It was the moment many reality TV fans were waiting for.
The young, blonde and racist Big Brother contestant Aaryn Gries finally received the news that she was dropped from her modeling agency due to her racist comments and she reacted with a familiar emotion: denial.
Yahoo OMG Insider host Michael Yo, who is black and Korean, thought Gries knew about her termination from Texas-based Zephyr Talent and asked her what her reaction was to being fired. Gries was visibly shocked by the news and confused.
“Lost my job? I haven’t lost any jobs,” she insisted. “I don’t think I necessarily believe that.” Continue Reading »
by GRACE KANG
Back in June, in the vein of winner-take-all reality competitions like Survivor and Fear Factor, TNT aspired to add a trickle of honor to the genre with The Hero, produced and hosted by wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nine individuals were selected from all walks of life and brought to Panama to compete in challenges designed to test physical prowess, mental fortitude and moral integrity. Then, it was up to viewers to decide who would be declared The Hero and go home with a staggering cash prize.
Among the contenders was Charles Yang, 39, a SWAT officer from Los Angeles, who on a daily basis puts his life on the line for the public at large. Yet, he was drawn to the show because he was still mystified by this concept of “hero.”
“I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a hero and what that means,” he told KoreAm. “Being in law enforcement, I’m just surrounded by all these stories of people doing heroic things and officers who gave up everything, and I’ve always been just kind of amazed. That was, more than anything, what motivated me to do the show.” Continue Reading »
by ADA TSENG
For everyone who’s grateful for the recent rise of minority faces on American television, it’s important to note that behind every Sandra Oh in Grey’s Anatomy, every Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Jorge Garcia and Naveen Andrews in Lost, is a casting director responsible for pairing these actors with the unforgettable roles that will go down in television history.
Keli Lee, who has been casting TV shows at ABC for more than 20 years, was on her way to law school when she landed a fortuitous college internship that introduced her to the entertainment casting industry. In her first week working for Phyllis Huffman, who often did casting for Clint Eastwood’s films, Lee operated the video camera that captured the auditions for the Academy Award-winning 1992 film Unforgiven. From there, she eventually worked her way up the ladder, and as Executive Vice President of Casting at ABC, Lee now has a corner office with a view and spends her days looking for the next new star.
Born in South Korea, Lee moved to the States as a toddler, and while her father stayed behind in Korea for work, her adventurous, road trip-loving mother would move her young kids to a new state every six or seven months on a whim.
“Up until I was 13, I never started or finished the same school, so I met thousands of people from around the country,” says Lee. “It forced me to socialize and understand people, and ultimately I think that’s how I got to be good at what I do. I’m searching for people and learning about their emotional core.” Continue Reading »
Photo via CBS.
The Big Brother household has been rumbling with the shifting of alliances and last Thursday, the odds finally rolled against contestant Helen Kim, a 37-year-old political consultant based in Chicago. The Korean American mother of two has had a target on her back ever since she joined forces with household pariah and fellow mother Elissa Slater, and she was finally felled by a vote of 4 to 1.
Noxious slurs flung around the house have created a stench of controversy on the current season of the long-running reality show.
Host Julie Chen has commented that she took personal offense from some of the racist jokes and insults targeting Asian Americans, particularly from contestant Aaryn Gries, whose modeling contracts have been terminated by two agencies. But Chen stuck to asking strategy-related questions when she conducted an exit interview with Kim, and quickly turned the subject to a challenge that would allow the previously evicted houseguests — including Kim — to compete for an opportunity to return to the contest. Continue Reading »
North Korean Swims Across to Defect to South
Wall Street Journal
A North Korean man swam successfully across the heavily-guarded inter-Korean maritime border to a South Korean island on Friday, in the first such defection in almost a year.
The man, aged 46, was unarmed when he knocked on the door of a resident on Gyodong Island at dawn, Seoul’s defense ministry said.
It’s rare for North Koreans to defect south across the tense military border. Most defectors from North Korea cross into China and then travel on to Mongolia or Southeast Asia in order to reach South Korea.
Kaesong may go into partial operation at any time: S. Korean bizmen
PAJU, South Korea, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) — South Korean businessmen operating firms in the joint factory zone in Kaesong, North Korea’s city near the inter-Korean border, said late Thursday that the industrial complex may be able to go into partial operation at any time if its facilities are repaired.
The businessmen’s remarks were made after returning home from their visit to the complex, which was aimed at inspecting facilities that have remained idle for months.
Expectations for the resumption of the complex have been high after last week’s agreement between the two Koreas to restart the factory zone.
Douglas Todd: The new story of Asians in North America is largely one of success, but with complications
Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Edward Yang is about as close to an Asian-American-Canadian as they come.
He was born in Washington state, lived for some years in his parents’ homeland of Taiwan, attended high school and university in Vancouver and has spent the past 14 years in the United States.
At age 40, with dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship, Yang is well-positioned to add his continental perspective to the insights on life, money and family revealed in a wide-ranging poll on Asians in North America.
From his home in West Covina in Southern California, Yang had a great deal to say about the Pew Research Center’s discoveries regarding what 17 million Asian-Americans believe about education, success, discrimination, parents, religion, intermarriage and politics.
Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun Calls Glenn a “Wild Card”
AMC’s The Walking Dead will return to our lives in a few months (Sunday, October 13th), but if you’re chomping at the bit to see, um, undead things chomps on people’s bits, then you can buy The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray when it becomes available next Tuesday, August 27th.
Last season was all about the Prison vs. Woodbury. Rick vs. The Governor. Michonne vs. Dialogue. And in the midst of it, Steven Yeun’s Glenn found himself in a rough part of town, dealing with Merle and the Governor’s goon squad.
I had a chance to talk to Yeun about Glenn’s fleeting moment with leadership, the liabilities of having a love life, and what fans can expect in Season 4!
‘Sullivan & Son,’ ‘Men at Work,’ ‘Deal With It’ Renewed at TBS
The Turner-owned cable network announced Tuesday that the two scripted comedies would return for third seasons and its Howie Mandel-produced rookie hidden-camera entry would be back for a second run.
“Sullivan & Son and Men At Work have really caught on with TBS’ core viewers, and Deal With It has burst out of the gate as one of the summer’s most popular new cable series,” said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “We are very excited to be expanding our relationship with the producers, cast members and production teams on these three series.”
Sullivan, which will wrap up its second run on Aug. 22, will return for a third season of 13 episodes in summer 2014. Airing on Thursdays at 10 p.m., the comedy from Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsley and showrunnner Rob Long is averaging 2.4 million total viewers when factoring in DVR viewing. The Warner Horizon Television drama is pulling 1.3 million total viewers in the key adults 18-49 metric.
Crayon Pop Plans to Release “Bar Bar Bar 2.0″ in September
Crayon Pop has plans to upgrade “Bar Bar Bar” to “Bar Bar Bar 2.0.”
Crayon Pop’s agency, Chrome Entertainment, plans to continue the addicting “5 Cylinder” dance craze into September as its staff revealed that the music video for “Bar Bar Bar 2.0″ is in the making.
“The popular jumping choreography will remain in the video to lure international attention, but the feel of the song will be entirely different,” he commented. The group recently signed with the global music corporation Sony Music.
Even amidst a windfall of popularity this summer, the girls have been on rocky roads as controversy surfaced over possible plagiarism and politically inappropriate statements. It has led customers of the Korean online shopping mall “Auction” to end their membership due to its endorsement of Crayon Pop. Their feature in the upcoming episode on an MBC documentary series might provide the opportunity to explain the girls’ side of the story. The air date is TBA.
INTO THE NEXT STAGE: Universal Pictures Has Write Aid for Screenwriters
One of the reasons for the genesis of this column more than two decades ago was to provide a continuous forum to discuss and raise awareness of how Asian Americans and Asians had historically been misportrayed and misrepresented in popular American media.
The approach applied to pretty much everything: straight news coverage, or TV shows and movies simply meant to entertain; books and magazines; cartoons and comics; and dramas and comedies.
Despite occasional breakthroughs like Disney’s “Mulan” or Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Last Samurai” or New Line Cinema’s “Harold and Kumar” pics in movie houses or short-lived attempts on TV like ABC’s “All-American Girl” or the WB’s “The Black Sash,” there was so much that was just plain wrong and often offensive with regard to how Asian Americans and Asians were shown. Stereotyping and race-baiting. Yellowface and Yellow Peril politics. Negative roles and no roles.
It seemed endless.
The Pitch Q&A – John Meyer and Elcid Choi (Innerspin)
In Season 2, Episode 2 of The Pitch, Bliss chose Innerspin as the winning agency. Innerspin President Elcid Choi and Chief Creative Officer John Meyer talk why they decided to compete on the show and what it’s like working together and being best friends.
Q: What made you decide to appear on The Pitch?
John: I got a call from a friend of mine saying that a production company was interested in us for the show. So I talked with Elcid and [CEO] Samuel Koh, and we debated back and forth. Ultimately, we decided it would be good for us to be on the show.
Elcid: We have a different agency model here. So we said we’d love to show everybody how we do things.
John: We’re like, “Let’s go out and eat. We’ll come up with something.
Elcid: It’s the truth. We have fun, we love what we do. Advertising is a fun business. If you enjoy what you do and make money doing it, there’s no better life.
K-Pop Goes Wild, but Stays Smooth
Wall Street Journal
The K-Pop industry is getting desperate for new quirks to stand out in the growing pool of boy bands and girl bands.
The new groove and latest hit on local music charts and YouTube is a song whose lyrics translate to “I growl, growl, growl.” The subject: growling wolves. Fittingly, the title is “Growl.”
Performed by SM Entertainment’s new boy band EXO, the song in its growling actually portrays the interior emotions of a man who doesn’t want his love taken away by rivals, according to the record label. The growls may be meant to scare those rivals off.
This isn’t EXO’s first impersonation of a pack of wolves, though the group’s hit song “Wolf” was more is more verbal in its depiction of the animal. The hook of that song is in the lyrics that translate to “Yeah, wolf. I’m a wolf, awooooooo.”
Since its release less than three months ago, the video of this song has racked up more than 12 million views on YouTube.
Swansea City midfielder Ki Seung-Yeung linked with move to Sunderland
Wales Online (U.K.)
Ki Seung-Yeung has been linked with a move away from the Liberty Stadium after Sunderland emerged as a potential suitor for the Swansea City star.
Midfield Ki has slipped down the pecking order at the Swans following Michael Laudrup’s summer acquisitions of Jose Canas and Jonjo Shelvey in the middle.
And there have been suggestions the South Korean could leave on a loan basis just 12 months on from a then club-record move from Celtic, the 24-year-old left out of the matchday squad for Swansea’s Europa League first-leg play-off clash with Petrolul Ploiesti.
Ki signed in a £5.5m move from the SPL giants but to date has only ever delivered glimpses of his form that made him such a hit in Glasgow as well as his home country.
The Meatball Shop Hits LA for One Night at Sunny Spot
Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, the team behind New York City’s wildly popular (and ever expanding) The Meatball Shop, have been rumored to be scouting spaces in LA. But, in the meantime, they’re bringing The Meatball Shop west with a one night stand at Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot in Venice on September 7 from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (seating is first come first serve). The trio will together prepare a bunch of The Meatball Shop’s ballsy dishes and Choi is planning to craft his own unique ball for the night. It’s a shame they didn’t ask Starry Kitchen’s Nguyen Tran and his green balls to participate. But, there’s always next time.
In any event, and this is random, but creatives at Vans sneakers designed limited edition kicks with imagery from The Meatball Shop and Sunny Spot. Those who attend this meal will have the chance to win shoes throughout the eve.
Now Open: BrewWell Coffeehouse in Koreatown
There are no shortages of coffee shops in this town, but finding one with ample seating, quality brews, free WiFi and parking is certainly a rarity. But that’s exactly what BrewWell on 8th in Koreatown offers. The glass-walled latte house is actually attached to the Assi Supermarket just east of Western, but it would be a mistake to confuse it for one of those Coffee Beans that embed themselves inside your local Ralph’s. BrewWell is a separate entity altogether; it just happens to share a roof.
Although it’s been open for about a month, BrewWell has managed to stay well under the radar of most WiFi-hungry nomadic day writers. The rustic modern feel means big wooden chairs with comfy beige backing and reclaimed tables that could have fallen straight out of a Restoration Hardware catalogue.
Korean Fast Food in London
The Korea Blog
Korean food in the UK has been steadily growing and getting more trendy over the recent years. Now with London going crazy for fashionable and high-end fast food this year, there is currently a huge market for tasty, unique and well-made Korean food to grab on the go. During the course of this year, several new Korean fast food joints have sprung up, adding to the already great selection of places punters can choose to get a bite to eat at. So looking for some Korean food to grab on the go? Let’s take a look at what’s out there!