Round-up of PRI stories from 2018 (so far)!

Man at dinner table, surrounded by people

Yes, they came as refugees, but on ‘Queen Sugar’ this family from Vietnam gets to be so much more
July 25, 2018
“The fact that the director allowed me to breathe and thought me worthy to take up space, it’s such a simple, subtle thing, but it was startling to me,” says Elyse Dinh who plays Mrs. Phan.


Two posters side by side, one original film poster, the other remade with photos of two men in place of actors

How ’90s Bollywood movies became cool again for two desis in the US
May 28, 2018
The Bollywood Boys used to watch movies on bootleg VCDs with their parents. Now, they’re watching them on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video — and rediscovering what they once loved about them.


Three women walking on the sidewalk.

A family of lawyers fought to clear their name. Now their story is in an Oscar-nominated documentary.
March 02, 2018
A small, family-owned bank in New York City’s Chinatown faced nearly 200 counts of mortgage fraud — the only company ever criminally charged in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” chronicles the legal battle fought by the Sung sisters.


Man in sunglasses in dance pose in front of white, brick wall

He’s the first Asian American dancer in ‘Magic Mike Live’ and his fans are proud of him
February 12, 2018
The fastest growing demographic in Las Vegas is Asian Americans. More specifically, Filipino Americans, who have made their mark on the city’s sprawling entertainment scene.

2018 Stories for NBC News Asian America and Center of Asian American Media

Yoshi Sudarso portrays an Indonesian American who returns to Indonesia years after his father's killing.

To play an Asian-American cowboy, actor Yoshi Sudarso needed to go to Indonesia (NBC News)

“Westerns are such a big part of American culture. But as Asian Americans, we never see ourselves in them.”


Ricky He is love interest in new Disney musical remake of “Freaky Friday” (CAAM)

Ricky He didn’t originally audition for the romantic lead role.


Kids learn how to stand up for themselves in “Always Anjali” by Sheetal Sheth (CAAM)

The actress is best known for her work in film and web series, but she’s also dedicated much of her life to youth and working with students. Her debut children’s book, a first in a series, is about an Indian American girl named Anjali.


Meet the Asian and Asian American Nominees for the 2018 Oscars! (CAAM)

We speak to Kazuhiro Tsuji, Ru Kuwahata, Ramsey Naito, and Ren Klyce about their work that earned them Oscar nominations this year.


More stories for Public Radio International’s Global Nation and The World

How ‘bad guy’ roles have evolved for people of color

As calls for a more diverse Hollywood grows, actors of color are getting opportunities to play more iconic “bad guy” roles.

A mash-up of Asian harvest holidays gets the hip-hop treatment

For these comedy rappers and hip-hop lovers, the best way to celebrate their cultures’ holidays is through a rap battle.

For some in Hollywood, the ‘remake’ is taking on global proportions

A Japanese manga is moving to Seattle for a Netflix adaptation. A Mexican film based on a Bollywood hit was released in the US. Is this the future of film?

Why this musician wants to understand xenophobia today by remembering the past

Five years ago, a white supremacist opened fire in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Now, small groups are coming together to remember the long history of South Asians in America.

What to say when you’re Asian American and someone calls you ‘exotic’

Paula Williams Madison wasn’t on a panel, but she brought a different take on race to the audience at Asian American ComicCon.

Bangarang (Rufio origin story) for The Washington Post!

Remember Rufio in ‘Hook’? The actor is trying to keep his cult character’s legacy alive.

By Ada Tseng (June 28, 2017)

His red triple-mohawk. His dark eyeliner. His showing midriff. His shiny black fringed leather jacket, necklaces made of bones and skulls, one long dangling earring and holey black jeans with red tights underneath.

“They really got me good,” recalls Dante Basco, laughing.

Now, Basco’s character in the 1991 movie “Hook” has become iconic for kids of the 1980s and ’90s who remember the Lost Boys crowing “Ruffi-ooooo!” for their fearless leader. Skrillex’s Grammy Award-winning 2012 dance single “Bangarang” was a shout-out to Rufio’s battle cry. A pop-punk band in the early 2000s named itself Rufio. Basco has even seen tattoos of his teenage face on other people’s bodies.

“Now it’s cool,” he says of the costume. “But when you’re 15, you’re like, ‘Dude, what are we doing? I have my belly button out? Really?’ ”

Basco, 41, is now older than Robin Williams was when he played the 40-year-old Peter Banning in a story that imagines what would happen if Peter Pan grew up and had to return to Neverland to save his children from Hook. But he’s still trying to keep the character’s legacy alive — and take advantage of its strange cult fandom — by helping to produce a new, Kickstarter-funded short film about Rufio’s origin story, called “Bangarang,” which premiered online on Monday.

Read more here!

Watch the Bangarang short film, starring Sheaden Gabriel as Rufio for the new generation:

Round-up of recent work for PRI’s The World and Global Nation

With ‘The Great Wall,’ is China buying its way into Hollywood?

For all the controversy around the casting of Matt Damon in a “white savior” role in a story set in ancient China, director Zhang Yimou plainly acknowledges that Damon’s involvement was a Chinese strategy to attract non-Chinese audiences.


Portrait of man in beard and t-shirt

Justin Chon seeks to fill a hole in the history of the Los Angeles riots

The feature film “Gook” takes place on the first day of the riots, which Korean Americans refer to as Saigu — Korean for April 29. It premieres this week at Sundance.


How Far East Movement took success into their own hands

The band has been around for a long time — but they’ve never been just about making it big. They’re about making it possible for others to make it big too. Here’s how they did it.


Hashtags might not get your favorite actor the part, but studios do hear your pleas  

#MakeMulanRight. #RyanPotterForTimDrake. #AAIronFist — these campaigns don’t always work perfectly, but they do get people’s attention on diversity.


One of the world’s most famous people has been detained at US airports three times since 9/11 — and still jokes about it

September 13, 2016 What good is it to joke about airport security? Shah Rukh Khan and other celebrities tackle a serious issue in punchlines.


Want to know what it would feel like to have a woman president? Ask Taiwan.

It’s not just that my daughter’s generation will be able to see a woman president, or dream of becoming a woman president. They will take it for granted, writes Ada Tseng.


Mainstream comic? Hari Kondabolu is changing the definition.  

And what’s so great about being mainstream anyway?


Australian school official banned this film about kids of gay parents, but you can stream it now

Not all publicity is good publicity for two filmmakers in Australia who chronicled the lives of kids with gay parents. But now, you can stream their film

Kids shows that adults will like! My stories on Julie’s Greenroom and Andie Mack

Image result for giullian yao gioiello nbc

Giullian Yao Gioiello Is Julie Andrews’ Right-Hand Man on Netflix Show

(NBC News Asian America)

When Giullian Yao Gioiello was in high school, his friends used to joke that he was so animated that he’d fit in perfectly if he was the only human in a cartoon world. Little did he know that one day, he would find himself surrounded by Jim Henson puppets as the star of “Julie’s Greenroom,” a kids’ show which premiered on Netflix in March. He plays Gus, the assistant of Miss Julie, played by the one and only Julie Andrews.


ANDI MACK - Disney Channel's "Andi Mack" stars Lilan Bowden as Bex, Peyton Elizabeth Lee as Andi and Lauren Tom as Celia. (Disney Channel/Craig Sjodiin)


(Center for Asian American Media)

Andi Mack is Peyton Elizabeth Lee’s very first leading role, and she can’t believe how fast it’s all coming together. All 13 episodes have been filmed, and while the show will officially premiere on the Disney Channel on April 7, the show is already available to watch on Disney Channel’s digital platforms.