By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Hey, guys! Here’s a really manly edition of A-pop! Because it just happened like that!
Dave Bautista threatens to bow out of future “Guardian” installments because he is over Disney
Dave Bautista is half Filipino and plays Drax in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is actually owned by Disney, and Disney fired “Guardians” director James Gunn about a month ago because some shock-joke tweets that Gunn wrote 10 years ago were uncovered. (I just made up the term shock-joke, I think. It’s a joke where you say something so terrible to shock someone into laughing. Nearly 100 percent of the time, you don’t actually mean what you are saying. This is a very divisive type of joke because half the people who hear it think you are serious. Disney seems to be in the latter camp.)
Bautista, who is a true ride or die, is really pissed at Disney for being a punk.
He said, “I’m not really happy with what they’ve (Disney) done with James Gunn. They’re putting the movie off. It’s on hold indefinitely. To be honest with you, I don’t know if I want to work for Disney … I’ve been very vocal about the way I feel. I’m not afraid to admit the way I feel.”
It’s always crazy impressive to me, when people in high-profile jobs are willing to walk away from money and also fame because they are sticking to their principles.
By the way, I make shock-jokes all the time. After this bit of news broke, I got scared and was tempted to scrub all my social media profiles lest I get fired for the stuff I tweeted 10 years ago. But then I realized I’m okay because I’m not famous or important.
Jason Momoa mere months away from righting how terrible the DC Extended Universe is, right? Right? Maybe?
Okay, so “Aquaman” isn’t due out until Dec. 21, but I am writing about it now because I watched “Justice League” for the first time over the weekend and suddenly in the middle of that terrible movie, I was like, “Wait a minute! Jason Momoa is Hawaiian! Did I forget because he’s so handsome?”
No, actually, to be real, sometimes I forget because sometimes I’m bad at looking out for the PI in API. But not this month! Not this month! I see you!
Plus, “Aquaman” is directed by Malaysian-born Australian James Wan, who thus far has mostly been known for movies that scare the pants off you (the “Saw” films, the “Insidious” films, the “Conjuring” films) and “Furious 7.”
This team-up seems like it can be really amazing, right?
Other APIs in this movie include Ludi Lin (aka Black Power Ranger), Randall Park (OMG, be in all the movies), and Temuera Derek Morrison (“Moana,” of Maori descent).
Kevin McCallister’s references are weirdly outdated
During an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast last month, former child actor Macaulay Culkin (“Home Alone”) talked about his girlfriend, actor Brenda Song, who is Hmong American. They are pretty coupled up, it seems, because Culkin told Rogan he can’t wait to impregnate her with Asian babies. This is literally what he said:
“I’m going to have some pretty babies. She’s Asian, so I’m gonna have tiny little Asian babies. It’s going to be adorable — a bunch of Sean Lennons running around the house. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Look, we all say weird things when we’re on a comedian’s podcast.There’s probably a lot of pressure to come off as funny, and white people often come off pretty racist when they are merely trying to be funny. So I get it. Life can be tricky and hard. I’m not even focused on that part of his comment.
It’s just, WTF, Sean Lennon isn’t that cute? Like, Sean Lennon is 42. He’s like, older than Culkin is. Lennon looks like his dad, which means that he looks pretty hairy and like the type to get real tortured by the artistic process. Not tiny. Or adorable.
‘Queen Sugar’ renewed
“Queen Sugar” is a drama series delivered to us from God. No, I’m kidding.
It’s actually Oprah. And Ava DuVernay. The series airs on Oprah’s OWN network and is based on a novel by Natalie Baszile. “Queen Sugar” is about siblings, who are Black, who inherit a sugar cane farm in Louisiana. The show is noted for featuring only female directors — most of whom are women of color — for every episode of the series.
In its most recent season, “Queen Sugar” introduced Vietnamese American characters from a refugee family, played by Vivian Ngo, Tony Aidan Vo, and Elyse Dinh McCrillis. Ngo plays a love interest of one of the lead characters, Ralph (Kofi Siriboe).
Speaking about her role on the series, Ngo told PRI.org, “When I’ve seen Vietnamese characters in Hollywood, it seems like they’re always defined and centralized around the Vietnam War. They’re always a victim of something, and what’s really refreshing about this storyline is that it’s a normal family living their lives.”
Last month, it was announced that “Queen Sugar” was renewed for a fourth season.
The Rock will be a king
Freaking Dwayne Johnson, one of my favoritest movie stars of all time, is slated to play King Kamehameha I, the first king to unite warring Hawaiian islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1795.
On his Instagram, Johnson wrote, “From the day I began my Hollywood career (2001), my dream was to bring this legacy to life. In Polynesian culture we have a belief, that something isn’t done when it’s ready … it’s done when it’s right. The time is right. The one who walks alone.”
I love him. He can do no wrong. I’m already flinching from the criticism he will surely get over historical accuracy, ethnically accurate casting, and the rest of it. I don’t want it to hurt his feelings or discourage him. I just want to shield and protect him from all of it.
Anyway, so Johnson is not just the lead in the film, he’s also a producer. (FYI, while he’s not native Hawaiian, he has lived in Hawaii. He is Samoan in heritage.) The Rock previously nodded to his Polynesian roots with a lead role in Disney’s “Moana.”
Just in case the American school system failed you, like it did me, let me save you a Googling session. I also wondered how Hawaii could have a king if it is currently a state. Then I was like, oh, duh! Colonization and imperialism!
In the late 19th century, white Americans overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy, which eventually resulted in the annexation of Hawaii as the 50th state in the United States. Prior to annexation, Hawaii and the United States were close trading partners and the islands’ sugar production played an important role in the growth of the U.S. economy. The United States was afraid of losing its grip on Hawaii to other Western nations, so it acted like a real jealous boyfriend and forced Hawaii into marriage in order to secure Hawaii’s natural resources for itself, forever and ever.
I don’t think any of this stuff will be in the Rock’s movie, except for maybe as a bummer of an epilogue note.
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.