By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
What’s up! Hope you are doing well and not spreading a deadly virus to all of your family members this holiday week!
In this column, there is honestly a lot of controversy. You are welcome.
Japanese celeb loses job due to extramarital affair—as an American, I’m like, whaaat?
Masahiko Kondo, 56, is a Japanese singer, former J-pop idol during the 1980s, semi-pro racing driver, and owner of Kondo Racing. He seems like a busy dude.
But evidently not too busy to step out on his wife. Earlier this month, Japanese gossip magazine Shukan Bunshun reported that he’s been cheating on his wife with a 31-year-old woman. Kondo totally confirmed this in a kind of honesty that I frankly find bizarre coming from a public figure. Furthermore, his employer—Johnny & Associates Inc., one of Japan’s most powerful talent agencies—publicly shamed the dude and said he was “thoughtless” and “lacked an awareness and sense of responsibility” before the powers that be suspected him indefinitely so that Kondo can think about what he has done. They straight up called it the “right” punishment for “the oldest” talent.
Guys, I’m not going to even focus on how oddly puritanical Japan apparently is with its public figures. I’m just so charmed because I live in a country that has been totally okay with our president being a menace to women. How novel! Getting condemned publicly for cheating on your wife! Wow!
Sacramento County declares racism a public health crisis—then in a cruel twist of fate, its health director acts all racist!
Applause for Sacramento County, California, which is among the latest local governments across the country declaring racism a public health crisis. (That’s right! And it is!) You know what’s unfortunate though? During the passage of the resolution—which was a unanimous decision— Sacramento County Health Director Dr. Peter Beilenson expressed his support by saying, “It’s a crucial thing we need to be doing to address the issues of the African American and brown and yellow folks in our country as well as the white folks.”
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, he totally forgot to include red folks.
Actually, the dude has been getting so much earned backlash for calling us Asians yellow. He says he feels really bad about it. He says, “In my 30-year career in public health, I’ve never had an issue like this before.”
For the record, social media hasn’t been around for 30 years. So technically, he could have called people by colors before, and he just wasn’t caught. But I get the sentiment of what he was saying. He’s saying: “I very much apologize for that and will certainly use Asian Pacific Islander in the future.”
You know what is kind of weird about this whole thing? That he is kind of getting off scot-free over the whole brown thing. Like, I don’t think this dude should be calling people brown, either, man.
Cardi B is sorry for appropriating Hindu culture on shoe magazine
Rapper Cardi B made headlines in a bad way in November when she posed on the cover of Footwear News holding a shoe. On the cover, she is shown with multiple arms, which, according to Footwear News, was meant to be an homage to the Hindu goddess Durga.
Clearly no one Hindu was consulted on this idea because a number of violations occurred in the photo: Shoes are banned in temples, Durga is not supposed to be depicted bare-bodied, and she is also not a device used to sell freaking Reeboks, of all things.
In response to getting called out for this, Cardi said, “If people think I’m offending their culture or their religion, I want to say I’m sorry. That was not my intent. I do not like disrespecting nobody’s religion. … Maybe I should have done my research. I’m sorry, I can’t change the past, but I will do more research for the future.”
Cardi really shouldn’t have trusted Footwear News to do the Googling.
Who dat API?!
Hey, guys. Here’s my very sporadic and random round-up of cool APIs that I have accidentally seen on TV. This list is never comprehensive, just circumstantial!
Linh Iacona, Vania Zuniga, and Kioni “Kentucky” Russell Gallahue, seen on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Pack”
“The Pack” is a reality show featuring dogs and their owners (or as I like to say, their human mommies and daddies). Each team goes around the world competing in athletic challenges for a chance to win $500,000.
The show is def super duper American (every contestant is beautiful-looking and TV-ready, there’s a lot of slow-motion PG-porn of cute dogs running in water, and the suspenseful editing will drive you mad as it entertains you). I loved it. I was super glad to see APIs rep with their pooches.
(FYI, I am guessing Kentucky is API from looks alone. I actually am not 100 percent sure. Do you happen to know?)
Vien Hong, seen on ABC’s “This is Us”
Vien Hong plays a new mysterious character named Hai on “This is Us,” but I prefer to call him ‘Hot Viet Grandpa.’ Not much is known so far about Hot Viet Grandpa, just that he likes to fish and was in an interracial relationship with a woman who seems to be the love of his life. I can’t say anymore. I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Midori Francis, Troy Iwata, Jodi Long, James Saito, Jennifer Ikeda, and Agneet Thacker, seen on Netflix’s “Dash & Lily”
“Dash & Lily” is a cute rom-com series for the Gen-Z crowd, about a boy and a girl who are probably meant for each other, but they take the entirety of 12 episodes to get together because there’s a narrative arc they have to follow. The maternal side of Lily’s family is Japanese! Her dad is white! She sometimes doesn’t feel pretty because she’s Asian. What girl can’t relate?
It was cool to see Jodi Long and James Saito on screen together. Saito played Oroku Saki—aka the original Shredder—don’t even pretend like you didn’t know.
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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