TFP has noticed in the last week or so, an inordinate amount of BODY SHAMING recently, nationally, in the Broadway community, er…Off Broadway, and internationally. Movie stars, athletes, and stage actors have all faced it, and have spoken up about it, which TFP applauds.

When Katelyn Ohashi had a chance, winning her BEST PLAY Award at the ESPY Awards, she took her shot back at internet trolls who said some nasty things about her online.

 Good for her for calling them out. Women’s Gymnastics has had a shattering past two years, it is athletes like Ohashi that will turn it around.

As she said, the leotards in gymnastics seem to be primed to invite comment – but what about vacations?

Actors get no time off from the gym? From dieting?

Folks had an issue with Jason Momoa, a literal Gawd among us heathens!

They called him fat for his ‘Dad Bod” while on vacation!

That is not a Dad Bod, Dudes – for real. There is no beer gut or clear examples of a guy who was in shape when he was young, letting it go quite happily to deal with family and work.

Y’all, come ON – it is JASON MOMOA – he is not, has never been overweight.

Even if he is looking a bit less like Aquaman in this really bad, taken without his knowledge, photo – he likely falls into the healthy parameters for his height and weight.

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KIM CHI SLAPPPPP to the Folks feeling like they can climb on and attack these two mixed race people at the TOP of their professions!

Jason Momoa and Katelyn Ohashi –

EAT ALL THE THINGS!

ENJOY YOURSELVES! DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO!

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Here is what – diversity or inclusion does not mean only skin tone and ethnicity, while it includes body shape and size, it includes performers with disability AND it includes people of the LGBTQ community AS WELL.

Get it, AS WELL.

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TFP was very sad to read and then hear the comments of Theater Critic, Peter Filichia and radio host/owner, James Marino as they reviewed the Off Broadway show, CAMP MORNING WOOD, on Broadway Radio.

They did not talk much about the show and it’s themes,  performances, the writing, the jokes –  NOPE!

What interested them most was the size and shape and genital endowments of the Actors, and commenting about them and what led them to be cast in a play that occurs within a nudist camp.

One can only listen to their giggly chortling as they discuss other males and their penis sizes, and shudder. It had nothing to do with theater, except that the show was viewed in a theater space.

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This was not theatrical criticism.

This was two men, who would likely never be asked to be naked in public, much less on the stage – making really bad dick jokes.

Though the two gentlemen in question are absolute beauties themselves with FLAWLESS physiques…

 Now, if TFP were to to on to criticize THOSE two bodies in particular, then all and sundry would be coming after her.

Because how DARE she criticize white men. Particularly white men of the extended theatrical community who have long thought they lofted above the fray.

What if she asked you to imagine them naked and try and guess their penis size – and then invited you to laugh at them because you did not guess, well, generously?

you-think-im-evil-gifWould that make you uncomfortable? Would you think, “Hey – that is not what I am looking for when I read an article,”.

Well, yes.

That is the point.

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These men whose jobs would not exist if Talent did not take chances and put their work on the stage and on the page, only to provide them with free tickets so they could come to a show and giggle like pre-teens in a locker room over something that is entirely natural.

After all – ‘Everyone is born naked and the rest is Drag” – thank you, RuPaul.

TFP wants to be clear – if you are a Theater Critic and you attend a show, you may talk/write about the performances (Nay/Yay), the writing, the scenery, the direction, the costumes, the lights, the sound, what you may NOT do, is conclude that Actors’ bodies are up for your disdain or amusement.

It means not only during interviews do you not touch performers’ bodies physically, it also includes not harming them in print and on social media by mocking the bodies that you are not touching.

You do not imply that their breasts are either not big enough or too big for a role. That they are “Too Black, too Asian, too Latinx, Not Native American ‘enough” to be in that role.

THAT IS NOT YOUR JOB!

We do not care what you think of our hips, noses, eyes, eye shape, legs, thighs, lungs, hands, arms or any other body part that a ‘critic’ could nitpick and that list DEFINITELY includes penises.

Heaven knows what these guys think of Performers with Disabilities!

Actors bodies are their instruments. Actors bodies are wonderful, fluid things that help ensure a great performance, but the manner in which genetics assembled their parts is not for comment. By a professional ‘critic’ or by anyone else.

TFP is fairly certain that the White Male Critics are circling like sauropods after a meteor strike – and the only thing that would ‘save’ them, would be empathy. But empathy – as we have seen with the current administration – seems to vanish the closer one gets to power. The more they believe in their own taste level, the more they feel that their knowledge extends past theater to any subject they would like to wax on about.

Where TFP and the rest of the Broadway Community are asking – after numerous troubling reviews by White Critics – is, isn’t it time that people without empathy stop reviewing shows? And Films? And Dance Pieces? And Art Installations? They do not seem to even like going to these shows, so why drag it out?

What is needed are Critics of differing background, different ways of identifying, people who still love it – even though for so long they have been shut out of it. Get people who love theater.

If you have no ability to do the research into what you are about to view – or indeed have no interest in doing so, and creating that empathy, creating that bond between audience and actor – why are you even doing it in the first place?

Broadway Radio sells subscriptions. It makes money on the love people have for the theater. Yet it seems to hold Actors in contempt. It gives space for promotion and interviews where they fawn over the ‘big fish’, but it is not what you do when ‘everyone’ is watching – it is what you do when you think no one can see you that matters.

The disdain they had for the Actor’s bodies in CAMP EVER WOOD is the disdain they have for all Actor’s bodies.

Frankly, if Broadway people decide NOT to do interviews or allow coverage to Broadway Radio – it would fold pretty fast. There are a lot of people out there making their living on Broadway that would be ‘fat shamed’ by these critics. Or “thin shamed” etc. etc. etc.

Time for Broadway Performers and Producers to take a stand as to what is allowed, and what is not.

Tick tock Broadway Performers, tick tock.

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Because if all Performers now have to meet the very rigid standards that these two men have decided upon, then stories will be less interesting. Stories will be unable to be told to be best of the shows abilities because everyone will have to meet the measurement requirements and weigh ins.

That is what Broadway and Off Broadway Actors do – we tell stories.

Theatrical Critics have degrees in theater criticism (one hopes) and not body policing.

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The Actors in question were playing members of the LGBTQ community, and one in particular, Anthony Logan Cole, was targeted because within that community, he falls into the “Bear” Category.

The comments towards him were the most egregious.

TFP takes that very personally because Bears ( and they know who they are) are among her closest friends, and she will ‘stan’ for them as much as they have for her. She has attended their weddings, their funerals, their birthdays, viewing parties – they are part of her extended Family. She loves them.

Bears are reliable AF.

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“Bears” are men in the Gay Community who have strong, hardworking bodies, who are not afraid of what other people think of them, and they tend to have a robust way of looking at life. They are, in general, men who would be considered “thick” in common parlance – and all the variations that entails.

It is great that Mr. Cole was on the stage and proud to be so- and TFP would have enjoyed seeing/hearing a review of his performance.

Here is the cast photo, taken by Michael Wiltbank – see if you can find “The Bears”.

There are two.

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Mr. Cole was portraying a character whose body was supposed to look exactly as Mr. Cole’s looks.

Which is, let’s face it – AMAZING!

Yay playwright Marc Eardley!

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The LGBTQ community comes in all sizes and shapes and colors – and not everything is NAKED BOYS SINGING – sometimes it is CAMP MORNING WOOD – and that is ok.

It is a relief.

We need diversity in every aspect of the stage and productions – ‘we’ need it. It cannot continue to be the realm of people who have hit a genetic lottery with body type – it just cannot. It is unrealistic and leads to lower self esteem across the board – ACROSS THE BOARD!

These instances are people who are highly visible who know that this can be ‘part of the game’  – can you imagine what the effect is on a kid ‘following along’ at home – watching people at the top of their professions being ‘fat-shamed”?

What happens to that kid? Do they get an eating disorder? Do they self-harm?

People who do not fit into the expectations of White Male Critics of a Certain Age should be able to turn in a performance without worrying that the requirements of a script, and their commitment to it, is going to bring on attacks in platforms heard around the country.

In this case, the play and the actors made a commitment to being naked on the stage. Then a critic attends and instead of seeing the show – he starts looking at the penises.

Then he goes BACK to the place that sent him to review this show, and talks ABOUT THE PENISES.

He did a PENIS REVIEW!!!!!

alyssawhat-1503331755For those who think TFP is being ‘too sensitive’ or a ‘snowflake” – rest assured that OnStageBlog has done a quick review of this critic in the past, and it seems Mr. F cannot help himself but to allude to how attractive he finds someone in a show. Or what he thinks their weight should be. That the comments prior did not send up red flags, is a shame.

Think, before you make that charge about ‘too sensitive’ – what would that man say about you and your body? Really think on it.

What if it was your child? What if it was your Significant Other?

What if someone told you your hips were too big to be in a show?

What if they told you something about your lips or hair or you were too thin?

You were too ethnic?

Too ‘Normal”.

This is an insidious business.

a153673298cc4ab08f6c92abd53d1277ebc41df8_rTrue Story:

TFP once got a call from CBS, where WAS she?

Didn’t she KNOW she had to come in RIGHT AWAY!!! NO ONE ELSE COULD DO THIS PART! TFP had been in their Diversity showcase, so she was very flattered. She got off the plane and rushed right over.

She went in, she got her sides – the sides were “Morbidly Obese Asian Woman”.

TFP was between a size 6-8 at the time.

The Head of Casting thought she was “Morbidly Obese”.

The Casting Director walked in, shook his head and rolled his eyes.

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Go back and read what he said about other shows and the bodies in those shows – it’s an issue. He should not be reviewing shows – and especially not on the radio.

TFP sentences Broadway Radio to 150 whacks of the wand, a session of sensitivity training and early retirement of these problematic views and people.

And, she has been dying to say this, so here goes….

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THE FAREWELL a film by Lulu Wang is opening this weekend in New York and Los Angeles and soon, around the country.

If you are able to see it the weekend it opens when it comes to your town – please grab a ticket. AAPIs are not guaranteed a place in the showbiz pantheon due to the success of a RomCom that is a lovely RomCom, but nevertheless, a RomCom that had a huge theatrical opening.

Once.

As in it was the only AAPI Rom Com that has opened on a national level in theaters.

Ahem.

THE FAREWELL  looks to be a beautiful, gut wrenching comedy based on the Director’s real life, as to what it means to say goodbye, when one of you knows that it is forever.

TFP also had a Grandma that lived overseas….she is sure many others have as well.

It also highlights the differences between Asian Americans and Asians in the Homeland, wherever the homeland may be, which is a great discussion to continue to have.

OPENS THIS WEEKEND, JULY 12TH!

GET YOUR TICKETS AAPI AMERICA!

AND CALL YOUR DAMN GRANDPARENTS!

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Finally, would like those who are in New York City, or commutable distance to join TFP at the additional screening of Director, Leon Le‘s critically acclaimed film, SONG LANG on August 1st.

Tickets are avail HERE.

OOoh looks beautiful.

Showbiz can be as vast as the ocean and have as much diversity – it is these opinions from both Trolls and in the above case, two Theater Critics that keep it from being that way.

The Gatekeepers only want glam, well endowed, sexy AF GLAM or GET OFF THE STAGE!

Yep not here for THAT!

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TFP out.

 

The Fairy Princess has noticed a lot of AAPI ‘Winning” going on – much beyond, of course, the King, Keanu Reeves.

First off, on “The Broadway” attention must be paid to – no, NOT the TONY Winners, they have enough attention…the little show who was parodied but never mentioned, BE MORE CHILL by Joe Iconis.

Why, you ask?

Because in a show that is about – NOT a brothel, harem, warin a show with NARY a hoop skirt or scantily clad bikini to be found – in a show about HIGH SCHOOL in AMERICA – they had NOT one, not TWO, not THREE, but FOUR AAPI ACTORS ON AS PRINCIPALS in ONE NIGHT!

This is so remarkable that “Michael In The Bathroom“, George Salazar – who is, of course, one of those AAPIs – tweeted it out so that attention could be paid – and THANK YOU George, for doing so.

Please enjoy the song that was parodied on the TONYS – MICHAEL IN THE BATHROOM – and please BUY A TICKET TO THE SHOW!

Here’s why – when shows do not win TONY Awards…they close.

Because Broadway Math is hideous.

Because Broadway Theater Owners want to be reassured that they will continue to ‘make that nut’- and that is what a TONY Award tells them.

Because Broadway is just too damn competitive.

Has absolutely nothing to do with how good a show is or how many people it touches or how great the Cast is.

Not saying anything about BE MORE CHiLL’s box office at all- that is just Broadway and how it works.

The question is SHOULD a show that is this NON WORRIED about FOUR AAPI LEADS going on in one night – in a show that is not a ‘traditional’ AAPI musical – SHOULD that show not be supported by AAPIs?

It should. In droves.

Buy a damn ticket. Right HERE.

Because if it happened once, it will happen again – and don’t you want to take your teenager to see a show where they see themselves? Where the thought is – hey – this should be a commonplace thing, no biggie – but it has NEVER happened in TFP’s memory.

NEVAH.

In a show that is not about SPECIFICALLY AAPI stories, this has NEVER happened.

FOUR LEAD ROLES.

FOUR.

NEVER. HAPPENED. BEFORE.

(And don’t @ me with “Hamilton…” – that is a tour.

It is super great that it is happening on tour – but this is Broadway. Without any dissing intended- four AAPI leads has not happened in that particular show as it plays Broadway – though they have 2 AAPIs as Hamilton alternates (Eddy Lee, Marc de la Cruz– who also alternates for King George) dancers, etc.

HAMILTON is great. HAMILTON is genius.

HAMILTON did not replace an AAPI lead that had a TONY Nomination with another AAPI person, although on the tours – they have had AAPIs. That is not blowing things out of proportion or doing anything other than stating facts.

TFP loves HAMILTON. She is just stating facts.)

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Anyway, ALL HAIL BE MORE CHILL – long may it run!

ALSO super cool – in the U.K., across the pond, there is PROGRESS because the FIRST PLAY about British Vietnamese people has made it to the stage!

SUMMER ROLLS by Tuyen Do!

Tickets HERE

Full production!

Cast is 100% People of Color!

60% Vietnamese!

Here is the trailer:

If TFP was in London, she would go see it.

GO SEE IT – It opens June 19th!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qpipLfMiaYU

Congrats To Eugene Lee Yang from The Try Guys from Buzzfeed, who, during PRIDE Month has ‘come out’- and as it turns out, is quite the dancer.

Also – Jeremy Lin is the First Asian American to win an NBA Title – that must be a sportsball thing, but it is cool as hell – especially when he wears the Sandra Oh quote shirt that supports East West Players, so yeah for Sportsball!

Speaking of Sandra Oh – her show, KILLING EVE on BBC America had the highest ratings of any show on the network for it’s second season, so YAY!

Likely there will be a third and OH… speaking of a third season….

So the phenomenal show WARRIOR which is showing on CINEMAX here in the USA, and has just been released in the U.K. – was renewed for a second season, which is shot.

However they have NOT been picked up for a third season…yet!

Which has TFP like…what is going ON? Makes her head wanna go…

Which is important because it is a vision into the humanity of AAPIs in America. It is about the price that was paid, by our forefathers and mothers to get to a place where they had a chance to change their destiny.

If America is a country of immigrants, and it IS – then “our” story, or at least a reasonable facsimile of an aspect of it, needs to be told. Understanding and tolerance comes from acknowledging that we have all struggled to get to the United States – and along the way – we have all faced bigotry, we have all faced poverty, crime, but our people came ANYWAY.

It comes originally from the mind of Bruce Lee, and has been brought to you by his daughter, Shannon. It is everything we would like to see about our true arrivals, our first arrivals to this country.

She is asking y’all to watch WARRIOR in whatever form it is available to you – not JUST because it is about the beginning of AAPI America – but because it shows us sexy, virile AAPIs who are fighting back against the power structure – and who knows, if they had won – the whole world might be different, no?

And then she is asking you to TWEET @Cinemax to ask them to give WARRIOR a third season, come on Folks – you know the drill. #WarriorMaxS3 or whatever, maybe that is not catchy enough – but…you get the idea, yes? Let them know you watch the show and you want more of these stories.

In between watching ALMOST BE MY MAYBE on repeat, on NETFLIX, you have time to send a tweet or an Instagram.

If you want to see yourself you have to show up – buy a ticket to an AAPI Film Festival– the ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL – aka AAIFF is happening in NYC JULY 25th – August 3rd – BUY SOME TICKETS!

Here is just a sample of the outstanding work that you will be seeing:

This is SONG LANG, which will premiere in NYC on July 7th – it has already won 22 International Awards and will play at Lincoln Center! Directed by Leon Le, it looks phenomenal. Congrats Leon!

Which concludes TFP‘s shilling for projects she is not associated with, but thinks you should be aware of.

Remember – it is not enough to smile softly when you see something good happen – you have to support the people and programs that helped put that smile on your face.

TFP out.

 

The Fairy Princess has been watching the fervor over #AlwaysBeMyMaybe – written by Ali Wong, Randall Park, and Michael Golamco, which is now appearing on #Netflix.

It’s fun. It’s funny. It has Daniel Dae Kim as an asshole and Keanu Reeves as….Keanu Reeves – and it is a true win, for those involved and for those who get to see it across America.

PLUSTFP‘s Pal, Peggy Lu plays Ali Wong’s Mom, so that is a nice Easter Egg surprise!

What keeps resonating with her, and pissing her off, quite frankly, is that everyone is ‘surprised’ about how good Keanu Reeves is. He is a goddamn movie star with a career that spans over 30 years, and all the AAPIs are ‘surprised’ that he can turn it out!

Everyone is now shouting about Keanu being of AAPI descent because he was in a film with Asian Americans – this was not his first film with Asian people!

TFP is frustrated with this reaction – all the ‘surprise’ is rooted in passive aggressive non-acknowledgment that one of the biggest stars in the damn universe is Hapa.

Come ON now….

Surprised that JOHN WICK has staying power?

“No one’ seemed to know he was funny…he was in BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, AAPIs!

“No one’ seems to know that he is, in fact, all the letters in the #AAPI  – even though his name, literally translates to “Cool Breeze” in Native Hawaiian.

Even though he did 47 RONIN (which TFP actually kinda liked, but…was not a box office sellout)!

The fact of the matter is – Keanu has always be ‘repping’ as a person of mixed heritage, a Person of Color. Always. Right from the go.

Right from when he introduced himself as Keanu.

Let’s face it, it is not a “John”, “David”, “Chris” aka ‘safe, non-ethnic” name.

Not a “white’ name.

It is KEANU!

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Can you imagine how long it took an overworked Casting Assistant to learn how to say it during cold reads? A bit longer than it took America to learn to say “The Rock“. (And TFP fully LOVES Dwayne Johnson, but DJ did not take the ‘ethnic name’ road less traveled – that was not his journey)

The fact is the AAPI community has a hard time with Hapas. Halfies. Mixed Race People.

However you say it.

Back in the day, people called TFP ‘Eurasian’.

There is so much to unpack and it has to do with a lot, but basically – it is due to lack of representation. There have not been accurate representations of Asian and Asian descended people, enough so that there seems to be room for everyone. Even though there IS room for everyone. There is – it just has been ‘sold’ to the world that there is not enough room for People of Color, that we all get x many spots, and that is it.

Not true. TFP knows you have been ‘raised’ to think this – but it is not true. No one knows another person’s path or where they will wind up, but the universe is open.

People see Halfies, and they say “oh, that person is responsible for watering down my heritage” or “that person’s Mom/Dad was a race traitor” or some such nonsense. It seems to be that they think we ‘choose’ how to look when we are in utereo. That ‘we’ exist to ‘take their jobs‘.

The fact that our eye shape may be a certain type of way or color, that our skin can be a variety of shades,  that we cannot be seen to be AAPI by the AAPI community unless there are awards involved…it’s a toxic won ton soup on the best of days – and that is some bullshit.

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That kind of thinking leads to ‘uproars’ on the Internet over Darren Criss being Filipino. He has ALWAYS said he had Filipino heritage. Always. That was one of the first things TFP read about him, back in the GLEE days…but because AAPIs do not seem to know the length and breath of what Hapas look like….to them, he did not ‘register’ as Filipino until he won an award for “The Asassination of Gianni Versace” – where he ‘played’, an actual mixed race person of Filipino descent, Andrew Cunanan.

Then it was all “HOW DAAAAARE HE SAY HE IS FILIPINO WHEN HE HAS NEVER SAID IT BEFORE!!!!”

He did. You just did not have him on ‘your’ radar. He said it.

It’s due to the lack of representation that #AAPI people “roll their eyes‘ at the casting of ALADDIN – when, if Aladdin took place in Switzerland and the actors cast were 1/2 French and spoke French everyone would fall over themselves to say ‘How lucky” it was that they were able to get an Actor that spoke French!

But y’all don’t – do you?

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TFP is tired of people seemingly ‘not seeing’ that Keanu has AAPI heritage and then being surprised by his talent and surprised he ‘identifies’ as a Person of Color.

Click that link – he does not want to be a spokesperson for Asians in Hollywood because…why?

Guess who never made him feel welcome?

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There are more of ‘us’, by the way…- Folx like –  Dwayne Johnson, or Dave Bautista, or Pom Klementieff, or Screenwriter/Director Mike Dougherty (Godzilla), Comic book Scribe Greg Pak, Karen David, Gemma Chan, Sir Ben Kingsley, Youngest EGOT Winner Composer/Lyricist Bobby Lopez, TONY nominee Philippa Soo, Jason Momoa, Daniel York, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, TONY winner RuthieAnn Miles, Russell Wong, Henry Golding, Sonoya Mizuno, Ian Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath, Jimg Lusi, Fiona Xie, Amy Hill, Musician Sean Lennon, Musician Bruno Mars, Musician Mahalia Barnes, Julia Nickson, Dave McInnis, Chloe Bennet, Lewis Tan, Nancy Kwan, Jessica Henwick, Darren Criss, Ali Ewoldt, Adam Jacobs, Sandra Allen, Courtney Reed, Thom Sesma, Zachary Noah Piser, Arielle Jacobs, Mark Paul Gosselaar, Drag Queen Manila Luzon, Sophie Miller-Sheen, Golfer Tiger Woods, Tennis Player Naomi Osaka, Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, Shannon Elizabeth, Kristin Kruek, Kelsey Asbille,  Phoebe Cates, Michaela Conlin, Tim Lounibos, Rob Schneider, Chanel Iman, Cassie Ventura, Norah Jones, Kate Rigg, Meg and Jennifer Tilly, Devon Aoki, Ryan Potter, Merle Dandridge, Rich Ceraulo, Lindsay Price, Sam Tatsuo Tanabe, Ann Sanders, Miss Universe Brook Lee, Erin Quill, Olivia Oguma, Lisa Helmi Johanson, Isabella Russo, Manna Nichols, Alex Chester…

We have always been there – Merle Oberon, anyone?

Vivien Leigh?

Maybe we need to all get in a film together and save the world?

Maybe Mike Dougherty should write THAT one next.

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Until that happens, can AAPI people please stop being surprised that we exist, and can they also stop with the “prove to me how _____ you are!” challenges.

It is exhausting. TFP is exhausted.

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‘We’ will never speak the language ‘enough‘ for you.

‘We’ will never cook the food well ‘enough‘ for you.

Not because ‘we’ cannot – because you do not accept it.

‘We’ will never represent ‘enough’ for you, even if ‘we’ talk about representation and pride in Heritage in every interview given, ever on the planet that ‘we’ participate in.

Because one person on the internet will ‘miss’ that interview and make a huge ass deal over it and this is why ‘we’ cannot have nice things.

The one thing you can ‘count on’ AAPIs to do is rip apart Hapas. That is a loaded statement. It is also, true.

RANDALL PARK had to say ‘He’s ours’ in an interview for Keanu Reeves to ‘count’ to the AAPI community at large.

WHY IS THAT NECESSARY?!?!?

It should not be necessary.

A Mother asked TFP what to do recently – because her daughter had ‘self-identified’ in a class project as ‘a coconut’.

WTF?

Because “I am brown on the outside but white on the inside”.

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TFP’s heart broke and of course, she suggested all the books and all the ways in which this child – this CHILD – could see herself in the world. TFP explained that the child seemed to be looking through one kind of lense, but it was up to her parents to open her up to a kaleideoscope of what the world was, and what she meant to the world.

The child has multiple heritages- and thinks she is a friggin’ COCONUT!

Not ok.

That child means the world. All children do. We have to do better AAPI America. We have to – because chances are – your grandchildren (Unless the world ends in 2050) are not going to look like you.

Practice acceptance NOW – in all things.

Practice tolerance.

Representation DOES matter – and for AAPI Descended People btw, it is broad. It includes multiple shades and identities – from the deepest to the lightest, from cis to non-binary, and it is effin’ GORGEOUS.

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Can it with the ‘surprise’. Multi-racial people do not need your damn shock and amazement anymore – we just need you to stop questioning if we belong.

We do.

And we are fine JUST THE WAY WE ARE BRIDGET JONES!!!!!

And if you do not think so….

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TFP out.

 

 

The Fairy Princess is very happy to announce that Keanu Reeves is having a really good weekend, and it looks like it will translate into a great month of May for him.

Here are three reasons why:

First – he got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – as did Ms. Lucy Liu earlier this month.

TFP loves that they both got it, however let’s keep in mind that Ms. Liu was only the second Film Star of East Asian Descent after Anna May Wong to get it, one supposes we should point out that Scarlett Johannsen already had one…

Merle Oberon was of South Asian descent, however Ms. Oberon was not open about her heritage. Likewise Vivian Leigh, who also is supposed to be of South Asian descent or Armenian – her Grandfather’s surname was Yackjee.

Which tells you all you need to know about the perception of mixed race peoples throughout time.

So it IS very nice to see Keanu and Dwayne Johnson ‘repping’ for the Halfies.

Mr. Reeves is not the first or the second AAPI to receive this honor : Philip Ahn, Yul Brynner (he is of partial Buryat (aka Mongol) ancestry via Russia), Jackie Chan, Sessue Hayakawa, Ben Kingsley, Casey Kasem, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Toshiro Mifune, George Takei, all came before – but as one can see…numbers are low.

There have been 2,600 Hollywood Stars Awarded throughout time, and when one considers that Victoria Secret – not the models, the store – have a star, one can see there is MUCH room for improvement.

AHEM, Hollywood.

You are moving, you are just as SLOW AF with the AAPIs – but take your claps….we are getting there…

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SECOND:  JOHN WICK 3, in which he stars alongside screen goddess, Halle Berry, beat AVENGERS by taking in $57 million in it’s opening weekend – which btw is still going on, run out and buy a ticket – though AVENGERS is in it’s 4th week since release, and has a few AAPIs in the cast – notably British East Asian Benedict Wong, David Bautista, Hiroyuki Sanada (who incidentally was beaten by Jeremy Renner in friggin’ SWORD FIGHT, wtf which took TFP right OUT the movie), Jacob Batalon, and the fab Pom Klementieff – this makes it a good weekend to be Keanu.

Third – he is rocking the sexual heat opposite Ali Wong in ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE which will premiere on NETFLIX on May 31st.

Look at this trailer – hot, hot, hot!

Anyway, the fact of the matter is – when good things happen to good people, you root for them – when good things happen to people with whom you share an ‘issue’ – like not being actually accepted in either ‘world’ because you do not fit the narrow confines of what they perceive x to be…you kinda do the world’s happiest dance.

Awesome, ‘Cousin!’

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If she is LUCKY!!!!

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess  was confused over some stuff this past weekend but…what she will say – you have OPTIONS this May – in the theater and on television AND in movies, YES, and they are exciting.

And that is ALL she will say.

Kinda.

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TFP is appearing at BROADWAY SESSIONS at the Laurie Beechman Theater on Thursday May 23rd at 10PM to celebrate the CLOSING of AVENUE Q.

Doors open at 10pm, TFP will be there along with other Original Broadway Cast members to answer questions and sing some funny songs – hosted by BEN CAMERON with DREW WUTKE on the ivories,  see ya there!

Remember, AVENUE Q is closing for ever (till it is not…) on May 24th.

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On the “Everyone does a good deed, but not like Alec Mapa…” front – Alec Mapa, (DOOM PATROL) and his husband, Jamison Hebert when to Washington, D.C. yesterday to advocate for the rights for LGBTQ people to be able to adopt.

They are tremendous people and what they do – as advocates for LGBTQ Adoptive Parents, aside from their glorious work in Entertainment, makes a huge difference.

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FIRST UP – you of COURSE know that Sandra Oh is KILLING IT on KILLING EVE on the BBC America- so we will leave it to her to continue her amazing work- as we are not yet through the season.

Turn your attention to NETFLIX, we have the comedy stylings of AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE’s Ali Wong and FRESH OFF THE BOAT’s Randall Park, with not so hard on the eyes, THE GOOD DOCTOR’s Daniel Dae Kim (as the reminder that you can never trust people that are too good lookin’!)

May 31st!

Take a look:

Directed by Nanatchka Chan, and co-written by AAPI Playwright turned TV Megahit guy, Michael Golamco with Ms. Wong – this will be THE film to have seen amidst our lusty month of May.

Plus KEANU REEVES!!!!!

Kal Penn has a new show – SUNNYSIDE – which will be on NBC Thursday Nights at 9:30 – and thankfully for AAPI America – it has ALL KINDS of Asians on it – and THAT is the future – as we all mix and learn from one another and TFP is HERE for it!

Take a look at the trailer and fall in love with this cast, cuz they look super fierce and funny:

Four Asians on a television show and they do not all live in the same house?

Progress!

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ALSO on NBC this Fall – (guess they were watching ABC’s woke scorecard and got motivated) (?) – is a new show with TFP‘s favorite, Rizwan Manji and fellow Cast Member, Gedde Watanabe!!!!- called PERFECT HARMONY – no definitive night yet on schedule, but we have a trailer!

Technically the marquee name is Bradley Witford, but…take a look…there is music and comedy happening all around us – we are in “the Golden Age of Television”.

WARRIOR is still going strong on CINEMAX they have announced a Season 2 and added what? MORE AAPI Performers – so let’s continue to show up for this, truly AAPI American story – taking place from when Asians came first to San Fran.

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HADESTOWN, the new Broadway musical directed by Rachel Chavkin that has an all female Creative Team – has given EVA NOBLEZADA from San Diego, CA – her second TONY Nomination for her second show on Broadway!

We have just ALL the LOVE for THAT!

You can also check out her breakthrough performance alongside Ms. LEA SALONGA in the film, YELLOW ROSE, which took home the Grand Jury Prize as well as being the Opening Night Film at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Ms. Noblezada took home the award for Breakthrough Performance.  Yellow Rose was written, directed, and produced by Diane Paragas.

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Jeff Liu is directing Prince Gomovilas‘s THE BROTHERS PARANORMAL for Pan Asian Rep, Off Broadway in NYC, which runs April 28-May 19th. Starring: Brian D. Coats, Vin Kridakorn, Emily Kuroda, Dawn L. Troupe, Roy Vongtama

Pan Asian is in it’s 42nd Season, Folks – they have been through more issues with Representation than almost anyone else, so if you have the extra cash – throw some love their way. Right HERE.

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Finally, in light of all TFP’s pals who found out whether or not their show or pilot was picked up and/or not, cancelled or extended -Y’all – it is just entertainment.

There will be another show. Another show, another opportunity, another option. Things have a way of circling back around. You will work again. Trust and believe.

Six years ago when TFP started this blog, there was nothing like this embarrassment of riches appearing on our television landscape.

Now, there is.

There are AAPI performers who get pilots every year, who are series regulars every year…which is AMAZING – not, of course, ENOUGH, but it is amazing to see rapid progress.

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Though the work in television is exhausting…

it is not like trying to preserve the rights over your own ovaries in Alabama,

it is not like trying to preserve your rights to be acknowledged as a person to your government because you fall into a category that our POTUS does not recognize,

it is not like you are getting locked up into a cage for using your legal right to seek asylum in this country.

Those things are hard. They are life threatening.

So go out and VOTE to make the world a better place. If you live in ALABAMA, you better vote OUT all these old white men, and vote in some Women of Color & LGBTQ folx – because the white people you have in office now have been letting their state DOWN…..

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Be aware of the world – not just your corner of it – and remember, if you ‘come’ for TFP... she doesn’t give a….

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she will just pull out the receipts….

TFP out.

 

 

 

The Fairy Princess wants you to know there is good stuff going on around the USA, and she is going to make this a ‘feel good’ post – because every now and then we need that.

First off – on the SAME NIGHT – Cinemax premiere’s the new series WARRIOR, which takes place in the United States, at a time not anywhere within recent decades. Why is this important? Well, because – Asian Americans, and the first immigration wave of course was Chinese, were in the United States since 1815.

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1815 was the first ship to arrive in the United States with sailors who became merchants – or one supposes they could have been merchants first, then sailors for the purpose of the trip, and then merchants once again – who knows – the POINT is – how many Asian Americans have been aware that ‘we’ have been here since 1815?

WARRIOR is set among the Tong Wars in the late 1800’s. The concept of placing Asians within America’s history via a series like this was Bruce Lee’s – and he would super proud of his daughter, Shannon Lee for getting this series up and running.

What are the Tong Wars? Basically – gang wars over territory or ‘honor’. They were in every city where there was a Chinese faction, though San Francisco was the most brutal and long running – and only one, the Hip Sing Tong was bi-coastal. Though originally founded by the Chinese, they welcomed the AAPI diaspora – which, when you think about it, was very forward thinking.

The cast includes British East Asian, Andrew Koji in the lead role, and then a roster of badass talent best known on New York stages like, Hoon Lee, Perry Yung, and reunites director, Justin Lin with his Better Luck Tomorrow star, Jason Tobin. Rounding out the main company are Dianne Doan, Olivia Cheng, Joe Taslim, Dustin Nguyen,  and some white people who do not need the promotion.

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Next up – TONIGHT is the 100th Episode of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT and TFP needs you to turn on your televisions and keep the love going. This is history making – as it, this has never happened before.

That is correct, 100 Episodes of a Television show about an Asian American Family that has made it into the zeitgeist has NEVER happened before.

Let TFP interject a personal story here – her son was sick, and as a result he had to stay home. On the day he stayed home, TFP at a certain point during the day, turned on the television and he was fascinated. Because he was watching FOTB ‘on demand’. TFP had tried before with him, but honestly, he was too young to understand it.

Now, at six years old, he understood. He asked for episode after episode and when he was asked why he was now fixated on this show, he said “Because they look like me.” Even with all the media reluctantly adding an AAPI cast regular, even with as varied as the landscape is now – and as sure as TFP is that that trend will continue – her son was fascinated by Fresh Off The Boat.

Representation matters.

He has seen ‘himself’ on television, he can watch it from his couch. He knows he has a ‘place at the table’ moving forward. Who knows what this does to his brain?

TFP is not sure what that feels like, but she is thrilled that, at age 6, he has that knowledge.

Congrats to ABC and the Cast, Crew and Creatives of FRESH OFF THE BOAT.

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RIZWAN MANJI has been cast in Bradley Witford’s new pilot, PERFECT HARMONY, where he will play Reverend Max, the pop culture loving pastor where Witford’s Ivy League Music Professor comes to take charge of the church choir.

Long may it run!

KILLING EVE Season 2 is coming!!!!!! THIS COMING SUNDAY APRIL 7th!

So much love for Ms. Sandra Oh, who is living her BEST life and getting to do all the things that we, as supporters wish for her, and all the things she wishes to do.

Starring in a show? Check.

Hosting Saturday Night Live? Check.

Winning Awards? Check. (Golden Globes, SAG Award, Critic’s Choice)

You GO Sandra Oh!

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One of the funniest people in the world – ALEC MAPA – has joined the show DOOM PATROL as Animal-Vegetable-Mineral- Man, with an extra Dinosaur Head and some other features on the streaming DC Universe.

TFP doesn’t quite know how to handle this show, but she is known for her love of puppets and the bizarre – so she LURVES it! Also – seeing ALEC MAPA on any screen makes your day better!

GET IT MAPA!

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WAIT – there is MORE!

#StarringJohnCho is yet again, a thing!

He is taking on the lead role in a live action series about a Space Hopping Bounty Hunter, based on a popular anime series,  COWBOY BEBOP for NETFLIX and this is super exciting.

The writing staff looks somewhat inclusive and gender diverse – Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Vivian Lee, Jennifer Johnson. Liz Sagal to name a few – TFP thinks this will be a fun watch, she is going to gear up to binge it.

Go John Cho!

(And go @its_willyu for developing this concept and creating art work to show how easily one casts great talent in major films.)

SARAYU BLUE is going to be be in the Jenny Han book inspired sequel “ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE along with star, Lana Condor!

Super Hawt! Wow, this month is LIT and we are only 5 days in!

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Finally, Asian American Film Lab has opened up it’s 72 Hour Shootout Registration – the actual shoot out will take place the first weekend in June 2019. The theme will be announced at the ‘launch’ of it – so not to have to contend with cheating – and then the clock ticks down.

What it is: you and your team have 72 hours to write, cast, direct, film and edit a short film based on a theme, which varies from year to year. There are a bunch of workshops to help you prepare for this adventure and there are a ton of prizes to win, which include mentorships by Entertainment Professionals at NBC and ABC, cash prizes, and so on – with a chance for your winning short to be shown at the Asian American International Film Festival in NYC.

You want more stories – make them yourself!

There you go, this post should make you feel all the feels – #AAPIApril – who would have thought it?

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess should have written about MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG a bit earlier – you now have literally 2 weeks to see it, but see it you should. Tickets here.

The reason you should see it is because Manu Narayan is a friggin’ leading man for our times, and he has his bona fides all in a row, up there, on the stage, for you to see.

 

 

As he said on TFP’s BroadwayCon Panel – he likes being in the show because he is playing a quintessential New Yorker – and of course he is, the part was never written with a performer of Indian descent in mind. Which makes you wonder WHY is an Indian American NOT a quintessential New Yorker? Because once you have seen Manu do the show, it is clear that, he is.

However, that it works so well is a tribute to how it has been written, or in this case, rewritten. The book is the book – people have issues with it, however TFP thinks it works. There has obviously been some pruning, and with new orchestrations by Alexander Gemignani (Soon to go into MY FAIR LADY with Laura Benanti), the show is high polished gem of a musical.

It’s a throwback to a different school of musical, and she is HERE FOR IT!!!!!

It is so refreshing to see how a show that premiered on Broadway in 1981, based on a play written in 1934, and told backwards – seems so modern.

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The Fairy Princess has some news – PROGRESS is being made in the U.K. with The Lams – on Feb 28, 2019, BEATS Org had a sit down with Cheryl Taylor (CBBC Controller), Melissa Hardinge (Comissioner) and Miranda Wayland (BBC Diversity Lead), in a meeting chaired by The Writers Guild.

The good news is that they agreed that “Twenty Twenty will contract as many East Asian Comedy Writers and Off Screen Crew as possible who meet the requirements for the show.”

CBBC has also hired a British East Asian Head Writer – which means, that – the dumplings will no longer be burned in the oven, ‘pickled veg‘ will likely be renamed kimchi and hopefully, as discussed in this podcast They Call Us Bruce hosted by Asian American writers and activists, Phil Yu and Jeff Yang, no one will be called “Chonger’ in any fashion whatsoever.

So- YAY – a guarantee that there will be British East Asians working actively on this show – in line with America’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT, Canada’s KIM’S CONVENIENCE, and Australia’s THE FAMILY LAW.

While the jury is still out on what “Living With The Lams’ will eventually be, at least the British East Asians can rest easier, knowing that there are now BEA’s working on the show in a viable manner.

It’s a WIN – so TAKE it! (Guardedly)

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Also of some excitement in the U.K., is the premiere of the play, PAH-LA by Abhishek Majumdar, which will be show at The Royal Court Theatre, opening APRIL 3 and running till April 27th – grab your tickets here.

PAH-LA is based on real events during the Lhasa riots of 2008, and the playwright consulted, among many others – His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.

 

PAH-LAH is directed by Debbie Hannan, The Cast is – Paul Chan, Tuyen Do, Zachary Hing, Daniel York Loh, Kwong Loke, Richard Rees, Gabby Wong, Millicent Wong

Break Legs, Kids!

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Now on to something happening stateside, and it’s honestly – it’s not something TFP likes to go back and talk about because – people are protesting MISS SAIGON again, this time because the OVERTURE CENTER for the Performing Arts in Madison, Wisconsin cancelled it’s panel discussion that was to accompany the show.

As a result, the Academics who were invited to the panel, have assumed their positions outside the theater to lecture people on what they believe the issues with the show are. That is the crux – the Academics had a different view of what educating the public was than the theater did, and so the theater cancelled the panel rather than just hash it out.

Frankly – unless you are going to protest every show that deals with prostitution in musical theater – protesting MISS SAIGON does not get you anywhere with TFP.

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Not. Anywhere.

You want to take a stand about the dehumanizing world of prostitution, then you better be ready to take down 90 per cent of Broadway musicals, all of them, without qualm, equally. You better see the women in these stories – all of them – regardless of color of the skin, regardless of how they identify, and frankly, men too – as being worthy of your consideration and protest.

EQUALLY.

If you go full tilt boogie no prostitution in musicals, period – TFP will stand with you. She will miss the torch songs, the funny songs, the jokes about flexibility, the stories of brutality, compassion, love, and all else – she really does not want to be stuck with 1776 on endless repeat, but again – if eliminating prostitution from the American stage is the goal – she will stand with you.

Rewrite American Musical Theater and all it’s tropes. Get MT to change completely- but we do not just do it for one group.

She understands Asian Americans – particularly of course Vietnamese Americans – like to blame MISS SAIGON for a myriad of ills, but the truth is if you are cherry picking your protests specifically because the Actors who are telling the stories are AAPI, telling a story that revolves around in this case, Southeast Asian People – then TFP is out.

What about Latinx female representation on our stages? What about African American female representation? Are you going after THE LIFE? Are you going after DON QUIXOTE?

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The show premiered in 1989 in the West End, and on Broadway in 1991.

The Vietnam War was undeclared and went from November 1955 till April 30, 1975.

The show was written well after the war, and is not, honestly ‘responsible’ for the stereotypes – it is not that powerful. It was based on Madame Butterfly by Puccini. Have you gone and protested the opera? Because if you have not gone and done that, you are a hypocrite.

The opera premiered in 1904, you have had time….although that was set in Japan, so do you only protest when it directly reminds you of you?

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To TFP, if you want to ‘hate’ a form of entertainment that dealt with Vietnam, you would be better off looking to films like FULL METAL JACKET, which gave us all the hated phrase “Love you long time” and countless, dehumanizing instances of man’s inhumanity to man. THAT film, and all the immature people that saw it – Ask TFP about how many times some a**hole has quoted that movie to her as she walked down a New York or LA street unaccompanied.

Go ahead.

The number is countless. As in, it is unable to be counted because it is so many.

Yes, there were protests of MISS SAIGON originally.

Not because of the storybecause of the casting of Jonathan Pryce as a Eurasian pimp.

Do not combine the issues – the original protest was a casting protest.

We call that “Yellow-face’. We still protest that. That was what the protests were over, the yellow-face. Not over the story. Asian American Actors – and in fact, Playwrights, protested because ‘they’ were not allowed to tell the story and represent it the way they felt it should be represented. The AAPIS wanted to tell that story, they wanted to be the focus of a story that was filled with people that looked like them.

AAPI people are allowed to play ‘bad’ people. They are allowed to play people who are complicated. They are allowed to play villains. They are allowed to play murderers and prostitutes and people on the seamier side of life – and they do without undo protest, in every Asian country in the world – but here it is no go?

But then we all go to film festivals and see dark, messed up films from Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, etc – and talk about how great they are (and they are), but we do not protest them – even though many of them show gritty stories and characters.

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People blame MISS SAIGON for a few reasons – and those few reasons are because there are not enough representations of AAPI peoples on our stages. The lack of variety means that only one kind of story is being told, and in those kinds of stories, Asian women are largely subject to some kind of sexual objectification – whether it is prostitution or not quite clarified existence as a concubine, or being given in marriage to a French planter who drinks – there is a lot of sex, and AAPI women do not seem to come out, er, on top.

Let TFP name some of the most definitive “AAPI” musicals, ready?

THE KING AND I

FLOWER DRUM SONG

SOUTH PACIFIC

ALLEGIANCE

PACIFIC OVERTURES

Without MISS SAIGON there are 5.

With it, there are 6.

(Don’t start with THE MIKADO – even Theater Mu is doing it now, (and they have hated musicals for YEARS)  so yes, it can be done, but again, as people tend to NOT use AAPIs to do that show, TFP is only going to count THE MIKADO when it gets a professional Broadway Production, and ALL AAPI cast.)

Three of those listed were written by the same team. FLOWER DRUM SONG and ALLEGIANCE do not have any sort of sexual coercion, but FDS does have the ‘bad girl’ in Linda Low who dates around, and then Helen who has sex with Ta, and then kills herself because he doesn’t want to marry her in the original book.

White People often do not see a need to have AAPI people in PACIFIC OVERTURES playing Japanese people because…SONDHEIM.

That is the whole reason ‘they’ feel it is ok, on occasion, to do a non AAPI PACIFIC OVERTURES – one word, SONDHEIM. (And frankly, he would agree with them, he does not feel that it needs representative casting. He’s been quoted on that. He’s 89.)

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Have there been more musicals that feature AAPIS but cannot be called an AAPI Musical?

Yes – AVENUE Q and THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE – both of which have been produced in regional theaters without Asians in the roles that were created by Asian Americans.

SPONGE BOB the musical had 2 – Kelvin Moon Loh and Stephanie Hsu – were those roles written for AAPIs? Not according to Kelvin, who said on the BroadwayCon panel that when casting that show, the team was looking for “Unicorns“. (Unique performers who were all outstanding)

SPONGE BOB can be cast any which way. As can BE MORE CHILL, and DEAR EVAN HANSEN, and HAMILTON – and truthfully, that is the way American Musical Theater is going – but even with all that, MISS SAIGON gets the most backlash. More than THE KING AND I, which has sexual slavery as a plot point. Not ‘for hire’, Tuptim is given to the King as a gift.

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The King brandishes a ‘effin BULL WHIP ostensibly to beat her with and people say nothing.

Even if you tried, someone would start March of the Siamese Children and they would all be so damn cute, you could not go on. Hoop skirt magic.

When was the last time a group of people stood outside a production of THE KING AND I and yelled and screamed at both the patrons and the cast?

Never.

Heck, RuthieAnn Miles won a TONY Award the last time it was on Broadway.

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So what is it about the five to ten minute montage in the beginning of Acts One and Two during MISS SAIGON that sets everyone off? Besides the fake Vietnamese, that was not cool, and it was fixed. They wore bikinis tops with shorts, and they danced on a pole set on a bar. Seems to TFP there is a similar scene in another musical…..takes place earlier…hmmm she can hear it…

“Lovely ladies, waiting for a bite.

Waiting for the customers who only come at night

Lovely ladies, waiting for the call

Standing up or lying down or any way at all

Bargain prices up against the wall”

Not MISS SAIGON – it’s Les Miserables.

Written by the SAME men. Also -Prostitutes. Also -Mothers giving up children for them to have a better life.

No French people protesting this show. Heck, it was written BY French people.

IT IS ALMOST THE SAME SHOW!

THEY ARE JUST IN BIKINIS AND NOT PANNIERS!

The only reason people protest MISS SAIGON when they do not protest other musicals about prostitution, or with prostitution as a plot point is because that one show has people in it that look like them.

But that is not the way theater works – you cannot protest just the Asian prostitutes – that is inherently an issue. You are fine with shows that portray women of every other skin tone, but you lose it when they are Asian?

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If Asian Americans want to have more stories to tell, other than this one – by all means, please write them.

Write us crazy and rich, write us turning 35 and unable to commit, write us as demonic hairdressers, as Mothers on the Verge and Fathers who cannot show up to the church/temple/mosque on time, write us at weddings and at funerals, write for Trans AAPIs and write for LGBTQ and Gender Non Binary AAPIs – but do NOT protest us only because the performers are AAPI and you are AAPI and you do not ‘like’ the story.

One of the biggest shows on Broadway right now – PRETTY WOMAN.

Anyone protesting? Any academics going to have a sit in? Because the women in that are definitively for sale, and the men are weak – except for Richard. Or are you not protesting because that is a white lady up there? Who, coincidentally portrayed Eponine in the film version of Les Miserablesas well as on the UK stages which was written by…the guys who wrote MISS SAIGON.

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IF YOU GO TO PROTEST MISS SAIGON, PROTEST THEM ALL.

But you cannot hold this one show accountable for something that, statistically, it would be impossible to achieve- you cannot hold it accountable for anti-Asian racism simply put- very few people in this country have seen.

It is a friggin musical – how many Americans regularly go to musicals?

As TFP states previously- it is just not that powerful a show. Do not give small scenes within a two and a half hour show THAT much power- it has not been earned.

The point of it is that people can come together no matter what is going on in the world- or is the ‘protest’ somehow combined with the issue of mixed race children being born?

Just sayin’- as one Mixed Race person to those whose country put them in camps….

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TFP understands the issues with this show. Academics and Protestors say that the show is responsible for showing Asian women as prostitutes – which it does, and for portrayals of Asian men as ‘weak’, which she doesn’t quite get, because Thuy is scary AF.

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The weakest man in MISS SAIGON is Chris.

The Engineer is a marketing genius who always survives, Thuy is a badass in the Army who has to be shot close range to be stopped, John goes back and takes care of the Mixed Race kids left behind and is a friggin’ hero, while Tam probably grows up to be in Crazy, Rich Asiansthe weakest man in that show is the white guy.

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This is the Jurassic Park of Musicals – proving life will find a way. TFP knows of NO weak Vietnamese men or women. She knows plenty of Vietnamese people though- and they are a bunch of fearless badasses.

PTSD about the Vietnam War and it’s aftermath is a real thing, if this show triggers you, do not go. You do not have to be put in that head space. You do not like the thought of prostitutes, then do not go. They are truly a small part of the show, but if that is the sticking point – give it a pass.

There is a lot to unpack about America – especially if you are an immigrant or a child of immigrants. If you have been a survivor of violence, or adoption (which is it’s own kind of violence), or war, or rape, or beatings or murder, you have the right to feel some sort of way about seeing that portrayal or a reasonable facsimile on the stage – but the ills of the world do not fall at the score of a musical.

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This country, America 2019 is a friggin mess, ok?

We have an orange madman intent on dismantling the country and we all have to get out and vote for SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS A MAJOR PARTY NOMINATION in the next election – but in the theater we vote as well – we vote with our tickets.

TFP would not go and protest you at your job, just because she did not like that that job existed. If everyone did that, there would be no dentists or proctologists.

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If this is not the show for you, if you are ‘too close’ to be able to view it dispassionatelydo not go. Practice self care. Take a break from having to relive the nightmare of what happened to your country of origin- it is fine – do not see it. Do not take your kids, do not take your parents, just give this show a pass because you do not need it in your life.

It’s ok to never, ever see it for you as an individual – you just do not get to decide that a show should never be done, based on your own trauma. Your trauma is real – you do not have to go. TFP absolves you of that – some people want to see this show, some people want to be in this show – let them see and be, and you do YOU.

Does TFP think that the OVERTURE CENTER should have cancelled their scheduled panel that was to accompany their production of MISS SAIGON?

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No. That was some bullshit.

If you schedule a panel, you do a panel. DO you think that La Jolla Playhouse liked getting their face pushed into the sand when they had a panel on “The Nightingale“?

No, they absolutely did not.

But they took it. (Moises Kaufmann, TFP is available, you can call her)

If you want to do MISS SAIGON and you have Vietnamese American scholars who want to come and participate in a panel, and you schedule it?

YOU HAVE TO DO IT – EVEN IF YOU DO NOT LIKE WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO SAY.

YOU INVITED THEM!

It is not up to Vietnamese Americans to make white people comfortable about this show. It’s not their job. If they are invited to a panel, and they are going to talk about what has shaped them as a person and what this show does to them, well then….that is their right.

That is the ‘woke’ tax. You pay it. No Asian American scholar is going to get on the stage of a theater, in front of a crowd and say that MISS SAIGON does not have it’s problems – because it does. It has tropes and it has scantily clad women, men behaving badly, orphans, the whole deal – as do about 90 per cent of the rest of the musicals in the American MT canon.

So if you are interested in doing this show and having a panel and the invitations are sent? Gurl – you are attending that wedding. Bring flat shoes in case you need to run away, but showing up is part of the bridge building that needs to happen in America.

However, the fact that these scholars do not regularly get up on panels and talk about the ills of portraying ALL women and men as ‘for sale’ on our stages, is an issue for TFP.

It reeks of, well…

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They do not want to see it because they personally, do not want it to exist.

We do not get to decide for other people, only for our kids, and then only until they stop relying on us for rides. TFP does not get to stop you from indulging in porn, and you do not get to stop her watching reality television – that is ….what’s the word?

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However even if this particular show went bye bye, FULL METAL JACKET is still available to rent. As are several other films about the war in Vietnam. The harm of films, coming in to people’s homes, is far greater than a musical – which is clearly set against the backdrop of a situation. It does not glorify the war, nor does it glorify prostitution – it portrays a desperate time and desperate measures taken.

If you do not want to see it, do not go. If you invite people to a panel, have the panel.

That’s it. If you want to tilt at the windmill of American Musicals then proceed – but bring lances for everyone, not just the ones that look like you.

Overture Center for the Performing Arts – what you did was cowardly – and if you are in the theater you have to be brave. You make a choice, stand by it. Tell us why you did this musical. Was it to diversify your audience? Was it to highlight talent that you liked working with before? Was it to address the love of a mother for a child?

You do not get to walk away from this bad decision about cancelling due to white panic.

Now, TFP really does not trust you with this show – she is sure that the talent is great, but if this was your breaking point, a panel?

Then you should not have done it in the first place.

But to the Academics who think AAPI women can be brought down by a musical? Not to mention a musical where the lead is, de facto, someone of Asian descent and someone who takes a gun and kills to protect her kid?

A MUSICAL CAN BRING US DOWN?

You think badass Vietnamese American women cannot stand tall and stare down at a musical?

You must not know the ones TFP knows.

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TFP out.

 

 

 

 

The Fairy Princess has been contentedly watching Sandra Oh win all the awards – and she was very, very happy. Life was good. She attended Royal Family‘s Off Broadway adaptation of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES starring Ali Ewoldt, and life remained good.

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However then she took a gander at a open letter written by BEATS Organization, which is founded by and looks to support British East Asians working in theater and film and well…all good things come to an end.

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Now, just to give a brief summary of the situation for those NOT in the UK – here’s what – in light of Canada going into it’s 3rd blazing season of the brilliance that is Kim’s Convenience

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and American’s historical 5 seasons of FRESH OFF THE BOAT on ABC...

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and the tsunami that is Oz’s new fav Family sitcom, The Family Law,

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The BBC thought, well, “Let’s get me some of that”, and they commissioned a new show called LIVING WITH THE LAMS, about a British Chinese family that runs a restaurant in Manchester.

Jolly good, pip pip, what, what!” everyone thinks – the Brits are FINALLY getting it!

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Until one realizes that the Production Company behind this show, TWENTY TWENTY, has no British East Asians in any position of power.

Which means...shenannigans!

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Here is the woman leading the charge for representation for British East Asians, Ms. Helen Sodon, Head of Childrens at TWENTY TWENTY Production.

 

 

Yassss Hunties, this show is intended for children!

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Nah, Kid – it is because they wanna make them…

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Let’s be clear – in as much as Children’s programming is geared towards education and cultural understanding – that is an ideal. Does not always happen, and as it seems, it is not happening in this case.

What is happening is that they are taking the Panto to Prime Time, and Asians have not always fared well in this ‘traditional’ British art form. Usually the Asian characters – South, East, West and Central – are played for cheap laughs and stereotypes.

 

 

There in fact ARE experienced Children’s TV writers in the UK who are British East Asian, who have a list of show credits – the problem is, Ms. Sodon did not think it was ‘enough’ for her. In fact, of the several writers of British East Asian background that she interviewed, time and again, those writers did not seem to Ms. Sodon to be worthy of writing an amusing children’s television show about their own experiences.

She is the Sodon Gatekeeper!

(Brits will get that one)

Among the cultural crimes listed in THE DAILY MAIL that apparently ABOUND in the script & ‘show bible’ viewed – one scene described made TFP scream bloody murder – the script has – deep breath now Asians –  dumplings baked in the oven!

Not just baked, BURNED!

BURNED DUMPLINGS IN THE OVEN!!!!

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Look, even the second cousin on your Mother’s side who spends all winter in Aspen skiing and doesn’t cop to being remotely Asian would do a double-take at that.

Dumplings are steamed or fried, people!

Go to Chinatown. Walk around.

Look in a damn window.

Look past the brown ducks.

See those bamboo steamers?

THAT IS ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH WE PREP FRIGGIN’ DUMPLINGS YOU SOULESS HEATHENS!

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Has no one on this team eaten Chinese food?

The question as to preference is fully asked and answered before ANY dumplings are served to a table!

Y’all didn’t even grab lunch at a Chinese restaurant before writing about a Chinese restaurant?

Lazy.

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Other issues cited were scenes where people complain about the stinkiness of their food, people spitting on the floor and ongoing gags such as the Dad playing in a band called “Wok and Roll”.

The joke there being that Chinese people cannot say R’s – that’s for all y’all in the cheap seats trying to figure that out.

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The next joke that is not actually Punny, nor is it funny is the name of the restaurant – HAPPY PALACE.

Nothing like ‘reminding’ TV viewers that the common perception of East Asian women in the UK is that they are all sex workers who give ‘happy endings’. Subliminal but there.

Remember- this is for THE CHILDREN!

Now one of the key issues that is dogging this pony show, is that by in large – everyone associated with the creation of the show is Caucasian.

There are intended to be eight episodes written, with 2 of them being written by the only British East Asian writers that are on staff.

According to TFP’s sources, writing staffs can vary wildly – but comedies tend to have more writers than dramas. (That is because no one really trusts ‘the funny’. ‘The funny’ is like Mimi in La Boheme, fickle, delicate and always needing a fainting couch nearby.)

There is also, to be accurate to the East Asian diaspora of the show or lack thereof, a Hapa Producer (Chinese and Irish, just like TFP)  coming late to the game, and a “Cultural Consultant” that was added, who later quit. (Although worth noting that they have not taken her name off the pilot script, so they can point to it and say that East Asians were consulted in the writing of this cultural cacophony of cliche.)

The ” Cultural Consultant” felt she was not being listened to (DUMPLINGS ON A BAKING TRAY! SHOES IN THE HOUSE!), so she vamoosed. Rightly so.

No submissive East Asian Woman there! NOPE!

However that leaves the LAMS crying for authenticity with just the two British East Asian writers, who, one surmises, are trying to keep their jobs whilst being railroaded into supporting the show (see what TFP did there)  vocally, and the lone Producer.

They are in a rough position. We don’t pay their bills.

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BEATS has signed an open letter to the BBC with their complaints, and they would like some changes – to put it mildly.  Or if those changes are not made, they would like the show axed.  BEATS also would like ONLY British East Asians to write the show.

Since then, it has gotten more heated, with people on the production side citing falsehoods about the Mothership, ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat as the reason their show , Dinner with the Lams, does not have a diverse Writers Room.

Huh?

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Let’s discuss:

FOTB, (which began with a 13 episodes order for season 1, and is now between 23-24 episodes per season) is a show created BY People of Color, FOR EVERYONE. Yes, the show is for everyone – just like all the great sitcoms. Where it differs is the stories it tells and where it also differs is finding the humor within a family that has both an American and an Immigrant POV.

Their Showrunner/Creator, Nanatchka Khan, (currently ‘away’ from the show filming a movie), took Chef Eddie Huang‘s memoir about growing up Chinese in Florida during the 1980’s with his Dad running a Texas type steakhouse restaurant, and mined it for comedy gold. The original Executive Producer is Chinese American, Melvin Mar.

 

 

Based on a memoir by an Asian American, Produced by an Asian American, and Created by a Persian American – and for those of you following at home, Iran is a country in Western Asia.

Behold the continents and boundaries of Asia – it is VAST and DIVERSE!

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Asians of all types coming together to tell a story about an American Taiwanese Family in the 1980’s.

Currently for FOTB, the Writers Room is a staff of 15 people Six are Asian American, and 7 are Female.

Is the Writer’s Room all Asian? No.

Neither is America.

Their Directors have always been 50% female, which was intentional out of the gate. It was important to both the EP and the Showrunner, and they chose  some Female Directors from Directing Initiative Program that was already set in place by ABC prior to this show becoming a reality.

Again, over a third of their writers are Asian, which is phenomenal.

FRESH OFF THE BOAT set a gold standard for television inclusion, which is likely why it is still on the air.

TFP asked Showrunner, Joshua Safran

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a few questions about his Writer’s Rooms – he created ABC’s QUANTICO a few years back, which starred Priyanka Chopra.

 

 

Most recently he created the show MIXTAPE which will air on NETFLIX.

For QUANTICO, they had 10 writers for 22 episodes, and for MIXTAPE there were 7 writers for 10 episodes. While the gender/race split of writers is dependent completely on the Showrunner, for QUANTICO there were 3 women, 4 straight men, and 5 Writers who identified as Queer. Two of the women were People of Color.

For MIXTAPE, out of the 7 writers, only one was a Straight White Man, and the rest of the room was Diverse, Queer, and/or Female.

Says Safran

It is important to me to have a room that looks like the Cast of the show. I strive for this. I hate how when I say to a studio, “I want a diverse room”, they say “Great! Here is A Writer”.

I have to always say, “No, I want a diverse room means I want a room where we try for everyone to be a Person of Color, Queer, Female – (For MIXTAPE) I ended up hiring 3 Playwrights who had never staffed before in order to find the inclusion I wanted.

He went on to explain that part of the issue with the ‘pipeline’ is getting those underrepresented writers Agency representation and/or Managers, because here in the States – and one assumes overseas as well, the traditional path goes – University Writing Program, Spec Script Submissions to Agencies, Agency/Manager Representation, Staffing on a Show.

While he does believe here in the States, things are changing, and that in three years there will be no issue with having varied choices for his Writer’s Rooms, he did have to go beyond what is normally required of a Showrunner in order to get the staff he wanted. He also believes that the Talent Agencies are beginning to actively seek Clients that are more varied now, something that was not happening even five years ago.

Safran looked to non-traditional means to find the writers whose stories would most contribute to the show. Outside the ‘traditional’ TV box.

He looked for people who had been successful writers in other mediums, whose Artistic voices had been noted by the Theatrical Communities who had Agency representation both in New York and on the West Coast, to see if they would be a fit for his show.

He looked and found, for example, the 2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist for THE GREAT LEAP, Princeton University’s MacKall Gwinn Hodder Fellow for 2018-2019, and past KILROY List maker, Lauren Yee, who he described as a “Rock Star”, among others.

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Ms. Yee, when asked, said she found Mr. Safran’s Writers Room to be ‘A Kind and Warm Room!”.

Wait – an Asian American Writer had a great experience working in television?

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In the United States, it is getting better. Slowly but surely.

There are more Creatives and Executives of Asian descent than ever before working to bring you your favorite shows.  This is cross pollinating itself – people who have been successful in other parts of the Entertainment landscape, are embracing their ‘star power’ to create new shows or films, and cast them accordingly. Reflecting the American scene to the tenth degree!

Shout out to Actors Daniel Dae Kim and Justin Chon for jumping behind the camera and the table and being committed to telling different tales! Justin is lighting up the Indie Scene and Daniel….

Like, here is the tea on the Writers Room of the ABC hit, THE GOOD DOCTOR– produced by DDK’s Production Company.

Eleven Writers. 8 Men, 3 Women. Of those – 4 People of Color, of those Four, 2 fall under the AAPI designation. 1 of the Male Writers is on the Spectrum, 1 of the Male Writers is a Person with a Disability.

They shot 18 episodes with 14 different Directors and of those 5 were Women, 5 were People of Color. Two of those were Women of Color.

ABC is fully winning because they have invested in under represented talent in front and behind the camera.

FULLY. WINNING.

ABC.

Clock it.

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As TFP said, American Television has been aware of the issue of inclusion for some time now, and while it is not ‘perfect’, ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX all have Diversity programs that do become a creative pipeline for people who have been traditionally shut out of competing for those positions. The programs make a difference, and they can change people’s lives and the way that they make their living, which in turn, enables opportunity to come for others.

Teresa Huang, who is on the Writing Staff on the CBS Show, SEAL TEAM is one of the people that participated in some of those programs.

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After many years as a successful Actor, this MIT Grad was accepted into the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, the CAPE New Writers Fellowship, and the WGA TV Writer’s Access Project, before getting a job as a Writer’s Assistant on four TV Shows before becoming Staff on SEAL Team, where she is one of two writers that would fall under the APPI designation. When discussing the benefits of the programs, she particularly lauded CBS’s program as something that really got her ready to work on a TV staff.

“It’s an incredible feeling to have a seat at the table. Even though I am constantly navigating the room politics of when to speak and when to be silent, being in the room means I have a voice in creating the stories of the show. And you better believe I do my best to make sure we’re no just telling stories through the white male lens.” – Teresa Huang

Asian Americans are ‘thirsty’ for new voices, and as Networks acknowledge it, they are not sticking to the tired trope that just because someone has limited experience or little in writing for television, that they will not have television success.

Look at Kevin Kwan, the novelist.

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He penned the breakout summer read, CRAZY RICH ASIANS, which was turned into a screenplay by Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli, which then became the mega successful Rom Com of the Summer. He has now has landed a deal at CBS to co-write and co-produce a multi-camera comedy for Ken Jeong, called THE EMPEROR OF MALIBU. Jeong will play Gerry, a Chinese Tech Billionaire who disapproves of his son’s plan to marry an American woman.

Does he have TV experience?

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That would be a NOPE!

He got a Pilot Deal though.

Just sayin’.

So with all these examples out there, why is the BBC and Twenty Twenty going along on the assumption that they do not really need a gender equal, racially diverse Writing Staff to be on a show about one of the least represented in British Entertainment – aka British East Asians?

Honestly, you would have to really TRY HARD to be this willfully ignorant. Like, it takes far more effort to “white-splain’ all the nuances of your non-reasoning than take a thoughtful measured approach to a show that is supposed to be for the CHILDREN!

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If all the Colonies can seem to figure this out, why can’t the UK?

Canada, America, Australia – have all taken the note that if you find projects that have their roots in writings by East Asians, your shows will ring true with comedy and authenticity.

Kim’s Convenience was originally a play written by Korean Canadian Ins Choi.

The Family Law was created by Chinese Aussie, Benjamin Law based on a book he and Marieke Hardy had written about his life – then why does this remain a mystery to be solved by Agatha Christie on the BBC?

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As far as TFP can discern, Living With the Lams is based on…nothing.

It is based on an idea to rip off East Asian content from around the Globe that is successful, but with no investment in the talent required for it to succeed. They have not looked at their successful crop of British East Asian Playwrights or Bloggers or Standup Comics for writing talent, they simply barrelled ahead with the assurance that they do, indeed know best.

They would be wrong.

But back to the argument that TWENTY TWENTY is comfortable with – that there just are no qualified British East Asian Television Writers.

How do you know if you are a Television Writer if you have never been given an opportunity to write for television?

Listen, Comediennes Jenny Yang (Late Night Talk Show, BUSY TONIGHT)  and Ali Wong (AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE) got their first jobs writing for tv when someone saw their standup acts.

 

 

They had never written for television before – but coming from another medium that involves timing and charisma is not going to hurt a script, you know what TFP is saying?

Comic Steve Byrne wrote a television show based on his Hapa upbringing, which is part of his standup and they got SULLIVAN & Son three seasons on TBS.

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Which is BASIC CABLE!

You know you are pathetically behind when anything with the title “Basic” is winning for inclusion, and the giant cultural octopus that is the BBC with their period dramas, car shows, and baking meglomaniacs is losing in the court of representation.

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A sitcom writes itself with comics, but perhaps it’s the British sense of humor…or lack thereof that turns their executives into a bunch of gatekeeping twits, more intent on preserving racism than alleviating it.

Public school, what? Eh? See you at the Club, Old Man?

TFP would rather watch this squirrel eating an egg roll than hear the crying of the LAMS.

GET THAT SQUIRREL A PILOT DEAL!

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Check out these Tweets from Akwafina about her brand new show, kismet really that she tweeted these:

 

 

Already this show looks to be a great big hit, and where did it start?

With the Writers.

Duh.

TFP asked Showrunner and Artistic Visonary, Bryan Fuller for some of his thoughts on where television is finding it’s new voices and what effect that has on the Writer’s Room.

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“On American Gods Season 2, Michael and I insisted on having a much more diverse room than either of us have every been in before, and it was fantastic. We took some risks that involved hiring writers with no experience, who showed promise and a point of view because we wanted to give them what any of us needs to truly excel at our craft: experience.

We are going to continue having singular points of view unless we expand our outreach for Minority Writers. Some of the best programs that find Minority Writers and create pathways for them in the Industry are simply unable to reach people who don’t have access to higher end educational opportunities because of socio-economic reasons. Which is why we need to be looking high and low for Creative Voices.”

So everyone is saying it – the Networks, the Creatives, the Actors, the Sponsors – everyone is behind authenticity in the Writer’s Room of a sitcom or drama. It is needed. It is wanted.

America gets it. Canada gets it. Australia gets it.

What say you BBC?

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THAT is the exact problem.

Look at the numbers from overseas – they are staggering. They are definitive proof that Diversity = Dollars. Er, pounds.

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People are readily available from talent pools that may not be ‘exactly’ what one Blonde lady in Production wants, but they are THERE.

TFP has even shown you quotes from two of the most successful working Show Runners on American television, about what their goals are moving forward with representation and why it is necessary to do the work they love to do.

TFP can even point you towards some names – Lucy Sheen, Daniel York Loh, Anna Chen, Evelyn Mok,  Ken Cheng, Phil Wang, Nigel Ng.

Guess how TFP got those names?

SEARCH ENGINE!

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The BBC has a duty to the charter that it operates under to represent the best interests of the public, and to handle complaints in a timely manner. The BEATS organization has a petition and an Open Letter to get these complaints heard, but thus far it has been slower than that boat to China.

She hopes you all go and sign it – you do not have to be Asian to understand that being erased from your own stories is the death knell of societal acceptance.

TFP is hopeful that the success of television shows overseas, featuring majority or full Asian descended Casts, with a proportional number of diverse writers will be ‘enough’ for the LAMS – characters who do not see themselves as caricatures – to stop crying.

Because she is pretty sure they are.

LET THEM HAVE THEIR DAMN RESTAURANT WITH DIGNITY AND COMEDY FER F*CKSSAKE YA BOGAN COLONIZERS!

The concept of an inclusive kids show starring British East Asians is a wonderful one – but without help from authentic voices – and we are talking a majority voice – this show is never going to get there, and that would be a pity.

These kinds of things have consequences, especially with children watching. Because they grow up – and they either learn empathy and tolerance and understanding, or they do not.

We have all seen what happens when people do not have empathy.

Walls and Brexit-ing. Robbing people of their rights to exist. Mocking of Parents and Grandparents and Children, lack of empathy ‘helps’ you put kids in cages when you pull them from their parents- when all they did was legally seek asylum.

Lack of empathy leads to attacks on people who are in the LGBTQ community. Lack of empathy kills in higher proportions, Trans people of Color.

Lack of empathy leads to ‘othering’, which leads to bigotry and war and…damn, this is depressing.

You get one chance to get this ‘right’, BBC, you will know soon enough what Mama Ru has to say about it.

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TFP out.

 

 

 

The Fairy Princess was glued to the Golden Globes for several reasons – and here is one of them:

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Billy Porter makes everything extra – and she is here for it.

And though he has not said this directly to her, she knows that this would be something he would say, if she had asked his feelings on being nominated for the role of PRAY TELL in the ever delightful show, POSE on F/X.

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Uh huh. So delightfully extra and BRAVO you talented, MF!

Second reason – and no it is not a competition, rather an indication of which one she knows longer – is this PHENOMENALLY TALENTED PERSON….

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Two time Golden Globe Winner, Sandra Oh.

She is a trailblazer – first Asian descended Actress to win multiple Golden Globes, first to Host the ceremony itself, and first one to do an Asian flush joke on national television.

If you have NOT seen her amazing show on BBC AmericaKILLING EVE, get yourself on that RIGHT NOW!

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It is everything!

Also congrats to fellow Hapa, Darren Criss – who picked up the Golden Globe to match his EMMY Award for the same role – as Hapa, Andrew Cunanan – in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

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Darren thanked his Mom who hails from Cebu in The Philippines.

Sandra Oh thanked her parents, who attended the ceremony with her, in KOREAN – “Mommy, Daddy, I love you” and then she friggin executed a filial bow.

TFP was DONE!

Check it for yourself.

 

Overall, it was a very AAPI night at the Globes – and let’s face it, when you have NOT seen yourself, EVER on an Awards show and then, all in the same night – there are two winners and CRAZY, RICH ASIANS is nominated and the trailer shown…you are going to be feeling yourself – AND THAT IS OK, AND THAT IS WHAT WHITE PEOPLE FEEL LIKE ALL THE TIME!!!!!

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TFP thought the GG did a great job in the winners in all the Actress categories – she felt like the women who had INVESTED in their careers – decades – were recognized and honored. It was not all about the cute, young thing in the sparkles, and that was a welcome relief.

Watching it, she felt like Sheila in A CHORUS LINE.

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(Not that she wants you to smoke, you should totally NOT smoke !)

Now on to BROADWAYCON!!!!!

It starts THIS FRIDAY and runs until Sunday, Jan 13 and it is CHOCK A BLOCK with Broadway Stars and Panels and a Marketplace and also – IT IS BACK IN THE MIDTOWN HILTON, which is where we were the first year in the GIANT BLIZZARD that shut the city down!

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TFP will be hosting the panel that talks about AAPIs ON BROADWAY!

CRAZY, TRIPLE THREAT ASIANS!

Gramercy West Room

SUN JAN 13 10AM

with these beautiful Broadway Babies:


 

 

 

Jaygee MacapupguaySCHOOL OF ROCK, The Public’s HERE LIES LOVE, The Public’s WILD GOOSE DREAMS, CTG’s SOFT POWER

Manu Narayan BOMBAY DREAMS, MY FAIR LADY 2018 REVIVAL, GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Roundabout’s MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG revival. Films: The Love Guru, Walkaway, The Last Airbender, A Cinderella Story, 99 Homes, Good Night Good Morning

Kelvin Moon LohSIDE SHOW, KING AND I revival 2015, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS,  CSC’s revival of PACIFIC OVERTURES, National Tour of AMERICAN IDIOT, The Public’s HERE LIES LOVE and upcoming Broadway premiere of BEETLEJUICE

Orville MendozaPACIFIC OVERTURES, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, CSC’s revival of PACIFIC OVERTURES, ATC’s FOUND, The Public’s TIMON OF ATHENS, Off Broadway’s ROAD SHOW, Off Broadway’s ROMEO AND JULIET, Off Broadway’s ADRIFT IN MACAO, La Jolla’s revival of THE WIZ, Actor’s Fund Concert of HAIR – and bound for Broadway’s show based on Huey Lewis’s music – THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL

DEFINITELY do not miss it – and if you are ABSOLUTELY unable to get there – TFP has arranged for it to be LIVE STREAMED on the OFFICIAL ERIN QUILL FB page – so you can watch it in real time!

But do not NOT get there because it is too early – TFP does not want to hear about ‘too early‘ – quid pro quo MF ers!

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These performers show up for YOU all the time – 8 shows a week. They give up holidays and time with loved ones to make sure they knock it out of the park every, single time – so all we are asking for is your BUTTS in the SEATS!

Come and see and hear what they have to say about where we are, where we are going, and what their focus is going into 2019.

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OK, TFP has a lot – A LOT – to say about the current AEA strike in regards to the LAB Contracts, but it boils down to this – the Farmer and the Cowman can’t be friends.

The Producers and the Actors are never, ever going to see eye to eye on this – and here is why – one is in love with the financial, one is in love with the craft, but the craft could vanish in an instant.

Which is why a guaranteed, relatively small ‘residual’ payment for the Actor, would be of use. It would be, not only an acknowledgement of services rendered, but one of ‘use’ in a real and viable way.

No, not all Producers only care about the ‘bottom line’, many are artistic in their choices, but their investors do. Which is why AEA has been trying for TWO YEARS to get this situation adjusted. When the original Lab, Workshop etc performers are the vessel of the show’s ability to transfer to Broadway, the Actors should be compensated.

Why, you ask?

When you, as an Actor, begin to work on ‘Your ” show,  and that is what we Actor’s call it – “Our show/My Show” – we take ownership of it because we have to channel our bodies and souls to show up and do those 8 shows a week.

We take as much ownership of it as the Producers and Creatives because we know we were vital to the process. We are the vessel of change.

When you put your heart and soul into – workshop after workshop, lab after lab, reading after reading with very little financial gain you do it for a purpose, to get the show up.

For the thrill of saying ‘We did it!’ and of course for a steady paycheck as it runs.

If you are lucky, you see “your” show running for YEARS – and yet the Actor, once they leave, can find themselves in the position of having to apply to The Actor’s Fund for assistance to pay rent, or health insurance, or mortgage – it’s not a sustainable system.

Some shows are totally upfront and reasonable –

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and that has to do with the Creatives and the Producers.

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or the Heirs of the Estate – who feel it is the moral thing to do.

Thank you to the Larson Family, who, TFP believes were the first ones to implement this change, they are the exception – not the rule.

Some casts have to sue their producers to try and recoup their ‘investment’ in the show’s creation.

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Just sayin’.

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An Actor’s ‘investment” you say? What is that?

That is time and talent. Their ‘investment’ is turning down other gigs so that they are available to run it again and again in the Lab so that the Creatives can hear where it needs to be ‘tweaked’. 

Their ‘investment‘ is their personal creative energy that takes lines on a page, and transforms them to something ‘other’. It is their being able to go the Creatives and say “Hey, this line…I’m not feeling the character would say that”, and a change happens and then MAGIC.

You do not know, when you go into a Lab what the “something’ is that you are going to come out with. The pressure nowadays is fierce. The risk is huge – and people who take the biggest risk – the Producers – deserve to recoup, they do.

Not at the expense of the Actor.

A residual payment from an Original Lab or Workshop can make a difference in an Actor’s life. A huge friggin’ difference. They can secure a mortgage, for example, if the show is a big hit. They can send their kid to therapy or a school that may have been out of reach prior. It is a quantifiable difference, easily measured.

To an Actor, those payments make a difference. They are a return on their investment. They are the ability to believe you are not ‘crazy’ for trying to succeed in the crazy business of show.

The ‘something’ they create – that could give the Producers the ability to charge several hundred dollars per ticket, as they transfer to Broadway.

The Actor’s ‘investment’ is the meeting of the minds with the Authors, so magic can happen.

When a show runs, long term, there are re-creations of the show that happen as replacements and understudies come in – and those sparks of inspiration were born in a Lab, which lead to a more comedic or dramatic moment are put IN to the show, and there they stay – forever more.

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No matter who does the role. They are moments written in to the Stage Manager’s ‘show bible’ of what is supposed to happen to maintain the show, kept there – under glass – sacrosanct.

No compensation.

Even if you were the Actor who came up with ‘that’ whatever moment, gesture, ‘take’.

Nothing. Nope. Nada.

Now, in television and film – Actors get residuals. It comes, after the first year or so – to pennies on the dollar. For example, TFP saves her residual checks, which come to sometimes, thirty cents – until she has a bunch and then she deposits them. It is not a lot, however it does let her know that her contribution to that television show or film is acknowledged and appreciated.

That is what the Actors of AEA want – to know that – if they were part of the ORIGINAL Lab or workshop and the show goes to Broadway, that they are acknowledged with financial recompense.

Because their contributions are worthy and helped shape the show.

TFP worked for some truly gifted Creatives and Producers this past summer – and she would love to work with them again.

She hopes this all works out.

Eleven years, no raise. Eleven years of investment, and no return other than a show poster, maybe some show SWAG, and random recognition that fades after you do not win some award?

Come on….

Even if you are NOT an Actor – would you stay in a job where you did not get a raise in 11 years?

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When you open your laptop and check your phone and find that Broadway has had it’s most successful year just moments ago in 2018?

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BTW, that is a screen shot from their website – The Broadway League’s.

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Everyone please – let’s be civil.

Work this out so we can get back to work.

As Hammerstein wrote:

“One of them likes to push a plow, the other one likes to chase a cow –

but that’s no reason why they can’t be friends.”

Sing it.

NO REASON.

THE PLOW CAN GIVE A POINT!

IT IS BUT ONE PRONG ON THE PLOW!

To quote another show, one that is going on National Tour starring several delightful people….written by William Finn:

“It’s about time, don’t think? It’s about time to grow up, don’t you think?

It’s about time to grow up and face the music. It’s about time”

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess would like everyone reading to know that her buddy, Actor and Activist, and all around Mr. Little Tokyo, Rodney Kageyama died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday. TFP does not write obituaries, but thankfully, YOMYOMF‘s Tim Lounibos has done so. She will only say that he was a light in the darkness, and that Little Tokyo, East West Players, and the Universe will be a bit sadder with him not in it.

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Fly with the angels, my Friend.

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Next, she would like to give thanks for some very special people in Orono, Maine who CANCELLED their scheduled production of AVENUE Q because they did not have minority performers, who are intrinsic to the show, come and audition.

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Yes, the SOME THEATER COMPANY has stood by it’s mission statement of inclusion and diversity, and decided the people of Orono and surrounding parts would NOT be served by whitewashing Christmas Eve and Gary Coleman and guess, what – HERE are key members of that Company….

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Here is what they had to say about it:

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They are absolutely correct in their decision, and while TFP’s past opinions may or may not have been read on this subject, the truth is – it was the wrong thing to do and they chose to not do it.

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Bravo SOME THEATER COMPANY, you win the Internet!

Tell them, Natalie Venetia Belcon!

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You know who ALSO wins the Internet?

The Cast of FLOWER DRUM SONG 1958, Bway Revival and First National Tour!

Check them out in this stunning display of talent across the ages – from Alvin Ing to Ali EwoldtTFP has to admit feeling a bit verklempt at this video.

Congrats to all, especially Lainie Sakakura and Alex Sanchez for coordinating this giant effort, from writing the script to choreography and recreating choreography –  and thanks to Broadway Cares/EFA for highlighting that NOT seeing AAPIs on our Broadway stages has NEVER been about talent.

It has been about Producers and Creative Teams who did not feel comfortable giving AAPIs a shot in a show that was not ABOUT being AAPI.

TFP thinks that is changing – but we cannot go forward without knowing our history – take a look:

TFP’s little heart that is five sizes too small – shrunken by the salty waters of white tears of regret – grew just by watching the video.

Until…and you KNEW there was an until, she read about this next Anniversary of a R&H Musical, SOUTH PACIFIC.

Seventy years doncha know?

Actually, it is TONIGHT – December 10th at the St. Regis.

TFP appreciates that dramatic reinterpretations are going to be happening, after all the show is 70 years old, and most 70 year olds in show business have had a little work done.

However there is no AAPI Female listed to perform in the cast that is really quite diverse – read about it. Eden Espinoza, Erin Dilly, Alex Newell, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Morgan James, Carmen Cusak, Jose Llana, Karim Sulayman…all brilliant performers.

Not one of them an APPI female.

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Yes, there is an AAPI male- actually you would have seen Jose perform IN that Flower Drum Song video above – but unless he is singing a song about a far away island – which is possible – there is a disconnect that is happening here that TFP wants to touch on.

Again – fans of all the performers listed – total fan – have seen several of them multiple times. All excellent. They did not hire themselves, TFP gets that. When you do these concerts, you have no idea really who else is on the bill till rehearsal.

Here is what the issue is for TFP, and wave your hands in the air if you agree…go ahead…s’allright even if no one can see you…she will wait.

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SOUTH PACIFIC is a show that has most of the time throughout it’s history – purported to represent a woman of a South Pacific Island – and then specifically NOT cast a woman of AAPI heritage. The character’s name of course is, Bloody Mary.

There was Juanita Hall, who was African American, who famously played the role on the stage and in the film.

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There was Beatrice Krebs, the opera singer, who was Caucasian, who incidentally told TFP that if one were to sing Bal’i Haishoes could not be worn, that was direct from Richard Rodgers. TFP was grateful to her for the information.

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You get the idea – it is only in recent years that people have tried to cast this piece authentically – it has two roles that are AAPI – Bloody Mary and her daughter, Liat.

The show was written in part to address prejudice against AAPIS and mixed race children. The story of Nurse Nellie being unable to wed Emile because he had previously been married to a Native Woman and had two children is one giant HELLO from Oscar Hammerstein about a world where we let ignorance rule our lives.

The issue that ‘you have to be taught to hate and fear‘ is profound – it is why Lt. Cable refuses to marry Liat after he takes her virginity, so her Mum (Bloody Mary) decides she is going to be married off to a vastly older and potentially cruel French Plantation owner.

Let’s be honest – we all know Liat is going to suffer.

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The show is built on the backs of women – both white women and AAPI women. The show is about ignorance being overcome by love.

So, riddle TFP this – if the show was written to show that there is racism against AAPI women – casting history nonwithstanding – why do they continue to NOT have an AAPI female in the show when presenting it on a Anniversary year in a big concert at the St. Regis?

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As a fundraiser for Broadway Dreams, which is a not for profit performing arts training organization with global reach?

Guess they better not reach to countries who fall under the AAPI Umbrella term.

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Anyway, break a leg to all the performers going on – TFP is sure they will be smashing, but she is not going to deny she is butt-hurt that there are no scheduled APPI females performing, that ‘we’ are being washed from a show that is named SOUTH PACIFIC.

The optics are not great here, R&H – not great at all.

In a year where we had #AsianAugust, where FRESH OFF THE BOAT made it to five seasons, where Hasan Minaj is the best thing on Netflix, where the Crazy Rich Asians made a Vanity Fair Cover, along with Hapa Darren Criss, where Nik Dodani is lighting up MURPHY BROWN for our LGBTQ Family, where Rizwan Manji is Shitt’s Creeking and Magicianing, where Shoba Narayan is touring as Eliza Hamilton with Marcus Choi as Washington, where Daniel Dae Kim is serving us diverse Dr realness on The Good Doctor, and where Sandra Oh is hosting the Golden Globes…the same year Thom Sesma played the iconic role of Sweeney Todd in a setting that sold actual PIES, you are going to give us a SOUTH PACIFIC with no AAPI females?

THIS LIST IS OFF THE TOP OF TFP‘s HEAD – SHE HAS A WHOLE OTHER 3/4 OF HER HEAD TO GO THROUGH and she knows she has missed some – don’t @ me!

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Perhaps you should watch that FLOWER DRUM SONG reunion video again – one that was done about a full WEEK prior to this concert that is happening tonight, to see what opportunities have been missed.

And to whomever is singing Bali Ha’i – TAKE YOUR DAMN SHOES OFF!

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TFP out.