The Fairy Princess was feeling good…
Nothing is “perfect’, but there was some good news out there – and by the way -there still is:
MISS SAIGON is opening this evening on Broadway tonight, and we wish them very well – break everything and slay the people!
Several people have booked pilots, and several series with API leads were renewed – more on that later but very quickly – off the top of the head – Congrats to B.D. Wong, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Masi Oka, Kunal Nayar, Parvesh Cheena, Leonardo Nam, Rodney To, Isabella Russo, Amy Hill, someone TFP is not supposed to say because he is believes in curses and bad luck, and all others who are waiting to hear if their shows were renewed or whatever – may the odds be ever in your favor. (Also, she may have missed a few names, she will get there)
The 72 Hour Shootout by the Asian American Film Lab has applications open and here is the trailer.
This year’s shootout will take place from June 1-4th and will be judged by ABC’s Exec Dir of Casting, among others – and prizes range from cash to NBC Mentorships!
The one requirement for the Shootout is that one of your key production members be of Asian descent, and one of your principal cast members.
You get 72 hours to write, cast, film, and produce your masterpiece – so get your teams together and get ready for summer!
We all know that Marvel has released IRON FIST and the reviews have been less than stellar
Now, they sent their, ahem, first string – their FIST string if you will, out there to defend the casting of a white male as Iron Fist and…it did not go well.
Poor Finn Jones.
It got so bad – he quit the Twittah!
YAAASSS Gurl, QUIT IT!
(For like, a week)
He had to get his ‘zen’ back so he could look at that ridiculous poster.
Then in an attempt to “clap back” as the kids say, the co- creator of the comic – Roy Thomas, said in a interview with Inverse:
“…I have so little patience for some of the feelings that some people have. I mean, I understand where it’s coming from. You know, cultural appropriation, my god. It’s just an adventure story. Don’t these people have something better to do than worry about the fact that Iron Fist isn’t Oriental, or whatever word? I know Oriental isn’t the right word now either.”
First Marvel casts the Iron Fist as a white guy – (which, btw, TFP always thought they were going to do, because the character was written that way originally and though MANY thought, and TFP agreed, that this would be a perfect time to re-imagine the character as either Asian/American or someone of Asian descent – to both negate the co-option and to still give the character an ‘otherness’ when he went to China – they did not) and then Mr. Thomas decides, deliberately, to insult Asian/Americans by negating their concerns in a half-assed manner.
Hold my earrings!
However, Iron Fist Co-Star, Jessica Henwick tweeted back at him that
“Oriental is a term used to describe rugs, not people”.
Which is pretty badass.
She can come sit next to TFP at the next Hapas of Hollywood round table.
Totally kidding – no such roundtable.
Ok Mr. Thomas – yes, we all realize that the casting of Iron Fist was problematic, essentially because – if you are going to whitesplain China to us, you are going to have to pick someone with a bit more, shall we say, range.
However, TFP realizes everyone already discussed the many shortcomings of Finn Jones as Danny Rand – and whether it is fair or not – it is already out there and she is not going to add to it.
It’s been done.
What she will do, however, is give you just a little lesson on using words that you realize are not the correct words – in fact, your use of them is designed to set us all spinning and simultaneously remind us all of our ‘place’ within the Marvel world.
Which is that we are there at all, only by your good graces.
Which is not, really, as we soldier on into our intersectional world, something that we want to encourage. It is not something we will even tolerate, given the disdain that you have repeatedly shown for Asian/Americans and their viewpoints.
“Oriental” is a word that was used back in yon olden days until likely the last 25 years or so to yes, describe Asians.
Now – it came originally from a map perspective – what was Occidental was Western, and what was to the East was Oriental. This was from the map maker’s perspective, which was a Eurocentric perspective. After all, they were making maps of what they knew, and not everyone at the time, way back in the day knew a hell of a lot about China and so on because…no internet, no planes – just boats, and things that could be pulled by animals.
Makes sense, except however this usage extended to everything – grouped everyone together and made ‘us’ and our many variables one giant mass of “Not White People“.
To put in language that you can best understand, our origin stories, if you will, got lumped together into one big morass of “Other’. We were not Persian, or Chinese, or Japanese, Korean, Thai, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Indian, Pacific Islander, Pakistani…we were just them.
All look same dot com.
Terms like exotic and foreign and Far East were also used adjacent to “Oriental‘ and that is part of the whole ‘appropriation‘ that you scoffed at, but which you made money from. You had the character go to China, learn martial arts and mystical stuff and then return to the USA, inherit a fortune and then solve crime, all the while relying on his ‘mystic martial arts’ to pull it off.
It was part of a movement that pandered to the dominance of white culture – and we see it’s effects even to this day.
(It is the kind of thing that well, led to electing the Orange Combover Twitler to office.)
Now, do white people get described in terms of their relevance as objects?
Would TFP ever say “Oh, don’t invite those Shag Carpets, the last time there were here they got wine all over the linens.”
Does she say “That is a Caucasian vase from the Early Elizabethan period known as an Occidental, notice the etchings on the side?“
Has she ever uttered “Darling, wherever should I place this lovely painting that the Wall to Walls sent us? So thoughtful. It’s part of their culture you know….”
Even with as much as a pain as those fans are, how their devotion to a comic book character interrupts your ability to sip whisky by the fireplace and contemplate your navel – they need to be given more dignity by you. “Nerds’ that have literally funded your life and art who are weighing in and campaigning for what they would like to see going forward – you should give them more respect than the rug that you are likely walking on even now in your study and address their concerns with thought.
Not to mention your Actors who happen to be of Asian descent – Jessica Henwick and Lewis Tan – who are working on your show and helping it have life again and thus ensuring a very comfortable retirement for you – don’t they deserve more respect than being compared to a rug?
Because you have been a very poor student if you do not realize one of the basic tenants of Chinese culture, of Japanese culture, of almost every Asian culture – is respect.
Especially when you know that they can do this?
One would think you would do everything you could to keep them happy.
So when you speak of us again, and you will – you WILL – please remember – it is Asian/American or East Asian or South Asian or even just Asian and not, ahem – RUGS!
TFP fines you 500 lashes with the wand!
It wasn’t so much that you ‘accidentally‘ used the word Oriental, TFP could just chalk it up to your ‘generation’ and mark it as a misuse of an outdated term.
It is how you used it to show that, for you, Asians do not really have a valid viewpoint and that they should just shut up. You used it deliberately to hurt people and why?
You already won – sorta. Iron Fist is Finn Jones. Got it.
So take it – take all the backlash – and you think about it.