Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sea lion jumps and pulls girl into the water

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Video by Michael Fujiwara

A VIDEO showing a sea lion grabbing a young Asian girl off a dock in Richmond, British Columbia went viral.

The extraordinary video taken by Michael Fujiwara showed the whole incident when the California sea lion pulled the girl in by her dress. An unindentified man quickly jumped and grabbed the girl before the sea lion could pull her under water. He handed the girl to onlookers on the dock and they helped him out of the water. The whole episode took only a few seconds.

The family and their party left immediately afterwards. "They were pretty shaken up," said Fujiwara, a student at Simon Fraser University.. "Her family were just in shock."

The quick-thinking rescuer, also left after the incident, his clothes still dripping wet.

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Fujiwara, who ran after the family to make sure the girl wasn't injured. "But people do usually get too close and they don’t realize they are dangerous, wild animals despite looking cute."

Fortunately, neither the girl or the rescuer appeared to be harmed although she lost a pair of glasses.

Authorities showed little sympathy for the girl or her family and faulted them for the incident. Port officials and wild animal experts said the family should have observed the signs warning people not to feed or bother the marine mammals. 

Here it is again in slow motion:






Monday, May 22, 2017

The Rock declares his candidacy; picks running mate


DWAYNE JOHNSON, AKA The Rock, declared his candidacy for POTUS on Saturday Night Live.

The Somoan/American actor's name keeps popping up on pundits' list of possible challengers to Donald Trump. 

About all the speculation, he said, "You know, it's very flattering. And let me just say, once and for all — I'm in," he announced Saturday to cheers from the audience. "Starting tonight, I am running for President of the United States."

In the spoof announcement, he even picked his running mate: fellow actor Tom Hanks, one of the most popular and respected members of the Hollywood community. That would be a formidable ticket. Oh, if  only it wasn't a spoof.
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Asians & Asian Americans at the Billboard Music Awards

The Korean K-Pop group won Top Social Artist award.

A K-Pop group was named  the Top Social Artist award at the Billboard Music Awards last Sunday, and almost everybody on Asian internet sites starts talking about Asians getting noticed by the music industry. 

I don't want to take anything away from BTS accomplishment thus becoming the first K-Pop crew to ever win a Billboard award. They beat out some heavyweights including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Shawn Mendes.

BTS has a huge international following but are almost unknown in the U.S. and they were the fifrst K-Pop group to win the Billboard award.

Zayn Malik, former member of One Edition.
However, they were not the only other Asians or Asian/Americans at the awards show as some other writers seemed to infer. In fact,  Vanessa Hudgens, a Filipina/American, was in the middle of things during the entire show as the co-host. 

Zayn Malik, whose parents are from Pakistan, won the Billboard Music Award for Top New Artist. He was unable to attend the Las Vegas event, he tweeted, because he was working on a new set of songs.

Bruno Mars, another Filipino/American, was nominated in three categories. He livestreamed a smooth, sexy performance of "Versace on the Floor" from London where he was in concert.

Is that old debate of "Who is an Asian?" cropping up again? Is it because that Hudgens, Mars and Malik are not east Asian that they were were rendered invisible to the commentators?

Certainly, there could/should be more Asian/Americans up there on stage, but let's not forget to give credit to those who are paving the way for others to follow them.

Vanessa Hudgens with her co-host Ludicris.

Last Sunday, it was particularly difficult not to notice Hudgens, who used the emcee gig to remind everyone of the singing capabilities this young woman, a product of the Disney machine that keeps churning out stars. Hudgens made everyoen forget about the cancellation of her television series Powerless.

The former High School Musical star opened the show by taking co-host Ludacris' challenge to show off her her Nicki Minaj rhyme skills after the Monsta herself wrecked the stage with a killer medley. Then she switched gears and did a more than adequate job doing Celine Dion's "The Power of Love" crushing the soaring notes.
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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Love overcomes racial divides, interracial marriages increasing

  • The most common racial or ethnic pairing among newlywed intermarried couples is one Hispanic and one white spouse (42%). Next most common are one white and one Asian spouse (15%) and one white and one multiracial spouse (12%).
  • Newlyweds living in metropolitan areas are more likely to be intermarried than those in non-metropolitan areas (18% vs. 11%). This pattern is driven entirely by whites; Hispanics and Asians are more likely to intermarry if they live in non-metro areas. The rates do not vary by place of residence for blacks.
  • Among black newlyweds, the gender gap in intermarriage increases with education: For those with a high school diploma or less, 17% of men vs. 10% of women are intermarried, while among those with a bachelor’s degree, black men are more than twice as likely as black women to intermarry (30% vs. 13%).
  • Among newlyweds, intermarriage is most common for those in their 30s (18%). Even so, 13% of newlyweds ages 50 and older are married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.
  • There is a sharp partisan divide in attitudes about interracial marriage. Roughly half (49%) of Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party say the growing number of people of different races marrying each other is a good thing for society. Only 28% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents share that view.

'O' my, gosh! Photos flip the script on stereotypes

O / Chris Buck
Notice anything unusual about this picture?

Oprah, oh, Oprah. You did it again. You're making us uncomfortable. You're making us think.

The picture is one of three controversial photos from an article in  O, the Oprah Magazine's issue on race. It is supposed to spark conversation about America's "elephant in the room." (The "O" is for Oprah Winfrey, the former talk show host and current cultural icon.)

Lucy Kaylin, O's editor-in-chiefsaid that the concept for the feature came from Oprah herself during a meeting.
"It was a topic on all of our minds and [Winfrey] was eager for us to tackle it," Kaylin said in an email. "The main thing we wanted to do was deal with the elephant in the room—that race is a thorny issue in our culture, and tensions are on the rise. So let's do our part to get an honest, compassionate conversation going, in which people feel heard and we all learn something—especially how we can all do better and move forward."As you can see, one of the pictures shows Asian women chatting and laughing while white women give them pedicures. 

Other photos show a little white girl standing in a toy store aisle looking at rows and rows of only black dolls. The third photo shows a Latina woman holding a little dog while on the phone as she doesn’t acknowledge the presence of a white maid pouring her a cup of tea.

Race representation matters, from movies, television, magazines to just everyday depictions of life. It’s the very topic behind the three photographs by Chris Buck which presented people of color in place of roles usually reserved for white people. 

Filipina/Chinese Judy Geralde promptly tweeted them out, showing how the photos were impactful for people in the minority. Naturally, it went viral.


Mic.com reached out to Judy and asked her opinions about her tweet. Her answer reflected how “….these photos reflect the internal struggles she endured due to the lack of representation of Asian women, as well, as the ‘overbearing whiteness’ in her own childhood.” 

Judy then went on to describe how growing up she only had one Asian doll, a Mulan one, in fact and how it felt like most of the images she would see growing up already placed people of color in a certain class. Her tweet was greeted with similar reactions, proving that the problem is deeply rooted even in the most mundane things: the dolls we see at the store, the jobs available only to people of a particular status, etc.

Chris Buck thought of that when he presented the concept to the editors of O Magazine and to the publication’s founder Oprah Winfrey, “When you see an image from someone [of a different race], what is your expectation of them and are we challenging it? Why do we expect a certain thing from someone of a [certain race] and expect them to be serving another [race]?”

Not surprisingly, the photos also got blowback from people who felt uncomfortable about the images and the flipping of cultural expectations. 

The pictures, apparently, did what they were supposed to do, stir a conversation on race. Hopefully, good people will have pause and think about how they see the world, how minorities see the world. For those trolls who reacted negatively, well, there is really nothing to fear. 


We go to school, attend houses of faith, cheer the same home teams, struggle to make ends meet, love, laugh, cry and all those things that make us human -- just like you. All we are asking is to be treated like human beings.


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Friday, May 19, 2017

TGIF FEATURE: Today is National API HIV/AIDS Awareness Day; Let's talk!




TODAY IS National API HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (May 19). Health groups, led by the Banyan Tree Project, is urging Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) to talk about HIV/AIDS even though it may be uncomfortable for some.

In 2005, API Wellness spearheaded the first National Asian Pacific Islander (A&PI) HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come as a community fighting against HIV and for the rights of the LGBTQ community and people of color since then. We’ve made gains I never thought we’d witness, such as the right to marry who you love and new, exciting HIV prevention tools like Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Progress has been made.

However, today is a different day. We are faced with a hostile and aggressive political climate that looks to unravel all that we have worked so hard for. Communities of color continue to bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic and are less likely to use innovative HIV prevention tools like PrEP. The same holds true for A&PI communities. The environment we find ourselves in is cause for grave concern.


Recent data shows that from 2010-2014, A&PIs were one of two ethnic groups that showed statistically significant rates of increase (5.5%) in HIV infection. Rates of HIV infection declined for all other groups during the same period.

Men account for 86.13% of HIV infections among all A&PIs. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are the largest at-risk group among A&PI men. From 2005 to 2014, HIV diagnoses among Asian gay and bisexual men in the United States increased 101% , and 27% among Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) gay and bisexual men. 89% of Asian cases and 90.79% of NHOPI cases were among MSM.

Complementing these figures is the fact that A&PIs have the lowest HIV testing rates for all races and ethnicities: 66.5% of Asian Americans and 43.1% of NHOPIs have never been tested for HIV. Asian transgender individuals, another high-risk group, have the lowest rates (49%) of testing out of all racial and ethnic groups.

These statistics are startling when you consider that drugs like PrEP are readily available and proven effective. PrEP can reduce one’s risk of infection by 90% when used daily. There is no reason why more individuals should not be using it. Period.

Stigma remains one of the biggest barriers preventing A&PIs from getting tested. Many A&PIs feel significant shame and discomfort around the topics of sex and HIV/AIDS and therefore do not speak of it.

It was awareness of this stigma that led API Wellness to launch The Banyan Tree Project, a national campaign that reduces the levels of shame A&PIs have around HIV/AIDS. We believe the project slogan, Saving Face Can’t Make You Safe, is as relevant today as it was a decade ago and bears repeating.


This year the organization is encouraging A&PI transgender individuals and young men having sex with men (two high-risk groups that historically have low PrEP adoption rates) to talk about HIV/AIDs, to get tested, and to speak with a provider to see if PrEP is an appropriate treatment option.

A series of videos have been created to get the conversation going. Here's one about Martin Q. Barcinas. More videos can be found here.


It is inexcusable for AAPI infection rates to increase in light of advances that have been made in the field, for us to have devastatingly low testing rates, for us to not be getting treatment. We’ve come too far. Let’s not slip back into the dark days of this epidemic.
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Two men sentenced for cutting hair and beard of a Sikh man

MAAN SINGH KHALSA looked at the two men who attacked him, dragged him out of his car  and cut off his beard. “I still consider you my brothers as human beings,” Khalsa said. “I hope one day you will consider me your brother too.”

Maan Singh Khalsa
The two defendants didn't respond to the Sikh man who stood only a few feet away as Khalsa described the physical and emotional trauma he suffered since they beat him last fall in Richmond, California.

Police call the attack a hate crime, mistaking Khalsa for a Muslim.

Chase Little, 31, of Beaumont, Texas, and Dustin Albarado, 25, of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, were in Richmond for contract work at the Chevron refinery.  They assaulted Khalsa on Sept. 25. The suspects beat him and cut off his religiously mandated unshorn hair and beard.

“It will take many years, maybe the rest of my life, to heal from this attack,” Khalsa said. “Just recognizing it as a hate crime is the first step in healing for me.”

Attacks against Sikh men have risen since 9/11  according to the Department of Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center. with their turbans and beards, the men are often mistaken for Muslims. Since Trump's campaign stoking Islamaphobia, the attacks have grown even more.

Sentenced to three years in prison, the cousins could be released in 18 months with good behavior..
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

No joke: 'The Rock' could beat Trump in 2020

Actor Dwayne Johnson could "rock" the White House.

THIS IS no joke: If Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson were to run against Donald Trump in 2020, the Samoan/American actor would beat him. It wouldn't even be close, according to a new national poll released earlier this week.

The survey by Public Policy Polling says that Johnson would lead Trump 42/37 in a possible contest. In so doing, the actor would win over 15 percent of the people who voted for Trump in 2016.


To put this in the proper perspective, just about anybody who ran against Trump would beat him in the hypothetical 2020 elections,

Trump also trailed another number of hypothetical contests, including races against Joe Biden (54/40 deficit), Bernie Sanders (52/39 deficit), Elizabeth Warren (49/39), Al Franken (46/38) and Cory Booker (46/39).

RELATED: Will the next president be an Asian American or Pacific Islander?
It's all speculation, of course> The big question is if Trump could remain in office until 2020. Considering the events of the past week: sharing classified info with the Russians, asking FBI director to close the investigation of Michael Flynn's association with the Russians, fireing FBI director Michael Comey, etc. it is entirely possible, Trump would not be the GOP flag bearer three and a half years from now.

Johnson, who stars on his own TV series Ballers, and whose latest movie, a revival of the 1980s TV series Baywatch, will be released May 25, has been mentioned as a possible political candidate and he has expressed an interest in running for office someday. Articles in several publications did nothing but spur the possibility that the action star would be a viable candidate for whatever office he decided to run for. The latest is a longish article in Gentleman's Quarterly magazine about his presidential aspirations.

The former professional wrestler and football player has never held an elected office but he's wildly popular, having been picked as the "Sexiest Many Alive" by People magazine this year and the highest paid actor in the world by industry magazines.

He has been cagey about his political views. Both the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns tried to get his endorsement last fall though neither were successful. Though he's a registered Republican. he did attend the Democratic National Convention last summer and has expressed his opposition to Trump's proposed Muslim bans.

We will know how serious The Rock's political ambitions are if and when Donald Trump begins attacking him on Twitter.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Asians in space: First trailer of 'Star Trek - Discovery' released


Capt. Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) land on an unknown planet in the first released visuals. 

STAR TREK returns to our universe after the first series ended in 1969 after only 79 episodes.

The first visuals of the CBS offering are out and it looks freaking cool... and inclusionary. There will be more than one token Asian character impacting the story.

From the trailer (see below) released at the CBS upfront event last weekend, Michelle Yeoh figures to play a major role as Captain Philippa Georgiou of the Starship Szenzhou and Burnham's mentor.

Unlike the first Star Trek, which immortalized the characters of Capt. Kirk, helmsman Hiraku Sulu, communications officer Uhuru and Dr. Bones and, of course, First Officer Spock, the new version will be telling multiple stories in the same episode instead of having a linear format (that obeyed the space-time continuum). That means, even though Yeoh won't be on the title ship, stories may still revolve around her adventures.

It time frame for this series takes place 10 years before Kirk captains the U.S.S. Enterprise, so sometimes along the way, if the series succeeds, we might likely see a teenage Kirk and Spock.

In the first trailer released by CBS, Yeoh beams down to a yet-unnamed, desert-like planet with Sonequa Martin-Green, the First Officer Michael Burnham. You may recognize Green from her long-running stint on The Walking Dead.

Rekha Sharma
Contrary to earlier releases, Green won't be First Officer for long. The trailer has a scene in which Capt. Georgiou announces it's time for Turnham to have her own command, She then uses her flip phone communicator to call down the Starship Discovery hiding in the clouds.

Two Asians from Great Britain and Canada will have significant roles in the Star Trek universe.

Rekha Sharma, (who fans of the newest version of Battleship Galactica will remember as Tory Foster, personal assistant to President Laura Roslin) willl be take up the role of Commander Landry, the security officer aboard the U.S.S. Discovery.



Shazad Latif
Sharma was born in Vancouver, Canada, to immigrant parents of Indian descent. Both her father, a Hindu priest, and her mother were from the state of Uttar Pradesh in India before they relocated during the British period. The family resettled in the Fiji Islands before moving to Canada.

It was also revealed that Shazad Latif was originally cast as Klingon commanding officer Kol. Somewhere along the line, producers decided he would be better without all the Klingon makeup and instead, will be playing  Lieutenant Tyler, a Starfleet security officer.


Latif was born in London in July 1988 of mixed English, Scottish and Pakistani descent. He's best known for his role in the TV series Penny Dreadful.

Star Trek Discovery is currently filming in Toronto and other parts of the world. The series will premiere this late summer or early fall on CBS. I can't wait!

APA Labor Alliance selects new executive director


A DAUGHTER of refugees will helm one of the country's key labor organizations focusing on the needs of the Asian American and Pacific American communities.
The National Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) announced that Alvina Yeh has been selected to serve as the organization’s next Executive Director.

“Ever since I became involved, I have always found a sense of community in APALA that you can’t get anywhere else," said Yeh. "With such a supportive National Executive Board and staff, I am excited to hit the ground running this June, especially in a progressive space that is a leader in the resistance needed in the AAPI and labor communities.”

Alvina Yeh
Originally from Colorado, Yeh has been an APALA member with the Washington, DC chapter for eight years and has served most recently as a chapter leader. There, she has helped facilitate and organize civic engagement programming in Virginia, various education roundtables, membership engagement events, and bolstered the DC chapter’s efforts with APALA priorities around supporting local Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers and communities.

Her prior experiences at State Voices, Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), and political campaigns, including the 2012 Obama presidential campaign, have also uniquely positioned her as an expert in electoral strategy, program management, strategic planning, and organizational development.

Yeh is the daughter of Chinese refugees who fled the Vietnam War. Her experiences as a child of immigrants and growing up in a house that welcomed and supported refugees and immigrants have shaped her values and commitment to community. Yeh's career demonstrates her deep passion for empowering traditionally disenfranchised groups to become active participants in our democracy.

“In trying times like these, we need leaders to step up and prioritize movement building and intersectional organizing,” stated Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930.

“Alvina brings years of coalition-building experience for amazing year round civic engagement, and knows how to organize on the ground to engage the AAPI community and broader people of color in the civic and political process. She is a fierce advocate for our community, and I am confident she will lead APALA and IAPALA to the next level.”
Outgoing Executive Director Gregory A. Cendana, added, “I’ve known Alvina for almost a decade, and her vision, leadership, and track record show she's not only capable but the kind of leader we need in this political moment.”

Late Filipino/American author's deep, dark secret revealed.

ATLANTIC GRAPHIC

LATE AUTHOR Alex Tizon revealed a family secret that he, his parents and his siblings kept hidden for over 50 years: His family had a slave.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tizon;s article , "My Family's Slave," was published posthumously in the June issue of The Atlantic, three months after he died.

In a country where extreme poverty presents little or zero options, it is not uncommon for a poor Filipino to become a household servant in exchange for meals and roof over their heads. Sometimes, a small salary comes along with the job; sometimes, not.

It is a practice rooted deep in Philippine culture that existed in the pre-Spanish colonial period. The Spanish, who dealt in the slave trade, institutionalized the practice. In time, these "servants" can become like members of the family, or, as in Tizon's case, treated like a household slave.
Alex Tizon
RELATED: RIP Alex Tizon
Tizon's heartbreaking story tells what happens when his family moved to the U.S. and brought their unpaid servant, Eudocia Tomas Pulido, with them. In Tizon's childhood, it was   her face he'd see first when he awoke and the last one he saw when he went to sleep.

As Tizon got older and learned the meaning of "slave." He realized the circumstances that brought "Lola" into his household, his conflicting feelings eventually led to estrangement with his parents over how they treated her. It might be difficult for non-Filipinos to understand how the family could keep their secret for so long.

I've known women like Tizon's "Lola" and understand how he, a beneficiary of a U.S. education and upbringing, still had to struggle to keep the secret from the rest of the world. "Slave" might be too harsh a word to describe the condition they live in and the economic and social mores that created this class of people. At the same time, "servant" is not an adequate word for that person.

Sometimes, once in the U.S. and exposed to American culture with its broad number of choices, these people manage to escape their host families and disappear in the nether world of what Filipinos call tago nang tago, TNT in Filipino shorthand, meaning "hiding and hiding." In contemporary American parlance, they become "undocumented immigrants."

In the end, Tizon brought Lola into his family as a true family member, as a lola (grandmother) with the respect, love and care that comes with that honorific title.

It's a moving piece, it demonstrates that with Tizon's death, the AAPI community -- indeed, all of America -- lost a voice that could touch even the most hardened heart.
READ Alex Tizon's articles in The Atlantic:


In a note accompanying the article Atlantic editor-in-chief by Jeffrey Goldberg writes:
The pulitzer prize–winning reporter Alex Tizon built an exemplary career by listening to certain types of people—forgotten people, people on the margins, people who had never before been asked for their stories. Alex’s wife, Melissa Tizon, told me recently that her husband was always impatient with small talk, because he believed that all people had within them an epic story, and he wanted to hear those epic stories—and then help tell them to the world. “Somewhere in the tangle of the subject’s burden and the subject’s desire is your story,” he liked to say. 
... Alex offered us the chance to publish a story he had been waiting much of his life to tell, the remarkable tale of Lola, the woman who was his family’s secret slave in the Philippines, and who remained their slave when they moved to America.
Tizon's wife "Melissa told (Atlantic editor) Denise (Kersten Wills) and me that Alex wanted, more than anything else, to bring Lola's story to the world," Goldberg writes. "'This was his ultimate story,' Melissa said. 'He was trying to write it for five or six years. He struggled with it. But when he started writing it for The Atlantic, he stopped struggling. He wrote it with such ease.'"

"The eradication of all forms of slavery remains an unfinished goal of civilization, and of this magazine, and stories like Alex's help us understand slavery's awful persistence," writes Goldberg.

Tizon's article has created a bit of a firestorm on Twitter since the article was published online.



Filipinos in the Philippines and in the United States, however, had a very different point of view.




That just goes to show the different perspectives created by different cultures. That goes a long ways in explaining why Filipinos in the Philippines can so overwhelmingly support Rodrigo Duterte as their president, who is routinely criticized in the western press for the thousands of extra-judicial killings of alleged drug dealers.

We in the west, looking across the Pacific from our comfortable couches, reading our tablets and drinking wine, can't understand how terrible things can get; how dire, abject poverty and socio-cultural inequality can bring about an environment in which people accept the loss of due process rights, cheer the extra-judicial killings, bring a foul-mouthed, anti-American president to power and think nothing of taking advantage of the poor's hopeless plight. 

I'm not condoning what happened in Tizon's family or what's happening in the Philippines politically, but sometimes, before we start pointing fingers, we do need to walk in someone
else's shoes. We should also realize how easy it is to justify something you know is ultimately not right. 

In reading Tizon's article, one can almost feel the tension in his writing and how he must have struggled with this throughout his own life. At the very least, we should look at our own lives and how many times we turned away from a beggar, ignored the homeless sleeping in doorways or turn a deaf ear to the verbal slights against people of a different color; or turn a blind eye when we see an injustice being done because of  at an accent, a turban or the shape of the target's eyes.
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Will your favorite AAPI actor be coming back on TV next season?

When 'Fresh Off the Boat introduced the Huang family three years ago, who knew it would become the longest running show featuring an Asian American theme.

LAST WEEK was a mixed bag of good-news, bad-news for AAPI TV fans and for the casts of these shows that star or feature AAPI actors.


GOOD NEWS: Fresh Off the Boat got renewed for a fourth season. Every year the sitcom is renewed it breaks a record for the longest-running TV show featuring an AAPI theme. We get to hang out with the Huang family as they continue to assimilate and at the same time retain their identity as an Asian/American family.

BAD NEWS: Dr. Ken, starring Ken Jeong and loosely based on his real life as a physician turned comedic actor, was cancelled after two seasons. 

GOOD NEWS: 2 Broke Girls, was finally cancelled after six seasons. The show featured one, Han Lee played by Matthew Moy, of the worst stereotypes of Asian/American men on TV today: sexually unappealing, effeminate, socially awkward, thick thick accent.

BAD NEWS: 2 Broke Girls will stick around for quite a while in reruns.


Matthew Moy tweeted out this picture of the cast in their final bow and a series of black hearts.

GOOD NEWS: Even though it receives one of he lowest ratings in the CW Network shows, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend got a third season. The romantic musical comedy co-stars Vincent Rodriguez III and ocassionally features his Filipino/American family and his hip Filipino/American priest will be around for another.

BAD NEWS: The Vanessa Hudgens vehicle Powerless, a midseason replacement sitcom for NBC, flamed out and won't be back next year.


GOOD NEWS: Priyanka Chopra, the lead in Quantico, will return as FBI agent Alex Parrish. There was some doubt if there would be a third season since the show's ratings dipped this year compared to its first year.

BAD NEWS: The TV version of Rush Hour couldn't match the Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker chemistry from the movies though Jon Foo and Justin Hines gave it their best shot, their onscreen chemistry fizzled.

GOOD NEWS: Elementary, the updated Sherlock Holmes detective series starring Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson was on the bubble all week. At the last minute, CBS renewed it for a sixth season.

BAD NEWS: Pretty Little Liars is in its seventh and final season. The gang will graduate from the long-running series. That means saying goodbye to Emily Fields played by Shay Mitchell. Watch her say her tearful farewell.

Shay Mitchell
MORE GOOD NEWS:  
  • Agents of SHIELD, starring Ming Na Wen and Chloe Bennet in two action-filled heroic roles;
  • Hawaii 5-0 with Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park playing prominent members of the core group of actors, and a whole hose of AAPI actors who play Hawaii residents. 
  • Into the Badlands starring Daniel Wu as THE hero and Aramis Knight as his protege was confirmed for a third season by AMC; 
  • Scorpion with Elyes Gabel and Jadyn Wong will be back for a fourth season on CBS.
  • AMC's Humans which introduced us to the Gemma Chan, whose portrayal of a beautiful robot is anything but wooden,
  • Designated Survivor, whose return was questionable, just made the cut, which is good news for fans of Maggie Q and Kal Penn. (Earlier versions of this blog misidentified Kal Penn. It has been corrected - editor.)
  • Code Black, starring handsome leading man Reza Jaffrey, will be back to operate the L.A. emergency room,
  • The Magicians with Arjun Gupta won't disappear. It will return to the Syfy channel for its third season,
  • Superstore returns with the wonderful cast of off-beat store clerks including Nico Santos and Nicole Bloom along with regulars Kaliko Kauahi and Jon Miyahara.
  • The Good Place gets a second season in which Manny Jacinto plays a Filipino who shatters Asian stereotypes,
  • The OA, a surprise hit for Netflix, gives fans a chance to discover Jason Perea whose role should be expanded in the second season, 
  • The Man in the High Castle, that tells an alternate history in which Germany and Japan won WWII, has a whole bunch of Asian/American cast members led by veteran actors Joel de la Fuente and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa,
  • Riverdale loses breakout star Ross Butler, who played key character Reggie, but in its second season he'll be replaced by another Asian/American hunk Charles Melton,
  • 13 Reasons Why will have a second season even though the 13 tapes have been heard. That will hopefull give us a chance to explore the back stories of the Asian/American characters played by Ross Butler and Michele Selene Ang.
Ross Butler leaves fictional Riverdale High for Liberty High in "13 Reasons Why."

The fate of a handful of other shows, ie. Aziz Ansari's and Alan Yang's Master of None, in what has become TV's second and third rounds of programs will be decided later this year. 

Some new shows will be introduced next fall with AAPI cast members. That's exciting. Watch out for my yearly preview of the coming season - as always, from an AAPI point of view.

Based on this list, it may appear that there are a lot of AAPI actors working but in reality, it's just a drop in the bucket. Minority actors are vastly underrepresented on in the entertainment industry that includes television, according to a UCLA report on diversity in Hollywood.

The report points out minorities make up 40 percent of the U.S. population but only 13.6 percent of lead actors in theatrical films and 10.1 percent of Hollywood directors.

Darnell Hunt, the report’s lead author  said, “At the heart of it is the fact that Hollywood is simply not structured to make the most of today’s market realities.”
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