Lucy Liu cover

Strollin’ Round the Interwebs: Unconventional Wisdom

ICYMI (that’s “In Case You Missed It” for you novice Internet users): This week, Lucy Liu graces the cover of online-only luxury fashion magazine Net-a-Porter. And by grace, we mean grace. The svelte actress — known for her turns on both the big and small screens — looks absolutely stunning in an array of gowns by Gucci, Lanvin and Herve Leger. But it’s not the Queens-bred beauty’s fashion savvy that’s making headlines since the publication released its digital issue earlier this week. No, it’s what she’s saying in the interview that’s starting to catch fire. Apparently, being Asian American in the mainstream media is no easy task. Apparently, there is unabashed racism that still takes place in the industry. And apparently, Lucy Liu, as successful as she’s been in films like Kill Bill and Charlie’s Angels, is aware that she’s been siloed into roles where she mostly kicks butt and takes names. But awareness doesn’t have to equal acceptance. “I wish people wouldn’t just see me as the Asian girl who beats everyone up, or the Asian girl with no emotion,” she told the magazine. “People see Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock in romantic comedy, but not me. You add race to it, and it became, ‘Well, she’s too Asian,’ or ‘She’s too American’. I kind of got pushed out of both categories. It’s a very strange place to be. You’re not Asian enough and then you’re not American enough, so it gets really frustrating.” To have a major, recognizable figure in the Asian American community come forward and call out the inherent bias she faces in the entertainment industry is no small deal. So in honor of her honesty, we’ve rounded up a few other great Asian Americans gaining attention in the media, and what they have to say about pursuing what they love. Judith Hill, The Voice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5nWi_mJySs Judith Hill is hands-down one of the favorites to win this season of The Voice — and it can’t really be attributed to just one thing. The L.A. native has talent, humility, and a stunning sense of self. Hill is half-Japanese on her maternal side and half-African American on her dad’s side. “My mom is a classical pianist, and my dad is a funk bass player. My mom came from Japan to the States to immerse herself in American music, and that’s where she met my father,” she said in an interview. “Growing up, I was just constantly surrounded by amazing musicians and a really creative environment.” Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMEyW1VtxiE If you’re a New Yorker and you’ve spent some time drinking down in the East Village or Lower East Side (and who hasn’t?), you’ve likely gotten pretty hungry right around Too Late-o’-Clock on a Friday night. The solution? Baos from Eddie Huang’s BaoHaus. But the chef-turned author, who released his memoir Fresh Off the Boat earlier this year, is hungry for more than just delectable Taiwanese street food. He’s a spitfire making a statement through the universal language of grub. “We’re basically scabs. There aren’t a lot of places where blacks and Latinos have been basically accepted into upper society, but there are a lot of Asians there, and that’s supposed to pacify us,” Huang said in an interview with The Braiser. “And in return, we’re supposed to be model minorities. That’s our bamboo ceiling.” Ken Jeong, The Hangover III http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax6gUwOpl_A Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Ken Jeong is making a splash in the entertainment industry. He’s a riot to some and cringe-worthy to others, but the former physician is making it known that he’s here to stay, appearing on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week, in The Hangover 3 later this month, and in the upcoming issue of GQ opposite Kate Upton (yes, really). But his dad’s opinion is still the loudest one in the room. “I don’t think I’m [my dad’s] favorite cast member [on NBC’s Community]. I think I’m his least favorite member of the show,” Jeong said on a late-night interview with Jimmy Fallon. “He loves Joel McHale. He’s like ‘Oh, Joel McHale. Do you have his number?’ And I’m like, yes, I’ve worked with him for four years, yes I know him. He’s like, ‘Joel Mchale is very good. You..how do you say in English? You suck!'”