The Fairy Princess had a great week last week, for two reasons – she was able to go out twice…at night.
If you have a toddler, you understand that sentiment.
First, she went to a friend’s viewing party to see him Guest Star on a giant TV show that spans new branches like a giant oak,
and the very next night was the Uber Awesome, Fresh Off The Boat Viewing Party in Manhattan, where TFP was delighted to sit on one of the two panels that evening.
It was a great night and absolutely everyone who was in New York City, who could make it, were there to support.
Cast Members and some of the Creative Team behind the show were also in attendance…
To TFP, who was in the crowd as well as being on a panel later, the show seemed all inclusive, while of course, highlighting a specific experience of a Taiwanese American Family who moved to Orlando. To TFP, it was a chance for everyone to laugh with everyone else. The press that was there, loved it.
For those who were unable to attend the NY launch, there was an LA launch and of course, there was promotion via commercials and reaching out to popular bloggers in hopes that they might write something about the project and influence people to watch it at home, and it worked – in that night, Fresh Off the Boat did well ratings-wise.
In fact, Fresh Off The Boat beat what regularly airs in that time slot, The Goldbergs.
In fact, there is only one group that (well, aside from ‘the haters’, but who the Taylor Swift cares about them?) was not invited to participate in this Fresh Off The Boat celebration in a way in which they could bring more numbers to the Nielsens and it was, oddly, Asian American Mommy Bloggers.
This does not mean that Mommy Bloggers did not receive outreach, they did.
Just not the API ones.
No one can really give a straight answer about why this happened, but let’s look at the situation as a learning opportunity, because, frankly, TFP did not grasp the pull of the “Mommy Blogger”, when she learned of this situation.
Here are some facts:
1. There are about 4.2 Million Mommy Bloggers
2. Of those 4.2, there are 500 that are considered ‘influential‘, because 18.3 Million Moms across America read blogs EVERY DAY.
3. Mothers control $2 TRILLION Dollars of spending in the United States.
4. Women who normally do not respond to Brand Advertising, respond to endorsements from “Other Moms” aka “Mommy Bloggers”. You want to sell a baby carrier that won’t chafe? Tap into the right “Mommy Blogger” and…
Because there is so much money to be had from an endorsement from a Mommy Blogger, Studios and Networks (and Theme Parks and Publishers and People who produce products for children) often pursue ‘Mommy Bloggers‘ of certain Internet pull – they invite them to Press Junkets specifically designed for them, to introduce them to new shows or films, this is not surprising.
There was a ‘slight’ hiccup in inviting the Bloggers to the Fresh Off The Boat junket though, no one who was invited to see and blog happened to be Asian American Mommy Bloggers like Hapamama or I’mNotTheNanny or even at HeyMona.
Nor were these Asian American Mommy Bloggers asked to participate in the “Web Buzz” or whatever it’s called around the feature film, “Big Hero 6“, a film which featured the story of 2 Eurasian or Hapa Brothers as the main characters – something that to TFP’s knowledge, has never been done before in an American big budget Animated Feature. For APIs who have Hapa kids, this was a HUGE deal, and it should have been allowed to be acknowledged as such.
TFP loved that Russell in UP was API,
but Russell did not seem to be of Mixed heritage. Also, some might think Russell is not Asian American per se, but based on this photo of his Mom,
TFP kinda thinks that Russell was Asian American – thanks Pixar!
We have also had Mulan by Disney featuring a Chinese Story, voiced by Asian Americans, which was a great gift, but it did not, of course being set in China, feature children of mixed race, a large growing demographic in the United States.
However, let’s return to the main issue – which is that in two cases, where the ‘subjects’ of the pieces were Asian American, and where other POC Mommy Bloggers were invited to view the project early and take a fun bus together and explore and ask questions, Asian Americans who blog in the same field, were not.
Now, TFP feels that there was a PR disconnect, and that the Studio didn’t know what the Production Companies were doing and the Network didn’t know what the Studio was doing and there was a guy somewhere who screwed this up, but just kept drinking his $6 latte and figuring he could just ignore it and it would go away….
API Mommy Bloggers were upset, and they wrote about it. Which is what Bloggers do, they write about what is going on with them personally. If a Blogger is upset, they are more inclined to write, however as any API kid can tell you, you do not want an API Mom upset.
Now, as these API Mommy Bloggers have addressed this situation and are taking pains to fix it, and improve their network of contacts, and as the Network and Studios are learning from their snafus, and are aware that they made a HUGE blunder….
TFP was going to let this one go, she was.
BUT then she learned that one of the repercussions of the API Mommy Bloggers posting about missing this Blogger Bus Trip, was that they were being attacked by some of the people who were on that junket, who felt that, by dint of being ethnic themselves or by one or two of them having Hapa kids, that Asian American voices were not missed on this junket and nor were they needed.
Mr. Furley just CANNOT!
And neither can The Fairy Princess.
So she wanted to take a stand for those API Mommy Bloggers, because while she is not a “Mommy Blogger” per se, she is a Mom who blogs. A Mom who blogs on Diversity. Whilst blogging on Diversity is a great social tool and has engendered change that is tangible (particularly seeing the difference in American theater), TFP is unlikely to ever be invited on junket or sent an advanced copy, or offered cool free stuff.
Because if you blog on Diversity and people do not want to hear it, the last thing they want to do is send you stuff. Well, not stuff that one would want.
This is what she wants to say to those ‘other’ Mommy Bloggers who so vigorously believe that they can speak for Asian Americans while not actually being Asian American themselves…
This may come as a surprise to you, but you cannot speak for Asian Americans, even if you have children of mixed Asian heritage – because….you are not Asian American. You personally, cannot speak for another group of people for whom you share no kinship.
“Asian by Injection” doesn’t count.
You can speak to being a Parent of a mixed race child, you can speak to being a Person of Color, but the Asian American experience is unique and manifold. It is like saying one can go and speak Portuguese in Columbia – it does not work. There may be a thing here or there that is able to be understood, but gaps will be missing. TFP has been to Brasil, she knows this.
People of Color are expected to band together in times of ‘crisis’. Women, in this case “Mommy Bloggers’ are asked to unite as Women and Moms for different reasons – death, cancer, illness, birth, sharing – but in this case, all those API Mommys wanted was support. They had given it to you in the past, and they wanted it returned.
All they wanted was for you to say “We get it. We see you. We too, have been underrepresented, and we hear you, you should be on the bus. You should be on the bus with us, because as women raising the next generation, we have to set an example.’
We have to set an example – we, as Mothers.
Here is why TFP writes about Diversity so strongly, because she has a son. She has a son who is a minority in this Country, and his life will have challenges based solely on the shape of his eyes and the color of his skin. These API Mommy Bloggers have similar concerns, all People of Color, or People of Under representation, have these same concerns.
How do we NOT teach separatism? How do we NOT teach distaste for someone not of ‘our’ particular group?
We include them. We give our children the rainbow, in all it’s colors, in all it’s shapes, in all it’s sizes, in all the ways people can love one another. We make room for one another.
The way we ‘include’ is by telling Networks, telling Studios, that we need more Diversity on screen, behind the scenes, in the stories told, in the opportunities given. We do this, because we do not want our kids to get involved in the pettiness that this whole situation has sunk to. Our goal should be to help our kids be better than that.
Here are some more facts:
1. Asian American Population has risen by 33% in all states except Hawaii, where it was already large
2. Asian Americans outspend every other race in the USA with an emphasis on luxury goods
3. Asian American income has risen 97% from 2000 – 2014
4. Asian Americans as a whole spend more time on the Internet than any other group (70%)
5. Asian American population in 2050 is estimated as being 41 Million
Let’s go back – how much spending do Mom’s control? Currently?
So the question to ask is, with API income advancing so rapidly and the population growing, how much money do you think Asian American Moms will control by 2050?
With API Internet purchases higher than any other group – how much more will be purchased because of what API Mommy Bloggers are going to be writing about?
With the way API’s use the Internet, who do you think, in the next 20 years, will have some of the most influential Mommy Blogs?
Don’t you think the Networks and Studios and Publishers and all the Givers of Free Stuff are going to realize that? Probably sooner than you think.
So isn’t it time now, to make friends? Isn’t it time to teach ourselves to share?
C’mon can’t we show our solidarity as Moms who Blog, and get off that hubris train of “well I can represent anyone I like” and realize that acknowledging that one does not know or see everything the same way is far more powerful than any amount of SWAG given out in a environmentally reusable bag with a logo?
Should we not be able to say “Yeah, if it were a film or show about my particular group and none of the Mommy Bloggers of that group were included, I would hate it.”
The Fairy Princess thinks so.
For refusing to acknowledge that API Mommy Bloggers should be seen and heard on PR Junkets specifically designed for Mommy Bloggers, particularly in cases where API Actors and Story lines are featured – TFP awards 20 whacks of the wand to the PR Depts who screwed this up initially, and those Bloggers who so vigorously defended their exclusion.
Also, you can KISS OUR FAN TAN FANNIE