Squid Game, Shang-Chi, Olivia Rodrigo: 2021's going to be an Asian Halloween
No tricks, only treats for our 2nd "Entertainment Exclusive" newsletter.
“Almost half of all Asian roles serve as a punchline, study finds.”
You’re not the only ones disappointed by that headline. For us, “crushing the myth” means dismantling stereotypes and improving Asian representation across all industries, including Media & Entertainment. Because to “see” our community is to see us on screen.
So welcome to Entertainment Exclusive, Crushing the Myth’s new weekly newsletter that breaks down the latest Asian Entertainment news & newsmakers.
Get ready for new shows to binge, videos to keep you on the edge of your seat, and Asian celebs to stan.
*Note: Our weekly “Entertainment Exclusive” newsletter will be free to preview for 1 month. After that period, this will only be available for paid subscribers only — subscribe below. But our separate weekly general headlines newsletter will always be free.*
🏆 Superhero Headlines
Marvel Studios has officially held its premiere for the much-anticipated Eternals, directed by Chloé Zhao, and early critic reactions have begun to pour in. One thing’s for certain — this is a Marvel movie unlike any other.Holy crap - Eternals is a freaking MASTERPIECE!!! Packed with adrenaline right from the start, but also filled with lots of heart & humor! So many MCU firsts!! Your mind will be BLOWN! Nods to comics but a totally unique story. Those end credits are GAME CHANGERS!! #EternalsJust got out of #Eternals. I've never been so invested in a story. It was cinematically beautiful. I was engaged the entire time. There's a lot to ingest but they do such a great job to process it all. This feels so different from the MCU, like it's own universe. I loved it.
And the superhero headlines don’t end. DC’s Batgirl movie is casting a trans Asian American female character.
Hailed as one of the first major trans characters to appear in mainstream comics, Alysia Yeoh was created by Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf for Batgirl (vol. 4) #1 in 2011. An aspiring chef, Alysia becomes Barbara's roommate after the latter moves out of her dad's house. Alysia briefly dates Barbara's brother, but James, after finding out about his psychotic behavior, she leaves him and becomes an ally to Barbara. In the comics, Barbara chooses not to reveal her true identity to Alysia for her own safety. Still, the two remain friends, and Barbara even turns up as the maid of honor during Alysia's wedding with Jo, a female environmental activist.
It’s not all good news in the superhero world. A Marvel Comics’ white editor pretended to be Japanese and a co-worker wants him held accountable.
Screenwriter and director Steven DeKnight is halting work with Marvel Comics after learning that Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski once pretended to be Japanese to further his career. Cebulski admitted in 2017 that he used the name “Akira Yoshida” and published several Marvel comics under it in the early 2000s, many of them with Asian characters and themes.
“It’s just another example of non-Asians feeling they are more authoritative than actual Asian people,” Keith Chow, the editor-in-chief of The Nerds of Color, a cultural criticism site, told NBC News in 2017. “People of color are not costumes you can just wear when it suits you.”
Marvel still has a page up online crediting work to the pseudonym, attributing dozens of projects to “Yoshida.” Cebulski spun an elaborate backstory that Yoshida was a translator who previously worked in manga and was friends with artists like Pat Lee. He even gave interviews under the pseudonym, according to Bleeding Cool, the comic news site that broke the story.
🎬 Industry Catch-up
‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ Spinoff Moves Forward at Netflix — Anna Cathcart will reprise her role as Kitty Song Covey in the 10-episode comedy series 'XO, Kitty.' (Hollywood Reporter)
Kim's Convenience star Andrea Bang lands lead role in new romance movie (Digital Spy)
Harry Shum Jr. stars in ‘Broadcast Signal Intrusion' now playing in theaters and available on digital (Los Angeles Times)
Umbrella Academy’s Justin H. Min is listed in Variety’s “10 Actors to Watch in 2021” (Variety)
🎃 Hello Halloween
If you’re still looking for your costume… why not be inspired by Asian pop culture this year? Just know you probably won’t look too original in your ‘Squid Game’ costume.
What are your thoughts about non-Asian children dressing up as Shang-Chi this year? This is one writer’s take on it.
Oh, and a final reminder since we’re talking about Halloween costumes.
👀 Have you watched…
Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop trailer featuring the one and only John Cho. brb, we’re still swooning over his hair.
Jimmy O. Yang in what will become our new go-to holiday rom-com. Normally, I’m not a fan of catfishing, but I’ll make an expection for Jimmy.
Asian American actors George Takei and Olivia Munn star in Hulu’s new animated series “Hit-Monkey.” Seeing these two in an animated show together wasn’t on my 2021 Bingo board, but I’m not mad about it.
If you’re in the mood to miss your parents and drool over some braised pork, join me in watching “Let’s Eat.” Anamon Studios cofounders Amy Kuo and Dixon Wong, who is also the director, conceptualized a bittersweet story of a Chinese American immigrant family starring just two characters, which were loosely based on Wong’s own mother and grandmother: Ma and Luan. The short explores the strained dynamic between a single immigrant mother and her daughter and how there can be “a lot of cultural clashes and misunderstandings in the household.
Alright, time for me to go back to my Netflix binge. See you for next week’s Entertainment Exclusive!
👋, Lea @ Crushing the Myth