This story was originally published in the December 15, 2017 issue of The Slant. To get Asian American news, media and culture in your e-mail inbox every Friday morning, subscribe today.
The Golden Globes and SAG Awards announced nominations this week and hey! Asian Americans made the cut! Hong Chau, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang are among the honorees this year, as well as songwriter Robert Lopez. Actors like Kumail Nanjiani were also recognized by SAG as members of an ensemble.
It’s also an exciting day for Asian American sci-fi nerds (s/o to our fearless leader Andrew) (why did I watch Star Wars on a Slant writing night?? -Ed.) because Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out and features Vietnamese actresses Kelly Marie Tran and Veronica Ngo, among a whole bunch of others.
Asians have made it to the galaxy far far away before (okay mostly in Rogue One), but having women and people of color headline one of the biggest franchises of all time is no small thing and we are HERE FOR IT.
(By the way, none of those links have spoilers for TLJ. Just saying.)
So is that it? We did it fam!
Okay, not really. While we celebrate these artists, we are clearly still at the beginning. The Asian Pacific American Media Coalition released its latest report card on Asian American representation at the major television networks and while things are improving, this year saw a record high grade of a B. Which in both Asian and representation terms is a failing grade.
Representation was a major topic of conversation at last week’s Unforgettable Gala, an annual event honoring Asian American trailblazers, and I think Daniel Dae Kim said it best: “Move beyond these notions of simply being included—to lead…If you’re a leader, you never have to beg for a place at the table because you’re the one hosting the dinner.”
—Jessica Yi, editor, who encourages you all to host dinners and send her an invitation