September 20, 2002
100 Universal City Plaza, Bldg. 2160
Universal City, CA 91608
To refresh your memory I represent an organization called the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) and we spoke on Sept. 5 about the lack of significant roles for Asian American males in “Fast and the Furious 2.” We ended the conversation with you willing to arrange a meeting with director John Singleton but you never gotten back to us, and now this movie is heavy into production. It is a mistake to continue production with the current cast of the film.
Asian Americans have been in the forefront of the import car scene and responsible for its growth and popularity across the county. It is no secret that Universal and the first “Fast and the Furious” enjoyed the support of Asian Americans as the film grossed well over $150 million and with Rick Yune in the picture, we were happy to do it. But in this incarnation, the only featured Asian American character is Devon Aoki, a woman who is only half Asian. You mentioned that the movie is set in Miami, a city that does not have a significant Asian American population. I am curious to see how you came to this conclusion because I am prepared to send you pictures and websites featuring the Miami car scene, which all have Asian Americans. You also stated that the Asian American male actors who submitted to the project were not qualified. Our source tells us that Dante Basco was mentioned as a candidate, an actor who has been in a movie for every major studio, including yours. To not have an Asian American male in a movie about street racing reminds me of a time when movie studios and white artists exploited the music and dance moves of African Americans – please do not let this happen for the Asian Americans.
MANAA has been one of Universal’s biggest fans (presenting Media Achievement Awards to “Dragon,” “Vanishing Son” and “American Pie 2”). In return you have been one of our biggest financial supporters – we are now asking you for your ultimate support. Use us as consultants and advisors to the film project – free of charge. Coordinate a meeting with John Singleton as you promised so we can discuss further how we can accurately portray the import car culture. Have us screen the rough cut and incorporate our thoughts and concerns. Recently, Disney benefited from our expertise when they asked us to consult on “Pearl Harbor.”
Thank you for your time and I look forward to meeting with you and John.