Category: authenticity

August 11, 2011 / / Quoted
June 28, 2011 / / authenticity

The Help UK Cover

This book will not just quietly die.

We first were notified about Kathryn Stockett’s The Help back in 2010. A few readers asked us if we had read it. If we had heard the NPR interview. One blogger, Onyx M, started a critique blog. We’ve been silent for a while on the book world – outside of Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, we haven’t reviewed a book in a long time. Probably because the stack of books that people have sent in still teeters on my desk. And all of the books are good, so they deserve a thorough discussion. But stealing time away to read a book, analyze it, and write about it doesn’t come easy.

And that process is even harder when one enters a book with as much trepidation as I enter The Help. Now that ads for the movie adaptation are all over TV, it’s time to go ahead and put this to rights. I have a new book review format that may help with timeliness. Now, if I can only get over my reluctance.

Even skimming the reviews makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit. Read the Post We Just Can’t Avoid The Help

May 25, 2011 / / Culturelicious

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

Sometimes there’s love in laughter. And the cast and crew bringing the new web series East Willy B have a lot of love for the real-life neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, and (most) of the fictional characters.

The series’ heart is Willie Reyes, Jr. (Flaco Navaja) the 30-something Puerto Rican-proud bar owner who inherited the business from his dad, including the barfly crushing on him, Giselle (Caridad “La Bruja” de la Cruz). Wille is trying to keep his bar, which has served as the nabe’s hangout and nerve center, from closing down due gentrification in the form of his ex-girlfriend Maggie (April Hernandez) and her new white beau (and Willie’s longtime rival), Albert (Danny Hoch), and the incoming white hipsters looking for cheap(er) rent.

Transcript of the premiere episode after the jump.

Read the Post Welcome to East Willy B! [Culturelicious]

May 19, 2011 / / authenticity

By Arturo R. García

Yesterday, Moviefone’s Gabrielle Dunn wrote that this image of Jennifer Lawrence in character as Katniss Everdeen from the planned Hunger Games movie adaptation “calmed” any concerns about her casting. We beg to differ.

To be fair, Ms. Dunn was referring more to questions about the 20-year-old Lawrence playing a 16-year-old character. But the concerns regarding a white, blonde actress being hired to play a character many fans considered to be multi-racial won’t go away soon, as Racebending’s Michael Le illustrated on Twitter:

Meanwhile, movie blogger Ms. Go identified Lawrence’s unspoken “co-star”:

Read the Post Shady Business, As Usual: Jennifer Lawrence Steps Out As The Hunger Games Heroine

January 20, 2011 / / Quoted
January 6, 2011 / / academia

Compiled by Arturo R. García

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
Mark Twain, author, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Seems to me I’m doing something constructive by simply eliminating a word that’s a clear barrier for many people.
Dr. Alan Gribben, Twain scholar, Auburn University.

We’ve got our first official race flap of 2011—and it involves something published in 1884.
Kai Wright, editorial director, Colorlines

Read the Post Voices: The Huckleberry Finn Controversy

August 27, 2010 / / asian-american

By Arturo R. García

Good news from Racebending yesterday: Marvel Studios responded to questions over the casting of Nico Minoru in the best possible way.

As you’ll recall, the character is one of the core characters of Marvel’s Runaways comic-book series. But the original open call, while specifically asking for African-American actors to audition for Alex Wilder, left Nico’s description open, aside from the problematic description of “uniquely beautiful.”

But as posted on Racebending Thursday, the company sent them this statement:

Thank you for reaching out regarding your concerns over Marvel’s recent casting notice for THE RUNAWAYS. We appreciate your interest in our production and with Marvel Entertainment.

To address your concern over casting for the role of Nico, as we do with all of our films, we intend to stay true to the legacy and story of the comic when casting these parts. Thus, our goal is to cast an Asian American actress as depicted in the comic series and the casting notice will be adjusted accordingly.

We thank you again for your correspondence and the opportunity to clarify our process.

Marvel Studios

And it’s true: the film’s casting call website now specifies that the “Girl 1” character is not only “uniquely beautiful” (whatever that means), but Asian-American. Also, the audition deadline has been pushed back to Sept. 15 to give applicants more prep time. So why does this matter? As we did in the case of The Last Airbender, we’ll let Racebending break it down:

Read the Post Marvel Does Right By Runaways

June 21, 2010 / / asian-american

By Guest Contributor Jen, originally published at Disgrasian

Spoiler Alert + Any use of inappropriate cultural terms or conflation with the original movie is entirely intentional.

The Karate Kid (Jaden Smith) and his Mom (Taraji Henson) are leaving Detroit. Lest you think this is a single black mom/deadbeat dad scenario, we’re told upfront that the Karate Kid’s Dad is dead…period. Detroit is portrayed as a gray, dismal city full of shuttered storefronts. This is America in our continued state of joblessness, America in the 21st century, America on the decline. But China, where they’re headed for Mom’s work, is the land of opportunity, the land of now, the land on the up-and-up, or, as the Karate Kid’s Mom puts it, “a magical new land,” like unicorns live there or something.

The Karate Kid tries out his Mandarin on the Asian dude sitting across the aisle from him on the plane. “Dude, I’m from Detroit,” the Asian dude says. Light laughs from the audience, which is mostly made up of families with tween children and some creepy older loners who probably wanted to be Daniel-san back in the day. My Hardass Asian Mom (HAM) approves of this joke: “Not all Chinese or Asian looking guy speaks Chinese, this is true.

Meanwhile: Where is my Bananarama remix???

When the Karate Kid and his Mom arrive at the airport, their lady driver is holding a sign for “Mrs. Packer.” Mom corrects the lady driver, telling her the name’s “Parker.” Ah, Engrish!

After settling into their new flat and discovering that they don’t have hot water, the Karate Kid goes looking for their super, who turns out to be Jackie Chan. Jackie Chan ignores the Kid and, instead, picks up a dead fly with his chopsticks, chucks it on the ground, and keeps eating his cup o’ noodles with the same chopsticks. (Which my HAM says would totally happen in China although she told me not to write about it, so, of course, I had to write about it.) The Karate Kid leaves to check out the local park, where we meet his love interest, Meiying. Meiying, aka Mini-Tamlyn Tomita, has the jankiest hybrid haircut–a bob with pigtails–which is sorta cute if you’re into mullets.

And what is Mini-Tamlyn doing in the park? Tuning her violin! And listening to Bach! NATURALLY.

AWKWARD MOMENT ALERT: Speaking of hair, Mini-Tamlyn asks to touch the Karate Kid’s cornrows. Eep.

That’s when the Chinese Billy Zabka comes over, all jealous, and tells Mini-Tamlyn that she should be…practicing the violin. OMG NERD!!! Then Chinese Billy Zabka beats the Kid’s ass, upping his badass quotient considerably. At which point, my HAM takes off her glasses and covers her eyes.

The next day, the Karate Kid covers up his bruises with his mom’s makeup. He looks like he knows what he’s doing. Something tells me his real-life mama Jada’s taught him a trick or two in this department and he may be a few years away from “guyliner,” which means he may be a few years away from being a total Hollywood douche-nozzle. But for now, as much as I hate to admit it, he’s kinda adorbs.

Read the Post DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Liveblogging The Karate Kid Remake With Jen’s Hardass Asian Mama