Archives for the month of: June, 2016

Even The Fairy Princess gets tired, kids.

This is, not even kidding – the third blog in a day and a half, and quite frankly here is what you need to know – Marvel Comics Film Division is not going to cast Asian Americans – ever.


The news came down today that the character of Ganke Lee is going to be in the upcoming film Spider-man Homecoming.

Ganke Lee?


Yeah, the BFF of Miles Morales!


Oh – catch up Buttercup – Miles Morales is the ‘new’ Spider-man now that Peter Parker is dead. He too was bitten by a radioactive spider, but check it – it was IN GANKE’S KOREAN AMERICAN HOUSE!


So anyway, Ganke Lee quickly gets on the computer and does research and finds out that the now dead Spider-man was ALSO bitten by a spider and thus…the legend continues. Hurling Miles Morales into the malestrom that is the latest incarnation of Spider-man.

Honestly, it’s a great idea.

Because here is Miles Morales…


and here is his BFF, Ganke Lee


Now they are casting the major motion picture and here is a list from Unreality Mag giving you their top 10 of who should play Miles in an eventual film- NOT this Homecoming film, Peter Parker is somehow not dead, so Spider-man is still Caucasian.

Which is a shame, TFP would rather see Miles.

TFP is a fan of Jacob Anderson, because she loves Game of Thrones, but who knows who it will be?  The good part is, no one is saying that Miles will be cast in any way that would go against the very real triumph of having a Person of Color become a Marvel Superhero.


So no, we do not know who is playing Miles yet. We don’t even know if Miles is getting a film any time soon. However because of the way Marvel has folded one incarnation of Spider-man into another- in a redonk cross pollination, Peter Parker lives and gets Miles’ BFF.

Again- don’t know who is playing Miles or when that will happen, but in 2017 there will be a new film released.

As of today, we know who is playing Ganke Lee.

This guy:


This is Michael Barbieri, and he is going to play Ganke Lee – although the character will no longer have the surname Lee.

Because that would be too hard to deny.


Now, the character will have the ‘characteristics’ of Ganke – the BFF relentless enthusiasm and support, but he will not be Asian American. If you are up for a read, Inverse does a great job of saying why this is not ok.

Several years ago…this would not have caused an eye blink – because America did not have a joyful, funny, husky child actor of Asian descent on television who could do anything like bring a giant audience with him to enhance the allure of this film, that we knew of.


Now, there’s Hudson Yang from ABC’s HIT TV SHOWFresh Off The Boat.


Which is so popular, it is making history by being renewed for a third season.

Now, Hudson is a bit younger than the Ganke character, so one can see if they wanted to do any of the icky kissing type things, that they might want to go older.

However that is an easy fix.


They could have run out and done a Casting session or two to find the right kid to play Ganke Lee at the age he is written. 

Asian American teens are not something that America is running out of anytime soon – and with Hudson’s success, more Parents may be willing to take their kid on that audition.

Which is how Hudson was ‘found’ – FOTB is one of the first auditions he went on.


Needless to say, this is pretty damn stupid – so much of whitewashing comes down to personal preference of the Director and Producers, and what MARVEL is telling us – yet again, is that they do not ‘see’ Asian Americans in their franchises…ever.


Like never, ever, ever kind of ever.


Honestly, APIs need to stop buying comic books unless they are written by Greg Pak!

TFP is tired.


Three blog pieces in a day and a half about stupidity based on the inability to see Asian Americans as part of America – as a real, moneymaking, vital part of America – when every DAY you can look up an article on us and all our disposable income?



Skip this movie, Folks.

Don’t go.

Not just ‘Asian Americans don’t go” – everyone don’t go.


Because this is some Trump-like movie making going on, and we do not have to buy tickets to watch our own erasure from popular culture, we don’t.

Oh and MARVEL Casting?

Watching you try to pointedly and repeatedly erase Asian faces from cinema is damn exhausting. The relentless justifications makes TFP want to take a Silkwood shower.

TFB fines you 150 whacks of the wand for this unbelievably stupid addition to your history of whitewashing.

We have ALL had enough already! 


TFP out.



The Fairy Princess was feeling ok about her last blog – which was published this morning, and she thought she had, like a hot second of respite from the abject foolishness that is show business.

She was wrong.


According to an article in The Guardian, screenwriter David Franzoni, who wrote the blockbuster film, GLADIATOR which starred Russell Crowe – and which, btw, though not historically accurate, was an enjoyable film – has a new project.


The subject of the new film is the 13th century poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi.


Rumi was a Persian poet, born in what today is known as Afghanistan.  He was an Islamic scholar and a Sufi mystic. His writing has been translated and appreciated the world over since the 13th century! Go on with your bad self, Rumi!


Rumi believed in the the use of poetry, music, and dance as a path for reaching God.

Let’s look at some Rumi quotes in case you are unfamiliar with his writing.

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes around in another form.”

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

“When I am with you, we stay up all night. When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep. Praise God for those two insomnias! And the difference between them.”

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Sounds like a great guy!

Does Rumi merit a biopic?


Absolutely – this is a great choice for a biopic. Rumi was a spiritual man who was both scholar and artist and his life has touched millions of people since the 13th Century. He escaped the Mongol invasion, traveled widely, and finally settled in Turkey, where he passed from old age.

Two of his works, the Masnavi and the Divan, are considered among the best poetry ever written, so yeah, of course – give this man’s story the full Hollywood treatment – especially now, when we could all benefit from the story of this Sufi teacher – a man of peace and love, who meets the fellow with whom he has conversations that change both his life and his poetry.


This should be a win!

This should be more than a win, this should be a happy dance kind of time!


Rather specifically, it should be a Sufi swirling dance kind of time!


But it’s not.

Sadly, screenwriter Franzoni and producer, Stephen Joel Brown definitely want to give Rumi the full ‘Hollywood’ treatment.

They want Leonardo DiCaprio to play Rumi.


They would also like Robert Downey Jr. to play Shams of Tabriz.


Who was an Iranian Muslim.


 They want to, in full Hollywood tradition – erase the Middle Eastern roots of the men whose stories they want, so desperately, to tell!

This is what they say in The Guardian article:

“David Franzoni, who wrote the script for the 2000 blockbuster Gladiator, and Stephen Joel Brown, a producer on the Rumi film, said they wanted to challenge the stereotypical portrayal of Muslim characters in western cinema by charting the life of the great Sufi scholar.”

They want to challenge the stereotypical portrayal of Muslim characters in Western cinema, by having two stars of Western cinema who have no ethnic ties to the Middle East play the roles.


Well, that is pretty stereotypical – hate to break that to you, Mr. Franzoni.

It’s whitewashing.

It’s the erasure of ethnic people in the stories of their own lives.

It is the essence of what TFP always likes to say:


Oh sure, they ‘love’ the Rumi story. They ‘love’ it as source material.

What they are failing to ‘love’ is the very real point that these two men are ethnic men.

What they are failing to realize is that in 13th Century Afghanistan, as men who were religious scholars, their heritage both religious and ethnic played a vital part in their lives and influenced how they came to their work – work which is still selling, hundreds of years later!


Look, this film is not even written yet, the writer and producer are on their way to do research – and no, the two actors mentioned are not attached in any way – one hopes they would be too intelligent and too aware to agree to star in a film that is supposed to be about two men with Persian heritage.

If not, someone for the love of all that is holy please go and whisper these two titles in their ears “PRINCE OF PERSIA” and “GODS OF EGYPT” – should wake them up like a kimchi slap in late August.


This is the same issue that happened when the writer for Dr. Strange decided to give us all a lecture on the vagaries of casting an East Asian Actor, as he saw it – for which Marvel later smacked him with a wet noodle and made him apologize for – these writers do not see ethnic peoples as anything but source material for the basis of a script in which Caucasians will star.


This is a very real problem that is enabled by the entire way Hollywood writes and casts films.


It is a problem of entitlement. It is fueled by past successes and enormous egos, and there needs to be a reckoning.


That these two men feel quite comfortable in saying their end goal, to tell the story of one of the world’s greatest poets, includes having him played by a man with no Persian background, all to change the stereotypes of Muslims…


For announcing their intent to whitewash the roles of two of the most influential Muslim men who were ever born, TFP fines Mr. Franzoni and Mr. Brown to fifty whacks with the wand and a WGA diversity training session, which they are to be locked in like it’s a Scientology debriefing until they ‘get it’.

Seriously, Dudes…think about it – GODS OF EGYPT and PRINCE OF PERSIA, but you want to do the same damn thing…


TFP out.

The Fairy Princess has been out of sorts lately – several deaths in the Family in a short period of time, some travel, some charity work – and therefore has not weighed in as yet since The Ancient One was crowned Celtic by Marvel.


Which is not to say she has not been paying attention – she has attended panels and discussions, so let’s get to it.

The Good:

Asian American Film Lab is lighting it up again with their annual 72 Hour Shoot Out. This is when contestants have 72 hours to write and produce a short film that centers around a theme. This year’s theme was “Lose the Labels’.  All eligible films have been submitted now and the top ten winning films will premiere on July 23rd at the Asian American International Film Festival in New York City.


In more AAFL news, their short film, The Opposite of a Fairy Tale, will premiere at MOCA on Thursday June 16th at 6:30pm. The short is about elder abuse in the Asian and Asian American communities, and is based on a true story.

The Bad:

THE KING AND I revival on Broadway has posted their closing date – June 26th.


We have to be happy to have had this sumptuous revival on Broadway, which gave us our second (ever) API Female TONY Winner in Performance, Ruthie Ann Miles…


however with the closing of the show, the API representation on The Great WHITE Way is now being represented in leading roles for women by TONY Nominee, Philippa Soo of HAMILTON,


Miss Isabella Russo in SCHOOL OF ROCK,


and Courtney Reed in ALADDIN.


JUST ANNOUNCED Casting of Ali Ewoldt as the first API to play Christine in PHANTOM on Broadway. (The role has been played by an API previously – Margaret Ann Gates in Canada).

TFP did not get the ‘math gene’, but in case you were wondering that is 1 plus 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 4. (stop singing that number from SIDE SHOW!)

For MALE representation on Broadway in a lead role there is…ONE, as of June 26,2016.



Adam Jacobs. Here he is with his Parents.


Yep, once KING AND I is closed, the only API Male Lead on Bway will be Mr. Jacobs.

Until MISS SAIGON gets here, we had hopes of a more Jellicle representation, but…


We can do WAY better with that, Broadway, can’t we? Don’t give in to the perception that APIs cannot sell tickets, or that people will not go and see shows with APIs in lead roles. It’s  the ‘No Fats, Femmes, or Asians” esthetic that keeps infiltrating our ability to be called in, to be truly considered, and finally to be cast.

Broadway should be better than that. Broadway should be better than what TFP likes to call ‘accidental racism’ – the ‘OH, there just aren’t any”, or “We don’t know if they have broad appeal…”

There are a ton of shows coming in and guess what – other than MISS SAIGON, GOTTA DANCE and one cast member of CATS…there are no APIs. Feel free to email TFP if she is wrong, but judging by what is coming in…nope.

The only lead role for an API coming into the next season is Lori Tan Chinn in GOTTA DANCE. Which will bring the number of lead roles – assuming the casting announced at the top of this blog remains intact – to FIVE.


UPDATE: Philippa Soo has announced that she is leaving the cast of HAMILTON in July- so…back to FOUR.

TFP wants to expand everyone’s idea of casting APIs, we do not have to just be in roles where ethnicity is ‘required’ – we can and should play any role that our talent justifies – and thus she throws this circumstance out there, just for your consideration.

Next season, the venerated East West Players is doing GYPSY.


Yes, that is what TFP was told.

Now, traditionally, EWP has done what a great many ‘ethnic’ theaters do in America and has done for example, an All API Sweeney Todd – this is all well and good. However, recently AD Tim Dang, who is retiring after years and years of service, did choose to integrate his casting, particularly in their production of PIPPIN because, he believes this is the ‘next step’.

TFP is inclined to agree with him.

So when she started thinking about GYPSY and how it might be perceived, she had a thought, based on her own niece’s being blonde and blue eyed…

What if Mama Rose was Hapa? Aka ‘mixed race’. What if the father of Louise and Baby June (who is never seen) was Caucasian – thus Baby June is blonde and while Louise is a brunette, she also does not look what most people would view as Asian?

Then, all of a sudden you realize, without having to be ‘told’ about racism – you would ‘see’ why it was that Mama Rose singing to all those Shriners really did not have a ‘chance’, but why her kids would? It would also go along with many Hollywood stories – Viven Leigh, Merle Oberon…people who had Asian heritage, but who ‘passed’.

For example, just as an example – ALLEGIANCE’s Manna Nichols…as grown up Louise? TFP thinks audiences would relish this kind of reimagining of a classic MT piece.


THINK of the EPIC and intrinsic anger that Rose’s Turn would have by the end of the show and the poignancy of Louise watching her and telling her “You would have been great, Mama.”

It would be a very interesting way to deal with APIs doing GYPSY in this day and age – and let’s be honest – Gypsy Rose Lee? LEE?

It’s just a thought.


Back to the APIs of The Broadway – come on Producers – ALLEGIANCE is closed, KING AND I is closing – tick tock. Tick tock – we cannot just leave it to The Family Jacobs to hold it down for all of us.

Now…coincidentally, Mr. Jacob’s sister named…wait for it…Arielle, is going Down Under to play Jasmine in their production of ALADDIN and for half a second TFP needs to address some sh..some stuff going on as an Aussie.


TFP is a dual citizen, and her family has been in Oz since the 1800’s. Her Chinese side of the family. So no, no one was transported – sit down, and let’s get to listening.

There has been quite a bit of push back in Oz about Ms. Jacob’s casting, as well as productions bringing over cast members from The States to do shows in Australia. The shows that are upsetting folks are – ALADDIN, KINKY BOOTS, BOOK OF MORMON, LION KING, HAMILTON...and everyone needs to stop moaning about it.


You see, Aussie theater is even more closed to people of color than American or British theater – hard to believe, but it is true. The shows that are bringing over performers are not HEATHERS or MY FAIR LADY – both currently in production there – no – the shows that are bringing over performers are shows that require Actors of Color in the roles.

(* Correction: MFL does have one Brit, in the role of Henry Higgins, 3x Olivier Winner, Alex Jennings. He is Caucasian. 

The Australian Performers Union is trying to hammer out an agreement with Foreign Producers, which TFP supports without question. 

This post is not about that fight specifically- this is about reactions she has noticed on Aussie Actor message boards etc- it is not about performer visas or the ability to obtain a green card, it is about professional camaraderie.)

Whilst Oz has gotten away with ‘well we just don’t have any over here‘ for quite a long time – it was only a year or so ago they cast a Caucasian as The King in King and I, before internet uproar had them replace him with Jason Scott Lee, and then Lou Diamond Philips- that is simply not true. 

There are PoC Performers, but unless you go to Theater 4A or some such place, they are not visible.

Thus, when it comes to a visible presence on Aussie stages for Performers of Color, it is rare to non-existent. Which is why Producers often bring PoC performers from overseas.

Which led to some really ‘interesting’ comments that TFP saw on Aussie actor message boards etc.

So, my fellow Aussies – you need to stop.

Lola cannot be played by a Caucasian. Likewise The Genie, Jasmine, and so on and so forth.


Again- this is NOT to say that there are no Actors of Color over in Oz, for example they are doing AVENUE Q over there and they do have an Asian Aussie playing Christmas Eve – which, let’s face it, is better than they did in Cincinnati!


But the truth is, an overwhelming majority of roles in Australia, in musical theater, go to Caucasians – and it is this disparity, that leads to minority Aussie actors not having as much on their resumes and possibly less representation by agents and so forth – and the snowball effect is – if you are a big producer bringing a show over from The States or Britain, and your show requires an Actor or Actress of Color, you are going to bring someone in because they have the Broadway/West End experience of eight shows a week.

These castings are not, truly, something for Aussie Actors in Musical Theater who are NOT of minority heritage, to get upset about. Let’s also remember, than when an Aussie or NZ Actor is on Broadway – of which there have been many, no performers over here protest in the way that TFP has seen in the vice versa.

Hugh Jackman? Bring it. Hayden Tee? Sings like a boss. Kaye Tuckerman in MAMA MIA? No one blinked. There are SO many here they have their own night at 54 Below! 

US performers are fine with it.

No worries, Mate. No Worries at all.

Also note – the original story of Aladdin was added to Arabian nights later. The original story occurs in China along the Silk Road trading routes, so casting a person of East Asian descent is technically correct.

These producers are not doing anything except protecting the integrity of their show – and they have a right to do so. Relax. No, you probably will not be in HAMILTON unless you are King George, but that is called a ‘world view’ and that is something to be embraced and learned from.

In short…allow yourselves, Aussie Producers and Directors to embrace more diversity on your stages, look for local PoC Actors, but until then..if Actors of Color are coming over there to work, you need to…


TFP now has to address a stupid thing said this past week – she will try and be brief…which, as we all know, is not her strongest suit.

So, the President of CBS Glenn Geller said, in regards to their picking up almost exclusively, shows that star mainly Caucasian males in their 40’s, 50’s, that though they have some diversity in their ensembles and shows (Madame Secretary, Mom, 2 Broke Girls) with a female leads, that “We’re not casting color-blind, we’re casting color conscious – the right roles for diversity.”


The “Right roles’, as in…very few? As in “Supporting”? As in “Recurring?”


The genius of this verbiage is that over the course of the years, people have stopped calling for ‘color blind’ casting – which came to mean to some, just sticking a diverse actor in a role simply to complete a picture, and they have started using ‘color conscious’. Meaning, please, if the show takes place in an area or field where there is naturally diverse people, please use variety when representing this location.

He is taking the ‘advancement’ of the language and turning it back on under-represented folks, in essence saying – Y’all would not like to be in THIS show, it’s not a place you would fit.

Like, in society? In America?


TFP supposes it does not matter – ABC is totes kicking CBS’s tush in their casting and subject matter – take a look at this fantastic trailer from their new show, SPEECHLESS

Carry on ABC, you are kicking ass and taking names. 

The Dummer Award? Named for Exec Victoria Dummer? Acknowledging advanced ways of thinking and supporting a rainbow of talent?

Awesome! Rock on ABC!

Likewise, yay for The CW and the dope way Mark Pedowitz said he was renewing everything because he liked the schedule.


Congrats to the TV Execs that show vision!

All the other ones Kiss My Fan Tan Fannie! They know who they are.

TFP out.