Events and Updates

April 2, 2013

2012 MANAA Appearances

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MANAA supports “Sullivan and Son” starring Steve Byrne at a taping (see July 2)


 

 

January 30, 2012 – Guy Aoki and Miriam Nakamura-Quan attend a panel discussion at the Pasadena Library commemorating Fred Korematsu Day.

Left to right: Associate Professor Susie Ling of Pasadena City College, Patricia Kinaga, Alan Nishio, and Esther Takei Nishio.

Left to right: Associate Professor Susie Ling of Pasadena City College, Patricia Kinaga, Alan Nishio, and Esther Takei Nishio.

February 15- Guy Aoki runs an information table at “The Sisterhood Effect” event at Cal State L.A.’s Cross Cultural Centers co-sponsored by the CCC and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

February 16- Right outside CBS’s headquarters in Studio City, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) co-chairs Guy Aoki and Marilyn Tokuda observe monologue auditions of select Asian American actors from East West Players and CAPE run by Fern Orenstein (VP, CBS casting) and Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i (VP, CBS Diversity).

February 17-Guy Aoki is a call-in guest on Mike Wise Show talking about the Jeremy Lin phenomenon with the Washington Post reporter who has his own radio show in D.C.  To listen to it: www.1067thefandc.com

February 18 From the Washington Post, Mike Wise explores the controversies surrounding Jeremy Lin’s sudden popularity (“Jeremy Lin challenges stereotypes, as well as defenses”).  Referring to ESPN’s “Chink in the Armor” headline, Rob King, ESPN’s senior vice president of editorial, print and digital media, says, “The minute everybody starts patting ourselves on the back over reaching some kind of conclusion on the issue of race, something like this happens and makes us realize how far we have to go.  All we can do for now is continue to preach vigilance.”

Guy Aoki is quoted:  “We’re more sensitive to black history in this society.  [Because reporters] don’t want anyone to think they condone the word’s use, they came up with the ‘N-word.’  There’s no such thing as the C-word . . . is there?”

Wise writes:  “When the Madison Square Garden Network flashed a graphic of Lin sticking his tongue out, superimposed in the middle of a fortune cookie, Aoki wondered aloud: ‘Imagine if 80 percent of the league were Asian American. And a black player’s face was put in the middle of fried chicken and watermelon. How would that go over? Look, I get it; the sports world is not used to dealing with Asian stars, and in that regard maybe this will open some eyes.’”

To read the full article:  http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-02-18/sports/35444601_1_jeremy-lin-linsanity-asian-american

Ung Nam, Stephanie Van, Guy Aoki, Li Carithers, and Founding MANAA Secretary Lena Chao.

Ung Nam, Stephanie Van, Guy Aoki, Li Carithers, and Founding MANAA Secretary Lena Chao.

 

March 1, 2012-Guy Aoki is a panelist on “The Asian Persuasion:  Sex, Marriage and Trafficking” panel discussion at Cal State L.A. with Dr. Lena Chao (Acting Associate Dean, College of Arts & Letters, Cal State L.A. and original MANAA Secretary), Ung Nam (Cross Cultural Programs Coordinator), Hyun-mi Kim of apalegaloutreach, Stephanie Van, coordinator for the Center for the Pacific American Family (CPAF). It’s moderated by Li Carithers, Program Coordinator, Asian Pacific Islander Student Resource Center (APISRC). Aoki talks about history of films where white men are interested in Asian women and vice versa to the exclusion of Asian men and other romantic partners. 70% of TV shows and 80% of movies are written by white males so they write their fantasies into the stories and reap the benefits from them.

On the "Kababayan-L.A" set, left to right:  Jennifer Sanderson of CAPE, filmmaker Christine Yoo, host Janelle So, and Guy Aoki. Missing:  Jeff Mio, Teddy Zee.

On the “Kababayan-L.A” set, left to right: Jennifer Sanderson of CAPE, filmmaker Christine Yoo, host Janelle So, and Guy Aoki. Missing: Jeff Mio, Teddy Zee.

March 7, 2012-Guy Aoki and former MANAA President Jeff Mio are guests on Kababayan-L.A’s “Asian Men In Hollywood” broadcast talking about portrayals of Asian men in the media including Jeremy Lin.

Watch Here:

Segment A

Segment B

Segment C 

Segment D 

 

 

March 20-Asian Pacific American Media Coalition co-chairs Guy Aoki and Marilyn Tokuda sit in on a CBS workshop with invited Asian American actors from East West Players and CAPE.
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Fern Orenstein and Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i give feedback on the best head shots to fit each actor, each of whom are assigned scripts to perform the following week.

March 27-The actors return to perform their skits.

 

April 3, 2012-Oscar Nominated and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Christine Choy interviews Guy Aoki for a documentary she’s making for the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) which will air on the 20th anniversary of the riots in Korea.

April 10-Dr. Drew Pinsky asks Guy Aoki to appear on his “Dr. Drew” CNN Headline News television show to discuss parallels between Travon Martin shooting case and how Asian Americans have had to fit in so as not to be threatening to society.

After the broadcast in the break room:  Dr. Pinsky and Guy Aoki.

After the broadcast in the break room: Dr. Pinsky and Guy Aoki.

APAMC tribute video to Karen Narasaki upon her leaving the AAJC

April 18, 2012-A video (taped on March 13) featuring members of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) paying “tribute” to Karen Narasaki, outgoing Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) at the “Karen Narasaki’s Farewell Roast” event in Washington, D.C., is shown.

In it, Narasaki’s twin brother, Ken Narasaki, plays her as a diva who terrorizes coalition members and wants to star in television shows.

The cast of the parody video, taped on March 13th at IW Group in West Hollywood. Left to right: Jack Ong, APAMC co-chairs Guy Aoki and Marilyn Tokuda, Ken "Karen" Narasaki, Shinae Yoon, and Bill Imada.

The cast of the parody video, taped on March 13th at IW Group in West Hollywood. Left to right: Jack Ong, APAMC co-chairs Guy Aoki and Marilyn Tokuda, Ken “Karen” Narasaki, Shinae Yoon, and Bill Imada.

 

April 19-MANAA celebrates its 20th anniversary at its monthly meeting.  Standing, left to right:  Christopher Au-Young, Mack Wei, Warren Hong, board member Tom Eng, Vice President Miriam Nakamura-Quan, board member Guy Aoki; sitting:  Howard Fong and Aki Aleong.
Standing, left to right:  Christopher Au-Young, Mack Wei, Warren Hong, board member Tom Eng, Vice President Miriam Nakamura-Quan, board member Guy Aoki; sitting:  Howard Fong and Aki Aleong.

Standing, left to right: Christopher Au-Young, Mack Wei, Warren Hong, board member Tom Eng, Vice President Miriam Nakamura-Quan, board member Guy Aoki; sitting: Howard Fong and Aki Aleong.

 

April 29-On the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots, a documentary by Christine Choy (Who Killed Vincent Chin) debuts on Korean Broadcasting System in Korea.  Guy Aoki was interviewed on April 3rd for this perspective on the riots and how they affected Asian Americans.

April 30-Supporting East West Players at their 46th annual awards dinner at the Universal City Hilton are Guy Aoki, Tom Eng, Aki Aleong, Laarni Dacanay, Johnny Lam, Howard Fong, Imad Jamal and former member Robert Payne.  It’s emceed by Tamlyn Tomita and Parvesh Cheena (“Outsourced”).

Left to right, standing: Former MANAA President Jeff Mio, Imad Jamal, Howard Fong; sitting: Guy Aoki, Robert Payne, and Tom Eng.

Left to right, standing: Former MANAA President Jeff Mio, Imad Jamal, Howard Fong; sitting: Guy Aoki, Robert Payne, and Tom Eng.

Guy Aoki, Reggie Lee (“Grimm,” “No Ordinary Family”), and Aki Aleong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laarni Dacanay (2nd from right) introduces Tom Eng and Howard Fong to NBC’s Executive Vice President of Diversity Craig Robinson (far right).

Laarni Dacanay (2nd from right) introduces Tom Eng and Howard Fong to NBC’s Executive Vice President of Diversity Craig Robinson (far right).

May 3 MANAA board member Tom Eng and Howard Fong attend Southern California Edison (SCE)’s SCE/ Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) Community Reception at SCE’s offices in Rosemead.  The 2012-2013 APIASF/SCE scholarship recipients are announced.

May 4-Guy Aoki has a breakfast meeting at Pacific Dining Car in downtown Los Angeles with OCA Executive Director Tom Hayashi, President Ken Lee, and Daniel Mayeda of East West Players to discuss various media issues.

Daniel Mayeda, Ken Lee, Tom Hayashi, and Guy Aoki.

Daniel Mayeda, Ken Lee, Tom Hayashi, and Guy Aoki.

May 13-Guy Aoki attends the “That’s Right, You’re Not in Hollywood!” panel discussion sponsored by the Women In Film International (WIFI) Committee in association with New Filmmakers Los Angeles at the Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood.  International directors Julia Camara, Deepika Daggubati, and Christine Yoo share their experiences shooting independent films in Brazil, India, and South Korea.

May 16-Uploaded:  The Asian American Movement Documentary, which explores “the visibility of Asian Americans in popular culture, with a focus on the past six years since the advent of new media such as YouTube,” premieres at Visual Communication’s Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival.  Guy Aoki, who was interviewed by producer Farah Moriah and director Kane Diep on February 8th, attends cast and crew party and screening at Clarity Theatre in Beverly Hills on May 25th.  He appears on screen for about 5 seconds.

May 18-Guy Aoki, Tom Eng, and Johnny Lam represent MANAA at the 30th anniversary Chinatown Public Safety Association (CPSA) dinner at Empress Pavilion restaurant in Chinatown.

May 19-Guy Aoki represents MANAA at Bill Watanabe’s farewell luncheon at the Bonaventure Hotel.  Watanabe started the Little Tokyo Service Center in 1980 and is retiring at the end of June.  Between 1992 and 1996, MANAA held its initial meetings in one of the LTSC’s rooms in the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) then at Casa Heiwa–to where the LTSC moved–between 1996 and 2003.

Guy Aoki thanks Bill Watanabe for his years of service.

Guy Aoki thanks Bill Watanabe for his years of service.

June 7-Guy Aoki attends NBC’s 5th annual Diversity Scene Showcase at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood where minority writers, actors, and directors present comedy skits they’ve created.

June 23-On the 30th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s death, Guy Aoki and Mack Wei represent MANAA at the “Vincent Chin 30:  Standing Up Then and Now” event at The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo.  MANAA is an “L.A. Supporter.”

Moderator Curtis Chin with speakers Asian Pacific American Legal Center founder Stewart Kwoh and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas.

Moderator Curtis Chin with speakers Asian Pacific American Legal Center founder Stewart Kwoh and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas.

June 30 – Guy Aoki is a panelist on the “Diversity in Television and Film: Alive and Well or on Life Support?”discussion sponsored by the Multi-Cultural Motion Picture Association at Screen Actors Guild’s Actors Center Theatre.

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Left to right: Moderator Gordon Kenney (Executive Producer of the Diversity Awards), David White (National Executive Director for SAG-AFTRA), Aoki, Karen Horne (VP, NBC Entertainment Diversity Initiatives), producer/writer/director Ja’Caryous Johnson (Friends and Lovers, Whatever She Wants), actor Michael Ealy (“Common Law,” Seven Pounds), Shelby Stone (Executive Producer of VH1’s “Single Ladies,” and President of Production at Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Productions), and award-winning producer Deborah Calla (A Beautiful Life, Dream House).

Also attending are Aki Aleong and Mack Wei.  In the middle of the discussion, Aoki, who did his first sprinting workout in nine months that afternoon, suffers from increasing cramps in his legs and stomach and has to be taken to the emergency room.

July 2-Two groups of MANAA members and supporters attend a script run-through (1st group) or taping (2nd group) of “Sullivan and Son,” the new TBS series starring Steve Byrne (who’s half Korean/half Irish), on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank.  (On September 4, the show, which averaged more than 2.5 million viewers per episode, is renewed for a second season).

First group which went to the 1:30 script run-through:  Left to right: Former President Jeff Mio, Warren Hong, Rafu Shimpo reporter J.K. Yamamoto, former MANAA President Aki Aleong, Mack Wei, Guy Aoki, Imad Jamal, board member Miriam Nakamura-Quan. Missing: Kathee Yamamoto, Emily Kung, and Jocelyn Aragon.

First group which went to the 1:30 script run-through: Left to right: Former President Jeff Mio, Warren Hong, Rafu Shimpo reporter J.K. Yamamoto, former MANAA President Aki Aleong, Mack Wei, Guy Aoki, Imad Jamal, board member Miriam Nakamura-Quan. Missing: Kathee Yamamoto, Emily Kung, and Jocelyn Aragon.

 

 

Second group which went to the 5:30 p.m. taping: Henry Cho, Eric Dunne, China Chen, Joanne Ho, Christopher Hoo, Jennifer Hsiao, Aaron Lemieux, Drew Mandinach, Emma Quan, Syena Sarrafpour, and Bryan Smith. Missing: Board member Tom Eng.

Second group which went to the 5:30 p.m. taping: Henry Cho, Eric Dunne, China Chen, Joanne Ho, Christopher Hoo, Jennifer Hsiao, Aaron Lemieux, Drew Mandinach, Emma Quan, Syena Sarrafpour, and Bryan Smith. Missing: Board member Tom Eng.

July 25-On LAWeekly.com, Dennis Romero reports in his article, “Kim Jung Un Clowned on Ashley Madison Billboard Near LAX: Anyone Offended?:”  “The cheaters’-dating website Ashley Madison today announced it has erected a billboard near LAX that punks Korean dictator Kim Jung Un and his portly, ashley-kim-jung-billboard_brightvertically challenged appearance.  The advertisement was launched on the occasion of… Un’srecent marriage to longtime gf Ri Sol Ju, according to a statement from Ashley Madison.

“The billboard at Century and Aviation boulevards says:  ‘Affairs Now Guaranteed. Even if you look like him.’  What’s wrong with looking Asian?  AshleyMadison.com CEO Noel Biderman stated: ‘Whether you’re the most powerful man in America, France, Italy or North Korea–you are destined to cheat. With 15 million members in 25 countries, even Kim Jung Un can find an affair on AshleyMadison.com.’

“Uh-huh.”  Romero mentions that Guy Aoki “has a problem with Jay Leno’s latest quip this week about North Koreans eating dogs (Leno’s been warned repeatedly about this stupid stereotype, he says).  Aoki has no problem with making fun of Un via billboard, though:  ‘I think it’s OK.  Hard to defend one of the North Koreans …’”

 

 

 

To not upset China, the villains in Red Dawn (italics) were changed from Chinese to North Koreans.

To not upset China, the villains in Red Dawn were changed from Chinese to North Koreans.

 

August 29-The China Daily News reports on the impact China is having on affecting American films (“Movie Makers Seek To Please Chinese” by Li Xiaokun and Liu Wei in Beijing and Kelly Chung Dawson in New York).

“Not too long ago, Western movie audiences’ idea of a Chinese character was Fu Manchu–an evil mastermind who plotted to take over the world…  But [now], Hollywood [is] acknowledging the growing importance of the film market in a country that is also rising in influence on the global stage.
“Ken Jurkiewicz, associate professor at the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University, said, ‘Hollywood is being very careful about how Chinese people are portrayed because they don’t want to lose a potential audience.’
“Guy Aoki… said movie roles are actually being altered to avoid provoking or angering Chinese audiences.  ‘The most recent example is Red Dawn, where they changed the villains [from China] to be North Korean. I think that’s a very big sign of how much they want to make money off of China. They don’t want to offend China or Chinese audiences,’ Aoki said.
“In June 2010, release of Red Dawn was delayed because of financial difficulties and amid growing controversy in China after excerpts of the script were leaked onto the Internet. Chinese media sharply criticized the film, with headlines such as ‘U.S. reshoots Cold War movie to demonize China.’”
Aoki continued:  “They had to digitally alter everything after the fact. So many American movies do not make back their budget on domestic box office, and they have to rely on overseas markets. China is becoming bigger and bigger, so they really need China now.  It’s positive in the sense that they’re less likely to cast Chinese villains … The reality is that when they have villains from China and Japan, it still affects Asian Americans. It’s positive to have less Chinese villains in Hollywood movies.”
“According to the Motion Picture Association of America, U.S. domestic box office takings in 2011 fell to a 16-year low.  Ticket revenue in the world’s largest movie market fell 3.5% to $10.2 billion… On the other hand, overseas revenues of U.S. films surged 7% to $22.4 billion… China’s box office revenue [was expected to reach a record]18 billion yuan [$2.83 billion] and surpass Japan to become the world’s second-largest movie market.
 “With the box office soaring 30% every year since 2003, China has become the new land of temptation for Hollywood studios…  A deal hammered out in February has increased the annual quota for foreign films in theaters to 34 from the original 20 and raised the foreign share of ticket sales from 13 to 25%.”
To attract that market, Chinese actresses popular in China are being added to Hollywood films.

 

 

September 4-The series, which averaged more than 2.5 million viewers per episode, is renewed for a second season.

Clowning around at a MANAA Meeting: Aki Aleong, board member Miriam Nakamura-Quan, and Johnny Lam donate money to buy an ad in the Rafu Shimpo to promote MANAA’s upcoming event (see next entry). Guy Aoki’s astonished and Elizabeth Lim, at least slightly amused.

Clowning around at a MANAA Meeting: Aki Aleong, board member Miriam Nakamura-Quan, and Johnny Lam donate money to buy an ad in the Rafu Shimpo to promote MANAA’s upcoming event (see next entry). Guy Aoki’s astonished and Elizabeth Lim, at least slightly amused.

September 15- MANAA, Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California (JAHSSC), and the Torrance Library sponsor a book reading/signing of Frances Kakugawa’s book Kapoho:  Memoirs of a Modern Pompeii.

 

Standing:  Dana Vinke, Secretary Guy Aoki, Frances Kakugawa, Iku Kiriyama; kneeling:  Zhan Geng, MANAA President Aki Aleong, and Johnny Lam.

Standing: Dana Vinke, Secretary Guy Aoki, Frances Kakugawa, Iku Kiriyama; kneeling: Zhan Geng, MANAA President Aki Aleong, and Johnny Lam.

It’s a series of short stories which covers subjects like the racism the author faced in Hawaii as a child after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, her struggle to make it as a writer and teacher because of her Hawaiian pidgin background, and dealing with her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s.

Over 120 attend and all 30 of the Kapoho books are sold, so the author takes names and addresses and mails autographed copies from her home in Sacramento.   Attending:  MANAA President Aki Aleong, VP Miriam Nakamura-Quan, Secretary Guy Aoki, Johnny Lam, Dr. Ray Quan, Zhan Geng, and former MANAA President Toshi Yang. 

AuntyFran-Torrance-crowd-ligthened

Thanks to JAHSSC’s Iku Kiriyama and the Library’s Dana Vinke for their help in promoting this successful event.

September 20-The event gets covered on the “This Week in Torrance” cable show on Channel 3

September 29-MANAA publicizes a second book reading/singing with Kakugawa sponsored by the Japanese American National Museum at the Center for Democracy in Little Tokyo.  40 attend and buy 30 Kapoho books plus some of her other titles.

 

Standing:  Dr. Ray Quan, VP Miriam Nakamura-Quan, Secretary Guy Aoki going “Gangnam Style” over Mack Wei, Alexandra Giffen (Public Programs Assistant, Japanese American National Museum), Frances Kakugawa; kneeling:  Johnny Lam and Christopher Vu.

Standing: Dr. Ray Quan, VP Miriam Nakamura-Quan, Secretary Guy Aoki going “Gangnam Style” over Mack Wei, Alexandra Giffen (Public Programs Assistant, Japanese American National Museum), Frances Kakugawa; kneeling: Johnny Lam and Christopher Vu.


Frances Kakugawa signs books for the crowd.

October 5-GLAAD releases its17th annual “Where We Are on TV” report on how the LGBT community is depicted by the networks.  Included are statements from the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition chairs on representation of Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, and blacks.  Guy Aoki is quoted:  “Although there are more Asian Pacific Islanders cast as regulars since we began annual meetings with the networks in 1999/2000, white regulars are still disproportionally represented, almost up to 80%. While we’re included in ensemble shows, we’re rarely the main star—the first name in the credits.  That’s why last Fall, the APAMC issued a challenge to the networks to air programs starring Asian Pacific Islanders within three years.

“Thankfully, Fox just debuted ‘The Mindy Project’ starring Indian American Mindy Kaling.”

October 12–Southern California Edison sponsors a table so MANAA can once again participate in the 17th annual Trivia Bowl sponsored by the Asian American Journalists Association at KABC7 in Glendale.  MANAA’s team includes MANAA President Aki Aleong, Secretary Guy Aoki,  Johnny Lam, Mack Wei, Howard Fong,  Luka Jazvic,  Christopher Vu, Ariel Levine, and Brian Zink.

Top row, left to right: Unknown, Howard Fong, Christopher Vu, Ariel Levine, Aki Aleong, Guy Aoki; bottom: Mack Wei, Johnny Lam, Luka Jazvic, and Brian Zink.

Top row, left to right: Unknown, Howard Fong, Christopher Vu, Ariel Levine, Aki Aleong, Guy Aoki; bottom: Mack Wei, Johnny Lam, Luka Jazvic, and Brian Zink.



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