Category Archives: Actors

Newsbits: Olbermann, Nguyen, Asian Health

Some links and stories from around the web and blogosphere:

Olbermann Slams Malkin for Daring to Question Clinton Straw Donors

MSNBC’s Keith “Chicken & Waffles” Olbermann attacked conservative blogger Michelle Malkin for “ethnic profiling” of Chinese restaurant dishwashers in New York City who donated to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Of course, running off of the liberal Media Matters script, Olbermann failed to note that Malkin’s problem is not with the donors’ ethnicity per se, but that it’s highly suspicious when low-wage earners pony up a few thousand to give a political candidate.

’21 Jump Street’ star Dustin Nguyen is back in action

Flash back to 1987. “21 Jump Street” was one of the hottest new shows on television, showcasing the talents of young heartthrobs Johnny Depp and Dustin Nguyen. For Depp, already a rising star, it would be a launching pad for enormous big-screen success. For Nguyen, who played Officer Harry Truman Ioki, it was a rare opportunity in the national spotlight during a time when there were hardly any Asian Americans on television or in the movies.

Coverage, Access and Quality | Asian-Americans Express Concern About SCHIP Veto, Program’s Future

According to recent U.S. Census Bureau data, 15.5% of Asian-Americans and about 21.7% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are uninsured. Other Asian-American subgroups such as Korean-Americans and Vietnamese-Americans also have a large percentage of uninsured. However, because some subgroups have relatively higher incomes and education levels and are labeled as the “Model Minority,” the groups’ need for access to health care often is overlooked, the Pacific Citizen/New America Media reports.

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B.D Wong B-Day

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Just a quick shout out to actor B.D. Wong who had a birthday a couple days ago, and who’s been doing it for years now making it look easy and putting another cool Asian face on the screen for everyone to see.

Daniel Dae Kim DUI video footage

By now you’ve heard of Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim and his arrest for a DUI in Hawaii yesterday – apparently there was a camera outside which caught DDK coming out of the Big House so we can see him in action as he tries to cover his head so the camera can’t get a shot of his “I was just busted for a DUI” mug.

Next time take a taxi DDK.

Star Rising: Telly Leung and Rent

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It seems that not only are Asian-American males getting more play in television and movies these days, but also on Broadway too. Case in point is Telly Leung, a 27 year old actor who is playing the role of Angel in the hit musical Rent.

Some of the national shows that Telly has played in (including Rent):

RENT (Angel / Steve and Others)
WICKED – Chicago Shiz Co. (Boq)
PACIFIC OVERTURES (Boy, Oberserver, Sailor)
FLOWER DRUM SONG (Ensemble, Ta u/s

At the same time Telly is also working on a full length feature album for release on MoppTopp records. To learn more about Telly Leung visit his site.

A letter to Chi McBride

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Dear Chi,

An apology must be handed your way for not giving your new show Pushing Daisies the due that it deserved when it first came out, and for thinking that you may have taken a bit part in a badly written Desperate Housewives meets Six Feet Under meets Beetle Juice meets Mary Poppins.

You’re definitely an integral part of the story, and as good as Pushing Daisies is of and by itself – without you it would just be another show with a lot of white people running around trying to find their place in the world – which is 4.5 billion, 965 million, 450 thousand, 2 hundred, and 3 minutes old…

John Cho Talks About Asian-American Actors in the US

Good article and interview with John Cho down at AsianPopcorn:

Korean-American actor John Cho, 35, has become a household name in the United States, especially for playing parts that don’t have to be played by an Asian. Yet, there remains a challenging upward climb for Asian Americans in Hollywood, according to the star.

“First it’s difficult being an artist, and it’s difficult being an actor, period, and it’s difficult being an Asian American actor. When I started acting… the community was largely Chinese American or Japanese American, so even then I felt like a minority in the minority,” he told reporters during a private interview at a Busan hotel, Tuesday.

Big Bad TV List #1: New network fall shows with cast diversity

The Lists 

Below is a list of the new network fall shows which have at least some diversity in their lineups. The list does not include reality television, and was compiled from the new shows listed from the MSNBC Fall 2007 TV Preview. Unless where noted, cast members are listed in the show’s main cast/bio credits – however this may not always indicate a prominent role.

Shows which are bold in all navy/blue are ones where the main stars (or faces which seem to be promoted according to the network, or other marketing materials) are persons of color. Note that in many ways while this is based on what is being put out by the networks and other media, this can be more subjective in regard to an ensemble cast.

For instance Women’s Murder Club and Private Practice are bold in navy/blue, while shows like Carpoolers and Pushing Daisies are not because there is still a question mark in regard to prominence and screen time (however in the end the star power of someone like Chi McBride may push that show over the line no matter what).

Early Analysis

While some things could change in this list (additions or subtractions of cast, more prominence etc.) here are some early numbers (and remember that this does not include new reality television shows like Kid Nation which is very diverse):

  1. Out of the 27 new shows listed from the Fall 2007 preview, 23 contained at least one cast member of color.

  2. Out of those 23, 7 of the shows are ones where the main stars (or faces which seem to be promoted according to the network, or other marketing materials) are persons of color.

  3. CW has 4 shows out of the 23
    CBS has 4 shows out of the 23
    ABC has 7 shows out of the 23
    NBC has 4 shows out of the 23
    FOX has 4 shows out of the 23

  4. Out of the 7 shows where the main stars (or faces which seem to be promoted according to the network, or other marketing materials) are persons of color, ABC was the leader with 3, and then came Fox with 2, and then CBS and the CW each had 1 as well. NBC did not have a new show with that designation.