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4 thoughts on “Contact

  1. I am a reporter from KHON2 News in Honolulu doing a story on the movie “Aloha,” and would like to talk to Guy Aoki please.

  2. Guy,

    After watching the Oscars, I was appalled at the Asian jokes, so I wrote the following letter to Chris Rock and the Academy.

    If we can threaten a boycott of next year’s Oscars if Chris Rock is the host again that would be a good thing.

    . All the best, Cal
    _____________________________________________

    I just don’t get it, Chris Rock.

    The boycott of the Oscars by some African Americans (Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Spike Lee, among others) brought attention to the obvious lack of diversity in Hollywood and the Academy Awards. In the last two Awards seasons, all forty of the actor nominees were white. To help diffuse the controversy, the Academy stacked the program with more African Americans.

    Chris, as the host and a comedian, you were faced with injecting humor into the issue of diversity and inclusion, which is challenging because the subject matter is inherently not funny. This is a daunting assignment, and unfortunately you failed miserably.

    Great comedians will bring out the ironies and contradictions in a situation to make us laugh. Lesser comedians will resort to cheap racial jokes, which are guaranteed a laugh, regardless of how tasteless. I know that racial jokes are your bread and butter, but under the circumstances of the boycott, people have the right to expect something more from your humor.

    The stark irony in your joke about Asian children doing child labor is, or should be, obvious. Given the Academy’s push towards diversity, how does making light of Asian children toiling long hours in factories do anything but make an utter mockery of the Academy’s diversity initiative? Also, putting those unwitting Asian children onstage for your sight-gag, smacks of shameless exploitation. You can’t promote diversity and at the same time, laugh at Asian child labor – It just doesn’t fly.

    Aside from your jokes, you have a selfish, narrow view of diversity. In talking about the controversy, you always mentioned African Americans, but not any other minority groups. Of course, your jokes did mention Asians, but only as the butt of crude jokes. Other minorities like Asian Pacific Islanders, Latinos and Native Americans are so far down the pecking order that if they boycotted the Oscars, I doubt that anybody would even notice. Asians can hardly find acting jobs, much less starring roles, and so much less Academy Award nominations. I recognize there are exceptions to this rule, but they remain few and far between. So although there is no doubt that the lack of diversity in the film industry has ravaged African American actors, at least their numbers are on the rise. The few working Asians actors are still often relegated to shallow, stereotypical roles calling for an Asian face, and not much more. I don’t blame you for the inane Sacha Baron Cohen joke about “hard-working yellow people with tiny dongs” that is, unless you had a part in it. In any case, there is no doubt you believe that it’s cool to bash Asians. This year’s Oscars have made it abundantly clear that in your Hollywood world, despite the diversity initiative, Asian Pacific Americans are and should always be, second-class citizens.

    Humor is in the eye of the beholder. So if you are Asian Pacific American and can’t even get a seat at the table, you are probably not in the mood to find humor in jokes that rely on racial stereotypes which reinforce the underlying belief that since you are different from the rest of us, you do not belong at the table. I would think you, as an African American, would have an appreciation of this.

    Sorry, Chris, but I just don’t get it.

    Cal Abe, San Francisco

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