#WhitewashedOUT Twitter Chat with Margaret Cho to Kick Off AAPI Month

Today is the first day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Hollywood has been preparing for this month by announcing film after film after film with white people playing Asians. To that end, we’ve teamed up with some of the minds behind #WeNeedDiverseBooks and comedian/actress Margaret Cho to launch a new movement to tell Hollywood we are #whitewashedOUT.

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#WhitewashedOUT with Lexi Alexander and Shaun from No Totally

Another week, another whitewashing controversy to unpack on Hard NOC Life. This time around, we welcome back NOC-favorite director Lexi Alexander and Shaun Lau from the podcast No, Totally! to break down Doctor Strange screenwriter Robert Cargill’s statements about why they whitewashed The Ancient One. They also chat about Keith’s New York Times op-ed and announce the new hashtag campaign #whitewashedOUT.

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Supergirl: An L.A. Story for Today

by AJ Joven

It must have happened when I noticed Kara running in front of a slightly obscured monument that could only have been at Pershing Square. The flat sky scrapers, palm trees, and the technicolor brightness of the world all felt so familiar. An alien, misunderstood and hiding in plain sight, here in DC’s analog of Los Angeles is what makes Supergirl such a watershed moment: it takes this specific angle of the City and wears it unabashedly. As I’ve been playing catch up on the series (sorry… as a Filipino, I’m generally late to everything), I’ve found lots to like about the confident voice in Supergirl. Often steeped in questions of identity, Supergirl’s writers send up the concepts of being a professional woman, a millennial, and, most personal to me, an immigrant with swagger and intent. Seeing National City be so clearly depicted as Los Angeles (seriously, that flat top sky line is unique, y’all) and all of the auxiliary connotations involved in that is not, to my mind a mistake. It is, however, a first.

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Night of the Waking Astronomer

Being stuck in Nashville — proud home of country music, the Confederacy, and the Klan — I don’t go out often. To be more accurate I really don’t go out ever. For me to emerge from my Batcave of Solitude, there had better be a good reason. A very good reason.

This past Friday there most certainly was a reason for me to venture out into the wasteland known as the Music City. Comic book artist, rock musician, Jane-of-all-trades, Renaissance Woman, fellow Atlanta native, and the epitome of Black Girl Magic, Afua Richardson, announced on social media that her band, Waking Astronomer would be in town performing at the Exit In.

She already had me at “Afua Richardson would be in town.”

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Battle Angel Alita Lead Role Once Again Devoid of Asian American Prospects

In 2015, Nerdist announced that the live-action adaptation of the famed Japanese anime had been revived by directors James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez. Battle Angel Alita, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi action manga/anime written by Yukito Kishiro, is set in the 26th century and follows the female cyborg Alita, as she trains to become the world’s most deadly assassin. The latest report from the Robert Rodriquez/Jame Cameron production reveals that the filmmakers have their top three actresses for the lead role: Maika Monroe, Zendaya (who is the front runner), and Rosa Salazar. In other words: more bad news for Asian American actresses.

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NOC Recaps The Flash: Nurture vs. Nature

One of the best things about Barry Allen is how he recognizes and appreciates his support system. From the beginning, he’s been a team player: willing to ask for help, seek guidance, and collaborate. It’s one of his greatest strengths, which probably stems from the roots of the home he was raised in with Joe and Iris West. Barry knows that their support is what shaped him into the man he has become despite the tremendous, life-defining tragedy that struck him — like lightning — as a ten-year old.

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NOCs of the Roundtable: Why is Chris Hemsworth a Movie Star?

This weekend, Universal Pictures’ Huntsman sequel Winter’s War — which brought back stars Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron along with franchise newcomers Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain — failed to top the box office, bringing in a paltry $20 million despite a massive production budget, a marketing campaign that promised a sort of live-action mashup with Disney’s Frozen and Brave, and a cast full of bona fide movie stars. Well, they keep telling us they’re movie stars. Take Hemsworth, for example. Since the last Huntsman movie, and not counting his Marvel ones, his films have all disappointed at the box office. If “bankable” results are the criteria for movie stardom, why does Thor get a pass? The NOCs come back to the Roundtable to discuss.

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The Nerds of Hamilton

For this week’s edition of Hard NOC Life, we’re changing it up and focusing our attention on a genre that doesn’t get much attention on the site: musical theater! At a time when Hollywood still thinks it’s risky business to put people of color in their movies, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is literally poppin’ a squat on conventional wisdom, like it or not. With its company of African American, Latinx, and Asian American actors playing the men (and women) who founded our country, Hamilton is proof that diversity equals box office. Joining Keith to talk all things Ham, are super-fan Constance Gibbs, Hollywood Reporter Rebecca Sun, and #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign.

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The Beautiful One

Truth be told, music has a much stronger hold on me than geek culture. While I love all things geek/nerdy/afrogeek/astroblack, music is how I experienced love. Growing up in an immediate household that was nothing but abuse and the absence of love, music was my portal to some place safer. My mom was a horrible mother, but she built upon a stellar record collection. A collection that she’d let me listen to without being beaten. After our year of frozen homelessness, we got an apartment where the previous tenant left a sizable record collection. Among the Chaka Khan and Rufus, Mandrill, Chuck Mangione, The Wailers, Miles Davis, and Santana albums were Prince’s For You and Dirty Mind. Despite the racy content, my mother and I listened to those albums until they were warped and scratched beyond all hopes of rescuing. We loved it because it sounded so different compared to anything else we listened to — which was mostly reggae and jazz. But it wasn’t until 1999 dropped in ’82 that I had to come to terms with the idea that Prince was going to be one of the foundation stones of my pop cultural biography. Continue reading “The Beautiful One”

N.O.C. One-Shot: Whitewashing in Black and Yellow

As reported by The Hollywood ReporterFresh Off the Boat star recently caused controversy after likening studio attempts to make Scarlett Johansson seem “more Asian” to the practice of blackface. In this One-Shot, the author of that article, Rebecca Sun, and #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign join Keith to discuss the problematic nature of that analogy and why it’s important for non-black people of color communities to reach out rather than co-opt.

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