Kat Chow

Kat Chow appears in the following:

Why It's So Hard For Us To Agree About Dong From 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The very first time we encounter Dong Nguyen, one of several hotly debated characters in Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, he has just introduced himself to Kimmy in their GED class. And, as surely happens to Dong all the time, ever since he immigrated to New York from Vietnam, ...


The Time A Cartoonist Was Told To 'Lighten Up' A Character

Friday, March 20, 2015

In a beautifully illustrated comic over at The Nib, cartoonist Ronald Wimberly relays the story of working with an editor who asked him to lighten the skin tone of a character he was working on, Melita Garner, who has been described as Mexican and African-American, a reporter, and ...


Starbucks Campaign Already Inspiring Awkward Conversations About Race

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Starbucks' campaign to get people talking about race has already birthed a very public, very cringeworthy conversation about race. Jay Smooth, a radio DJ and video blogger, was on MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes Tuesday night, discussing the coffee company's "Race Together" campaign with fellow guest Nancy Giles, ...


The Fascinating Story Of New Orleans' Two Lost Chinatowns

Friday, March 06, 2015

New Orleans is known for its enormous Vietnamese population, one of the largest in the country. But we recently came across a story about a now-lost Chinatown in New Orleans — two of them, in fact — and how they came to be. To understand how these hubs came about, ...


Study: At 'Rate My Professors,' A Foreign Accent Can Hurt A Teacher's Score

Thursday, March 05, 2015

"So-and-so is really, really hard to understand." Or: "His accent is so distracting." I remember hearing off-the-cuff remarks like this a few times in college, complaints by classmates about teaching assistants and instructors, almost all of them of Asian descent and non-native English speakers.

Along these lines, Nicholas Subtirelu, a ...


Rapper Jin Tries To Stretch His '15 Minutes' Of Fame

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

In 2003, then 21-year-old Jin, a Chinese-American rapper, released a single called "Learn Chinese" that was widely circulated but not well-received:

"Y'all gon' learn Chinese, when the pumps come out, you're gon' speak Chinese...

You must be crazy, we don't speak English, we speak Chinese
And the only ...


A 'Show Boat' With An Asian-American Cast Hits The Rocks

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A heads-up to our readers: This post quotes a racial slur.

When actress Erin Quill saw a casting notice earlier this month for a Show Boat musical revival with a completely Asian-American cast, she raised an eyebrow.

It wasn't that the project seemed fly-by-night. It was going to be ...


African Emoji CEO: Apple 'Missed The Whole Point' With Its Diverse Emojis

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Alpesh Patel, the CEO of African-based emoji company Oju Africa, thinks Apple missed the mark with its new set of iPhone emoji options, which offers more skin-tone options than before.

"Look at their new emoticons — it's all about skin colour," he told Vice's Motherboard. "Diversity is not ...


Here's Where Emoji Skin-Tone Colors Come From

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In emoji news (one of my favorite types of weird news, ever): Apple this week released a beta operating system to its testers that finally includes noticeably browner — and, um, yellower — choices.

So how did Unicode, the consortium that sets the standard for emojis, settle on particular ...


Oscars Voter Says 'Selma' Cast's 'I Can't Breathe' Tees Were 'Offensive'

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Hollywood Reporter is doing a series of interviews with voting members of the academy, the folks who decide who gets an Oscar. Yesterday's (anonymous) interviewee had this to say about why Selma didn't get a nod:

"First, let me say that I'm tired of all of this ...


After a Racial Attack, A South Philly School Tries to Heal

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In December 2009, 30 students at a high school in South Philadelphia, mostly recent Asian immigrants, were beaten up at school by their peers. Several had to be hospitalized. The federal government later alleged that school administrators had known for months that there were growing tensions between ...


Some Thoughtful Words — And Many Unanswered Questions — After Chapel Hill

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Since the killing of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C., last week, a grand jury has indicted the victims' neighbor Craig Hicks for the murders of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Deah Shaddy Barakat and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. The FBI is also investigating the potential of a hate crime and ...


'Community' Actor Ken Jeong Might Be Getting His Own Show

Thursday, February 12, 2015

There's more good news in Asian-American TV land.

ABC recently greenlighted a pilot starring Ken Jeong, best known as quirky Spanish language teacher Señor Chang in Community, also The Hangover villain Mr. Chow. Jeong, who worked as a doctor for seven years before turning to acting, will play a ...


One Of The Chapel Hill Victims Was Raising Funds To Help Syrian Refugees

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On Tuesday night, three young Muslims were shot dead near the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus.

From member station WUNC:

"46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with 3 counts of 1st Degree Murder for the murders of Deah Barakat, a second-year student [at UNC] in ...


Graphic Novelist Adrian Tomine Takes On The Notorious Long Duk Dong

Monday, February 09, 2015

On Friday, I explained what's "cringeworthy" about Sixteen Candles' Long Duk Dong, whose broken English and social ineptitude left a painful stamp on many Asian-American children of the '80s.

Keith Chow, creator of the pop culture blog Nerds Of Color, reminded me that graphic novelist Adrian Tomine took ...


What's So 'Cringeworthy' About Long Duk Dong in 'Sixteen Candles'?

Friday, February 06, 2015

In Thursday's post about failed Asian-American TV shows, I called actor Gedde Watanabe's notorious performance as Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles "cringeworthy." Some of you piped up to ask, Hey, what's wrong with Long Duk Dong?

I'm hardly the first to point this out, but it's worth unpacking ...


A Brief, Weird History Of Squashed Asian-American TV Shows

Thursday, February 05, 2015

ABC's new family sitcom Fresh Off The Boat is making big waves in the conversation about how Asian-Americans are depicted on TV in the U.S. — which, for the most part, is sparse.

"Culturally, we are in an ice age," celebrity chef Eddie Huang said in a recent New ...

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Barbie Has Some Royal Competition In Nigeria

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In Nigeria, Barbie has some fierce — some brown — competition: Taofick Okoya, a 43-year-old entrepreneur, has created Queens of Africa dolls and Naija Princess dolls that are outselling Mattel's classics. Okoya tells Reuters that he sells about 6,000 to 9,000 dolls a month and that he has "about ...


2014 Stories At The Intersection Of Race And Sports

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Race is a constant underlying theme in American sports — in conversations about labor vs. ownership, social responsibility, changing demographics and meritocracy — and this year, it seemed like everywhere you looked, the subtext was becoming text. Professional athletes became more outspoken about racial controversies, while ...


The Many Rabbit Holes (Or Should We Say Labyrinths) Of Serial

Thursday, December 18, 2014

As Serial winds to an end, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking a whole lot about the podcast. Here's Part 4 of our exchange. Later today, Sarah Koenig will talk to All Things Considered about the final episode — available this morning — ...