Blog
22
Apr

  This Vox video explains why things haven’t changed enough for Asian actors in Hollywood. In fact, they haven’t changed […]

220px-Teahouse_movieposter

 

This Vox video explains why things haven’t changed enough for Asian actors in Hollywood. In fact, they haven’t changed much at all. From Louise Rainer winning an Oscar for playing an Asian woman in “The Good Earth” in 1937 to Marlon Brando playing Asian in “Teahouse of the August Moon” (1956) to Linda Hunt playing an Asian man in “The Year of Living Dangerously,” (1982) to Tilda Swinton playing a Tibetan character in Marvel’s “Dr. Strange” (coming), Asians in Hollywood movies are invisible at best, and still, sometimes the butt of a joke.

And here’s the Washington Post with a list of 100 times (and there are more) a white actor played a non-white character.

There’s blowback from audiences now, but we haven’t yet seen studios changing their practices. After all, the whole point is bringing in people to theaters, and they need well-known actors who can “open” a film. And how many well-known Asian actors are there, at least in the U.S.? Kind of a vicious circle.

 

 

Have you gotten into an argument about politics yet this season? If so, you’re not alone. And if it seems […]

Have you gotten into an argument about politics yet this season? If so, you’re not alone. And if it seems like these disputes are becoming more toxic and mean, they are, according to a fascinating, though not surprising, essay in the New York Times this week.

The Big Orange One was not named in the article, and that may be due to the conclusion that Trump is just a vessel for simmering rage that has been boiling in the American electorate for some time.

While the percentage of Americans who identify as Democrat or Republican has gone down in recent decades, those with a strong party affinity are now farther apart from the other side than ever. And according to this essay, it’s largely based on racial attitudes:

The increasing alignment between party and racial attitudes goes back to the early 1990s. The Pew Values Survey asks people whether they agree that “we should make every effort to improve the position of minorities, even if it means giving them preferential treatment.”

Over time, Americans’ party identification has become more closely aligned with answers to this question and others like it. Pew reports that, “since 1987, the gap on this question between the two parties has doubled — from 18 points to 40 points.” Democrats are now much more supportive (52 percent) of efforts to improve racial equality than they were a few decades ago, while the views of Republicans have been largely unchanged (12 percent agree).

And with race and ethnicity front and center in the 2016 race, from Black Lives Matter protesters to Trump calling Mexicans rapists and murderers (“though some I’m sure are nice people”), the partisan split is even more pronounced.

 

Democrats are pulling out all the stops to woo the Latino vote – yes they say that every time, but […]

Democrats are pulling out all the stops to woo the Latino vote – yes they say that every time, but this time the competition is intense – and this year a civil rights icon is going head-to-head the actress and activist who played her in a movie.

On the Bernie Sanders side is Rosario Dawson. On the Clinton side is Dolores Huerta, the farmworker and labor organizer and lifelong activist who Dawson portrayed in the movie “Cesar Chavez.”

NBC News notes that the feud between the two women has not generated headlines and been well chronicled on social media, but show the fissures in the diverse Latino electorate that split  along generational lines (Bernie is winning under-30 Latinos, Hillary is winning over-30 Latinos and is crushing Sanders with the over-60 Latino electorate.

The Democratic race is getting testy – though not even close to the gruesomeness of the GOP race – and Dawson, 36 and Huerta, 85, and their fans have been exchanging barbs. Dawson has dismissed Huerta’s work in civil rights and being an “instrument of the establishment.” Fans of Huerta accuse Dawson of failing to show respect to a woman with years on her in activism and fighting for Latinos.

From NBC:

The Dawson-Huerta sparring began with an opinion piece Huerta wrote on Medium.com, titled “On Immigration, Bernie Sanders is Not Who He Says He Is.”

“I like Bernie. He’s a nice guy. I have no doubt he means well. Latinos matter in this election, and he knows it. But my question for Bernie is, where the heck was he for the last 25 years? … He was nowhere. That’s where,” Huerta wrote.

Dawson, co-founder of Voto Latino, responded to Huerta in an open letter published in Huffington Post, opening it with a quote from Huerta, a Clinton supporter.

Dawson acknowledged Huerta’s place in history and her work, but also said she had created a narrative that distorted facts and misguided voters.

“Dolores, I am surprised, dismayed, and concerned that you would do your legacy such a disservice by becoming an instrument of the establishment, rather than joining this movement to create a better America like you once inspired us to do,” Dawson wrote.

The blowback from the younger Dawson, against the older Huerta reflects the tenure of this election, in which being part of the “establishment” is a liability.

Millennials make up about 44 percent of the electorate, a larger share than the youth of any other racial or ethnic group, and the growth of the Latino electorate has long been fueled by its youth. Since Clinton last sought the nomination, some 6 million Hispanics were projected by Pew Research Center to have turned 18.

Donald Trump, the “Mexican illegals are rapists and murderers” candidate, is having an unintended effect on immigration in the U.S. […]

Donald Trump, the “Mexican illegals are rapists and murderers” candidate, is having an unintended effect on immigration in the U.S. According to multiple news outlets, Latinos are clamoring to get naturalized this year just to vote against him.

Figures from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services show a 14.5% jump in naturalization applications in June-December of 2015 compared with the same six months in the previous year. Federal data does not break down those applications by race, but grass-roots organizations, like the Florida Immigrant Coalition, say their naturalization drives across their swing state are filled primarily by Latinos.

“They feel very unsafe with his words,” said Florida Immigrant Coalition spokesman Ivan Parra. “They want to be respected. For them, it is an emergency.”

We’ve been hearing about this trend from other states as well. And it shouldn’t be surprising. Remember that 2013 Republican party post-mortem, after Latinos shunned Romney in the 2012 election? With Trump at the top of the ticket, if he is, the Republican party could be looking at shutting out Latinos for a generation or two. What does it take to awaken that “sleeping giant”? Maybe a candidate as toxic and hostile to non-whites as Trump.

No wonder the GOP establishment is trying so hard to stop him. Well, good luck with that. Seriously, good luck.

  Here’s another political post, though really the interesting part is about the demographics of death in the U.S. The […]

Whitedeath3

 

Here’s another political post, though really the interesting part is about the demographics of death in the U.S.

The immediate story is that Donald Trump’s margins of victory in the primary elections have been highest in states where the rate of deaths among middle-aged white Americans is going up. According to the Washington Post:

We’re focusing on middle-aged whites because the data show that something has gone terribly wrong with their lives. In a study last year, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton pointed out that mortality rates for this group have actually been increasing since the ’90s.

That fact becomes more alarming when you look at the context. Over the past decade, Hispanic people have been dying at a slower rate; black people have been dying at a slower rate; white people in other countries have been dying at a slower rate.

What’s most interesting, from a demographic perspective, is why  death rates for middle-aged whites are going up. The study mentioned by the Washington Post didn’t point definitively to any causes, but the researchers suggested  that alcohol abuse, suicides and the opioid epidemic have something to do with it.

The rate of fatal “poisonings” for instance — a category that includes drug overdoses — more than tripled among middle-aged whites since 2000.

Good grief. So that Make America Great Again slogan, to some ears might be “Help Us White People Stop Dying So Fast.” Doesn’t make a great bumper sticker though.

For more information on the demographic study showing higher middle-aged white deaths in the U.S., go here.

 

  Apparently, yes. For those who watched the Oscars last Sunday you were treated to a skit where he introduced the […]

 

RTS8GOV_0

Apparently, yes.

For those who watched the Oscars last Sunday you were treated to a skit where he introduced the “dedicated, accurate and hard-working” accountants “Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz.” They were responsible for counting the votes for the night. He then welcomed the three tuxedo-clad kids, Kung included, holding briefcases. The funny part was that Asian (and Jewish Americans are model minorities who are good at math. Rock also threw in a child labor reference: “If anybody is upset about this joke, just tweet about it on your phone, which was also made by these kids.”

Haha. Joking about child labor in Asia, which is a real thing.

The jokes fell flat. The irony is, Rock was on fire for his justifiable skewering of Hollywood excluding black talent not only from awards but from key roles.

Guess what? There aren’t very many roles for Asian actors in film either.

But about the skit. Is it still all right to make fun of Asian (and Jewish) Americans as the hardworking model minorities? Who doesn’t want to be known as hardworking and dedicated and good at numbers, right?

Well, certainly not when the butt of the joke is a real person, a kid who wasn’t in on the joke. Public Radio International has more about that:

The joke stung harder than it might have in years past, precisely because the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which emerged because it was the second year in a row where all the acting nominees were white, forced Rock and the Hollywood elite to confront their biases. Prior to the ceremony, celebrities including Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith boycotted the awards show. Directors Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler chose to hold #JusticeForFlint, a fundraiser for the Flint water crisis, on the same night. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced its goal to double its diverse members by 2020.

So when Asians still seemed to be the butt of the joke — it didn’t help that presenter Sacha Baron Cohen would later make a joke about “hard-working little yellow people with tiny dongs” — even celebrities like Constance Wu, Daniel Dae Kim and Jeremy Lin weighed in on Twitter.

Let’s imagine an Asian version of Chris Rock – Margaret Cho comes to mind – hosting the Oscars. Hard to imagine her green lighting a skit where African Americans are the butt of the joke.

 

23
Feb

#Hollywoodsowhite

POSTED BY Admin POSTED IN Uncategorized POST TAGGED diversity, Hollywood

  Hollywood was slammed last month after an all-white slate of actors and actresses was nominated for the Academy Awards, […]

koeze-hollywood-diversity-1-11

 

Hollywood was slammed last month after an all-white slate of actors and actresses was nominated for the Academy Awards, spawning the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. A new study shows that, like many suspected, the lack of diversity in Hollywood goes deeper.

The study, conducted by the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, evaluated the diversity of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity in hundreds of films and TV series released in 2014 and 2015.

It showed that nonwhite characters on-screen don’t reflect U.S. population levels. It’s even worse for professionals working behind the camera. The study also broke down its findings into categories of film, broadcast, streaming and cable, all of which are almost equally white and are often considered a training ground for the silver screen.

What we’d like to see studied are whether nonwhite moviegoers and TV watchers have noticed this and whether they have accepted seeing few people who look like them. We will share it when/if a study like that emerges.

17
Feb

It’s been a joke that white people think that they can insulate themselves from charges of racism by saying, “some […]

It’s been a joke that white people think that they can insulate themselves from charges of racism by saying, “some of my best friends are (black, Latino, Asian, etc).” But there’s a new study that shows it’s true - at least when they mention Asian friends.

The study was conducted by Australian researchers Michael Thai, Matthew J. Hornsey, and Fiona Kate Barlow. It was published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science. In the first study, half of the participants viewed a statement posted on a fake white guy’s Facebook page  in which he said either “so sick of Asians right now,” “Asians are annoying,” “can’t stand Asians,” or “way too many Asians around.” The other participants, used as a control group, viewed a statement in which he made similar complaints about squirrels. The participants rated the guy as more racist when he complained about Asians than when he complained about squirrels. And the participants who saw Miller posting anti-Asian comments rated him as less racist when his Facebook profile showed him surrounded by Asian friends.

The researchers’ follow-up study is even more interesting in terms of inculcating a person spouting racist comments:

In this second study, another group of 85 white Americans and 76 Asian Americans viewed a fake Facebook profile of a white man who made anti-Asian comments. The man preceded his comment with either “one of my best friends is Asian, but … ,” “some of my best friends are Asian, but …” , “most of my best friends are Asian, but …,” or posted no such disclaimer.

The man was viewed as less racist when he mentioned having one or more Asian friends. The man was also judged to be more integrated with Asian people when he mentioned having one or more Asian friends. Unlike the first study, white participants were slightly less likely than Asian participants to rate the man as racist overall.

The researchers say they want to examine other minority groups, “to find out if any minority friendship effect may vary as a function of the disadvantaged group in question.”

You can read the study abstract here.

 

 

 

We’ve just seen the first two contests of the 2016 elections, and just in time, there’s a new paper from the […]

We’ve just seen the first two contests of the 2016 elections, and just in time, there’s a new paper from the University of California, San Diego, that shows what we already suspected. That is, voter ID laws dampen turnout for minorities.

Voter ID laws adversely affected the turnout of minorities, and particularly that of Latinos, the paper found. The study also revealed that turnout among Democrats was disproportionately affected, backing up claims of a political motivation behind the laws, which have been overwhelmingly championed by GOP legislators.

It is the first comprehensive study that’s been done over many election cycles that very clearly shows how minority voters are affected, and how they’re adversely and disproportionately affected compared to their white counterparts, the authors say.

Lajevardi, a Ph.D. candidate in UC-San Diego’s department of political science, is joined on the study by lead author Zoltan L. Hajnal , a political science professor there and with Lindsay Nielson, a post-Doctoral fellow. They examined not just the turnout, but the gap among racial groups compared with white voters. Looking at states with strict photo ID laws in elections from 2006 through 2012, they found, where they are enacted, racial, and ethnic minorities are less apt to vote.

Not only have the numbers of states passing voter ID laws grown considerably since the Supreme Court approved of Indiana’s photo ID law in 2008, the requirements in the laws have also gotten stricter. The paper’s authors thus focused attention on “strict” photo ID laws, meaning those “that prevent the voter from casting a regular ballot if they cannot present appropriate identification.” Seven states have strict photo ID laws in place, by the study’s count.

In general elections, states with strict photo ID laws show a Latino turnout 10.3 points lower than in states without them, the study showed. The law also affected turnout in primary elections, where Latino turnout decreased by 6.3 points and Black turnout by 1.6 points.

    “The Daily Show” tried to dissect the racist tendencies of the adult film industry on last night’s episode. […]

 

 

oar1neqgrdigwluzwbns-1

“The Daily Show” tried to dissect the racist tendencies of the adult film industry on last night’s episode. The report from Roy Wood Jr. is the latest in their coverage of Black History Month.

“I have a dream that one day there’ll be a porn that welcomes every color, no stereotypes,” Wood said after talking with multiple performers.

Some highlights: There are performers who won’t do interracial porn because their parents wouldn’t approve. In fact there are several things (we won’t mention here) that they would rather do before performing with a person of color.

Watch the Daily Show clip here.