Monday, February 11, 2013

What I learned from Having an Asian/Pacific Islander Blog

Last year when I started Hollywood Invasian.com, I had no clue about the different celebrities who are Asian-American, from Southeast Asia, and from the Pacific.  Sure, I had a separate mini-blog on SportsHawaii.com regarding Hollywood celebrities but I didn't know too much about Asian and Pacific Islander celebrities at all.  That was the reason why I thought it would be perfect to start up a blog about them since I couldn't find too many websites that talked about the Asian-American, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander experience in Hollywood and beyond.

What have I learned?   A lot!

First, Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islanders actors are a minority in Hollywood.  Behind the camera is another story but Asians and Pacific Islanders as a whole "in front of the camera" are few.  Compared to Caucasians, African-Americans, and Latinos, they are heavily outnumbered in the entertainment industry.  I'd like that to change that and I'll keep writing about the lack of diversity in Hollywood up until the studio executives manage to address it by populating our music, tv shows, and films with more Asian and Pacific Islander actors and actresses.

Second, the Southeast Asian (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, Korea, China, etc., ) television and film and music industry artists are heavily protected by their management agencies.  Japan is the strictest among the countries when it comes to studios controlling and protecting the image of their artists.  There have been examples of Japanese artists being punished (loss of pay, suspended, demoted to a lower-tier of artists, banned from appearing on several shows etc.,) or cast out of the industry and never be heard of again.



The other countries take a more liberal approach but there have been instances where performers have been blacklisted from the industry as well.

Third, there is a language barrier and thanks to Google Translate, English substitles from films/TV shows, and friends, who speak the language, the obstacle becomes minor in most cases.  I have to admit that sometimes the translation from the news I receive is lost but I try to make it as accurate as possible. It's not easy to translate from Tagalog or Korean or Mandarin or Japanese or Vietnames to English but it's really a minor issue.

Fourth, I had no clue who these actors or singers from all the different countries were when I first started.  I didn't know anything about actors like Mario Maurer (Thailand), Anne Curtis (Philippines), Donnie Yen (Hong Kong),  Amir Khan (India), Abbie Cornish (Australia), Shu Qi (Taiwan), Zhang Ziyi (China), Kim Tae-Hee (Korea), Cliff Curtis (New Zealand), and Takeshi Kaneshiro (Japan) were.

Today, I've become more knowledgeable about a country's entertainment industry and pop culture.  

One thing more, it's a good thing I like to READ cause I go over hundreds of articles on these actors and musicians to get a good story.

Lastly, an author has to have the passion to write about this stuff and I've had that for one year now.  The experience writing about a subject that was unknown to me at first and was humbling but it gave me this new found knowledge and more understanding about the Asian and Pacific Islander cultures.



  

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