Shocking Study: Where Are the People of Color at the Emmy Awards?

The Emmy Awards are quickly approaching and the television industry is buzzing with excitement.

With the big event only a few days away, Lee & Low Books decided to take a deeper look into this very highly anticipated awards ceremony. The award-winning publishing company has made  a name for itself by publishing a number of multicultural children’s books. They have made it their mission to spark conversation about race, gender and diversity issues, both in publishing and beyond.

Lee & Low has already done studies on diversity in children’s books and the Tony Awards. Now, they’ve taken on one of the most influential industries in entertainment — television.

Lee & Low analyzed Emmy Award winners from 1992 to present day and made these shocking discoveries:

  • No woman of color has ever won an Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (Kerry Washington, nominated in 2013, would be a historic first if she wins).
  • In the last twenty years, winners in the Best Director of A Comedy Series were 100% white and 95% male.
  • An African American woman has not been nominated for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series since The Cosby Show in 1986.

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The diversity gap among the winners is quite hard to swallow. It is important to note that there are only two categories here: white and ALL people of color. We don’t even want to think of the poor representation of Asians who take only a small portion of the already small percentage of people of color winners.

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To help explain this diversity gap, Lee & Low Books spoke to Kelvin Yu, a Taiwanese American writer currently working on the Fox animated series Bob’s Burgers about the diversity gap on televiion. Yu believes that it’s time for Asian Americans to step up and tell our own stories, and not wait around for others to tell them for us.

 I know for a FACT that Asian Americans love to consume media — movies, television, video games, social media, all of it — so their lack of representation over the past several years is probably a combination of factors including cultural emphasis in different fields, a lack of avenues within the industry, and some level of systemic prejudice (particularly in the past). 

 

However, I do think this is about to change big time. I think in the next few years you will see a flood of Asian content creators. Some of that is simply the rapidly closing cultural gap that social media and the internet are facilitating. Young Asian writers and actors and directors are growing up seeing Ang Lee and Justin Lin and Wong Kar Wai and Zhang Yimou win Oscars and BAFTAs. The world, for better or for worse, is remarkably smaller than it was a decade ago and audiences are more open, even hungry, for unique voices. I also think new media renders many of those past obstacles powerless against the thousands of outlets for Asian American creativity. For instance, even if your stern Korean father wants you to become a doctor, he can’t really stop you anymore from making small movies with your iPhone and cutting them with some app. People can write, shoot, edit, and even distribute content from a $300 laptop. How was an Asian American teenager supposed to do that in 1990? Not to make Asian parents seem like the only barrier, and also not to make them seem all like Kim Jong Eun. I just think we’re about to see an influx of new voices and, thus, new stories. Which is very exciting.

 

We’ve seen that movie goers will champion protagonists in every shape, color, or form (even a talking pig!) if the storytelling is honest and resonant. So in some ways, I just challenge Asian American writers, producers and directors to introduce great stories that feature different types of protagonists. It wouldn’t be fair or realistic to charge other people to tell your stories. People are just “writing what they know,” which can be a virtue while simultaneously a tragedy.

Read the full story here.

 

Image of The Day: Kunal Nayyar Supports Miss America Nina Davuluri

There were many reactions to Nina Davuluri winning Miss America. Unfortunately, many of these reactions were not the praise and compliments that are typically showered upon a newly crowned Miss America.

Twitter exploded with racist comments about the first Indian Miss America. Many tweets referenced 9/11, called her a terrorist and even refused to acknowledge her as an American despite her being born and raised in New York. As expected, this gained nationwide attention, though not the attention we would hope for.

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In the midst of all the undeserved hate and racism, some good came from this. Many individuals fought back in support of Davuluri and her well-deserved title.

Among these supporters was The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar. The actor tweeted his congratulations, then quickly commented on the negative reactions to Miss America.

Nayyar, who was featured in our Summer 2013 issue, gives us yet another reason to love him.

Be sure to check out the Top Five Reasons Miss America Nina Davuluri is AWESOME

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Real-Life Anime Locales That You Can Visit!

For many anime fans, visiting the real-life locations that serve as the setting of their favorite stories has become a new way to experience their most-loved animated films, graphic novels or television series, allowing fans to literally walk in their favorite characters’ footsteps.  These destinations are slowly becoming as popular as the series that placed them on the map, as fans pack their bags and travel to see these destinations first-hand.

The little town of Iwami cho in the Tottori prefecture of Southeastern Japan has been receiving much more attention lately with the airing of the Japanese anime series, Free!, a series focused on a revived swimming club.  However, we’re most amazed at how animators were able to accurately capture the water-front town’s charm, using virtually every aspect of the town, from the charming harbor to something as simple as an alleyway, as illustrative inspiration.

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Another town that has been placed in the spotlight, thanks to anime, is Oarai, in the eastern part of Ibaraki prefecture.  Oarai’s most famous and distinct landmarks, like it’s marine tower and dolphin statue, as well as less well-known sites, like local restaurants, are featured in the popular series, Girls und Panzer.  Locals have embraced their new found fame: pictures of the characters can be seen throughout the town and an event celebrating the anime was held earlier this year.

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Though not based on a real-life place, Studio Ghibli fans can visit the home of Mei and Satsuki from the beloved Miyazaki film, My Neighbor Totoro.  Located in Nagakute, Japan at the at the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park and designed by Goro Miyazaki, the house was constructed with such precision, detail and authenticity that visitors can feel as if the little girls could run in and out of the home at any moment.

In Japan, You Can Visit the Totoro House. For Real.

(Sources: 1, 2, 3)

World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter

by Ada Tseng 

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1. Indonesian entertainer Agnes Monica (@agnezmo) — 8,326,171 followers

2. Japanese-Swiss-Polish Brazilian TV personality Sabrina Sato Rahal (@sabrinasatoreal)

3. Indonesian singer Sherina Munaf (@sherinamunaf)

4. Indonesian actress Luna Maya (@LunaMaya26)

5. Japanese American artist Yoko Ono (@yokoono)

6. Bollywood entertainer Priyanka Chopra(@priyankachopra)

7. Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone)

8. Filipina American entertainer Nicole Scherzinger (@NicoleScherzy)

9. Indonesian entertainer Aluna Sagita Gutawa (@gitagut)

10. Filipina actress Angel Locsin (@143redangel)

11. Filipina actress Angelica Panganiban (@iamangelicap)

12. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor (@sonamakapoor)

13. Bollywood actress Preity Zinta (@realpreityzinta)

14. Filipina actress Cristine Reyes (@mscristinereyes)

15. Indian American actress Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) — 2,458,926 followers

*As of August 15, 2013 

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

Miranda Kerr Stars in Weird Japanese Commercial

You may know her as the extremely gorgeous Victoria’s Secret model. Or maybe you know her as the wife of equally gorgeous Orlando Bloom. Well now you can know her as spokeswoman for a Japanese laundry detergent, Bold.

For the first commercial, Kerr interacts in a friendly conversation with her neighbors… while driving a pink car filled with laundry detergent. If you think thats a little weird, wait until you a load of the actual dialogue:

Neighbor A: What have you been up to?
Miranda: I went shopping.
Neighbor B: You bought too much!
Miranda: *shrug and a wink*
Neighbor A: Ah, Bold!
Miranda: It’s so cute and pink!
Neighbor A: Pink?! Anyway you look at it, it’s blue!
Miranda: The liquid is pink!
Neighbor A & B: It’s pink!
Miranda: It’s pink!

If you didn’t notice- pink is obviously something to be excited about. Check it out for yourself:

The next commercial that Kerr stars in shows her actually purchasing the massive amount of detergent. Unfortunately, this time Kerr doesn’t get to show off her (rather impressive) Japanese speaking skills. All she needs to do is strut down an aisle with a cart full of detergent and the whole store goes nuts for it:

As strange as these lines are, they certainly can’t go wrong with a pretty girl snuggling a towel right? Besides, having Miranda Kerr is quite the step up from their former, more awkward, spokeswoman:

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(source)

Chinese Woman Trapped In A Well For Two Weeks

Nope, we’re not kidding.

Yesterday, September 17th, a woman was rescued after falling into a a well in central China’s Henan Province. According to state news agency Xinhua, she had lived off of raw corn cobs and rainwater for the 15 days that she was trapped inside.

38-year-old Su Qixiu had fallen into the well near her village and could not climb out because of the slippery and steep walls. The well, which was concealed by surrounding cornstalks, was four meters deep.

The firefighters who rescued her claim they found her lying on back and upon seeing the firefighters, she told them she was hungry.

Thankfully, there were no obvious external injuries. It will, however, take some time for her internal organs to recover. Currently she is in stable condition and receiving fluids.

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As difficult as it is to wrap our minds around this incident, we can’t help but remember Jessica McClure- another woman who found herself in the same predicament. McClure was only 18-months-old whens she fell into a well in 1987. After 58 hours spent saving “Baby Jessica”, the child was rescued with no broken bones. The incident gained worldwide attention and even inspired an ABC television movie Everybody’s Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure. McClure, now in her late 20’s, has turned out just fine.

The moral of the story? You may have some hesitation with wells. Maybe you’re afraid of falling into one (apparently, thats more common than we thought). Or maybe wells make you think of Samara from The Ring. Whatever it may be, trust that instinct. We don’t need any more convincing to avoid those things.

(source 1, 2)

Video of the Day: Olivia Munn on How She Lost Her Virginity

We’ve been loving Olivia Munn on HBO’s Newsroom. The feisty, whip-smart Sloan Sabbith, senior financial reporter for “News Night,” who has a tendency to choose all the wrong boys (one posted her naked photos on the Web), is fast becoming one of our favorite characters on the show.

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Here’s another reason to love her. She gets real with John Stamos on his Web series, “Losing it with John Stamos,” about how she lost her virginity and faking orgasms. Watch it here, complete with adorable graphics and sound effects.

 

 

Julie Chen Feels Hurt By Asian American Community

Story by James S. Kim 

After CBS talk show host Julie Chen’s admission to having plastic surgery on The Talk last week sparked a series of headlines and debates, the TV personality said the most hurtful thing about the reaction was judgmental comments from members of the Asian American community.

In 1995, When Chen was a reporter at WDTN-TV in Ohio, the news director told Chen that she couldn’t become an anchor because she wouldn’t be “relatable” to the community as an Asian, and that her eyes made her look “disinterested” and “tired.” Chen’s agent told her the same thing, and she went ahead with the procedure.

Yesterday, the hosts of The Talk offered their opinions on the reactions to their secrets. Chen admitted that she did find some of the comments hurtful to read.

“I wasn’t that there were haters judging me for what I did,” said Chen. “What was hurtful was that the hateful comments that I read were from people within my own community. It was like, ‘Way to give in to the Western standards of beauty. You’re denying your heritage.” Well guess what? I don’t look any less Chinese. I’m not fooling anyone.”

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She continued, “I want people to understand that there are Asians born with the crease I had surgically done to my eyes, so the goal was never to look less Asian.”

Sifting through the debate shows that there are many multiple layers to issue. From racism to the merits of plastic surgery, the conversation has been incredibly diverse, and sometimes divisive, just as it was with Chen’s own family when she first told them about her decision.

The comments left on the KoreAm Facebook page was a prime example. One person said, “This shouldn’t have to do with looking ‘less Asian’ as much as it has to do with just looking less unattractive.”

Still, most comments disagreed on whether Chen underwent surgery for the right reasons. Some agreed that plastic surgery is fine as long as “it doesn’t falsely feed an obsessive, deep rooted insecurity and/or becomes an addiction.” One such example might be Korean culture, which, one comment said, has a standard of “idealized looks” where plastic surgery becomes the norm.

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) applauded Chen’s confession, saying that it put Asian American issues in the public dialogue. Grace Hwang Lynch wrote on BlogHer.com that the discussion as it happened on The Talk was “oversimplified,” but that she was glad that Chen decided to talk about her surgery and her experiences with racial discrimination.

This story was originally published by KoreAm Journal

Wong Fu Reminds Us To Save Money … To Avoid Awkward Dates

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) has teamed up with Wong Fu Productions to bring an entertaining way for students to think about financial literacy and money management. Because lets be honest, students of this generation need to save as much money as possible.

APIASF is the largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The organization joined forces with Wong Fu Productions and Wells Fargo to create this adorably amusing short. “Save The Date” reminds us of the importance of responsible money management.

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Here at Audrey, we completely understand the importance of saving up. We’ve come up with a few tips to make sure you avoid situations as awkward as this one. Trust me, you’ll thank us when the time comes.

 

1.) Beware the dangerous debit/credit card. 
cards
For some, debit and credit cards feel like a limitless source of funds. You don’t physically see your money leave your wallet, so its easy to lose track of how much you spend and how much you have left. Don’t fall into this trap. Stop by the bank and withdraw some cash so you can physically keep track.

 

2.) Utilize your kitchen. 
Chinese Takeout - With cookie and blank fortune
You just came back from class, you’re exhausted and the last thing you want to think about is spending time cooking dinner. Fight the urge to pick up your phone and call for take out. Money spent on take-out and eating out adds up quick. Why not work on your cooking skills?

 

3.) Open up to your friends about your finances.
movie
Don’t find yourself in the endless trap of making excuses every time your friends want to go out. You owe it to yourself to open and let them know that you’d prefer to stay in and watch a movie. In the end, you don’t seem anti-social and you get to spend time with friends.

 

4.) Shop smart. 
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There are plenty of ways to shop smart. Remember those things your mom used back in the day called coupons? Well they still exist and they work wonders. Also, avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll end up buying the whole store.

 

5.) Give yourself an allowance 
Financial Plans
I know you’re finally at that age where your parents don’t control and limit where your money goes, but nows the time to realize that your parents had the right idea. Start allocating money and stick to that amount. If you’ve only allotted $20 to buy yourself new clothes this month, then drop one of those cute tops and pick it up next month.

 

6.) Buy used textbooks 
used
If you know you have no intention of keeping a book after you’ve finished a class, opting for a used book is always a good idea. Sometimes, these books are so well maintained that you wouldn’t even notice it was used. That, or the previous owner wasn’t too big a fan of studying.

 

7.) Open a savings account
piggy
Open a savings account and every time you have a little extra cash, move it over. A lot of times, this ends up being a life saver and you’ll be surprised how a little bit of cash every day could add up.

 

8.) Have someone keep you accountable.
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Let someone know that you’re trying to save money. They can be the reminder you need when you’re in danger of spending too much.

Image of The Day: CUTEST Miyazaki-Themed Cosplay Ever

When news broke out that Hayao Miyazaki was retiring, fans everywhere wished it was simply a false rumor. For years, Miyazaki brought us whimsical animations such as My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. In 2003, the Ghibli studio co-founder won an Oscar for his breathtaking feature film, Spirited Away.

Although Miyazaki has shown a mastery of his craft, he has firmly stated that he is done with films. The 72-year-old confirmed that his film The Wind Rises is his last. The film, which focuses on a fictional biography of Japan’s Zero airplane creator Jiro Horikoshi, has already become a box-office hit in Japan since its release in July.

With a handful of awards, critical acclaim, and worldwide recognition, Miyazaki will retire knowing that he achieved what he set out to do. According to CBC News, Miyazaki commented, “I wanted to convey the message to children that this life is worth living. This message has not changed.”

While our hearts are saddened by the finale of a talented individual, his work continues to live on. In this case, it does so in quite an adorable way. The giant red bow, stuffed animal cat, and magic broomstick are all part of this adorable cosplay of Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service.

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The animated film follows a young witch, Kiki, who must navigate through her adolescent years. As cute as the animated version was, we have to admit that the real version of Kiki is even better.

(image source)