Category Archives: movies

Emil Guillermo: Why are Filipinos always the punchline? Seeing FX’s “The Comedians” reminded me of a dumb joke in “Anchorman 2.”

We know that Manny Pacquiao can punch.

And that  the champ is nobody’s  punchline.

DSC06620

So why is it that in U.S. pop culture, that’s not true for the rest of us.

Have you noticed? Filipinos are way too often the punchline.

WTF?

It happened again the other night on the FX debut of “The Comedians.” Joshua Gad jokes about joining Billy Crystal in a sitcom. Talking to his agent on the phone, Gad says he wants Latinos to see his work; And blacks; And that other group. You know that group….

The agent then says, “Filipinos?  (beat) They’re terrific.”

The tag doesn’t soften the blow.

Listen to the dialogue here: 150409_001

So we’re mentioned. That’s some consolation prize.  Inclusion? I didn’t see any Filipinos in the cast.

It reminded me how Anchorman 2 had a Filipino dog eating joke that was really offensive. See my take here.

Replace “Filipino” with “Jew” and you know there’d be cries of anti-Semitism. It would be  somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Jews are making the products on screen.

So that’s really the answer isn’t it? We  need to  see more American Filipinos producing and directing projects.

If that were the case,  we can tell our own dog jokes.

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

LIKE  and FOLLOW us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media

And FOLLOW my latest tweets  on  Twitter    http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

 

“Delano Manongs” gets CAAMFest 2014 screening in SF; Tells true story of Filipino American role as the original instigators in the UFW labor struggle unlike typical stories that delete the Filipino and glorify Cesar Chavez

Marissa Aroy’s “Delano Manongs” gets a sold-out screening at CAAMFest2014 in San Francsico Sunday night. Just saw a preview of the documentary and it fills in the blanks in the Filipino-less, UFW/Cesar Chavez story.

It clearly shows how the Filipinos and the Mexican workers forged a union to fight for fairness.

Aroy’s documentary (which will be making the festival circuit and shown on PBS station KVIE-Sacramento) is  in stark contrast to the new narrative feature film on Cesar Chavez opening up in your nearest 12-plex. But the multi-million dollar feature film very conveniently streamlines the UFW saga to make it seem like Chavez did it all.

Oh, a Filipino actor is seen, but it’s almost like an extra.

Accuracy is not a strong point.

In one historical scene, the feature film leaves out Filipino labor leader Larry Itliong entirely.

I asked Arroy if the filmmakers should have made Larry a more prominent part in the new commercial picture opening next week.

“It was a conscious omission,” said Arroy in a phone interview just. “And I……(long pause) ….I think it’s unfortunate not to have Larry there at the table.”

See my post on Itliong:

http://www.aaldef.org/blog/restoring-larry-itliong-to-his-rightful-place-during-filipino-american-history-month.html

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

LIKE  and FOLLOW us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media

And FOLLOW  on  Twitter     http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

 

 


Oscars 2014: A turning point for diversity in the industry?

Like Hostess Ellen said, either “12 Years a slave” wins or we’re all racists. 

Good thing it won. But I don’t know if we’ve really turned a corner on diversity.  Under-representation and stereotypes still exist in Hollywood.  Asians are few and far between, and Native Americans?  In these times, Johnny Depp can still play Tonto.

But my goodness, the list of winners in the top categories this year is still  impressive:

Asian American of Filipino descent: Robert Lopez, composer, Best Original Song, “Let it Go,” from “Frozen.”

Mexican American: Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity.”

African American: John Ridley, Best Screenplay adaption, “12 Years a Slave.”

Mexican Kenyan: Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress, “12 Years a Slave.”

Brit director Steve McQueen’s brutally honest telling of the Solomon Northup story is so disturbing, it’s hard to take.

But it needed to be told finally. Doesn’t put closure on the race issue by a long-shot. Don’t talk about post-racial America after a “Best Picture” Oscar.

But I think the industry is beginning to change as far as recognizing diverse audiences.

You can’t deny the winner’s list tonight.

I pretty much predicted how it would go.

“Gravity” was such a technical marvel, but didn’t quite get out of the planetarium for me.

I loved Amy Adams but knew she wouldn’t win. “American Hustle” was good but ABSCAM isn’t Watergate.  And for New Jersey folks, it’s not even Bridgegate.

So Cate Blanchett wins as she has most of the pre-shows.

Same with Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in the  male actor categories.

Both of them gave great speeches.

I thought Leto’s mention of Ukraine and Venezuela, and AIDS victims brought things a little closer to reality. And McConaughey’s mention of God, was “all right, all right.”

But given the diversity wins of the night, Oscar folks still like things more  tactful than I would have wanted.

Never mind, Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech struck the right chord. She recognized that her success was based on the pain of the past.(A show of humility there). And then after thanking colleagues, she chose to inspire:

“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.”

This was not a night or the time to beat anyone over the head apparently. Not with Ellen playing silly, ordering pizzas and doing selfies.  It was a fun, guilt free Oscars.

And the winners were among the most I can ever remember.

Leave it to Lupita Nyong’o  to help validate the night.

 

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

LIKE  and FOLLOW us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media

And FOLLOW  on  Twitter     http://www.twitter.com/emilamok

 

 

 

 

Arthur-ChuJeopardyChamp-Talks-About-Race-The-Game-Racist-Tweets-Part-2.jpg

PODCAST–PART 2: Arthur Chu,”Jeopardy” Champ, Talks About Race, Being Asian American, & Racist Tweets (second installment)

This is Part 2 of my conversation with Arthur Chu, the Asian American who has amassed more than $235,000 in two-weeks on “Jeopardy.”

But it’s also made him the target of racist and intimidating tweets and comments on the internet. He talks about what it’s like to be a racial minority, and how despite opportunities and success, there’s always a feeling of a  compromised sense of belonging. He hasn’t forgotten what his father told him as a young boy growing up Asian American.

But he also has chosen to be very open and  confront any racism he perceives head on.

Play

 

Arthur Chu,"Jeopardy"Champ, Talks About Race, The Game, & Racist Tweets, Part 2

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

LIKE  and FOLLOW us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media

And FOLLOW  on  Twitter     http://www.twitter.com/emilamok