Asian American Celebs Take The Red Carpet at 2014′s VMAs and Emmys

Two of the most fabulous, star-studded events happened back-to-back this year, and with them came a flurry of hot red gowns, sexy cleavage and swoon-worthy, fitted black suits. At the Emmys, ABC’s Modern Family predictably took home the golden statue for an outstanding comedy, and actor Bryan Cranston deservedly stole the show with his win as the outstanding lead actor in Breaking Bad; and the VMAs–let’s be real–should have been alternately titled “All Hail Queen Bey.”

Nominations and winners aside, what we fashionistas really look forward to are the unique looks that grace the red carpet. Here’s a rundown of the styles these Asian American celebrities wore at this year’s MTV VMAs and Emmys.


1) Actor and singer Darren Criss, whose roots are half-Filipino, kept it simple at the VMAs with black slacks and a mauve blazer, all pulled together with sleek sunglasses.

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2) Also at the VMAs, Korean American actress Arden Cho shined in this form-fitting strapless by Sherri Hill, silver-strapped Aldo shoes, a Farbod Barsum clutch and jewels from Bavna’s Spring 2015 collection.
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3) The beautiful Indian-born American and “Top Chef” host, Padma Lakshmi, dazzled in a simple, yet stunning white Ralph Rucci dress.
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4) The adorably funny Indian American comedian and actress Mindy Kaling chose a unique dress by Kenzo, a coral halter-topped gown with glimmering silver detailing.
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5) You may not have known that this funny man came from Asian roots, but actor and comedian Fred Armisen is a quarter Japanese, inherited from his father’s side. Standing next to Carrie Brownstein, his partner-in-crime on IFC’s hilarious Portlandia, Armisen looked classy in a black suit with a dark gray dress shirt.
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6) Lucy Liu can never do wrong. The Taiwanese American actress looked absolutely heavenly in this pale Zac Posen gown, Jimmy Choo clutch, and jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz.
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7) This hottie came out from behind the camera and swooned all of the Internet when he graced the stage to accept the Emmy for “Outstanding Director” for HBO’s True Detective. Half Japanese and half Swedish, director Cary Joji Fukunaga looked simultaneously manly and sweet in crisp black-and-white attire with his hair in braids.
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8) Last but certainly not least (and definitely the most little), half-Korean American actress Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who plays the snarky Lily on Modern Family, donned an appropriate navy-blue laced dress with black tights and patent black flats.
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[Photo sources: E! News and Vulture]

 

 

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.