By Vivian Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Welcome to the first Apop! column of 2017! A lot has changed since we were last together. Read on to find out what’s happened in the new year.
Ushering in awards season
It’s one of my favorite times of the year — awards season! With recent wins and nominations out for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, respectively, Asians and Asian Americans represented in several categories between the two prestigious awards ceremonies.
For the Golden Globes, actor Hailee Steinfeld was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category. Steinfeld, who’s best known for her previous Oscar nomination for the film “True Grit,” showed off her dramedy chops to earn her current nomination for “The Edge of Seventeen.” Steinfeld is of Filipino descent.
Actor Dev Patel was nominated for his role in the drama “Lion” in the Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture category. Patel is best known for his role in the popular 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire.” Although he only secured a nomination for the Golden Globes, Patel also earned an Oscar nomination for the same role. Fingers crossed that he takes home the award.
The animated musical film “Moana,” which follows the story of a teenager who sails on a mission to fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest, was nominated in the Best Motion Picture – Animated category. The movie’s main single, “How Far I’ll Go,” was also nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
Lastly, the film “Arrival” received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. “Arrival” is a science fiction flick, which is based on a short story titled “Story of Your Life,” by Ted Chiang, a writer based in Bellevue. “Arrival” was also nominated for several other Oscar categories, including Cinematography, Directing, and Writing (Adapted Screenplay).
The Golden Globes aired on Jan. 8 and the Academy Awards will air on Feb. 26. Get your popcorn ready because this year’s Oscars will be one for the books!
Steve Harvey mocks Asian men on TV
Steve Harvey, an American television host who’s best known for his epic gaffe for announcing the wrong winner of the Miss Universe 2015 pageant, had another recent blunder on TV. On Jan. 6, Harvey had a feature on his talk show “The Steve Harvey Show” that mocked the title of self-help books, including one named “How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men.” Harvey went on to make jokes about how no women, regardless of race, would ever go out with an Asian man. To make things even worse, Harvey laughed uproariously at his own jokes, while the audience looked on uncomfortably.
Many people were not happy about this incident, including food personality and restaurateur Eddie Huang. In an open letter to The New York Times, Huang wrote and specifically called out how Harvey continued to perpetuate the stereotype that “women don’t want Asian men.”
A spokesman for Harvey’s show issued a statement that the TV feature was never intended to be offensive. Isn’t that always the case though? That, because there was no ill intent, it’s somehow OK to still do it? Harvey eventually made a personal apology before going on to host the 2016 Miss Universe pageant in Manila, Philippines in early January.
To his credit, Harvey did not mess up when announcing the pageant winner this time.
Letting it all out during inauguration
We have a new president. It’s got people feeling all the feels.
During President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, an Asian lady wearing a purple coat was photographed boldly holding up her two middle fingers during President Trump’s first speech after taking office. The photo, taken by a BuzzFeed News reporter, has since gone viral with many people posting the original photo or artistic homages to the woman across social media. She’s even been affectionately referred to as “auntie” in some circles, cementing how she’s become a beloved symbol by those feeling the same frustrations depicted in the photo.
According to AngryAsianMan.com, the lady in question has been identified as Anita Yavich — an award-winning costume designer, associate professor of theater design at SUNY Purchase, and a lecturer in theater at Princeton University. Yavich holds such a long list of titles. It only seems apt to add “badass” to the list as well. ■
Vivian Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.