by Suzanne Kai
July 5, 2017
A year after the 2016 Oscars ceremony host Chris Rock made stereotypical jokes out of the Asian American kids on stage - Asian actors are still fighting for parity and roles.
Actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, co-stars on the CBS series 'Hawaii Five-0' since 2010 asked for equal pay to that of their white co-stars, Alex O'Laughlin and Scott Caan.
According to Variety, CBS' final offer was 10 to 15 percent lower than what O'Loughlin and Caan are paid.
Grace played Kono Kalakaua, and Daniel's character was Chin Ho Kelly. They acted in all of the 168 episodes of the series.
Daniel Dae Kim posted on his Facebook page on July 5, 2017: (excerpt from a longer message to his fans)
By now many of you have heard the news, and I’m sad to say it is true. I will not be returning to Hawaii Five-0 when production starts next week. Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue.
As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude. I am so deeply thankful to our crew, writers and everyone associated with the show – and especially the cast, who have been nothing but supportive through this entire process. They and the crew have been my second family for seven years and I wish them nothing but success for season 8 - and beyond.
I also want to say thank you to Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and everyone at CBS. I will always be grateful for their faith in me to bring Chin Ho Kelly to life. As an Asian American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho. I will miss him sincerely.
What made him even more special is that he was a representative of a place my family and I so dearly love. It has been nothing short of...
June 28, 2017
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released its 2017 list of invitees. Asian American actors B.D. Wong and John Cho were included on the 2017 list of 774 people invited by the Academy.
Other actors invited include Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed (The Night Of, The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Priyanka Chopra, Irffan Khan, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung,
Filmmakers invited to join the Academy's documentary branch include Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs), S. Leo Chiang (Village Called Versailles, Out Run), and Keiko Deguchi (Cats of Mirikitani, God Knows Where I Am). Greg Pak was invited to join the feature animation and short films branch.
This year, the move is to increase a more diverse membership to better reflect the industry, after the Oscar nominees in 2016 were all White for the second year in a row which sparked the #OscarsSoWhite backlash. If they accept, the new members will be able to vote in the acting categories.
Note: July 29, 2017
Journalist Ann Curry's comments back in 2013 are as current and urgent as ever.
If anything, journalists are being challenged now more than ever.
New York City
Veteran broadcast journalist Ann Curry inspired and encouraged journalists to 'hang on.' She says while there is strain in the journalism industry there will also be opportuniity.
Photo by Lia Chang for AsianConnections.com
The NBC network television reporter, anchor and international correspondent was the keynote presenter at the closing night gala of the Asian American Journalist Association's 23rd annual convention in New York City August 24, 2013.
The seven-time Emmy award-winner, wife and mother of two opened the gala with her passionate commentary about the state of journalism.
WPIX-TV's Arthur Chi'en introduced her to the audience. Here are excerpts of Curry's remarks (with more coverage of the convention to be posted soon):
Arthur: Let's get right into it. What is the state of journalism?Ann: I think journalism is in a very interesting state of change. I say interesting because there is strain, and there is also opportunity. People are very concerned about the future of journalism and yet did you know that enrollment in journalism schools is up? So there is this kind of awareness that there's an opportunity ahead. Curry acknowledged the struggles of the journalism industry but said, "Rather than be afraid and close up,...open up to what is possible." We don't know what it looks like. We do know it will be broad. I think that there is a great opportunity to be deep in terms of what we can report. So I am extremely excited about it. I think there will be an opportunity to put news in a place in a way that has never been done before in the...
A team led by Nobel Laureate Dr. Susumu Tonegawa, including scientists Drs. Xu Liu, Steve Ramirez, Pei-Ann Lin, Junghyup Suh, Michele Pignatelli, Roger L. Redondo and Tomas J. Ryan have reported in the journal Science that they have created a false memory in a mouse, a monumental discovery which sheds light on how such memories can form in human brains.
For the full report click here to the story by James Gorman of the New York Times.
Dr. Tonegawa is the founder of the Picower institute for Learning and Memory, affiliated to the Riken-M.I.T. Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Beverly Hills, CA
Photo credit used by permission: Emmy Magazine, Lucy Liu
Congratulations to all of the 2013 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invitees.
"These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today," said Academy President Hawk Koch. "Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy. Invitees who accept their invitation to join will be eligible to vote in the annual Oscars.
The 276 invitees for 2013 include 12 names with Asian surnames that could be informally determined from the official Academy list.
The 2013 invitees include actors Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh, CEO of Warner Bros Entertainment Kevin Tsujihara, documentary filmmaker Michael Chin, and composer and music director Joe Hisaishi who is a frequent collaborator to animation director Hayao Miyazaki ("Ponyo,""Spirited Away").
In 2012, the overall list was 100 names shorter than 2013's. Only 7 people with Asian surnames made the 2012 list of 176 invitees including (Actor) Michelle Yeoh (“The Lady,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), (Cinematographer) Larry Fong ("Super 8,” “300”), (Cinematographer) Toyomichi Kurita ("Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family," "Waiting to Exhale"), (Director) Wong Kar Wai (“My Blueberry Nights,” “In the Mood for Love”), (Music) Ryuichi Sakamoto (“Love Is the Devil,” “The Last Emperor”), (Short Film/Feature Animation) Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Madagascar”).
The New York Times reports that the Academy had limited its membership numbers since 2004 by using quotas within its branches, but has now...