Gemma Chan is partnering with A-Major Media and M88 to produce a podcast and a subsequent feature film based on the murder of Vincent Chin.
Chin, a Chinese American engineer, was killed at his own bachelor party in 1982 Detroit by two white unemployed autoworkers who reportedly thought he was Japanese and blamed him for “stealing” their jobs.
After pleading guilty to manslaughter in the state criminal case, Chin’s killers received only three years of probation and a $3,000 fine.
This sparked an Asian American movement at the federal level, resulting in a historic case that marked the first time the Civil Rights Act was applied for an Asian American.
Amid the rise in anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chan found it “urgent” to tell Chin’s story.
“The death of Vincent Chin occurred during a dark time in America’s history with unsettling parallels to what we have seen happen over the past year with the stoking of hatred towards Asians and the scapegoating of Asians for COVID-19,” the “Crazy Rich Asians” star said in a statement. “However, it also brought Asian Americans together to form multi-ethnic and multi-racial alliances in the pursuit of justice and to advocate for change. It feels more urgent than ever to tell Vincent’s story.”
A table read of Johnny Ngo’s screenplay, “Hold Still, Vincent,” will be recovered over Zoom and will take place in May for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
An audio version of the table read will be included in a companion podcast, which will include interviews with cast members and other AAPI personalities, and will be released by QCODE.
However, it also brought Asian Americans together to form multi-ethnic and multi-racial alliances in the pursuit of justice and to advocate for change. It feels more urgent than ever to tell Vincent’s story. #StopAsianHate
— Gemma Chan (@gemma_chan) April 8, 2021
The podcast is directed by twin brothers Aaron and Winston Tao. The team aims to eventually release it as a feature film.
“We started A-Major because we needed a platform for Asian American voices,” said Principal Mary Lee, according to Deadline. “This horrifying moment in time only reinforces how important it is to dispel the harmful stereotypes that have been perpetuated throughout history. Vincent Chin’s story is one we’ve always wanted to tell, but now the world needs to hear it. The Tao brothers and Johnny are the perfect team to share this story, and we are thrilled to partner with Gemma who is a champion of the AAPI community.”
M88 co-founder Phillip Sun said, “Vincent’s story really hit home for me as a member of the AAPI community. I’m proud to stand side-by-side with Gemma, Gold House and all our partners to share this urgently-needed story and unite in our collective mission to stand up against injustice.”
In December 2020, award-winning writer and activist Helen Zia was reported to be developing a limited television series based on Chin’s murder as well.
Feature Images via @gemma_chan (left) and American Citizens of Justice (right)