September 15, 2017
by Suzanne Kai
The controversial practice of whitewashing movies has been going on for nearly a century in Hollywood.
In the 1930's even the starring role of the Charlie Chan movies, scripted to be a Chinese man, was given to white actors pretending to play Chinese men.
Fast forward to 2017 - Ed Skrein, an English actor and rapper, wins the "Hellboy" movie role of Major Ben Saimio, a character of Japanese heritage in the original comic books.
Social media erupted negatively to his casting.
Unlike actors who won and defended their roles which were originally written as Asian characters, such as Scarlett Johansspn (Ghost in the Shell), Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange), Matt Damon (The Great Wall), and Emma Stone (Aloha) Ed Skrein gave his role back.
Ed received favorable social media reaction, and Daniel York, writer for Time Magazine wrote this commentary Skrein is setting an example other actors should follow. If only more people in the industry had his integrity, courage and common humanity.
(full article at Time magazine "Ed Skrein Proved Actors Can Resist Whitewashington, Too" - click here)
Ed Skrein issued the message below.
Skrein is best known in America for his role as Daario Naharis in the third season of Game of Thrones, and his roles in The Transporter Refueled, and Deadpool. Now he is known for
"It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voice in the Arts.
I feel it is important to honour and respect that.
Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately," the British actor wrote in a statement.
"Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I...
July 13, 2017
Happy Birthday Cameron Crowe!
Thank you Cameron for sharing your amazing stories working with Ben Fong-Torres, your first editor at Rolling Stone for our documentary! The true life story behind "Almost Famous"!We've been working on a feature documentary film about the incredible life and times of Ben Fong-Torres, Rolling Stone magazine's first music editor. Both Ben and Cameron are as busy as ever! Coming soon! Suzanne Joe Kai Director/Writer/Producer
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...
October 27, 2013
Rumors floating on the web say that Jackie Chan's 101st movie 'Chinese Zodiac' is his last major action comedy, but we hope those rumors are false.
Ryan Pearson, AP Entertainment Writer sheds some hope. He reports that the 59 year old isn't quitting anytime soon, and just completed filming another installment for his "Police Story" franchise, and is in talks to do a movie with his "Rush Hour' co-star Chris Tucker.
Click here to the movie's trailer:
Chan wrote, directed and starred in his action comedy 'Chinese Zodiac' about a team trying to steal some of the bronze statues representing the twelve animals of hte zodiac from the Chinese Palace which were stolen from Beijing in the 1860s.
The film is now in theaters in the U.S., and was released in China last year. Since the movie's release two of the statues were returned to China by the head of Gucci's parent company, Francois Pinault.
JackieChan.com - Jackie Chan's Official Website
Los Angeles Times (video)
AP Story on Jackie Chan
The Washington Post on Jackie Chan
Photo: Judith Hill, Suzanne Joe Kai, Ben Fong-Torres at the 21st AAJA convention in Los Angeles
Update Oct. 8, 2013 Judith's touring schedule with Josh Groban and official news of her new deal with Sony Music!
From Judith's official enewsletter and website JudithHill.com.
Judith Hill has been tapped by multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban as support for his fall "In The Round" tour, which kicks off tonight at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, ID. In addition to opening the show, Hill will join Groban during his set for two songs: "The Prayer" and "Remember When It Rains." Judith, who contributed backing vocals to three tracks on Groban's latest album, All That Echoes, will also be playing a series of headline dates this fall. See below for itinerary.
Praised by Rolling Stone for her "stellar powerhouse vocals," Hill has signed with Sony Music. In addition to penning and performing her own...