For those living in the Los Angeles area, the Hollywood Fringe Festival is upon you. Perhaps you might have seen their flags flown throughout the city or perhaps you might have heard whispers of it from your actor friends yapping away about which fringe play to watch. And you go, “What the heck IS the Hollywood Fringe Festival?”
It’s been nearly a year since we were hit with the double whammy of Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johannson. Now with Iron Fist and Ghost in the Shell just around the corner, we’re joined by BuzzFeed News’ entertainment reporter Susan Cheng to let us know where Asian Americans currently stand in the greater pop cultural landscape.
When Yulree Chun stepped off Starline’s tour bus on Sunday, she didn’t expect herself to be in the center of attention at Hollywood’s biggest night — The Oscars. She and her husband, Patrick Tio, who recently returned from their honeymoon, were just planning on enjoying a nice day walking around Hollywood before they were asked by Starline “employees” to try out their new tour for free.
Chun and the other unexpecting tourists were told they would be viewing a special Oscars fashion exhibit but found themselves in front of the Dolby Theater among Hollywood’s elite.
While Chun and Tio were mingling with the celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Ryan Gosling, host Jimmy Kimmel called on Chun and asked for her name. Chun told him, “My name’s Yulree. Rhymes with jewelry.” This followed an exchange that would cause a bit of controversy on Twitter. Chun remained cool as she was too starstruck to think anything of it.
We got to chat with Yulree Chun about the event and how she’s now happy that everyone is able to pronounce her name correctly.
Like many others in this nation, I am still processing the results of election night and coming to acceptance [denial] that we will have Donald Trump as our Commander in Chief starting January 2017.
But what does this mean for the Hollywood entertainment industry, which is known to be overwhelmingly liberal? It is too early to exactly tell what the ramifications are but according to this Hollywood Reporter article, we may have rather troubling times ahead.
I am in no way presenting that being adapted for the screen is a measure of success. I am exploring why someone as beloved, talented, and influential as Octavia Estelle Butler hasn’t been presented on television, or projected 50 feet tall in a movie theater. Here is an excerpt of my explorations:
2015 was an interesting year for me. After finally getting back behind the camera at the end of the summer to shoot The CW’s Arrow, I found myself a couple of months later in a Federal building in downtown Los Angeles, trying to convince half a dozen security guards to let me make my EEOC appointment despite my expired driver’s license.
Luckily ACLU lawyer Melissa Goodman, the patron saint of women directors, was with me and was able to convince the no-nonsense guards that I wasn’t a threat.
Over the past weekend, The Hollywood Reporter released an article about the heightened alert placed on ethnic casting. The article starts off with the controversial choice to cast Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily in the upcoming Warner Brothers picture Pan, which will be a re-imagined take on Peter Pan lore. Throughout the article, unnamed producers and studio execs justify their casting decisions with the “tried and true” reasoning that it’s always the best actor being cast for the job, regardless of race, even if that means casting white people to play non-white folks. Ideally, I would be in full support of this idea as I think it really should be about choosing the best actor for the job, regardless of race and nationality. Ideally, casting should be “colorblind” because as actors, we are trained to bring a character to life as far removed from us as possible.
And that’s as far as I can go. No really, that’s it. This is where that dreamy ideal world I’d like to be in is instantly crushed by the not-so-sugary reality that “choosing the best actor for the job” and all that hippy dippy freedom-of-the-arts talk is usually reserved only for the status quo. Or in blunt politically incorrect terms: white people.