I just found out that there’s a movie coming out this summer with an all-Asian cast called “Crazy Rich Asians” and it’s making me very nervous. Is this supposed to be our “Black Panther” moment for stereotype-shattering Asian-American representation in mainstream media? OK, that’s probably an exaggeration. I’m happy we are even represented in the first place. But what if no one watches it? Does it prove once and for all that Asian-Americans are not bankable stars? What about the fact that studios have largely given up on romantic comedies because they don’t sell as well as superhero movies. Would anyone care for our excuse? What about this male lead from Malaysia, Henry Golding. He’s not technically Asian-American and I don’t want to put it all on him, but he might be the only Asian-looking romantic male lead we will ever get. If he’s not a big enough thirst trap, can Asian-American men ever be found physically attractive by American standards? I’m asking, uh, for my friends…How I became Asian-American
The media has given more attention to the lack of Asian-American representation in recent years thanks to movements like #HollywoodSoWhite and leaders like Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang and Constance Wu speaking out about the issue. However, I can’t help but feel like not much is going to change because “Asian-American” as an identity is not really a meaningful one.
Last Friday, Facebook’s Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri announced that Facebook will begin prioritizing content created by friends and family over content from the media, brands and other Pages since space in the News Feed is limited.
This is a good long-term move for Facebook and I hope they continue to experiment with other ways of distributing news stories, but the announcement may mark the end of an era of opportunity for the news industry. The media’s reaction so far (BuzzFeed, The Outline, New York Times) suggests that this is yet another example of how Facebook has ruined journalism by pulling another bait-and-switch, depriving the media of access to their audience, which is fair but missing an important point. Facebook has actually helped keep the mainstream news industry relevant for far longer than they would otherwise have been.
My co-founder David and I both grew up in poverty and can call ourselves “battle-tested” when it comes to both life and startups, so when the talk in the Valley turned to income inequality, our ears perked up. For a moment, our two worlds were colliding. Here’s a quote from Paul Graham that got our attention.
“Closely related to poverty is lack of social mobility. I’ve seen this myself: you don’t have to grow up rich or even upper middle class to get rich as a startup founder, but few successful founders grew up desperately poor.” (link)