The MTV Movie and TV Awards happened last night. And the winner for Best Movie…
To All The Boys: Always and Forever.
This is important. This is a movie about an Asian American young woman starring an Asian American young woman, which sounds redundant because why wouldn’t a story about an Asian American young woman star an Asian American young woman but…Hollywood.
It’s also important because people of Asian descent continue to be invisible in western popular culture. Heather, who is one of our producers on etalk, sent me the results of a survey that was conducted by the non-profit Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change after the Atlanta-area shootings in March when eight people were murdered, six of them Asian women.
“When asked to name a famous Asian American, 42 percent of respondents answered “don’t know.” The next most popular choices were martial arts legends Jackie Chan (11 percent), who’s from Hong Kong, and Bruce Lee (9 percent), who died nearly a half-century ago. The results were similar across racial groups: Among Black, white and Latino Americans, “don’t know” was the most common answer.”
So that’s nearly half who “don’t know” and then some other people were like oh, those kung fu guys. Which speaks to either invisibility and/or stereotype. The survey also found that “1 in 5 respondents thought Asian Americans were ‘more loyal to their countries of origin than to the US’”; I suspect it would be similar in Canada since anti-Asian racism, per capita, is higher in Canada than in the United States. Just last week, Bloomberg published an article about how Vancouver is the “anti-Asian hate crime capital of North America”. Great look!
All of these are contributing factors to why Asians in North America continue to be othered. So to go back to Lana Condor and To All The Boys, it’s not just a golden bucket of popcorn, it’s about the significance of seeing her take the lead in a young adult rom-com – and make it popular, as in popular culture. It’s about being seen.
So if you haven’t seen it already, and if you have I’m pushing it in your faces again, here’s a PSA that was launched last week in support of the #FaceRace campaign. We are thrilled that it went viral in Canada last week and we are hoping to keep up this momentum at least for the duration of Asian and AAPI Heritage Month.
Yours in gossip,