Let’s Talk About Toni Topaz on The CW’s ‘Riverdale’

Fans found themselves instantly falling in love with and wanting more from Vanessa Morgan’s portrayal of Toni Topaz as soon as she came onto our screens on Riverdale. Toni was first introduced in season 2, episode 3 “Chapter Sixteen: The Watcher in the Woods,” and became a series regular in season 3. Her portrayal provides representation as one of the only Black series regulars currently on Riverdale as well as her character being openly bisexual. So let’s take a look back at her journey and what we hope to see for the character going forward.

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Number One Son: Tarantino’s Bruce Lee Disrespect is Not New in Hollywood

In a survey conducted by The Asian American Man Study that asked “Who is the Asian American man you most admire and why,” the person with the second most votes was Bruce Lee.

The most votes went to “I don’t know/can’t think of one.”

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Hard NOC Life 215: How to Be ‘The Good Asian’ with Pornsak Pichetshote

For AAPI Heritage Month, Dominic and Keith are joined by writer Pornsak Pichetshote to talk about his new book, The Good Asian!

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NOC Interview: Benjamin Lobato on the Final Season of ‘Queen of the South’

Benjamin Lobato is co-showrunner of USA’s Queen of the South, which is currently airing its fifth and final season. The popular series tells the story of Teresa Mendoza, a woman who is forced to run and seek refuge in America after her drug-dealing boyfriend is suddenly murdered in Mexico. New episodes air Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA Network.

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Q&A with the ‘Kung Fu’ Cast and Showrunner

Presented by CAPE and The CW, join the cast of Kung Fu — Olivia Liang, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Kheng Hua Tan, Tzi Ma, and showrunner Christina M. Kim — and The Nerds of Color Editor-in-Chief Keith Chow for a conversation on reclaiming martial arts, shattering stereotypes, and being an Asian American family on primetime TV.

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Meet the New Oddjob in 007 Short Film ‘A Kill From The Other Side’

Almost two years ago, Greg Pak took the reins of rebooting the James Bond 007 comic book series but this time, having a revisionist take on a familiar and iconic villain, first introduced in the 1959 novel Goldfinger: Oddjob. Not only was the reimagined take refreshing and very much needed, the series itself was incredibly well done with the plot moving at a brisk pace, the action fun and invigorating to read, and the rivalry/bickering between James Bond and Oddjob (now known as South Korean secret agent John Lee) extremely entertaining and amusing to read.

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Disappointment For Người Tôi In HBO’s ‘Watchmen’

by Adam Chau

Since the finale of HBO’s Watchmen, I’ve been trying to reconcile my initial and absolute love for the show along with the eventual (and building) disappointment that I felt by the final episode for the Vietnamese characters and lịch sử brought into the show — but also keeping in mind that at its heart it’s a story about a Black Female Protagonist, the impetus for PTSD the Tulsa Race Riots, aka Massacre (which people still don’t know about), and the trauma and rising of a Black American lineage — không gia đình Việt Nam.

In that way it’s not a straight line from one thought to one conclusion — it’s the questions and the feelings they’ve brought up, their validity in a fictional world clearly designed to take on racism by POC, where there is inclusivity, but where I also can’t help but feel some of the underlying tones are still a recycle of already recycled stories, fictional and beleaguered, where Vietnamese and Asian Americans are still not fully embraced.

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Southern Fried Asian: Stanley Wong

On the latest episode of Southern Fried Asian, Keith is joined by the hilarious actor/writer/director whose credits include 21 Jump Street, The Big Short, and the award-winning short film Hand Fart, Stanley Wong.

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Check Out the Trailer for ‘Mech Cadet Yu’

If you haven’t checked it out already, Boom! Studios’ Mech Cadet Yu by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa has been one of the best comics to come out this year. Now, Pak has released an awesome new trailer for the series, whose trade is due in comic shops on January 3. Make sure you head to your local comic shop and pre-order by Monday, December 11 to guarantee your copy!

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Hard NOC News Roundup: Starfire, Bumblebee, Ed Skrein, & Death Note

Hard NOC Life returns with a rundown of the nerd news with Desiree Rodriguez. Later Edward Hong and Josephine Chang join to help review Netflix’s Death Note adaptation

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Diversity Within Diversity: Greg Pak Discusses Mech Cadet Yu

This week, Boom! Studios has finally released the first issue of Mech Cadet Yu, the most recent collaboration between comic book stalwarts Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa. To celebrate the book’s release, Greg returns to Hard NOC Life to explain the book’s creation, including its origins in the Secret Identities follow-up anthology, Shattered.

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We Need to Talk About Chuck Clayton on Riverdale

Originally posted on Just Add Color

Chuck Clayton has gone down as the first character Riverdale’s penchant for reinvention has revamped in the worst way possible. This is not the way for the show to enter its first Black History Month.

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Rogue One Subverts Asian Male Stereotypes — and That’s Important

Much has already been written about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — how it has added new context to the existing Star Wars franchise, how it is a movie ultimately about war.

Rogue One is also a movie that features three men of Asian descent — two East Asian and one South Asian — and, far from relying on stereotypes of “Asian Masculinity,” in fact subverts those stereotypes in a way that feels revolutionary for Western media. (Needless to say: spoilers.)

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Thirsty for Representation: Osric Chau on TV and Diversity

Originally posted at CAAMedia

When it’s all said and done, 2016 may go down as the year Hollywood finally recognized Asian Americans. At least that’s what actor Osric Chau hopes. The Canadian-born actor — best known to fans as Kevin Tran on The CW’s Supernatural and now as one of the stars of BBC America’s newest hit, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency — recently returned from Lisbon, Portugal where he was speaking on diversity in media as a part of Web Summit, one of the largest tech-focused conferences in the world.

In an environment dominated by innovation and technology, Chau realized society at large had to take on similar thinking. “We’re surrounded by thousands of companies that are really pushing our society forward and we have to do the same thing with tolerance,” Chau said. “It’s not just about ‘tolerating’ one another anymore; it’s about accepting people, making diversity a normal thing.”

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Moonlight Shines a Light on Black Masculinity and Sexual Identity

Originally published at Just Add Color

The buzz right now is for a film named Moonlight. The film, the second for writer-director Barry Jenkins, tells a haunting tale of a boy named Chiron whose battle throughout life is coming to terms with his identity as a gay black man. That identity is complicated by merciless taunts at school and a home life surrounded by drugs and hard drug dealers.

The film looks like it’ll become one of the most important films of the latter half of 2016 and into 2017, and rightfully so. When popular culture thinks of black men, they often think of them as how they are presented in Moonlight; as gangbangers and drug dealers. But in Moonlight, even those characters — including the main character, who later becomes a drug dealer himself in Atlanta because that’s all he’s known and that’s probably how he feels he can best hide himself and fit in — have a tenderness and humanity that is often denied them by society and, consequently, by other forms of media.

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New NBC Series Makes Light of Human Trafficking and Asian Stereotypes

Move over, Fresh Off the Boat! There’s going to be a new show in town that will diminish all the progressive work you’ve done for Asians.

Deadline announced recently that NBC has picked up a half-hour sitcom called Mail Order Family, a comedy about a widowed single father who orders a mail order bride from the Philippines to help raise his two preteen daughters.

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Being Latinx in Comics: Ignorance, Erasure, Whitewashing, Oh My!

What does it mean to be Latinx in comics?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a while now. Growing up snatching up whatever scraps of Latinx representation I could even if it meant settling for stereotypes, whitewashing, secondary character status (if lucky), and their stories ending in death. This is a plight many fans of color and other marginalized peoples can relate to. In comics, Latinx characters are often Latinx in name only, Spanish characters being positioned or promoted as Latinx characters, whitewashed, or having their Latinx identities erased.

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Who is Marvel’s Blaxploitation Luke Cage Comic Even For, Exactly?

by Charles Pulliam-Moore | Originally posted on Medium

Recently, Marvel sent out a press release teasing Cage –  an upcoming Luke Cage solo comic to be written and illustrated by Genndy Tartakovsky with inks by Stephen DeStefano.

The series, Marvel explains, takes places in late ’70s New York City where the “shoes are big, bottoms are belled and crime is rampant!”

Apparently Tartakovsky’s Cage is meant to be a send-up(?) of the era’s wave of Blaxploitation, which wouldn’t be so much of a problem were it not for the decidedly problematic art style the book it set to have:

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Which AAPI Actor Deserves the Nerd Grand Slam?

This week’s reveals from Doctor Strange and Ghost in the Shell are further proof that it’s hard out there for an Asian actor who wants to be in a genre film. Fortunately, there are a few AAPI actors who have claim to the coveted “Nerd Grand Slam;” that is, they’ve starred in a superhero franchise, a Star (Trek or Wars) vehicle, and an epic fantasy. But who is the nerdiest? Dominic Mah, from YOMYOMF.com, joins Keith to decide which actor is the One Nerd to rule them all.

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White Virgin/Whore of Color: #DaredevilProblems

I wasn’t gonna do this, but in a conversation on twitter, @BlackGirlNerds asked me to expand on what I recently called “Daredevil‘s White Virgin/Whore of Color Complex” and I would hate to disappoint. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not just trying to dump on Daredevs. I still love the first season, and the second season, despite serious problems, is still great television in a lot of ways.

But I hope — on this site especially — I don’t need to go over again why/how problematic representations of POC and women spread like mayonnaise over a beloved television property can be like an all-day, all-you-can-take, face-slapping machine. And Arthur Chu has already shown you the wasabi-infused mayo currently salmonellizing on Daredevil‘s bread.

I’m here to show you the ketchup.

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Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian Americans

Originally posted at The Daily Beast

I liked Daredevil Season 2 a lot. I didn’t like it quite as much as Season 1, but it was always going to be impossible to find someone to live up to Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on Wilson Fisk (who still effortlessly steals the few scenes he gets this season). But the writing and the acting for Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, is compelling as hell, enough to spark a lively debate about the appeal of vigilante justice and gun violence in American culture.

The tangled, messy web of corruption behind the death of the Punisher’s family, the complicity of the state and the media in creating him, his turnaround in becoming a criminal defendant in the Trial of the Century, and the moral ambiguity of Castle’s past as a soldier who exposes the American public’s hypocrisy by bringing the brutal logic of the overseas War on Terror stateside — that’s all great stuff.

The problem is all that great stuff is only half of Daredevil Season 2. There’s a whole other half that’s almost totally disconnected from the Frank Castle plot, the Nelson and Murdock law firm, and New York City politics. There’s a full 50 percent of Daredevil Season 2 that’s total crap, and that half is the part with the ninjas.

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