By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
It’s really weird and tough times out there, and we are hoping you are all staying healthy, comfortable, and safe. Here’s some frivolous pop culture news so that you can take a break from other kinds of news.
Restaurateur David Chang is threatening to run for office, slams Trump’s diet
Celebrity chef and global restaurateur David Chang is worried about what this COVID-19 outbreak is going to do to small businesses — such as mom and pop restaurants and retail shops. Due to the social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine deployed to slow the spread of COVID-19, small businesses have had to shut their doors, lay off employees, and maybe even close for good if they continue not to have customers. Chang is calling for a federal stimulus bill to help small businesses.
“We are so fcked if the federal government doesn’t immediately pass a massive stimulus bill for the hospitality sector and small business in general,” Chang tweeted in a rant. “Too many livelihoods at stake for partisan politics and ego to interfere with doing the right thing. If they think restaurants are ‘non-essential business’ … big mistake. If they only help airlines and cruise ships but pass over hard working cooks, servers, and mom and pops shops … I swear to fcking god I’m gonna run for public office.”
He also added, ““I can almost see…(Trump) granting aid only to giant fast food corporations. The greasy shit he stuffs his face with daily. Why would he want to help any immigrant restaurants? Or god forbid a Chinese or Mexican restaurant. We need other leadership to step up!”
I know Chang is just ranting, and he’s way too busy to run for public office, but if this hot-head really did and made it to public office, I would totally watch the movie adaptation of that.
Li Shang character removed from “Mulan” live-action remake because of #MeToo, as explained by white dudes
For all of you who love and grew up with Disney’s “Mulan” as I have and hold a lot of sentimentality with it, it could be a bit of a letdown to learn that the character of Li Shang, Mulan’s love interest, was eliminated from the upcoming live-action remake.
Li Shang was Mulan’s love interest. He meets her in her Ping persona, a diminutive male. (Mulan has to be male in order to join the army.) Shang is her commanding officer and is initially so freaking annoyed at her/Ping because she kind of sucks at soldiering for a while. And then she gets real good at it. Shang is really impressed. They develop this friendship — and then she starts crushing, and then Li Shang goes through some serious inner tension and turmoil of identity as he grapples with his growing attraction to someone that he thinks is his male best friend.
Mulan then saves all of China. People are freaked out and probably initially repulsed to learn she’s actually a woman. Shang is originally pissed at all of her lying, but then after he processes and sees it from her perspective, he gets over it and is the first person to bow in gratitude at her womanly feet.
And then after he’s no longer her boss, he goes to her house to be awkward and return a helmet. She asks him to stay for dinner — like, she’s the one who asked him out on the first date! The end. They didn’t even kiss in the movie! They were burgeoning friends with weird feelings sometimes for 99.99 percent of it!
Live-action “Mulan” producer Jason Reed told Collider they erased Shang from the live-action movie because of #MeToo.
“I think in the time of the #MeToo movement, having a commanding officer that is also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn’t think it was appropriate,” Reed said.
Shut up, Jason!
It should also be noted that Shang has become a bit of a bisexual icon over the years, and his removal from the live-action is straightwashing. That’s what this really is about.
Vanessa Hudgens is an empathetic truth-teller: “People are gonna die. Which is terrible. But inevitable?”
I know, most of you are like, “Who’s Vanessa Hudgens? I’ve never heard of her.” Well, guys, she was part of the Disney Channel “High School Musical” movies back in the day and since has starred in a few one-season shows as well as a number of Christmas-themed made-for-TV movies.
Hudgens, 31 (so old enough to know better), took to Instagram to vent about how annoyed she was that COVID-19 protection measures may stretch out for as long as July. In a video, she said, “Yeah, till July sounds like a bunch of bullshit. I’m sorry. It’s a virus, I get it. I respect it. But at the same time, like, even if everyone gets it — like, yeah, people are gonna die. Which is terrible. But inevitable?”
As you can imagine, she amassed so many new fans for her humanitarianism, enough that she had to delete the video and then send out a follow-up apology to save her sinking career. I’m not going to bother pasting the apology here because you already know what it says. “My comments were taken out of context …” blah blah blah whatever, Vanessa.
Bruno Mars to star in unnamed Disney musical movie
Singer-songwriter Bruno Mars will star and produce an upcoming Disney musical. And that’s basically all we know about that.
Mars is Filipino on his mother’s side and is so famous that there’s not much else to say about him. Am I looking forward to this movie? Hard to say because sometimes when pop musicians cross over into movies, the result is not very good. Are Bruno’s acting chops going to match his vocal prowess? Hard to say, but I’m kind of doubtful because for every Mandy Moore, we have a dozen Jessica Simpsons.
‘MAS*H’ actor Kellye Nakahara dies at 72
Hawaii-born Kellye Nakahara played Nurse Kellye Yamato on “MAS*H” and died last month after a short battle with cancer. She passed at home with friends and family and was 72 years old.
According to USA Today, she was not only an actor, but also an accomplished watercolor artist.
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at email@example.com.