, Music Curator/DJ.

RSVP:​ http://undiscoveredsf.com

IF YOU GO: The entrance is at 401 Fifth Street (Behind the San Francisco Chronicle building), 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

COST: This is the best part. It's totally FREE!.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Green card holders vulnerable to deportation under new fedreal guidelines


IN DONALD TRUMP'S ever-widening war against immigrants, the federal government is going way beyond deporting criminal gangs or undocumented immigrants. Under new guidelines green card holders will get a closer look and are even more vulnerable to being deported.

New guidelines implemented last week by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) say that immigrants who abuse “any program related to the reception of public benefits” will be summoned to appear before an immigration court.

The main public benefits that immigrants with legal residence permits, known as Green Cards, can receive are: Medicaid for people with low income or disabilities; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Supplemental Security Income; and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Receiving assistance from those programs could even harm an immigrant’s application for a Green Card under a proposal by the Homeland Security Department designed to block documented immigrants from obtaining residence if they or their children receive public benefits, including food stamps and early childhood education programs.

“An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States,” the DHS draft argued.

After going after the low-hanging fruit at the borders and successfully passing a Muslim travel ban, the federal government will expand their efforts to go after those immigrants who are here legally. Some have been living and working in the U.S. for years, bought homes, becoming productive members of the community.

Green card holders will also open themselves up for deportation if they break the law or if their application for citizenship is denied if they are not considered of good and moral character. Those foreign nationals who wish to change their visas -- from student visa to an H-1B visa for example, will receive extra scrutiny by USCIS employees.
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Mobile medical clinic praises Filipino American volunteers

THE DAILY HERLAD / JAMES BENNETT
Volunteers from the Filipino American Association in Maury County (Tennessee).
ASAM NEWS
A Remote Area Medical clinic pops up in rural Tennessee once every two years or so, providing free health, vision and dental care to the area’s under-served patients.


In Columbia, a town located in the heart of Tennessee where the median household income is $35,879, the clinic is met with open arms by a group of Filipino American locals.

“[The Filipino-American Association in Maury County] are the best group of volunteers I have ever seen … anywhere,” said the clinic coordinator Poppy Green.

The Remote Area Medical clinic works with over 120,000 volunteers around the world, and has treated over a million patients since its founding in 1985.

“The Columbia volunteers are the finest I have worked with,” Green told The Daily Herald yesterday, after treating 330 patients at a local middle school. “I am giving highest praise because I believe it’s true. In community involvement, from multiple levels, what the Filipino group here has done for us in Maury County is unmatched.”


Courtesy of RAM Facebook
A RAM staffer checks a patient's blood pressure.
The Filipino-American association not only recruits volunteers for the pop-up clinic, but also cooks meals and finds homestays for the visiting health workers. This year, they helped transform the middle school into a makeshift hospital and hosted a welcome dinner for RAM, attended by Columbia mayor Dean Dickey.

“The welcoming party we had Friday night included traditional Filipino dancing, food and togetherness,” Green said. 

“The ceremony speaks to the strong bonds they have with RAM and the love they have for their community as Filipino Americans. They want to give back, and they have done it in this case with hard work.”

"All of our group members have been blessed living here and have pretty good jobs,” said Filipino-American President Fidel Pinote, a 36-year General Motors employee.. “We have access to health care. We would like everyone to have it.”
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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Manny Pacquiao looked like the fighter of old in scoring first TKO in 9 years

SCREEN CAPTURE / INSTAGRAM
In the fifth round, Manny Pacquiao lands a punch forcing his opponent to take a knee.

MANNY PACQUIAO did something that no other senator in the Phlippines -- or the U.S. -- has ever done. He knocked out his opponent.

Even though boxing has become secondary to his day job as a senator in the Philippines Senate, the 39-year old Pacquiao showed that he still has what it takes by knocking out Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in the 7th round of their match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In scoring his 60th fight victory with his first knocckout in nine years, the Filipino icon also captured Matthysse's WBA regular welterweight title. It is Pacquiao's 11th world title in a legendary career that has made him a national hero in his native Philippines.

Talk about Pacquiao's demise proved premature. Unlike his last fight when he lost to Jeff Horn, the Filipino boxer looked focused and physically prepared.

Prior to his 7th round TKO, scorekeepers had Pacquiao winning all the rounds that included two other knockdowns. The 35-year old Matthysse looked sluggish and unable to keep up with Pacquiao's speed. The Argentnian's reputation as a power puncher failed to materialize.

Referee Kenny Bayless called off the fight in the seventh round when Matthysse buckled following another stiff uppercut and spat out his mouthguard as he was being counted.

Despite the loss, Matthysse made it clear he was not considering retirement.

"Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose," Matthysse said. "Today was my turn to lose and I lost to a great fighter and a great legend in Manny Pacquiao."

Pacquiao also refused to entertain retirement. "We are planned to fight again in 2018," he said.


Correction: July 15, 12:20 p.m. Manny Pacquiao's correct age.
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Why isn't 'Into the Badlands' extraordinary fight scenes getting any respect?

Daniel Wu plays a rarely seen Asian American action hero in 'Into the Bandlands.'

HOLLYWOOD TALKS a good game about diversity on television, but when it comes to acting on widening the white worldview of the industry -- well, let's just say -- it's a long, slow process.

So when a show actually delivers on diversity, gives women prominent nonstereotypical roles, and week after week entertains us with the most thrilling action scenes on TV, we should be celebrating that show.

Daniel Wu, star of Into the Badlands -- Yes! He's a genuine Asian American action star -- let off a lot of steam over the weekend at what he perceives is an industry snub of his show. 


Here is the #Emmy list of nominees for Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie 2018. I started to write a long detailed post about this but decided to see what your responses are first. I understand we are a genre show but we should OWN this category!!!Why do you think this happened? Why do you think we get no love within the industry? Action Coordination is the obvious one but what about Costume Design? Set Design? Cinematography? #snubbed 

He followed up with more tweets:





He's definitely got a point there. Into the Badlands employs one of the best fight choreographers in the world, Huan-Chiu Ku, who trained with the legendary Yuen Woo-ping (“The Matrix”) and has worked on the “Kill Bill” films, “Once Upon a Time in China II,” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

Before shooting starts for the new season, the actors are required to go through a boot camp of sorts so they can do the complicated fight scenes convincingly and without doubles.

The actors do most their own fight stunts without any camera coverups of fast-cuts, hard to see scenes in the dark or cutaways. It's like watching a long dance sequence where every maneurver, every step, kick, punch, block or sword swipe is meticulously timed and choreographed. If the timing is off or the action is sloppy, it could result in injury to the actors and stunt people.

The show's fight scenes are as good as, or better, than any fight scenes in the movies, when they have more time to rehearse. If you want to watch some breathtaking action, watch Season 1 fights below:



Wu wants a little respect for the show that he brought over from Hong Kong where the California-born actor gained fame in martial arts and romance movies.

Besides the action scenes, he believes Into the Badlands should have received nomiinations in costume and set design as well.

The show's premise takes place in a dystopian America where guns don't work. That allows the characters to become masters in swordplay and martial arts to settle disputes in this fantasy world.

Interestingly enough, Badlands gets very little promotion by its network, AMC, the same network that has the Walking Dead series and its spinoff Fear The Walking Dead

There is no merchandise associated with Badlands and the actors hardly ever go on tour or appear on other shows to promote the Badlands.

What's worst than an Emmy snub? Badlands is the sixth most watched show on the AMC network. Four of the five shows ahead of it have already been renewed. The other exception is Fear the Walking Dead. As of today (July 14), there's been no word about Into the Badlands' season four. 

Stream past episodes of Into the Badlands at the AMC website.
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Friday, July 13, 2018

Director Hiro Murai joins Criss and Oh as an Emmy nominee; AAPI still need more representation

HIRO MURAI

SANDRA OH isn't the only Asian to make history with her Emmy nomination as Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Japanese-born Hiro Murai can add his name to the Asian American history books with his nomination in the category for Directing for a Comedy Series. He is the second first Asian American to receive that nomination honor. 


It speaks to the lack of Asian American representation among TV talent that every nomination can still be deemed historic. Cary Fukunaga won an Emmy for directing True Detective in 2014.

The specific episode that Murai directed that's drawn the attention of the Television Academy is the utterly unforgettable claustrophobic "Teddy Perkins" episode of Atlanta.

Murai's directing star rose considerably this Spring when Donald Glover's music video as Childish Gambino was released. The shocking "This is America" music video was just the latest collaboration Murai has had with Glover. Besides directing several music videos for Glover, he also has directed multiple episodes for the Atlanta series.

Ironically, one of the other nominated directors is Glover, who won the directing Emmy last year -- the first African American to win that award.

Murai "helped make Atlanta the most acclaimed comedy series on television, greatly contributing to its signature style and tone and becoming an integral part of the creative team led by Donald Glover, said Nick Grad, original programming president for FX Networks and FX Productions.

The scarcity of Asian Americans on the nomination list  is not lost on Murai. “When we were in the room for the Golden Globes, I look around and it’s just me and Alan Yang,” he told GQ. “And obviously that’s very odd." 

Besides Oh and Murai, Filipino American actor Darren Criss was also nominated for portrayal of Andrew Cunanan, in American Crime Story's The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

“Regardless of awards season, this is an opportunity that I have worked and waited for my entire life. Actors are really only as good as the parts they can get, and the people that believe in them, and the complexity of the characters that they’re playing,” said Criss.

Criss points out the reason there aren't more Asian American actors, directors and writers receiving Emmy nominations. It is not a question of talent, it is the lack of opportunities to display that talent.

One recent study, "Tokens on the Small Screen," shows that despite the emergence of Fresh Off the Boat, Master of None and Into the Badlands, among the handful of shows featuring Asian Americans in lead roles, Asian Americans are still almost invisible on television and mostly relegated to what the study calls "token" roles -- or the only Asian in a show's cast.

Oh and Criss are the rare exceptions as Asian American actors playing complicated, three-dimensional characters.

When asked about the significance of her Emmy nomination, the Canadian-born Oh told the New York Times:

"Let’s celebrate it, man. I’m serious, just [expletive] celebrate it. It’s like, we’ve got to start somewhere. And I’m happy to get that ball rolling, because what I hope happens is that next year and the next year and the next year, we will have presence. And the presence will grow not only to Asian Americans, you know, from yellow to brown, but to all our other sisters and brothers. Our First Nations sisters and brothers. Our sisters and brothers of different sizes and different shapes. If I can be a part of that change, like [expletive], yeah, let’s celebrate it."

CORRECTED July 14 ,10 a.m. to include Cary Fukunaga's Emmy win in 2014.
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