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Racism and sexism may officially be behind the hate towards the more recent Star Wars franchise and diverse actors like Kelly Marie Tran, according to a new study published in Psychology of Popular Media.

Researchers surveyed 1,925 self-identified Star Wars fans, most of whom were male and around 24 years old, and asked them to rate six characters on a scale from extremely negative to extremely positive. Three of the characters were from older Star Wars movies and three were from newer movies, including Finn, played by John Boyega, who is Black, and Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, who is a woman of Vietnamese descent.

Hostile sexism and symbolic racism were associated with greater dislike of the newer characters, but Star Wars fandom in general was found to be largely opposed to sexism or racism.

Kelly Marie Tran
BUILD Series
Spotlight 💡
  • Woori Juntos, a community group focused on eliminating language barriers for Asian and immigrant communities, is leading the charge in advocating for legislation that would increase the availability of translated documents for health and social services beyond English and Spanish. Terry Yun, one of the group's leaders, spends her days ferrying Korean-speaking Texans, particularly older residents with limited English proficiency, across the language gap that separates them from crucial government services. The group's efforts could have significant implications for the hundreds of thousands of Texans who speak languages other than English or Spanish, and, for Yun's clients, for whom the paperwork required to apply for assistance can feel daunting. 
Race in North America 🌎
  • Activists within Canada's Chinese diaspora are concerned about an increase in anti-Asian racism as the Canadian government launches investigations into claims of Chinese election interference. Cheuk Kwan, co-chair of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China, warns that racism should not be used as a shield to deflect or distract from the investigations. However, some members of the diaspora worry that the investigations will lead to the Chinese community being labeled as disloyal to Canada or as agents of the Chinese government.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
CBC News
In Other Asian News 🗞
  • The U.K. government has banned TikTok from government-issued mobile phones used by ministers and civil servants following the U.S. Senate's similar mandate. The move comes after allegations that the Chinese-owned social media app shares users' data with the Chinese government, which TikTok has denied. Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden said the U.K. ban is "good cyber hygiene" and will only apply to government devices, with exemptions examined on a "case-by-case basis." The BBC has been encouraging its journalists to use TikTok to engage younger audiences, but some insiders are concerned.
Entertainment 📺
  • The upcoming Netflix movie "Kill Boksoon" has dropped another trailer. It follows a successful assassin, Gil Boksoon, as she decides to retire to spend more time with her daughter, only to discover a secret on her final mission that puts her against the entire hitman industry. The trailer showcases some bloody action scenes and the movie stars Jeon Do-yeon, Sol Kyung-gu, Koo Kyo-hwan, and Esom.
A scene from "Kill Boksoon."
What else is on our minds? 🧠
  • A penguin in Singapore received cataract surgery.
  • Singapore’s Changi is once again ranked the world’s best airport. 
  • The “John Wick” franchise will be taking a break following the release of its fourth film.
  • K-pop quartet MAMAMOO are taking their “MY CON” world tour to the United States for the first time. 
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) recently honored “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi and model Chrissy Teigen at their inaugural Spring into Action Gala.
Are you excited for MAMAMOO?

I don’t know if I’ll get to see them, but they are a great group and a strong vocal girl group.


Daniel Anderson

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