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  • [Philip]: Here's... Here's.... We need a photo op, Anna, this is very important

  • [Anna]:This doesn't work! [Philip]: Here, use mine. Use mine.

  • [Anna]: Thank you.

  • (Audience cheers)

  • Wow! This is beautiful and not gold.

  • (audience laughs)

  • I have a speech prepared, guys!

  • Two drinks in and I'm on medication, so we'll see how this goes.

  • First off, I just want to say I am– I am incredibly honored to be here

  • when Wes and Phil and Dan told me that they wanted to give me this award.

  • I thought, wow, you know my years of friendship with them have finally paid off.

  • (audience laughs)

  • Joke success!

  • Yes, um, I always wanted to be in entertainment.

  • You know when I was a kid, I told my dad I wanted to be an actor,

  • so he immediately enrolled me in karate classes.

  • But, of course, I didn't seriously pursue my dream until I was an adult

  • and only because I lost my little sister to suicide.

  • And I realized that when I died, I wanted to at least know that I had lived doing what I had loved.

  • Before my sister died, I thought that I was gonna be like a military officer or a veterinarian

  • because that's the practical route, right? That's a realistic path.

  • She killed herself when I was 17, and I was a senior in high school and I did not laugh for two years.

  • Um, it wasn't until I saw a stand-up special on TV that I laughed for the very first time

  • and the person on my TV was Margaret Cho.

  • You know, I looked at her on stage and I was like: "Oh hey, you know, maybe I can do that."

  • It was the very first time I had ever seen an Asian woman do stand up and before that,

  • the only Asian female face I had ever seen on TV was of course... Lucy Liu.

  • Right? That's all we had.

  • And seven years later... here I am.

  • (one woo)

  • Thank you for the one woo, appreciate that. (Audience cheers)

  • (Audience cheers) Thank you.

  • But itit is all thanks to seeing that one face on the screen that looked like mine

  • because I was able to think: "Oh, she's doing that, maybe I could do that too."

  • You know I used to think that being Asian gave me an edge in this industry.

  • You know you would see how hard people worked and you're like: "Oh shit, I could do way better than that."

  • And hard work equals success, right? That's what we're taught by our parents,

  • that if you work hard, success will come.

  • So I thought that's what must happen with Hollywood.

  • But last year I booked the lead role in a feature film with a major studio.

  • (Audience cheers)

  • Thank you.

  • I auditioned, I did callbacks with producers, and I met with the executives of the studio at the company.

  • We shook hands, they told me: "Oh, we can't wait to work with you."

  • "We're so excited that you're the lead of our movie."

  • And I drove home, like, singing the Katy Perry in my car.

  • Because this was my dream and I was finally living it and it had actually come true.

  • You know I could not believe that I wasn't just like a one-line co-star on "Awkward' talking about my small boobs.

  • Or I wasn't like, a supporting best friend who was like, upset about a B minus.

  • I was the lead.

  • A few days later my manager called me while I was on set, directing a short film

  • and he was very confused.

  • He was like: "When you met with those executives, are you sure that you booked the lead role?"

  • And I was like: "Well yeah, we were talking about the lead character,"

  • "We mentioned it by name, I had auditioned with that dialogue."

  • "Why?"

  • And he said that they'd gotten the official paperwork in for the offer,

  • and what I was being given was the role of the best friend.

  • The lead was going instead to a white woman.

  • And we sat in silence for a bit and then, finally, I asked him very quietly,

  • I said: "Is it because I'm Asian?"

  • And he didn't say anything for a hot minute,

  • but then he said: "Honestly? You know, that's what I'm thinking."

  • "I mean what else could it be? What could have changed in those couple of days?"

  • That was the very first time in my career that I realized that the color of my skin,

  • might actually stand in the way of me and my dream.

  • You know we hear stories of racism in Hollywood all the time.

  • We've encountered racism in our real life, we're not fucking idiots.

  • Sorry, there's children here.

  • But somehow, this wasthis was so different because it had never mattered before

  • you know I thought: "Oh if you work hard enough, you can achieve your dreams. If you work hard enough,"

  • "and hone your craft enough, and are talented enough, how can a Hollywood ignore you?"

  • And to me it felt crazy. 'Cause it was like, I thought this lead role was the success

  • after seven years of performing stand-up, and being in improv and acting classes,

  • and writing and editing and producing and directing and creating short films

  • and web series and weekly content,

  • and building a following and hosting a podcast, and running a clothing line,

  • and audition, and hustling, and just working fucking hard.

  • (Audience cheers)

  • Thank you.

  • I would like to mention, just for clarity, I was Asian the whole time.

  • (Audience laughs)

  • In the audition room, in the callback, in the meeting with the producers.

  • 'Cause for two seconds I was freaking out, I was like:

  • "Did I wear foundation that was like, way too light for my skin?"

  • But the studio would not budge.

  • I was either the best friend or I was out. So I was out.

  • Then, there was Emma Stone in "Aloha," there was Scarlett Johansson in "Ghost in the Shell,"

  • there was Tilda Swinton, and Kimmy Schmidt season 2 episode 3,

  • the giant middle finger to the Asian community by calling us: Respectful Asian Portrayals in Entertainment

  • aka RAPE.

  • What the fuck?

  • How is this still happening? But more importantly: How can we change it?

  • You know, Phil had a 17 minute video about whitewashing in Hollywood,

  • and it was great.

  • And the one thing I took away from it that I thought hehe put so perfectly was that it starts with us.

  • You know? Not demanding to be included but creating our own space in this world.

  • To encourage our peers to be writers and actors and directors and producers

  • and creators, instead of letting our parents convince us that we should be doctors and lawyers and scientists.

  • We all need to be someone's Margaret Cho.

  • Because the only way we will be heard, is if enough of our voices speak out.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause and cheers)

[Philip]: Here's... Here's.... We need a photo op, Anna, this is very important

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赤名アナ - 芸能界のアジア人キーノート (Anna Akana - Asians in Entertainment Key Note)

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    L に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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