Here’s what I read this week!

Daniel Dae-Kim opens up about Hollywood’s diversity issue for Asian-American actors: Daniel Dae Kim was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Ryan Gajewski about his upcoming directorial debut on Hawaii Five-O, but he also revealed what he thought about the Academy:

It’s disconcerting to me that, in 2014, we have one of the most reputable awards shows in our industry [the Oscars] with only white nominees. The issue really is not in the nominees–the issue to me is really in the makeup of the Academy in general. People will tend to vote for experiences that are close to their own[.]

He also talked about what Asian-Americans face in the industry, saying, “When it comes to the casting of Asian-Americans, I find it fascinating that we as an ethnicity are the only ones who are subject to nationality-specific casting.”

Hollywood’s missing tons of untold stories: Activist Jose Antonio Vargas and film producer Janet Yang wrote an op-ed for the LA Times about the lack of diverse storytelling in Hollywood. They wrote:

A study by the University of Southern California of the top 100 top-grossing films of 2012 found that Latinos are the most underrepresented group on screen, with only 4% of speaking roles, while Asian actors account for 5% and blacks (approaching their percentage of the population), 11%.

 Growing up Asian in a white society: Fresh Off the Boat has given voice to an experience of America that we’ve not really seen on TV before. But Eddie Huang’s experience isn’t the only type of Asian-American experience there is (obviously). Lilian Min wrote about her experience and how it contrasts to Huang’s, and gets a little into the critiques Huang has since faced for what could be interpreted as dabbling in some black cultural stereotyping/appropriation as well as critiques on the lack of stories centered around Asian women.

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The Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project: I was tweeted this article about Bisila Bokoko and her literacy project, which spreads the joy of reading throughout Africa. In this article, she relates how she and James Bayanai, a lawyer from Zimbabwe, not only set up the first BBALP Library, but established a scholarship for children in Chirumanzu, Zimbabwe.

Diversity leads to more money: As TV has found out, movies are now realizing that films with more diverse casts do better at the box office, according to a study by Darnell Hunt and Ana-Christina Ramon. No surprise, seeing how everyone wants to see themselves reflected back to them on screen.  However, as the study states, the problem is that Hollywood isn’t getting the message fast enough. The study states that “an industry culture that routinely devalues the talent of minorities and women” is at fault. The Hollywood Reporter writer Austin Siegemund-Broka has more on the study. 

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