In the past year, a slew of films about Asian-Americans have hit the big screen, and some have brought the topic back to life with surprising frequency.
There are the gritty, funny and touching performances of Scarlett Johansson, the compelling, heart-pounding stories of Oscar winner Tilda Swinton and the heartbreaking stories of a group of kids whose lives have been torn apart by the racist and anti-immigrant policies of the Trump administration.
We’ve been here before.
What has happened to the Asian-America community in the US in the last few years is something to behold.
As we look back on 2017, what are some of the ways we missed the mark?
An animating force?
A source of hope?
A wake-up call?
To get to the bottom of it, we asked our panel of experts for their thoughts.
We’ll tell you what happened, in alphabetical order.
The first Asian- American to win an Academy Award was Tilda Johansson in 2001.
In 2015, Johansson won the Academy Award for best actress for her performance in The Help, which also featured Tilda.
The following year, Johanson won an Oscar for best supporting actress for The Help 2, for her role as a surrogate mother for a struggling child.
The film was nominated for an Oscar again the following year.
She was nominated again for the same role in The Revenant.
A total of five of the five nominated films for the 2017 Academy Awards have been based on Johansson films, and the rest have been made in partnership with Johansson’s production company, Mondo, for their respective awards seasons.
There have also been a handful of films based on the characters and stories of Asians in the entertainment industry, including The Good Wife, Transparent, and The Big Sick.
Johansson is a powerful presence onscreen, and her work has been celebrated and revered by audiences, media and critics.
But the spotlight on her work and her experiences has not gone unnoticed.
The media has made a concerted effort to portray Johansson as a “white” star.
In her speech announcing the 2017 Emmys nominations, actress Laverne Cox said, “There are a lot of Asian- Americans on the big-screen.
And you have to remember, there is a lot to be proud of.”
In an interview with Variety, Cox said of Johansson: “You’ve seen her.
You’ve seen the way she’s brought her character to life.
And there’s a lot more to be done for her.”
Johansson has also been the subject of countless articles, videos and podcasts about her life.
This year, there has been much attention paid to her “Asian-American identity.”
She has been called “the new Rachel Dolezal,” a term coined by former NAACP president Ben Jealous.
But there are a number of problems with this characterization.
Johanson’s “Asian identity” was built on her family background and the history of race relations in the United States, and not the contributions of her character or her work as an actress.
For instance, Johansons work on The Help and the other films in the Johanson family is rooted in a white middle-class upbringing.
While it is true that Johanson herself is not a minority, she was not born with that privilege.
Johansans own mother was white, and his father was black.
Johansen’s mother, who is a retired attorney, raised Johansings two sisters in a home with “racial hierarchies and the legacy of slavery.”
For many, this portrayal of Johansanson is problematic.
They are concerned about Johansansson’s whiteness, not her life experience.
In response, Johansen has spoken out in support of the term “Asian” and the “Asian Pacific Islander” (API) identity.
She also has spoken about her parents, who she describes as being very supportive of her.
While her father was supportive, she said, her mother would say “Don’t worry, it’s all good, I’ll take care of you.”
This is an important distinction.
Johonsons mother is white, while her mother was black, but she is not the daughter of an Asian American woman who grew up in a different society.
Johanas parents are white.
The term “API” has been widely used to describe Asian Americans, including Asian Americans of color.
This is unfortunate because the term is offensive to the communities most likely to be affected by racism.
It also devalues the experiences of those of us who have been historically underrepresented.
The problem with this “Asian American” narrative is that it does not accurately reflect what is happening within Asian American communities, or the realities of life for people of color in the U.S. We cannot make the claim that everyone who is Asian is born with the privilege of being a white person, and we can’t make the claims that every Asian American male is born to