It was a great year for Asian-American women on television

 

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We’re finally getting past all those geisha and ninja stereotypes.

Asian-American women, and women in general, have long faced the woes of horrible storylines or just plain missing from shows. This messy writing or lack of diversity on the small screen stems from the absence of minorities and women in the writers’ room.

But in 2014, we’ve seen some inspiring portrayals of Asian-American women on television that have brought dimension to ladies who are often turned into flat tropes. We still need more of these types of characters, but thankfully we’re inching toward better representation.

Headliners: 

Lucy Liu proves that Asian-American women can be leading ladies without being a stereotype. Liu is one of the most recognizable Asian-American actresses in Hollywood, known for her roles on Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill: Vol. 1, two movies that tokenized her race. But Liu currently co-stars as Dr. Joan Watson in Elementary, a modern take on Sherlock Holmes, alongside Jonny Lee Miller.

Watson is incredibly intelligent and capable, but not without flaws. She was once a surgeon, but accidentally killed a patient. Unable to trust herself, she let her medical license expire, and eventually becomes Holmes’ detective apprentice. She’s sexy, she’s smart, she makes mistakes — in short, she’s a human being.

She has her demons, but she doesn’t let anyone make her decisions for her. She’s an interesting main character who just so happens to be Asian.

More than just casting:

Television is also making progress with writing storylines centering around Asian culture. MTV’s Teen Wolf, a teenage-supernatural drama with a dark side, may be the best example. This year, the series introduced Kira Yukimura and her family.

Portrayed by Arden Cho, Kira shows that there are many ways to be Asian — in her case, Korean-Japanese. She’s also a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit with the ability to absorb electricity, plus some deadly skills with a katana.

Furthermore, Kira’s powers and one main storyline of Teen Wolf‘s third season are deeply rooted in the Japanese internment camps of the 1940s, a smear on America’s history that’s often overlooked. The mistreatment of Japanese people during World War II is a part of many Asian-Americans’ identity and experience in the United States. Integrating this part of the past into the show is an effort to bring underrepresented history to wider audiences.

Funny and flirty:

Asian-American women can be sexual and go on tons of dates. The Mindy Project features Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a spunky OB-GYN who makes her way through a cavalcade of flings before settling down with fellow doctor Danny Castellano in the show’s latest season. While Kaling is Indian-American and might not have the same experiences as a Korean-American, she still falls under the Asian-American umbrella.

The Fox comedy is filled with sex and intimacy, showing that Asian-American women can be vocal when it comes to the bedroom. Mindy knows what she wants, when she wants it and if she doesn’t want it (as in the episode about anal sex).

The Mindy Project also flips the script on the typical dating storyline. Usually it’s a white protagonist who goes on dates with a pretty homogeneously white lineup, until bam, there’s one diverse hottie who “makes up” for being the only one (ahem, Girls). In Kaling’s show, we see her dating a crop of primarily white dudes, showing that she’s as much in control of her dating destiny as anyone else.

Room to grow: 

The one-dimensional Asian-American character on television shows still exists — take a look at Awkward‘s Ming (Jessica Lu) or Scorpion‘s Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong). Visibility is essential, but stereotyped writing can be dangerous. Fortunately, the Dr. Joan Watsons and Kira Yukimuras are making important progress toward more diverse actors getting multifaceted characters to play.

Other disenfranchised communities are also making their way to the small screen. For these minorities, including Asian-American women, increased visibility might seem slow. But while more, and more accurate, depictions should be a given, we can celebrate what we do have — and continue to fight for diverse inclusion in the shows we love.

Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal’s 2014 Unforgettable awards gala: Celebs share their holiday plans

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Audrey Magazine: 

 

On December 5, the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles nightlife was alive and well on the chilly winter night. On the outskirts of Koreatown stands the Legendary Park Plaza Hotel, the venue of Audrey Magazine and KoreAm Journal’s 13th annual Unforgettable awards gala.

When entering the hotel, guests were greeted with a giant, brightly-lit Christmas tree which was not only the perfect picturesque backdrop, but it also elicited a sense of holiday spirit. Curious as to what our guests had planned for Christmas, we asked a few to see what their responses would be:


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Actress Ming-Na Wen, the recipient of the “Actress of the Year” award for her role in ABC’s hit television show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., stated, “We’re going to Hawaii, but I’m going to decorate the house. I love decorating the house.”

A performer that night, David Choi attended the event along side YouTubers Arden Cho, Anna Akana, and Philip Wang. When asked how he was going to be spending the holidays the singer/songwriter simply replied, “I’m just going to spend it with family, visit my aunt with all my cousins.

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For his main role in the romantic comedy television series, SELFIE, John Cho was awarded “Actor of the Year” as well as Royal Salute’s “Mark of Respect Award.” Having just had his second child last year, he replied, “I’ll be around; the kids are too young to travel right now.”

Canadian-British actress Karen David, Princess Isabelle in ABC’s Gavalvant, is also going overseas, “For the holiday season, me and my hubby are going to Australia this year because my friend is getting married. I promised my parents that when we get back that we’re going to do a sort of post-Christmas celebration with them because it’s all about time with the family and having good food. And quite frankly, I miss my mother’s Chinese cooking, so I’m going home.”

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Star of Disney’s newest animated film Big Hero 6, Ryan Potter answered matter-of-factly, “I have a bunch of videos to put together for my portfolio for CalArts, so that’ll be it. I’ll just be shooting and editing throughout the holidays, but I’ll still see my family. We’ll have a honey baked ham, so ya.”

Actress and YouTube personality Anna Akana’s response was a change of pace: “I’m going to Italy in ten days! I’m really excited. Me and my boyfriend are going to for seven days over there and then we’ll come back to spend Christmas with my family.”

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Known for her powerhouse vocals, The Voice winner, Tessanne Chin performed two amazing songs that fully displayed her talents. With the mention of the holidays, she sprung right into things, saying, “I’m so excited to see my family because we have been traveling so much this year. I actually get some special time with my husband, my sister, my daddy and my nephew. I can cook up some good food and just do nothing for at least a week or two. That sounds like bliss to me right now.

In addition to John Cho and Ming-Na Wen, Arden Cho and Ki Hong Lee both received an award for “Breakout Star of the Year.” And this night wasn’t just about awards. There were a number of live performances that kept us on the edge of our seat.

Urban dance group KINJAZ kicked off the night with captivating moves followed by a performance by Tessanne Chin, whose powerful vocals left the entire audience in disbelief. Choreographer/dancer Mike Song and beatbox champion KRNFX teamed up for an equally entertaining and humorous performance followed by another duet courtesy of David Choi and Arden Cho. The audience sang along with the sweet duo before G.NA dazzled them with K-pop. Following an opening act by Howard Chen, Yoon Mi Rae hit the stage and brought the audience to their feet. This was followed by an unforgettable encore performance with Tiger JK and Bizzy.

Living up to its name, this night was truly Unforgettable.

–STORY BY AMBER CHEN
All photos courtesy of White Rose Production.

– See more at: http://audreymagazine.com/unforgettable-2014-celebs-share-their-holiday-plans/#sthash.e2xEUyZa.dpuf

Audrey Magazine & KoreAm Journal’s 13th annual gala, Unforgettable 2014

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Audrey Magazine: 

 

Audrey Magazine KoreAm Journal’s 13th annual gala, Unforgettable, is quickly approaching! This celebrity-studded event, dedicated to honoring Asian American achievements within the past year, will take place Friday, December 5th at the Legendary Park Plaza Hotel.

This event is sure to be one of the premiere entertainment events of the year for the Asian American community. After all, this night not only consists of an awards ceremony, a gourmet three-course dinner and a hosted after-party for it’s 500 honored guests, it will also include highly-anticipated performances sure to leave any guest on the edge of their seat.

Check out this impressive line-up:

 


 

Yoon Mi Rae
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Yoon Mi Rae, also known as the ‘Queen of Korean Hip-Hop,’ is an American born hip-hop and R&B artist under the new label, Feel Ghood Music. She was named one of ‘The 12 Best New Female Emcees Dominating Mics Everywhere’ by MTV Iggy and has been considered one of the most influential rappers in Korea. Since her debut at an early age of 16 as a singer/rapper, Yoon Mi Rae has released chart-topping albums and singles receiving several awards including Mnet’s ‘Best Original Soundtrack’. Last year, her OST single ‘Touch Love’ swept all of Korea’s music charts including Billboard Korea’s Hot 100 list. This year, Yoon Mi Rae returned to warm the hearts of many with her voice in ‘I Love You’ for the OST of Korea’s recent #1 TV drama, ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’.

 


 

Tessanne Chin
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Jamaican recording artist Tessanne Chin, who is of Chinese descent, is most known for her successful win on Season 5 of NBC’s The Voice. Born to musical parents, Tessanne Chin began performing at the ripe, young age of 6.  Now, she has opened for a number of famous acts, toured for three years with Jimmy Cliff and her debut album Count on My Love was released on July 1, 2014 under Republic Records.

 


 

Arden Cho and David Choi
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Arden Cho is an actress, singer-songwriter and model most known for her role as Kira on MTV’s Teen WolfIn early 2013, Arden pursued her music career with the release of her self-produced EP, My True Happy, currently available on iTunes.  With an active and growing following on her YouTube channel, ardenBCho, Arden continues to showcase her creative and music endeavors.

David Choi is a native Los Angeles singer, songwriter and producer. On YouTube, he has close to a million subscribers and over 117,000,000 total video views. David has toured all over the world performing his original songs and covers in front of thousands of people. He wrote and self produced all three of his albums including “Forever and Ever.”

 

 


 

G.NA
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G.NA is a Canadian singer and songwriter who reached stardom in South Korea. Her first digital duet song with Rain was released in 2010. This was also the year that her debut mini album Draw G’s First Breath was released. She recently released the music video to “G.NA’s Secret” on her official YouTube channel which has over 160,000 followers.

 


 

Mike Song and KRNFX
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Mike Song is a dancer and choreographer most known for being part of America’s Best Dance Crew’s Kaba Modern, Step Up Revolution, BLAZE: World Tour, and KINJAZ. He has become an international performer, judge and teacher. With over 30 million views on his Youtube channel, he has established a presence as one of the most recognizable personas in the dance scene.

Terry Im, more commonly known as KRNFX, is a Korean Canadian beatboxer and singer. He is most know for competing in the first season of Canada’s Got Talent in 2012, for winning the first Canadian Beatbox Championships in 2010 and for his YouTube videos. KRFX has collaborated Mike Song to make an appearance on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

 


 

KINJAZ
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The Kinjaz are a Los Angeles-based performance group originally created by Mike Song and Anthony Lee. The group aims to combine theatrics, intricate choreography and comedy to create a new form of story-telling. The Kinjaz include members from America’s Best Dance Crew‘s Kaba Modern, The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers “LXD”, and Jabbawockeezs.

 

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Teen Wolf & YouTube star Arden Cho to host DramaFever Awards

 

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If you like Korean dramas, you’ve likely heard of DramaFever. The online video site distributes Korean drama from all three major Korean TV networks.

Teen Wolf and YouTube star Arden Cho is tapped to host the DramaFever Awards May 1st.

She has a regular role as Kira in the MTV hit show Teen Wolf and has also appeared on CSI NY and Pretty Little Liars.

Check out this link:

Teen Wolf & YouTube star Arden Cho to host DramaFever Awards

Link

First look: Arden Cho of MTV’s “Teen Wolf”

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Check out homegirl Arden Cho looking good in this new promo photo for the upcoming season of MTV‘s supernatural drama Teen Wolf. She plays Kira Yukimura, the new girl who arrives at Beacon Hills and finds herself “propelled into the world of the supernatural.

Arden Cho is a Korean American actress, singer/songwriter and model. She has appeared in supporting roles in the television shows CSI: NY and Pretty Little Liars and the 2011 feature Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. Also in 2011, Cho starred in the 35-minute YouTube feature Agents of Secret Stuff presented by Nigahiga and Wong Fu Productions.

In 2010, the cosmetic brand Clinique announced Cho as the model for their newest advertisement campaign in Asia. The campaign was launched in mid-November 2010. Clinique was reported to have stated that they “selected Cho not because she was Korean, but because she had the beauty to represent Asia.” Cho modeled for Reebok Korea in 2010 and for Nike Japan in 2008. She has also modeled for Apple and Alexander McQueen and appeared in VoguePurple Fashion and Nylon Magazine.

Cho is a prolific YouTube author, mainly producing vlogs and musical videos but also appearing as a guest on established YouTube channels. Her commercial and film work may also be observed on YouTube.

In May 2010, Cho and Grace Su created the YouTube account artichokeandpeachies, named for its owners’ respective monikers, “artichoke” being a pseudo-homophone of “Arden Cho” and “peachies” alluding to Grace Su’s personal blog at peachies.net. The channel features the collaborative video-blogging efforts of the twenty-something Los Angeles roommates.

Of the channel, Cho said, “Initially, we had no idea what direction we wanted to go in. The first blog we did, we basically just said ‘hi.’”Although the account is now closed, Cho has pursued the publishing of YouTube content with her solely owned accounts ardencho and ardenBCho. The accounts are for her vlogs and her film and television work, respectively.

Teen Wolf returns in January and airs Mondays on MTV.

Check out this link:

First look: Arden Cho of MTV’s “Teen Wolf”