Rae Votta 「Fresh Off the Boat Gets a ‘Gaysian’」

Posted on March 31, 2015 commentaires
Rex Lee (right) in 「Fresh Off the Boat」 | Photo courtesy ABC


Since 「Fresh Off The Boat」, ABC’s freshman comedy featuring the first Asian-American cast on primetime in 20 years, hit the scene in January, it's been winning over hearts and minds with a combination of sharp wit, writing, and relatable family dynamics. The show hasn’t shied away from tackling important and interesting topics: notably, a scene where mother Jessica confronts 11-year-old Eddie about date rape. It was the most effective, non-PSA style moment in recent TV history — perfectly funny and perfectly on point. Now, after nine episodes, Orlando is finally getting a “gaysian” in this week’s episode, titled 「The Blind Spot」.

Oscar Chow (played by Rex Lee) is Jessica’s college ex-boyfriend, but he's not the first gay character to appear on the show. Earlier they set up Jessica’s obliviousness to gay men around her when she sold a house to two men as an accidental real estate agent. Oscar’s appearance brings this blind spot into focus. While Jessica (Constance Wu) wonders why her husband, Louis (Randall Park), isn’t jealous of Oscar staying at their house, the viewer is confronted with Jessica’s ignorance, but she’s not the only one missing something in the relationship. Louis can’t tell when someone likes him, and Oscar has very different memories of their time in college.

The episode is one of the more refreshing takes of a love triangle that really feels triangular, so we caught up with showrunner and writer Nahnatchka Khan and episode writer David Smithyman about creating Oscar Chow, the progression of gay characters on TV, and the media attention on television diversity this season.

Out: What was the genesis of this episode?

Nahnatchka Khan: We wanted to set up the fact that Jessica has a blind spot and can’t tell when people are gay. That’s why the realtor part, where she can’t tell the couple are a couple, set the table for this episode. We wanted to give Louis an equally obvious blind spot, where he can’t tell people are into him.

Was there pushback to how you set up the dynamics between Jessica, Louis, and Oscar and the twist that Oscar thinks he was dating Louis?

NK: When we pitched that on the phone to the studio, everyone laughed. They were surprised. They were on board.

David Smithyman: It also kind of makes Oscar seem not crazy. He seems like the most rational guy. He really was dating Louis. I think a lot of gay characters are predatory of straight characters, and we all didn’t want to do that. I think Oscar comes off as the most level headed of everyone.

NK: I think a lot of us have had relationships that we feel are full blown relationships in our head. But then you’re like, maybe that wasn’t what we thought it was.

Everyone is missing something, or misunderstanding different parts of their relationship.

NK: Exactly. That’s also fun with shared histories, especially from college. You need those people to fill you in. You all have different ideas of what happened.

Was it difficult to write a gay character set in the ’90s within the more progressive TV environment of today?

DS: It wasn’t difficult to write him as a gay character. To be honest, I didn’t even think of him as a ’90s gay person, I just thought about him as a proud gay man. He was still figuring it out, and I think a lot of gay people, myself included, go through different phases our identity of being gay. I think someone like Oscar, there are flamboyant parts to him. But there’s another side too, I think there’s a very romantic side as well.

NK: I think it was cool the way that David developed the character of Oscar. He is out, he’s comfortable who he is, and he doesn’t hide any anything about himself. he’s completely fine wearing a necklace that says "gaysian." He owns it. If he had been ambiguous or coy about the sexuality, I don’t think that would have played for [Jessica’s] story.

I want to talk about the ridiculous deadline article that was making the rounds, because 「Fresh Off the Boat」 was called out as part of the catalyst for this idea of more “ethnic casting” in Hollywood. Any response to that article?

NK: It’s so ludicrous. [Laughs] I don’t even know where to begin. The Shonda Rhimes response was the best I saw. What do you even say?

DS: White people have had it pretty good for a long time.

NK: It’s only been what, 70 years of television that’s been a certain way?

It’s interesting that the kids storyline didn’t touch much on Oscar or intersect, was that a choice or something that was cutting room floor?

NK: I feel like it’s just a function. We wanted to give the kids their own story because the triangle between Oscar, Jessica, and Louis is so interesting. To bring the kids into that felt like it would be a lot. But we also wanted to treat it, too, like it wasn’t a big deal. Nobody ever sits down the kids in the episode and says, “Here’s the thing about your Uncle Oscar.” There’s no gravitas. There’s no need to discuss it because he is who he is.

DS: I think one of the important points of Oscar being so openly gay, with the "gaysian" necklace and things like that. It was clear he wasn’t making an attempt to hide anything from the kids or the family. He was 100-percent himself. I have gay relatives growing up where you’re supposed to kind of keep it on the DL in front of family, and he doesn’t do that.

NK: Didn’t your [relative] live with the tennis coach, or something?

DK: He did, his full time coach.

NK: I mean, we’ve all had full time coaches that we’ve lived with...

Will we see any more of Oscar or more gay characters on the show?

NK: We’d love it. If we get more episodes ordered and Season 2, we’d love to have Oscar back. We feel like it’s part of the world, we’d love to have that representation. David and I are talking about franchising the Denim Turtle [a lesbian bar that Jessica takes refuge in at the end of the episode.]

What’s great in that scene is Jessica is so kind and open and caring, even though she’s got these huge blind spots.

NK: She feels comfortable there. That’s where she goes to feel comfortable. She knows everybody by their first name.

DS: We’re hoping to get Denim Turtles into 50 airports.

Author: Rae Votta/Date: March 31, 2015/Source: http://www.out.com/television/2015/3/31/fresh-boat-gets-gaysian-played-rex-lee
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Ira Madison III 「The Actor Who Is Changing How We See Asian Men On Television」

Posted on March 28, 2015 commentaires
In a leading role as an Asian character who’s not desexualized like most portrayals of Asian men, Christopher Sean — who plays gay baseball player Paul Narita on 「Days Of Our Lives」 — is breaking new ground.

Photo: Clinton Gaughran

Asian-American men on television have long been relegated to sidekick status (B.D. Wong’s Dr. George Huang on 「Law & Order: SVU」), and on the rare occasion that they do step into the forefront, it’s often in the form of desexualized characters (Masi Oka’s Hiro Nakamura on 「Heroes」). But when half-Japanese, half-white actor Christopher Sean joined 「Days Of Our Lives」 in November 2014, he took on a role unlike any other character on television, let alone daytime television: closeted baseball player Paul Narita.

“I had a big poster of Bruce Lee on my wall, and it is quite stereotypical … I didn’t really have someone that was relatable to me in that world for myself,” Sean, who grew up in Southern California, told BuzzFeed during a recent visit to the 「Days Of Our Lives」 set. “Only until recently, now that NBC is really opening the doors of diversity, they’re really giving [me] an opportunity to jump into the front light and give others a role model in some way.”

Since he first appeared on the series, Paul’s had his own arc — one involving the typical twists, turns, and love triangles of a daytime series. When he arrived in Salem for surgery on his arm, he found ex-boyfriend Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith) was living there as well. Sonny once proposed to Paul, but because he was in the closet, Paul turned him down. After admitting his feelings for Sonny again and being rebuffed, Paul had an affair with the man writing a magazine cover story on him. That man ended up being Will Horton (Guy Wilson), Sonny’s husband.

Yes, these are stories we’ve seen for years in soaps, but definitely a first for an Asian-American male character, let alone a gay Asian-American male character with a leading role. And Paul didn’t have to abandon his Japanese ancestry to have the spotlight. In fact, 「Days Of Our Lives」 embraced it.

As Paul’s storyline played out, Will urged him to come out in the cover story he was writing, but Paul feared coming out to his parents because of his grandfather, who only spoke Japanese. When Paul called to speak to his mother, he came out to her in English and she rebuffed him, also not wanting to upset his grandfather. But when Paul spoke to his grandfather in Japanese, he was stunned by his acceptance.

Sean’s own upbringing — his father was a member of the American military and his mother was raised in Japan — helped bring authenticity to Paul’s coming-out scene. His father and mother learned each other’s languages when his father was stationed on the USS Tripoli, which helped Sean learn the conversational Japanese he put to use when filming the episode.

And Paul’s story further breaks new ground in that he’s meant to have sex appeal and his love life plays out on-screen. “I’m immersed in 「The Walking Dead」, and Glenn is a great character,” Sean told BuzzFeed of the character portrayed by Steven Yeun. “At first he was a weak, scared character, and then they opened his character up. Now he shows sex appeal, and that’s what I’d like to portray on Days.”

On the surface, it’d be easy to compare Paul to a different Asian-American gay male character: Oliver Hampton (Conrad Ricamora) on ABC’s 「How to Get Away With Murder」, the primetime drama that won over audiences in its recently wrapped debut season. The series has garnered attention for the sex scenes between Oliver and Connor (Jack Falahee), which have certainly pushed the envelope, but are not driving the story. Paul’s on-screen sex scenes, however, very much are.

“Regardless of where it’s broadcast and whatever media outlet it’s put in, it’s still reaching people,” Sean said of the praise bestowed upon Days for its inclusion of same-sex sex. “I’d love for the masses to see more of it. I wish more people could see and understand that we’re in a time now where innovative storylines are [being broadcast on daytime television], about what’s happening nowadays.”

Daytime has often been on the frontlines of telling socially conscious stories, particularly Days. In May 1977, the interracial romance between characters David Banning (Richard Guthrie) and Valerie Grant (Tina Andrews) came to an end after receiving “a lot of hate mail from people threatening to stop watching the show,” Guthrie told the『Los Angeles Time』at the time. But nearly 40 years after David Banning and Valerie Grant were broken up due to intolerance, 「Days Of Our Lives」 is an entirely new landscape. And a safe one for a character like Paul.

Though Sean identifies as straight, he considers himself “extremely blessed” to portray Paul, whom he relates to on fundamental human levels. “He’s head over heels in love, and that’s the story we’re telling here. It’s about love,” he said. “And in that sense, I know exactly how that feels. To be insanely in love and you’re gonna do whatever you can to get what you want.”

The actor, who’s now 29, also always struggled to fit in, much like his character. “In my childhood, [we were always moving.] I had to be a chameleon to fit in to different cultures. I had to fit in different ways,” he said. “Paul … has to fit in with everyone.” For Sean, that challenge continued into the early stages of his career. “Something I battled with a long time was I’m not Asian enough to play Asian roles and I’m not white enough to play white roles, and this role of ambiguity I was in, nobody understood how to get me [work],” Sean said.

Perhaps thanks to characters like Paul, Oliver, Glenn, and Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) on 「Hawaii Five-O」, things are changing for Asian-American male actors, according to Kim, a friend of Sean’s. “I spoke with Daniel and he said this has been the best pilot season for Asian-Americans,” he said. “He’s had four friends that booked work, and that’s much more than normal.”





Porno gay ? Non, ce sont Paul Narita (Christopher Sean) et Will Horton (Guy Wilson) dans 「Days Of Our Lives」

「Days Of Our Lives」 airs weekdays on NBC daytime.
Correction: This post has been updated to accurately reflect Sean’s ethnicity as half-Japanese, half-white.

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Diplo × CL 씨엘 × RiFF RAFF × OG Maco 「Doctor Pepper」

Posted on March 26, 2015 commentaires
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Wahoub Fayoumi 「« Voici votre Asiatique qui se plaint »: la lettre ouverte qui répond à De Wever」

Posted on March 25, 2015 commentaires
Hendrik C. est belge d'origine asiatique. Néerlandophone, il a envoyé une lettre ouverte à la rédaction web de la VRT : les propos de Bart De Wever sur l'immigration, ce week-end, l'ont choqué.

« Cher Bart De Wever, j’ai aussi une expression pour vous : Exceptio probat regulam, c’est-à-dire l’exception confirme la règle ». C’est par ces mots qu’un internaute connu de la rédaction de nos confrères de la VRT commence sa lettre ouverte au président de la N-VA, publiée sur le site de la VRT.

Quelques jours après la sortie de ce dernier à propos des Berbères, sortie à l’occasion de laquelle il affirmait également que les « Asiatiques ne se plaignaient pas de racisme », Hendrick C. lui répond : « Voici votre Asiatique qui se plaint ».

« Non pas que je n’ai pas eu la belle vie : je viens d’une famille aimante. J’ai également appris le latin (même si je dois admettre que j’ai “googlé” le proverbe ci-dessus) », poursuit l’internaute avec humour, avant de parler de sa chance d’avoir étudié à l’université, d’avoir trouvé du travail, et d’en remercier son pays d’accueil. Et d’écrire : « Mais je vais me plaindre, comme un bon Flamand, même d’origine étrangère ».

Hendrick C. déroule alors ses souvenirs : « Pourrai-je jamais me plaindre de ce moment dans la file d’attente de Delhaize ? La vieille dame en face de moi a été choquée quand elle m’a vu et a commencé à serrer son sac à main. Je suis probablement sensible ? Que dire alors de l’époque où j’étais un adolescent, dépassé à vélo par un homme adulte qui a crié : “Retournez dans à votre pays”. Ou de toutes les fois où l’entrée dans une boîte de nuit m’était interdite ? »

Hendrick C. raconte aussi les insultes envers son père qui, travaillant pendant 30 ans, 6 jours sur 7, du matin au soir, se voyait reprocher de ne pas lire le néerlandais; les insultes envers sa femme, asiatique également. « C’est probablement de ma faute, je suis désolé de cet échec personnel », ponctue-t-il.

« Ce n’est pas parce que quelqu’un ne se plaint pas de racisme qu’il n’a jamais dû y faire face. Le racisme est partout. (...) Je ne vous souhaite pas une telle expérience », conclut-il.

W.Fayoumi (@wafayoumi) avec De Redactie


Hendrik C. 「Antwoord van een Aziaat aan BDW」


Beste heer De Wever,

Ik heb ook een Latijnse spreuk voor u: Exceptio probat regulam. De uitzondering bevestigt de regel. U zei dat u nog nooit een Aziaat heeft ontmoet die klaagt over racisme. Hier is uw Aziaat die gaat klagen. Niet dat ik het niet goed heb gehad: Ik kom uit een warm nest. Ik heb ook Latijn gevolgd (alhoewel ik moet toegeven dat ik bovenstaand gezegde heb gegoogeld).

Ik heb de kans gekregen om aan de universiteit te studeren. Ik heb net als mijn vele Aziatische vrienden en familie deftig werk gevonden. En ik ben België hier ontzettend dankbaar voor. Maar ik ga de uitzondering op uw regel zijn, ik ga eens uitgebreid klagen. Omdat Vlamingen naar ’t schijnt graag klagen. En ik geloof graag dat ik ook een beetje een Vlaming ben, zij het een van buitenlandse origine.

Een paar voorbeelden
Zal ik eens klagen over die ene keer dat ik in de rij van de Delhaize stond? Het oud vrouwtje voor me schrok op toen ze me zag en begon haar handtas harder vast te klemmen. Ik ben gevoelig waarschijnlijk? Wat dan van die keer dat ik als tiener werd voorbijgefietst door een volwassen man en luidkeels werd nageroepen: “Ga terug naar uw land!”. Of van al die keren dat de deur van een dansgelegenheid dicht voor me bleef. Het is waarschijnlijk mijn eigen schuld, een excuus voor mijn persoonlijk falen.

Wat dan van die keer met mijn vader? 30 jaar lang, 6/7, van ’s morgens tot ’s avonds heeft hij zich kapot gewerkt in een keuken om zijn kinderen een betere toekomst te geven. Hij had hierdoor geen tijd en motivatie om Nederlands te leren. Bij de verkiezingen had hij hulp nodig bij het stemmen. Toen hij het stemhokje verliet, moest hij het giftige commentaar aanhoren “Dat kan niet eens Nederlands en mag stemmen.” (Soms is het beter om geen Nederlands te verstaan.)

Wat dan van die keer dat mijn vrouw met eveneens Aziatische roots gewoon over straat liep en door twee mannen werd nageroepen: “5 dollar, sucky, sucky!”. (Neen, wij overdrijven niet.)

Ik bespaar u de voorvallen die mijn vrienden hebben meegemaakt. Ik hoop dat bij deze een misverstand uit de wereld is geholpen: het is niet omdat iemand niet over racisme klaagt dat hij/zij het niet ervaart.

Racisme zit overal
Ik wens u geen dergelijke ervaringen toe, maar indien u deze toch wilt meemaken, kan ik u aanraden om naar Azië te verhuizen. Want racisme zit in alle volkeren. Het punt is om dit te erkennen en er iets aan te doen. Niet om het te relativeren of erger nog, de schuld bij de slachtoffers zelf te leggen.

Want vertel me eens, meneer De Wever, wat denkt u te bereiken door te stellen dat racisme vaak als uitvlucht wordt gebruikt en dat het vooral om mensen van Noord-Afrikaanse afkomst gaat?
Integratie? Op deze manier denk ik dat Vlaanderen op vlak van integratie nog lang de trein zal missen.

(Hendrik C. is Belg van Aziatische afkomst. Zijn identiteit is bekend bij de redactie.)

Author: Hendrik C./Date: March 24, 2015/Source: http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/opinieblog/opinie/1.2281446

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Jimin 지민 feat. Iron 아이언 「Puss」

Posted on March 20, 2015 commentaires

Jimin 「Puss」 (4show Self-Produced Music Video Clip) - released on March 20, 2015.

Jimin se sépare des AOA le temps de participer à 「Unpretty Rapstar」, le survival show de rap féminin. En tant que seule idol du programme, l'expérience n'a visiblement pas été toujours une partie de plaisir, mais notre petite chatoune a su assurer, notamment avec le tubesque 「Puss」 featuring Iron.



Jimin feat. Iron 「Puss」 (live @「Unpretty Rapstar」) - aired on March 19, 2015.

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Snakehips feat. Kaleem Taylor 「Forever (Pt. II)」

Posted on March 18, 2015 commentaires

Snakehips feat. Kaleem Taylor 「Forever (Pt. II)」 - released on March 18, 2015.



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Red Velvet 레드벨벳 「Ice Cream Cake」

Posted on March 15, 2015 commentaires

Red Velvet 「Ice Cream Cake」 - from『Ice Cream Cake』released on March 15, 2015.



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Daniel W.K. Lee 「Rise of the Gaysians?」

Posted on March 13, 2015 commentaires
Porno gay ? Non, Brad Cooper (Parry Shen) & Lucas Jones (Justin Cooper) dans 「General Hospital」 !

I am not entirely sure if three instances of something quite elusive qualifies as an “emergence” but I’m not going to let technicalities take away from calling to attention to what I believe to be pretty fantastic. And that is: 1) the rendering of gay Asian American men who, 2) actually have sex (lives) on mainstream television – daytime and primetime! We have not one, but three gaysian characters on television at present: Brad Cooper (played by Parry Shen) of 「General Hospital」, Paul Narita (Christopher Sean) of 「Days Of Our Lives」, and Oliver Hampton (played by Conrad Ricamora) of 「How To Get Away With Murder」.

Let’s talk about HTGAWM first as it has been written about more extensively because of how the show has treated gay male sex scenes qualitatively equal to heterosexual scenes. Other gay commentators have criticized HTGAWM for its alleged bottom shaming – most notably J. Bryan Lowder’s treatise at Salon.com, while The Atlantic’s Kevin O’Keefe’s piece 「Gay Sex on How to Get Away With Murder: Offensive, Crass and Smart」 makes the argument that the bottom shaming in the show perfectly consistent with the extreme, transgressive behavior that all the characters in the show indulge in.

I won’t get into the merits of their arguments as you may read and assess them yourself, but significantly, what both fail to see is how main character Connor Walsh’s (Jack Falahee) interracial sexual trysts with Oliver constitute an unprecedented visibility for gaysian men. Played by out actor of Filipino-descent Conrad Ricamora, Oliver may be a bit of an IT nerd, but holy shit, he gets to have sex – more than once! My exasperation is because the cultural invisibility of the queer Asian (American) male is so complete that Lowder nor O’Keefe never even bother to identify the actor who plays Oliver, let alone the significance of a non-white rendering of a gay male who has sex*. How did these two white gay writers not see this, I wonder/not wonder.

Someone please direct them to Richard Fung’s seminal essay 「Looking for My Penis: The Eroticized Asian in Gay Video Porn」. Using North American gay porn to articulate his observations, Fung’s essay is instructive in understanding how these renderings of sexualized gay Asian Americans are a step forward, particularly with respect each characters’ sovereign desires not defined by or reframed to centralize white gay male desire. This is particularly relevant as all three characters are paired with white men (baby steps, I suppose).

Fung writes:
Asian men, however – at least since Sessue Hayakawa, who made a Hollywood career in the 1920s of representing the Asian man as sexual threat – have been consigned to one of two categories: the egghead/wimp, or – in what may be analogous to the lotus blossom-dragon lady dichotomy – the kung fu master/ninja/samurai. He is sometimes dangerous, sometimes friendly, but almost always characterized by a desexualized Zen asceticism. So whereas, as [Franz] Fanon tells us, "the Negro is eclipsed. He is turned into a penis. He is a penis," the Asian man is defined by a striking absence down there. And if Asian men have no sexuality, how can we have homosexuality?

I think of Jet Li in everything. Li has come to epitomize the desexualized Zen ascetic describe by Fung. I think of Lloyd Lee, played by Rex Lee, from 「Entourage」. I think of those handful of other (gay) Asian (American) male characters in Hollywood television or film who didn’t/don’t have a sex life, let alone a sex scene.

Porno gay ? Non, Paul Narita (Christopher Sean) & Will Horton (Guy Wilson) dans 「Days Of Our Lives」 !

As a genre, soap operas tend not to shy away from showing sexual intimacy. And to my relief and excitement, both 「General Hospital」 and 「Days Of Our Lives」 have not failed to depict hot sex for Brad Cooper and Paul Narita respectively. Hilariously, this sexy scene between Brad and his beau Lucas reference 「How To Get Away With Murder」 in their post-coital convo (around 2:44):

[La vidéo ne fonctionne plus :(]

And here, Days’ Paul Narita incites Will Horton’s adultery with an answer to a question:

[La vidéo ne fontionne plus non plus !]

Nearly 25 years later, these anomalies in mainstream media help Fung realize – to a degree – his “lifelong vocation of looking for my penis.” The “rise” of the gaysians suggest progress on many fronts against the sex(uality)-race status quo: first, the existence of gay Asian men; second, resisting the conflation of gay men with whiteness; third, the depiction of gay Asian men with sex lives which affirm their desire.

So many gay male characters have come and gone in film and television and so so few looking anything like me. What is at stake is not just expanding our vision of what is erotic, but with respect to the mainstream gay movement and culture, taking to task the ways in which the “gay ghetto,” remains, as Fung notes, “a site of racial, cultural, and sexual alienation sometimes more pronounced than that in straight society.” If “community” is not to be merely a rhetorical flourish, then must do our damnedest to do away with tokenism and the most thoughtless forms of integration, or inclusion, which fail to address the other -isms which alienate us from each other.

Celebrating our differences is not the same as creating divisons. I want to give props to the folks who have made Oliver, Paul, and Brad possible. I’m letting you know about these gaysians on television – especially if they have not been on your radar – because I want to let the world know my brothers are here – with all our sexual parts.

by Daniel W.K. Lee / @danielsaudade

Porno gay ? Non, Oliver Hampton (Conrad Ricamora) & Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee) dans 「How To Get Away With Murder」 !

*This idea of “rendering” is particular to Oliver in that he is not (yet) identified as “Asian American” in his storyline unlike the characters of Brad and Paul. However, this does not take away from registering his Asian-ness and his sex.

This essay was originally published at: Daniel Extra

Author: Daniel W.K. Lee/Date: March 13, 2015/Source: http://www.jake-talks.com/jake-voices-blog/2015/3/13/rise-of-the-gaysians

Daniel W.K. Lee
Official Website: http://danielextra.net/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/danielsaudade
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Hoai-Tran Bui 「Why 'Kimmy Schmidt's interracial romance is a big deal」

Posted on March 11, 2015 commentaires

Spoiler alert if you haven’t binge-watched all of 「Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt」 yet!

「Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt」 probably didn’t set out to break barriers when it premiered on Netflix last week, but the show managed to sneak one by us while we weren’t looking.

Near the end of the season, the titular Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) finds herself in a love triangle between a rich, white guy with a vaguely British accent and a Vietnamese immigrant named Dong (yeah we know, just bear with us). But despite her and our expectations, Kimmy doesn’t choose the white guy and ends up with Dong, played by the swoon-worthy Ki Hong Lee. That’s right, we got us a male Asian romantic lead. Here’s why this is a big deal:

There are very few Asian guys as romantic leads on TV
Name one that isn’t John Cho (RIP 「Selfie」). Outside of the martial arts movie genre, male Asian actors are rarely seen in the lead role, much less the romantic lead role. The few that are shown in relationships like 「Lost」’s Jin Kwon are shown to be initially controlling of their Asian wives. In Kimmy Schmidt, Dong transforms from a supporting character to an actually viable love interest to Kimmy, even beating out the smoking hot Logan for her affections. And this in spite of having an unfortunate first name, a broken English accent and an aptitude for math.

Asian guys are usually the asexual comic relief Dong managed to overcome the stereotypes that a lot of Asian male characters get stuck with. Just think Long Duk Dong in 「Sixteen Candles」. And think how that character is exactly the same as the Asian manager in 「2 Broke Girls」. In 30 years, we haven’t gone far from stereotyping Asian men as inspid, asexual, ridiculous characters with really bad teeth. But don’t worry they’re good at math and business so they don’t need a love life anyway.

Even Asian girls on TV are paired with white guys Kimmy Schmidt‘s Lillian (Carol Kane) summed it up pretty accurately as she showed her wallet full of conquests: “For some reason, that Asian fetish thing tends to go one way, white guys and Asian women. But swim upstream, and a lady can clean up. Trust me.” Yeah, it’s kind of a cringeworthy way of putting it, but it’s generally true in TV shows (and movies) too. Just look at Nick’s short-lived girlfriend Kai on 「New Girl」. Or Kira in 「Teen Wolf」. And every movie where Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise end up in Japan for some reason.

It’s not just a gimmick 「Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt」 didn’t give Kimmy an Asian love interest just for representation. For a show that’s about a girl who’s a fish out of water and an outsider, Dong is the perfect foil for Kimmy. And as he points out, they have similar phallic-themed names (Kimmy means you-know-what in Vietnamese, apparently). While their cute frolicking in the Central Park fountain and sharing an enthusiasm for the 「Ghostbusters」 restaurant could be totally innocent, Kimmy and Dong are on more equal footing than the guy who gives her a live dolphin as a present.

And though the season ended with their relationship on the rocks, what with Dong having to get married to Sonya from GED class to avoid deportation, we’re still rooting for these crazy kids.

Author: Hoai-Tran Bui/Date: March 11, 2015/Source: http://entertainthis.usatoday.com/2015/03/11/unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt-diversity/
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George Nozuka 「Don't Go」

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George Nozuka 「Don't Go」 - from『You Deserve Better』released on March 11, 2015.


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George Nozuka 「Lie To Me」

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George Nozuka 「Lie To Me」 - from『You Deserve Better』released on March 11, 2015.


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Jack Smith 「Interview: Gaysia author Benjamin Law」

Posted on March 10, 2015 commentaires
Benjamin Law. Photo: James Brickwood

Nudity, family valuers and the unique ‘gaysian’ experience

He’s accepted motorcycle rides from Balinese gigolos, jostled with media for a gawp at Japan’s biggest celebrity ladyboy and explored the horrific realities of being gay and HIV-positive in Myanmar.

Benjamin Law’s travelogue『Gaysia』, both humourous and poignant and now in its second edition, is a must-read for anyone wishing to learn about contemporary queer culture on the world’s most dynamic continent – including a chapter on what Law calls ‘that glorious beast of a city’, our beloved Beijing.

What prompted the decision to write『Gaysia』?

I’m a double-barrelled minority in Australia, and my friends have been calling me ‘gaysian’ for a long time – as a joke. My first book,『The Family Law』, was a memoir, and memoir-writing involves a whole lot of staring at the wall and trying to write about things that happened years ago, as you gradually go insane.

Whenever I’m working on a big-ish project, I’m always distracted by what else I’d rather be doing, and what I’d rather have been doing while writing『The Family Law』was travelling the world.

I also noticed a lot of the news stories I was reading were queer stories set in Asia: transsexual beauty pageants in Thailand; ex-gay organisations [that claim they can ‘cure’ people of being gay] in Malaysia; the decriminalisation of homosexuality by Delhi’s High Court [since re-criminalised]. I became curious about the human stories behind the news.

Finally, as a child of migrants, I tend to think a lot about what-if scenarios. Your parents’ lives are so removed from yours: not only are they a generation older, but they were also raised in another culture altogether. What would it have been like if I’d grown up in Malaysia, where my mother was born? Or China, where my father was born?

Do you feel there are themes that distinguish Asia’s gay awakening from the West’s?

Throughout all the countries I visited was the ongoing pressure to marry. Though a huge generalisation, Western and Asian narratives are often different in that the oppression in many Asian countries isn’t vocal – it’s the silence that’s often oppressive.

After your time in Beijing, what was your take on how queer culture is developing here?

There’s not much vocal or persistent homophobia, at least as we know it.

The gains being made are minor but important, like the man who recently took legal action against a clinic in Chongqing for trying to convert his homosexuality.

Did any tales from Beijing not make the final cut?

There was one particularly filthy evening at [gay club] Destination that didn’t make the cut. Mostly because it didn’t relate to anything else, but partly to maintain standards of decency.

How did you find the seedier side of gay Asia? Any changes to your own boundaries like, say, public nudity?

After Balinese nudist resorts and Japanese onsen, I’m pretty good with public nudity nowadays!

Since writing this book, various editors have gotten me to report on other stories that involve nudity, like nude yoga classes. Let’s say『Gaysia』relaxed me when it came to getting my junk out.

You outline religious, social and family conflicts as obstacles facing gay Asians. Which do you see as the main hurdle?

It’d be misleading to pick one, as if all three aren’t related to each other. People – especially Westerners – often talk about these aspects of life as being external, as if religious or family pressure would disappear if you could excise religion or family from your life. It’s not that simple.

Did your perception of Chineseness, both in the abstract and as applied to your own identity, change after you visited the Mainland?

A little. Even though I’m Chinese myself, spending so much time in Beijing made me realise that culturally, I am far more strongly Hong Kong Chinese than Mainland Chinese. Language-wise, I knew it was going to be different of course, but I don’t find it surprising at all that most young Hong Kong people see themselves as Hong Kongers first and foremost.

Do you think there’s anything old-world Hong Kongers and overseas Chinese can learn from the newly ascendent Mainlanders? Might your dad yet be convinced to don some made- in-China shreddies?

[Laughs] No, not quite yet.

Does your dad still think you made a choice to be gay?

That’s a good question. I don’t think so. He’s happy for me and my boyfriend, and takes our relationship seriously. He respects it.

And does your mum still put your being gay down to something going wrong in the womb?

[Laughs] Probably. But that’s her way of telling me she loves me, really.

From your perspective, is gay marriage something that can be slotted into Asian culture?

Some of my friends argue the necessity of same-sex marriage is far more important in Asian cultures, especially in China, where your ability to start your own family is vital to your parents’ social security as they grow older. But I’m sceptical whether social need outweighs cultural taboos.

If you could only return to one of the countries you visited while researching『Gaysia』, which would you choose, and why?

India. I’m in utter love with that country. It’s intoxicating. Despite the gastro.

Do you have any plans for a follow-up?『Gaysia』revisited? What’s your next big project?

I’m currently writing a TV show based on『The Family Law』. It’s being made for Australian television and we start shooting in May. It’s kind of nuts!



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Grimes 「REALiTi」

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Grimes 「REALiTi」 - released on March 08, 2015.

G-Dragon Makes Surprise Appearance In 「REALiTi」 Music Video By Canadian Singer Grimes

Canada, meet K-pop.

Canadian singer Grimes released a music videofor her song 「REALiTi」 on March 8, featuring sites around all of Asia, including Korean pop star G-Dragon. The singer appeared during a few scenes set in Seoul. Most of the video footage, including Grimes’ shots with G-Dragon, was shot during Grimes’ tour of Asia in March 2013.

G-Dragon, a popular south Korean solo singer and member of Korean idol group BIGBANG, appears about two and a half minutes into the music video, dancing to Grimes’ music and hanging out backstage with the singer.

In 2013, G-Dragon had shared photos of the two together.


[...]

「REALiTi」 was recorded in 2013, but due to a mishap, Grimes’ 2013 album was lost and never released. Grimes has announced that she will not be releasing the song on an album, but released it for fans on March 8.

Grimes left a message on YouTube to her fans regarding the situation with 「REALiTi」:

“Since this is no longer gonna be on the album, I’m releasing it as a special thank you to everyone in Singapore, KL, Manila, Jakarta, HK, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo who came out to the shows! It was an honor to play with a bunch of amazing bands and travel to places I would never otherwise be able to go

This song was never finished. its a demo from ~ the lost album ~, recorded early 2013. i lost the ableton file, so its not mixed or mastered. i tried to doctor the mp3 into a listenable state, but it was poorly recorded in the first place and never meant to be heard by anyone, so its a bit of a mess haha.

Grimes



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Yung Lean & Thaiboy Digital 「Diamonds」

Posted on March 05, 2015 commentaires

Yung Lean & Thaiboy Digital 「Diamonds」 - released on March 05, 2015.



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Jolin Tsai 蔡依林 「We’re All Different, Yet The Same」

Posted on March 03, 2015 commentaires

Jolin Tsai 「We’re All Different, Yet The Same」【不一样又怎样】- from『Play』【呸】released on March 03, 2015.


Singapore bans Jolin Tsai's lesbian-themed hit, 「We're All Different, Yet The Same」

Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai’s runaway hit 「We’re All Different, Yet The Same」 《不一样又怎样》has been banned from the airwaves and television screens in Singapore, according to Hongkong’s Mingpao News.

The ban was ordered by the city-state’s oxymoronically-named Media Development Authority – which really functions as a censorship board – and it means that television and radio stations will be fined if they air the song or the music video.

Under Singapore’s broadcasting code, content must not “in any way promote, justify or glamorise... lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest.”

In 2008, a local television station was fined 15,000 Singapore dollars (then 11,200 USD) for featuring a gay couple in a hit home-improvement show. The Media Development Authority then said the station was fined because the show “normalises their gay lifestyle and unconventional family setup.”

In a statement issued through her manager, Jolin Tsai said she was “disappointed” with Singapore’s decision as the song was her way of expressing her support of marriage equality through music. She would, however, “respect differences in opinion.”

The move makes Tsai the second Taiwanese singer to fall foul of Singapore’s laws for supporting the LGBT cause.

In 2014, Taiwanese diva A-mei was also told she could not sing her pro-LGBT song 「Rainbow」 at her concert in Singapore. The year before, she sang the song in Singapore with images of kissing same-sex couples on the screen, winning her loud cheers from the audience.

The music video for 「We’re All Different, Yet The Same」 features a wedding scene – and a kiss – between Jolin Tsai and Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin. It was inspired by the true story of a lesbian couple who had been together for 30 years. When one half of the couple was hospitalised and required surgery, her partner was unable to give consent because she was not legally recognised as a family member.

Despite opposition from a small, but loud, Christian minority, activists in Taiwan have in recent years been able to build support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage on the island.

Earlier this week, the municipal government of Kaohsiung, a city in southwest Taiwan, announced that it would allow same-sex couples to register their partnership at the city’s household registration offices.

Gay rights groups in Taiwan have however criticised the move as it is only symbolic and affords same-sex couples with none of the legal protections and benefits that come with a marriage license.

Jolin Tsai & Ruby Lin

Author: Kenneth Tan/Date: May 23, 2015/Source: http://shanghaiist.com/2015/05/23/jolin-tsai-singapore-gay.php

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