• Helping to fix the Academy's Diversity Problem - Los Angeles Times

    Posted by Suzanne Kai

    Helping to fix the Academy's Diversity Problem - Los Angeles Times
    Hollywood The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences membership decides who gets to win the Oscars and up to now the members are 94% white and 77% male. The Los Angeles Times has issued its own tip sheet on 100 potential member candidates to help diversify the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences membership. Lisa Nishimura, NETFLIX's VP Original Documentary/Comedy and Alex...

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  • I Was Never Jackie Chan, and I'm Not Jeremy Lin - New York Times commentary by Andrew Keh, Video by Yousur Al-Hlou and John Woo

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    October 25, 2016

    As Jeremy Lin takes to the basketball courts for the Brooklyn Nets just minutes from Manhattan where "Linsanity" began back in 2012 when he played for the New York Knicks, New York Times filmmakers Yousur Al-Hlou and John Woo produced this video looking back on it - "the good, the bad and the gaffes." 

    Accompanying the video is commentary by New York Times writer Andrew Keh.  

    Click here for the full story and video at the New York Times.

    Photo by New York Times. Actor Randall Park appears in New York Times video.

    Photo by Suzanne Joe Kai, In the locker room with Jeremy Lin, March, 2012


  • Jeremy Lin and Brooklyn Nets Teammates Show Solidarity Against Violence in Minority Communities

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    Photo Credit by Suzanne Joe Kai - Jeremy Lin in the locker room faces press at Madison Square Garden March 11, 2012

    October 7, 2016 - Brooklyn

    Jeremy Lin, the Brooklyn Nets new point guard and his team mates stood with locked arms around each other's shoulders in a show of solidarity against violence in minority communities as the Natonal Anthem played before the first preseason game last night against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center.

    Lin said, "This isn't anti-cops, this country needs cops...This isn't anti-minorities, this country needs minorities. This is what makes our nation great. We need more of both and we need compassion, more sympathy where guys can take the time and really put themselves in somebody else's shoes."

    Lin has matured since his explosive NBA debut. For the October 6, 2016 full story by Tom Lorenzo at and a photo of the team looking arms around each other in solidarity, read here. 

    The photo you see here is one I photographed back in March, 2012 (can't believe that was 2012 - time flies!) when I was in the locker room with Jeremy Lin at Madison Square Garden during a Knicks game at the height of Jeremy's "Linsanity" days. 




  • Firestorm Over Fox News' Jesse Watters Racist New York Chinatown 'Man-On-The-Street' Report

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    October 5, 2016 (updated October 9, 11, 12)

    The Asian American Journalists Association's MediaWatch Committee, and AAJA's president Paul Cheung issued a statement (Oct. 5th 2:30 pm ET reprint below) condemning the October 3rd segment by Jesse Watters of "Watters' World' on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor.'  

    AAJA MediaWatch requested a meeting with the show's producers, and announced a town hall on Sunday October 9 at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York. Check the website for updates.

    Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, "O'Reilly Factor" goes on the air on a Fox News segment to discuss the piece by Jesse Watters. View his entire video interview below.

    O'Reilly said, "No, it wasn't over the line...we ran that piece on Monday of last week, okay, 5 million people plus saw it live time."

    "Do you know how many negative letters we got? Less than ten. How many phone calls came into Fox News? Zero - as far as I know, and we checked. Okay?"

    "It was 36 hours later that this outrage appeared. And where did it appear? Far left websites, far left precincts...I read every single one - they were all the same. So, this is uh, an attack on Fox News - that's what it is. It's happened before."

    O'Reilly said "I thought it was a gentle piece. There were a few things that were over the line, the old lady I would have taken that out I should have seen it before but I'm so busy with the election that I didn't. But Watters is a gentle satirist. He's worked very well for us. We're proud of him. And uh, this is an organized campaign this is what they do, they've done it before." 

    UPDATE: FOX NEWS SEGMENT PARTICIPANTS RECOUNT ENCOUNTERS WITH CORRESPONDENT (Oct. 12)'s 2016 VOICES staff member Vivian Wang, a former editor at the Yale Daily News talks with people interviewed by Jesse Watters. For her full story go to

    Excerpt of Wang's article: Before last week, Qanta Shimizu didn’t know who Jesse Watters was – even after the FOX correspondent...

  • ROSE PAK (1947 - 2016) San Francisco's Tireless Leader

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    September 18, 2016 

    San Francisco

    by Suzanne Joe Kai

    Its not fair, Rose. You left us way too soon. This portrait of you looking good was taken just a week ago on September 9 by photographer Frank Jang, another San Francisco treasure. 

    So many stories are running through my mind... We shared some great, crazy times. I will miss you dearly. 

    I'll never forget the evening decades ago I was driving with you through a narrow, dark alley in San Francisco Chinatown at the height of that period when gang wars were terrorizing and murdering people.  

    We were going out together just the two of us, and we could see youth blocking the alley and hear what sounded like a war zone between feuding gangs.

    As we got closer we could see their faces - Rose you grabbed and lit cherry bombs I had in my car leftover from the Chinese New Year, and threw them back at them yelling 'get out of our way!' They did. 

    Rose, you then waved and smiled at the youth, we both giggled, as they stepped back from our car. I sped out of the alley. I'll never forget that.  

    I was a 22 yr old TV news reporter for KRON TV (NBC). You wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. Chinatown was your beat, and no one was going to mess with your home.

    Those days are long over, thanks to you and other community leaders. You stayed and devoted your life to make the community a better, safer place and you were still on a mission with many new improvement projects.

    We can see that in the sparkle in your eyes, as captured in photographer Frank Jang's portrait of you.

    Rose - Thank you for being brave and relentless all these years, fighting for the underdog, for the voiceless, the forgotten, the poor, for immigrants, for women, for youth, and for all the good you have done looking after all of us. May you rest in peace.

    Rose Pak portrait photographed by Frank Jang on September 9, 2016

    Rose worked briefly for the New York Times, and spent eight years as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle...

  • RIP Edward Albee - American Playwright 1928 - 2016

    Posted by: AC Team

    Playwrights Edward Albee and David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

    RIP Edward Albee, American Playwright

    1928 - September 16, 2016

    Albee was last photographed by Lia Chang on our pages here in 2013, and is re-posted below. Albee was with playwright David Henry Hwang:

    New York City

    by Lia Chang

    The Dance and the Railroad is extended through March 24, 2013.

    Click on the title link above to go to the full story.

    Tony award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) celebrated Signature Theatre’s revival of The Dance and The Railroad starring Ruy Iskandar as Ma and Yuekun Wu as Lone, and directed by May Adrales, which opened February 25, 2013.

                         Edward Albee and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

    Renowned playwright and multiple Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") was among Hwang's honored guests to attend the opening night performance. The play is at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street in New York. 

    Ruy Iskandar, David Henry Hwang and Yuekun Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

    The Dance and The Railroad premiered as part of a commission by the New Federal Theatre in 1981, and had its professional debut on July 16, 1981 Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. It was directed by John Lone, with Lone and Tzi Ma in the cast. The Dance and The Railroad is set on a California mountaintop in 1867 near the Transcontinental Railroad where two Chinese workers struggle through poverty and hunger to reconnect with the traditions of their homeland. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for a 1982 Drama Desk Award. The Dance and The Railroad follows the twice-extended Golden Childas the second production in the Residency One: David Henry Hwang Series.

    Ruy Iskandar, David Henry Hwang and Yuekun Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

    The design team includes Mimi Lien (Scenic Design), Jennifer Moeller (Costume Design), Jiyoun Chang (Lighting Design), Broken Chord...

  • Constance Wu on 'Whitewashing' - Our Heroes don't look like Matt Damon

    Posted by: AC Team

    August 1, 2016

    Once again, another case of 'Whitewashing' - this time its Matt Damon who plays a warrior defending the Great Wall of China.

    The movie is director Zhang Yimou's English-language debut, "The Great Wall."

    Actress Constance Wu ("Fresh Off the Boat"), writes on Twitter that this perpetuates a 'ractist myth - that only a (sic) white man can save the world.' 

    "It's not based in actual fact. Our heroes don't look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela.

    Your big sister when she stood up for you to those bullies that one time."

    CNN writer Sandra Gonzalez provides 20 images in her story of examples of White actors cast as ethnic characters. 




  • Jeremy Lin signs $36M 3 Year Deal with Brooklyn Nets

    Posted by: AC Team

    July 11, 2016 

    Jeremy LIn is back in New York - actually Brooklyn playing starting guard for the Brooklyn Nets.

    Is there pressure to make Linsanity happen again?

    In a report by Zach Harper at quoting the Nets Daily, Lin says he's "far past that" and won't let the pressure of comments, stories, and possible attention get int he way of concentrating on his play on the court.

    Here's a video of a press conference with Jeremy Lin on Nets Daily filmed by Popo Chung.

    All good, Jeremy. Go - Jeremy - Go!



    Nets Daily - Jeremy Lin: Attracted by Brooklyn Nets "blank slate" - Jeremy Lin not worried about replicating 'Linsanity' in Brooklyn

  • The Academy Invites 70 Asian and Asian Americans to Join

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    July 1, 2016

    Asian and Asian Americans received 70 of the 683 invitations issued June 29 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

    While it is one small step forward, we celebrateevery single invitation to an Asian or Asian American. One invitation which was long overdue, is to veteran actor James Hong, 87, who has been acting, producing and directing in Hollywood since the 1950s.

    Our 3 part candid interview with James Hong on the dismal state of Asian Americanacting opportunities in Hollywood was filmed by our interview team on December 2, 2008. Hong told, "We're still the gimmick people...we're still the doesn't feel right...we've waited too long for (this) to happen." He told us that nearly eight years ago.

    Congratulations Mr. Hong, and Congratulations All.  Click here for AsianConnections' 3 part interview with James Hong:

    While it is a record number of invitations to new members to join due to the Academy's efforts to increase diversity among its membership, Minh Nguyen writes in her report for NBC News Asian America titled "Asian-American Representation in the Academy: Has Much Changed?" the addition to this year's class only pushes the Academy's demographicsfrom 8 percent to 11 percent people of color.

    The Los Angeles Times' Glenn Whipp writes, "It's a first step. And an exceptional one, provided its not the only one. 

    AsAmNews writer Ed Diokno says "the needle towards inclusivenessand diversity has barely moved..." "Hardly enough to make a significantchange in the Academy’s voting patterns."

  • Leroy Chiao former NASA Astronaut reports on State of U.S. Space Program

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai



    Former NASA astronaut and ISS commander Leroy Chiao, and Elliot Pulham, CEO of the Space Foundation issued a report "LOST IN SPACE" on the state of the U.S. space program on May 19, 2016. Read the entire report at The Mark News website.    Chiao and Pulham's report says, "The U.S. space program is handicapped by a lack of funding – and, even more crucially, a lack of clear direction. So much so that the U.S. now risks watching from the sidelines as other world powers – notably Russia and China – take the lead in establishing a base on the moon as a stepping stone for a human mission to Mars.    As the race for president of the United States moves closer to Election Day, the candidates’ near silence on space-related issues becomes more conspicuous – and more unsettling."

    Read more by Dr. Leroy Chiao at his website


    November 13, 2014

    Leroy Chiao former NASA Astronaut: Philae's comet landing is "Amazing"

    Philae's historic comet landing today is 'amazing' says former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao. Read his commentary at

    Chiao was Commander of the International Space Station during ISS Expedition 10 where he lived on board from October 13, 2004 to April 23, 2005. During his 15 years at NASA, he flew four space missions, performed six spacewalks and has logged nearly 230 days in space.

    In 2004 and 2005, Chiao communicated from space to editor Lia Chang to post here at AsianConnections. Today, Chiao is busy working in space technology research and ventures, and is a popular motivational speaker and educator.   


    In 2004 and 2005 Astronaut Leroy Chiao transmitted blog posts and Q&A with editor Lia Chang for AsianConnections. Most of the communication was conducted beginning with the Expedition 10 mission pre-launch period and continued to transmit from space beginning in October, 2004 while he was Commander of the International Space Station for six and a half...

  • John Cho, Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Phil Yu are 2016 Honorees at V3

    Posted by: Suzanne Kai

    2016 V3 Honorees!:

    John Cho, Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Phil Yu

    Actor John Cho, director Jennifer Yuh Nelson and blogger Phil Yu were honored at this year’s V3 Digital Media Conference special awards ceremony on June 24 to kick off the full day V3 conference on June 25, 2016.

    Cho received the Visibility Award. He has starred in a number of film and television shows, including successful franchises such as “Star Trek” and “Harold & Kumar,” and was recently featured in #StarringJohnCho, a viral social media campaign promoting the need for Asian American leads in Hollywood. 

    Yuh Nelson, the director of Dream Works Animation’s  “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Kung Fu Panda 3,” was honored with the Vision Award for being at the forefront of the animation space. She is the winner of two Annie Awards for her work on “Kung Fu Panda” and “Kung Fu Panda 2.”

    Yu is the founder and editor of Angry Asian Man, the host of the Sound and Fury podcast and co-host of “Angry Asian America” on ISAtv. He was recognized with the Voice Award for his contributions in pushing forward the online dialogue.

    The fifth annual V3con was presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and took place at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo with an opening reception sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal on June 24 and a full day conference on June 25. 

    V3con highlights and expands multi-platform Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communications by gathering thought-provoking AAPI online journalists, creative social media communicators, seasoned bloggers and those interested in engaging on digital platforms. In this unique, one-day conference setting, attendees can share their experiences, knowledge, endeavors, and visions with others during interactive panels and workshops.

    To see a full list of our past honorees, please click HERE .

    See more at:

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