Viola Davis’ speech becomes the new cry of all actors of color.
Even Asian Americans.
Indeed the only thing that separates us all from crossing the line is opportunity.
Then we break out the ” success perms.”
Davis said, “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that simply aren’t there.”
But even when there are a few roles for us, you can’t win.
Or you can win what I call the “Invisible Emmy.”
I would have given an “Invisible Emmy” to Randall Park and Constance Chu of “Fresh off the Boat,” this year.
I wrote about it in an AALDEF piece earlier this year.
(You can also read about the incredible Asian American who has won so many Emmys —for his off-camera work).
For this year’s broadcast, Davis was the highlight for me, but props to Berkeley’s Andy Samberg too. He had a nice soft edge in his opening monologue. Good enough to be invited back, I’m sure, but edgy enough to sting. “Most diverse Emmys” joke, so “racism over,” was funny and stinging enough for the bosses in the crowd. So ABC hires more Asians this year and Fox dumps Mindy. Hollywood logic.
Maybe next year with season two of “Fresh Off the Boat, ” and the premier of “Dr.Ken,” we’ll see some Asian Americanwinners?
I hope. But I doubt it. Cable and the web give the latitude to explore real themes that make for award-winning shows. The broadcast networks would never run more than watered down versions of the winners. But maybe Asian Americans will be flavor of the month next year?
On the Emmy broadcast, the most face time for an Asian American was likely Shaun So’s celebratory reaction to “Veep” winning for best comedy. So is married to Veep co-star Anna Chlumsky and the camera caught them both at length because they were sitting behind Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her husband Brad Hall.
That’s our diversity moment! #Typical.
The story of the invisible. But not for long.
Helen Zia, the executor of the estate for Vincent Chin, said it can use some help keeping tabs on Ronald Ebens in Nevada.
Ebens, now 75, is the man who killed Chin in1982 in a disputed hate crime in Michigan. Ebens plead guilty to a lesser charge and escaped jail time. A civil rights trail convicted Ebens in a subsequent trial in federal court. But that was reversed in appeal. (Read more about the case on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog).
Still, there was a civil judgment of $1.5 million against Ebens that was won in Michigan. And that had grown to $8 million in 2012.
Zia told me opportunities to collect money are often missed. Recently, Ebens was the executor of the estate of a friend, who had just received a portion of a $4 million personal injury settlement.
In general, Zia fears that too much time has passed to expect much of a recovery of the funds owed. Time has also meant the Chin case has faded from the public’s memory. (See more of her comments on NBCnews.com).
Ebens recently came into some money–at least $120,000–for being an executor to a friend’s will.