Last Thursday, a bevy of Asian and Pacific Islander celebrities, from Hasan Minhaj and Simu Liu to Deepti Vempati and Jessica Henwick, attended the Asian Pacific Islander Celebration of Excellence, an event hosted by Netflix, Hollywood Reporter and Gold House to commemorate the API. the successes of the community in 2022.
and it seems almost each creative was there: actors, musicians, comedians, reality stars (yes, of Love is blind Y ostentatious empire), You say it.
The night started with a squid game–the performance inspired by the GRV Dance Crew (complete with pink and green guard outfits) and MAMA Night Market (which aims to preserve immigrant culture through food) provided an incredible variety of food from local API-owned businesses.
Los Angeles-based artist Simon Kim even featured an API character mural from Netflix’s 2022 lineup, featuring the faces of Jason Momoa, Arden Cho, Randall Park, Shen Wang, Simone Ashley, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Jo Koy, the cast of ostentatious empirethe infamous doll of squid gameand more.
Needless to say, it was a whole night. In her welcoming remarks, host Rebecca Sun, Hollywood Reporter’s senior editor for diversity and inclusion, made sure to stress the importance of “[amplifying] narratives from underrepresented communities”, as well as the fact that the API community “is not a monolith”.
Throughout the night, numerous celebrities stopped by to talk about the media and Asian/Pacific Islander representation, particularly after the 2022 wins, so here’s what they had to say:
Hasan Minhaj: “If you think about the way Hollywood viewed our culture 20 years ago, we were considered culturally irrelevant. Now, we’re doing some of the most relevant, moving, cutting-edge work.”
Yoshi Sudarso: “There is a lot [of impactful work]. That’s the beauty of it; You won’t get bored because there’s a lot.”
Jessica Henwick on the abundance of API media today: “Saying ‘Asian’ doesn’t mean anything anymore. We’re getting specific and finding original authentic voices.”
Rich Ting: “We are finally being recognized for all the assets and crowds we have as [APIs]. We are not all Chinese. Not all of us speak a certain way. There are thousands of stories within our community.”
Deepti Vempati on Asians and Pacific Islanders on reality TV: “[It’s] very white-dominated, and we’re still making our way.”
Kevin Kreider: “No one has seen us like this, being on a reality TV show. People haven’t seen us as romantic leads before, but we are. People haven’t seen us as powerful women, I’m not a powerful woman, but I’m just saying people haven’t seen that, and we have.”
Dinah Jane on Pacific Islanders in the media and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in DC black adam: “We are used to being very humble, so for us to step up and show that we are here too, that matters. I feel that [successful East Asian media, like Squid Game] It gives us Polynesians the drive to stand right behind you and say, ‘Let’s all do this together as a community.'”
Dr. Gabriel Chiu on the API community’s journey towards justice and equality: “You have to take steps before you can run. And as you can see from tonight, we are starting to run.”
Hopefully, we see these wins for the API community continue into 2023 and beyond. Until now, we are already waiting for new Star Wars Serie the acolyte (starring Lee Jung-Jae and Manny Jacinto, among others), the live-action film Avatar the last airbender series, Season 3 of indian matchmaker, Season 2 of Pachinkonew Disney+ series chinese born american (starring Michelle Yeoh), season 2 of Our flag means deaththe last season of I have never, and more!
What do you think of these celebrities’ comments? If you are Asian and/or Pacific Islander, have you felt more visible and seen yourself on screen in any of your work this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below!