Two filmmakers spent 6 years studying Vincent Chin’s murder – Here’s why it’s so hard to prove a hate crime
The recent news of Robert Aaron Long’s plea deal in the murder of four Asian spa workers in Cherokee County, Georgia is a bittersweet triumph. He was given four life sentences without the possibility of parole, but the Cherokee County District Attorney explicitly stated, “Your honor, in discussing this case with Mr. Burns, the defense’s position is that this was not any type of hate crime,” saying that the defense found no racial bias in the case. The FBI came to the same conclusion. With the four remaining murders still to be tried in Fulton County, the District Attorney there stated she intends to continue to pursue the case as a hate crime, keeping the domestic terrorism charges, and seek the death penalty. This is yet another example of the difficulties of proving racial bias in a court of law, especially when it comes to Asian Americans.
When Robert Aaron Long killed eight people in Atlanta back in March, the Asian American community could see this for what it was: a hate crime. Six of the victims were Asian women who worked at spas. This was not a coincidence. Their race and occupation made them targets. Asian women are fetishized in our culture, which is linked to the stereotype of seeing them as sex workers, a relic from colonialism and imperialism, multiple American wars in Asia, and the portrayal of Asian women in Hollywood films and television. The killer, however, claimed that this had nothing to do with race. He is “deeply religious,” struggles with a “sex addiction” and felt he needed to kill these women to remove the temptation they presented. With the news of Long’s plea deal came the revelation that he did in fact frequent these spas. If this is true, it would follow, then, that he either chose these Asian spas based off the stereotype that Asian spas are fronts for sex work, or that he chose Asian spas specifically because he had an Asian fetish. It seems highly questionable that he frequented multiple spas to solicit sex acts, and it was only a coincidence that they were all explicitly staffed by Asian workers. We are unaware of any hard evidence making this connection. For now, we are left to sift through circumstantial evidence to determine what was in his head that day. We are all too familiar with such a journey.
Film production Participant is developing a scripted limited series inspired by the murder of Vincent Chin in an exclusive agreement with the Chin Estate and Helen Zia.
About the series: Participant’s series will be the “only authorized telling of the landmark civil rights case following the 1982 murder,” according to Deadline.
Asian American activist Helen Zia revealed that the makers behind the star-studded podcast about the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982 never tried to connect with her or the Chin Estate during the development of the five-episode audio series despite her major role in demanding justice.
A podcast co-produced by Gemma Chan that centers on the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982 is now available.
What you need to know: “Hold Still, Vincent,” which was announced in early April, begins with a table read of a feature screenplay by Johnny Ngo.
Writer and producer Marilyn Fu is bringing Vincent Chin’s story to life in a limited series from Amazon Studios and First Look Media’s Topic Studios.
Chin, 27, was killed in 1982 in Detroit by two former autoworkers who believed he was Japanese and responsible for taking their jobs.
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.
Untold story: The award-winning writer is set to develop the series to shed light on the history behind the hate crime and the landmark case that sparked the Asian American activism that exists today, the Center for Asian American Media announced last Monday.
The Black and Chinese community in San Francisco came together in remembering Vincent Chin, a Chinese American who was viciously beaten to death by two White men in 1982.
Members from the two communities, as well as from the volunteer group San Francisco Peace Collective that patrols the city, gathered on June 26 at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in a memorial for the 38th anniversary of Chin’s death, AsAm News reported.
On June 27th, 1982, friends and family were supposed to attend the wedding of Vincent Chin. They attended his funeral instead.
Vincent Chin was the only child of Bing Hing Chin, a WWII veteran, and Lily Chin. Bing Hing Chin had earned the right to bring a Chinese bride into the United States as a sign of gratitude for his service, and the two had hoped to begin a family together. After Lily Chin suffered a miscarriage in 1949, the Chins instead opted for adoption and brought Vincent home from a Chinese orphanage in 1961.