This year, the Kollab Blog is closing out the year by asking our editors (and a few friends) to call out 5 things they’d like to recognize in the landscape of Asian America. Our first list comes from our Associate Editor, Lauren Lola, a writer and novelist based out of California’s Bay Area.
2015 oversaw an increase in better representation of Asians and Asian Americans in the mainstream media. At the same time, we also had a turnout of viral videos and momentous happenings that weren’t scripted in advanced or, at the very least, expected. With the year drawing to a close, in no particular order, let’s look back on the top 5 positive moments of 2015.
1. The 6-year-old girl who drops some wisdom for recently divorced mom.
If this little girl ever decides to run for president one day, she already has my vote. In the wake of her parents’ divorce, she sits her mom down for a very serious talk about how she wants her and her dad to be friends and how she simply wants everyone to get along and smile. This girl defies what it means to be a peacekeeper and the 7 million views this video has since received can only encourage the likelihood that many viewers agree.
2. Two fans ask J.J. Abrams about potential Star Wars Asian characters at Comic-Con panel.
Ever since the first teaser trailer dropped last year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become one of the most anticipated films of the year. Naturally, the franchise would be featured at this past summer’s San Diego Comic-Con and as one would at these panels, questions of high anticipation would be asked. Two fans came up to the mic at one point and rather than prodding George Lucas’s replacement for what he can reveal, they instead addressed the very prevalent issue about diversity in movies and asked if we can anticipate Asian characters in the film at all.
3. 5-year-old boy reenacts Bruce Lee nunchuck scene from The Game of Death.
If Bruce Lee were still alive today, then this kid may as well have him on a run for his money. With The Game of Death playing in the background, complete with Lee’s iconic yellow jumpsuit, the boy performs the nunchuck scene from the film, in perfectly precise precision. The video has gotten over 9 million views since first being posted in May and if you see it, you’ll see why. The boy’s got SKILLS!
4. Ruthie Ann Miles accepts Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
At the 69th Annual Tony Awards, the revival of Roger and Hammerstein’s The King and I brought in four wins that night; one of which went to Broadway newbie Ruthie Ann Miles for her role as Lady Thiang. Evidently moved to have won, she turns to her iPhone (“Please recycle”) as she reads out in a shaky voice her witty acceptance speech and thanks the people who have helped her get to this point in her career. It’s rare to see Asian and Asian American actors on Broadway, and so to see one other than Lea Salonga win a Tony was remarkable to see.
5. “They might have guns, but we have flowers.”
The world was blatantly shocked when the terror attacks in Paris took place in November. Within the days following, flowers and candles appeared near the places where the shootings took place, including outside the Bataclan Theatre. In a moment captured by Le Petit Journal, a father tells his young son that there’s no need to move away because France is their home, and despite the violence brought upon them, love will always prevail. This guy definitely wins Father of the Year in my book, for what he said brought forth a light in darkness.