ISA TV!: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration at the Youtube Space LA
First off, I just wanted to mention that this was my first visit ever, to any YouTube Spaces, and I really hope that it is not the last. Although throughout the past two years I have been inconsistent in posting and I have learned the struggles and hard work it takes to become as successful as the YouTube legends before me, I really love doing this and I really love how it truly is a community. Therefore when there is a step and repeat with the YouTube logo all over it, you know that I would be all up in that! 😛
As someone who is a start up YouTuber, I try to involve myself in as many YouTube events as possible, but as someone who is a little bit of an introvert, that is not always easy. ISA TV hosted a short film competition on their website, and when my fellow start up online influencer friend, Emily, (left of photo) told me about it, I was pretty interested immediately. Together we made one film about the struggles of an eating disorder, and than I also submitted a more light hearted film about emojis! This was the first time I acted for a camera in such a serious setting, and I’m just really glad that my friend was a very calm but clear director throughout the whole process of filming the eating disorder video at my house. After we submitted our videos, as a way of celebrating the Asian Pacific American Heritage month ISA TV invited us all to their event at the YouTube Space LA!
Although we knew that ISA TV and Wong Fu Productions were the host of this event, I was not 100% sure if Wong Fu Productions would really be attending this event. However the first and one of the big Asian YouTubers we ran into, was my personal favorite and childhood crush Wesley Chan! I got stupidly shy in front of this cutie, but luckily my girl friends were still on the ball and we got in a quick selfie with him! He was so nice! In my “star struck” state of mind, I told him that he was the only person I wanted to meet that night! Sorry to the other awesome influencers, but he is actually probably the one guy YouTuber that I found really cute whilst in middle school and high school. I think it was because he always played the silly sweet character in their shorts, worked closely overseas, and he made the coolest little animations!
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, they brought in the current most influential Asian Pacific American celebrities on Television to entertain us young adults. The actors and actresses were all young children! The boys from Fresh Off The Boat, the young girl from Modern Family, and also the girl from Dr. Ken. I can’t say I am that familiar with these shows, but it was still really cool to have them as the panel and to hear their thoughts on Hollywood and being an Asian Pacific American influencer in a industry that has been dominated by Caucasians for so long.
To end the night, Wes and Phil from Wong Fu Productions came on stage and awarded Hollywood celebrity and online comedian/influencer: Anna Akana to the stage and awarded her with a little trophy for being a “Bad Ass”. She followed her award with a really heavy speech about her experience with racism within the Hollywood industry and how she wants to stand up for Asian Pacific Americans and so on and so forth.
In all honesty, I know that I will get a lot of hate for saying this, but I was not at all a fan of her speech. Perhaps it is because I am not that familiar with her? However she was cussing, throwing out words like “white privilege” and focusing so much on how we were Asian that I felt that instead of helping Asian Pacific Americans feel like NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS, her speech further classified us as a specific category of people, creating segregation not unification. Although I agree with her that it is unjust and unright, I think that being hateful and creating a line between the two sides is not the way to go.
Additionally as someone who works behind the scenes in the Asian Music/Entertainment Industry I find it baffling that she says there were no Asian faces in the media. It makes me feel that perhaps the problem is not that there are no Asian faces in Hollywood, but that Asian Pacific Americans are bitter because the Asian faces in Hollywood are actually ASIAN, as in people from Asia. From Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan, from Michelle Yeoh to Ziyi Zhang, all the way to more recently with Jay Chou and Fan Bing Bing, these are all actors and actresses that were in huge Hollywood Blockbusters that are Asian! I feel like for a long time Asian Americans have been prejudice agains Asian, calling them names like FOB (which of course I was regretfully on the giving end of that bad trend) and not respecting them as human beings. Instead of seeing them as inspiration for being a Asian Hollywood role models, I felt her speech extremely disregarded their existence, because what? They aren’t American?
That seems a little backtracking to me… I feel like if you’re an online influencer, despite the fact that it is Asian Pacific AMERICAN Heritage Month, that we should hold a global stand point and remember our roots. We should not let the American Dream destroy our ancestral heritage and culture. I think that being Asian American is so powerful because you have both of the cultures in your root, and that is something that should not be disregarded. No more making fun of the accent or faking the accent ridiculously aka the way caucasians expect Asians to sound… (I’m sorry, but as an Asian, I was so offended by Constance Wu’s accent in season one of Fresh off the Boat). Its time to just be as proud of being Asian as Caucasians are to be white!
There were a lot of great qualities in her speech though. I think hearing about how hard she worked and how dedicated she is to her career was really inspiring for me. I feel that she has such potential and bravery, and although I may not agree with all her opinions, I like her and I am proud that she represents Asians Pacific Americans. I just would personally approach it a different way. However there is no doubt about it, she is a Bad Ass gal!
As I mentioned, I am an aspiring YouTuber and so naturally I had to video blog my time at the YouTube event! Here’s the footage I was able to capture! Hope you guys enjoyed this post and also enjoy my video. Please also swing on over to my YouTube Channel to subscribe and see more awesome videos!