LEAH DONNELLA | NPR | May 18, 2017

 

kim.jpg

▲ Actor Daniel Dae Kim attends a cocktail party celebrating dynamic and diverse nominees for the 67th Emmy Awards hosted by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and SAG-AFTRA at Montage Beverly Hills on August 27, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images


Ask some actors about their dream role, and they're likely to offer range of answers: a character from Shakespeare, a superhero, the lead in Phantom of the Opera. As for Daniel Dae Kim, a Korean-American actor who's had roles in Lost, Crash, and most recently Hawaii Five-0, his dream is to play a romantic lead. Any romantic lead.

 

But Dae Kim said that there's a reluctance on the part of many studio heads to cast Asian-American actors in romantic roles. He said he has asked people in every level of the film industry for data to show that casting white actors is more profitable, and they can't provide any. "It's just this institutionalized thinking," he said. "[They] have it in their minds that it cannot be that way."

 

Dae Kim joined Arden Cho, Sang H. Cho, and John C. Yang on Wednesday night for a panel discussion hosted by Mnet America and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus on Asian Americans in entertainment. The discussion was led by Traci G. Lee, the digital editorial manager for NBC Asian America. She asked the group about the challenges and opportunities that come with being Asian American in Hollywood today, and how those obstacles connect to broader dynamics that impact Asian Americans.

 

The panelists touched on familiar frustrations — lack of representation and mentoring; whitewashing of Asian characters; ossified power structures. Arden Cho, of Teen Wolf and YouTube fame, talked about how limited opportunities for Asian American actors affect self-perception.

 

"I can remember one of the first times I saw an Asian American on TV," Cho said. It was Whitney, a minor character in the 2000 movie Bring It On. Still, the moment was meaningful for Cho. "I was like, oh my God. I could be a cheerleader."

 

But Cho said that the landscape for Asian-American actors hasn't changed that much in the past 17 years. She gets frustrated by being repeatedly asked to read for secondary characters but never for the leads. She said she asks her agent, "Can I read for A? And he goes, 'No. They're gonna go white on the lead.'"

 

Cho is looking forward to the day that changes — she said her dream is to play James Bond. "I want to be badass," she said. "I want to be the one that's saving the day. I want to be the hero." In the meantime, she said, she'll continue to make her own opportunities on platforms like YouTube.

 

Dae Kim, who is currently producing his own show, The Good Doctor, was also excited about carving out space for a more diverse group of actors and stories. He started working on The Good Doctor, he said, because Asian Americans "were waiting for a space that never came." Now that he's producing his own material, Dae Kim said he can "create worlds from the ground up. How I envision them. How I would populate them." But, he said, that also means the shape of the obstacles he faces has changed. He said that when you're a young actor, "you see systemic racism as being out there in the ether." These days, he said, he's looking at it face to face when he works directly with people to produce, write and cast the work he's involved with.

 

Dae Kim added that despite the obstacles, he thinks Asian-American actors need to be prepared to blow casting directors away. "We like to talk about the ways in which we're overlooked," Dae Kim said. "Our responsibility is to be good at what we do... It's important for us not to ask for charity."


  1. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the Newest Addition to American Airlines’ DFW-Seoul Route

    by Tony Chai | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲ American Airlines' Boeing 787-9 Dremlier. American Airlines’ Asia Pacific Sales team recently invited Korean-American media outlets and provided a rare in-depth tour of the AA ...
    Date2018.03.30 ByAsiaInDallas Views226
    Read More
  2. Global Harvest Church Hoists Softball Championship Trophy

    by Tony Chai | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲2018 Softball Tournament of the Korean-American Churches of Dallas was held Saturday March 24th at the McInnish Sports Complex in Carrollton. Global Harvest Church won the 2018 Softball T...
    Date2018.03.29 ByAsiaInDallas Views20
    Read More
  3. AREAA DFW to Host Cross Border Investment Seminar, Thursday March 29

    Tony Chai | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com Asian Real Estate Association of America(AREAA) DFW Chapter is hosting Cross Border Investment seminar in partnership with EastWest Bank. As part of its community outreach efforts, East West ...
    Date2018.03.22 ByAsiaInDallas Views39
    Read More
  4. Dallas Korean Trade Association Ready for Its First ‘Volunteer In Patrol’ Outing

    By Tony Chai | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲ Grace Moon of Dallas Korea Trade Association is serving the Sura lunch boxes to Korean-American Seniors. Several members of the Dallas Korean Trade Association(DKTA) visited the Korean S...
    Date2018.03.20 ByAsiaInDallas Views90
    Read More
  5. Greater Dallas Korean School to Host 2018 Summer Camp at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul

    by Tony Chai | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲ GDKS Board Chairman Ken Kim(left) and GDKS Planning Committee Chairwoman Jiyoon Yoon talked about the details of 2018 GDKS Summer Camp during a press conference held at The Beanyard Coff...
    Date2018.03.15 ByAsiaInDallas Views729
    Read More
  6. Crow Collection of Asian Art to Change its Name to Crow Museum of Asian Art

    Andy Tran | Asian In Dallas | asiaindallas@gmail.com The Crow Collection of Asian Art is changing its name to Crow Museum of Asian Art. According to Deborah Fleck of Dallas Morning News, the Crow Collection of Asian Art is changing its name ...
    Date2017.11.14 ByAsiaInDallas Views221
    Read More
  7. Chinese Restaurant in Plano Investigated for Illegal Sale of Shark Fin Soup

    By Meredith Yeomans | NBC DFW △ Shark Fin Soup, picture not specific to the article. Texas Game Wardens are investigating two Plano businesses for illegal possession of shark fins. The wardens were asked to visit several restaurants in North...
    Date2017.10.28 ByAsiaInDallas Views976
    Read More
  8. In the Heart of America, K-Pop Thrives

    by STEPHANY BAI | NBC ASIAN AMERICA DALLAS — Joey Abonzo was working as an optician in Dallas when he was first introduced to Korean pop music, also known as K-pop, in 2012. He had been going through what he called “pretty dark t...
    Date2017.10.21 ByAsiaInDallas Views144
    Read More
  9. Texas Governor Recognizes DFW SAFF as "Most Innovative Small Business of 2017"

    The Dallas/Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (DFW SAFF), created by New York and Dallas-based arts and entertainment company JINGO Media, was honored at the Texas Governor's Small Business Forum with the "Most Innovative Small Busines...
    Date2017.10.11 ByAsiaInDallas Views105
    Read More
  10. Richardson's China Town keeping up with North Texas' Asian retail influx

    Maria Halkias | The Dallas Morning News | June 17, 2017 ▲ China Town in Richardson, TX It's the year of the Asian grocery store in North Texas. The latest to enter the market is the Good Fortune Supermarket in the China Town shopping cen...
    Date2017.06.19 ByAsiaInDallas Views420
    Read More
  11. Yekwon Sunwoo of South Korea wins the Cliburn Piano Competition

    Scott Cantrell | Dallas Morning News | June 11, 2017 Before Yekwon Sunwoo was announced as gold medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on Saturday evening, several of us Cliburn veterans remarked that it was much harder ...
    Date2017.06.12 ByAsiaInDallas Views405
    Read More
  12. 11 Asian Pianists Advance to Quarterfinal in Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | asianindallas@gmail.com 11 Asian pianists advanced to the quarterfinal round in the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on Sunday eveni...
    Date2017.05.28 ByAsiaInDallas Views448
    Read More
  13. Woman caught hiding dozens of edible bird nests in luggage at DFW Airport

    ▲ A passenger traveling to DFW International Airport from Vietnam had 63 pieces of bird's nest in her luggage. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) Authorities searching a passenger's luggage at DFW International Airport found a for...
    Date2017.05.23 ByAsiaInDallas Views764
    Read More
  14. Asian-American Female Buying Power Influences Rapidly Growing: Nielsen Report

    by AGNES CONSTANTE | NBC News Asian America | MAY 8, 2017 A new report from Nielsen has found that Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) buying power and influence is experiencing "rapid" expansion and is only expected to continue to gr...
    Date2017.05.19 ByAsiaInDallas Views251
    Read More
  15. Asian Americans In Hollywood Still Waiting For The Spotlight

    LEAH DONNELLA | NPR | May 18, 2017 ▲ Actor Daniel Dae Kim attends a cocktail party celebrating dynamic and diverse nominees for the 67th Emmy Awards hosted by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and SAG-AFTRA at Montage Beverly Hil...
    Date2017.05.18 ByAsiaInDallas Views321
    Read More
  16. Third Time Was the Charm for Young Sung, Indeed!

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲ Young Sung(center) with his wife Susan Sung(second from left) and his supporters at a poll results watch party. Young Sung made a history last Saturday, May 6th by becoming the first eve...
    Date2017.05.07 ByAsiaInDallas Views666
    Read More
  17. Korean American Community of Dallas Getting for National Sports Festival

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com Korean-American community of Dallas is getting ready for the 19th Korean American National Sports Festival (KANSF). KANSF is a bi-annual amateur sports event, where Korean-Americans from a...
    Date2017.04.17 ByAsiaInDallas Views761
    Read More
  18. Korean Society of Dallas to Host Carrollton Police/Fire Department Scholarship Banquet

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲ (from left) Brain Park(KSD), Jason Jung(KSD), Elliott Reep(Carrollton Fire Department), Mark Haseloff(Carrollton Fire Department), Vic Humphrey(Carrollton Department), Suk-Chan Yoo(KSD),...
    Date2017.04.15 ByAsiaInDallas Views801
    Read More
  19. 75-year-old Korean American Alleges He Was Racially Discriminated by American Airlines

    Published April 14, 2017 FoxNews.com Benny Shin, a 75-year-old Korean American, says that he was about to board a flight from Dallas to Corpus Christi, Texas last year, reports TMZ. While in line to board, Shin, who was a paying customer and...
    Date2017.04.15 ByAsiaInDallas Views362
    Read More
  20. ‘Spirits’ Homecoming’ on iTunes and Amazon On-Demand?

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com Paul Shin, who is the co-owner of the community movie theater Cine Oasis in Carrollton, is on a mission. He is trying to list the Korean documentary film ‘Spirits’ Homecoming&r...
    Date2017.04.14 ByAsiaInDallas Views707
    Read More
List
Board Pagination Prev 1 2 3 Next
/ 3
CLOSE