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Asian Stars "A No-Show" at People's Choice and Golden Globes!

Updated on January 17, 2012
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Asian Movie Stars/Television Stars Nowhere to Be Seen

With the award season beginning with "The People's Choice Awards" and "The Golden Globes" for 2012 in Hollywood, fans of Asian stars are beginning to feel depressed. The nominations for Asian stars at these award shows were few and as a result only a handful of Asian celebrities appeared on the red carpet at these events.

Despite cries for "more leading roles" and more visibility of the Asian community in the entertainment industry, Hollywood is still "on the slow track of progress." The low turn-out at these two events shows the public that the American film and television industry has a "long way to go."

Bruno Mars wins People's Choice Award for "Favorite Male Artist"
Bruno Mars wins People's Choice Award for "Favorite Male Artist" | Source

People's Choice Awards

The nominations for Asian entertainment community were few at the "People's Choice Awards" that was broadcast on CBS January 11, so as expected only a handful of Asian stars appeared at the event.

"Bruno Mars" (aka Peter Hernandez), actress Shay Mitchell from "Pretty Little Liars," actress Vanessa Hudgens, and dancer/choreographer Cheryl Burke appeared on the red carpet to represent a small contingent of Asian stars. Among the 4, only two were nominated: Bruno Mars for "Favorite Male Artist" and Shay Mitchell for "Favorite Cable Television Drama." Hudgens and Burke were not nominated in any of the categories but were there to lend their support and provide some "eye candy" for fans.

At the end of the night, Bruno Mars, who is Filipino-Puerto Rican, won the award in a surprise over perennial teen-favorite Justin Bieber. Mitchell, who is Scottish-Irish/Filipino, won in her category as part of the ensemble of her hit show.

Maulik Pancholy of "30 Rock"
Maulik Pancholy of "30 Rock" | Source

The Golden Globe Awards

The 69th Annual Golden Globe Television/Film Awards was broadcast January 15 but the only Asian highlight of the event was a new Golden Globes' theme song composed by Japanese composer Yoshiki, who must have felt alone in the audience with no other Asian star in the venue.

Nominations of shows with an ensemble of Asian stars were more evident at the Globes but none earned any trophies. The shows that were nominated were "Big Bang Theory" (Indian actor Kunal Nayaar), "Glee" (Harry Shum Jr. and Jenna Ushkowitz), and "30 Rock" (Indian actor Maulik Pancholy).

"Flowers of War" received the nomination for "Best Foreign Picture" but lost to another brilliant film, "A Separation."

"The Descendants" won "Best Picture" with Karen Hironaga, Esther Kang, and Melissa Kim in minor roles.

The show was hosted by Ricky Gervais, who must have been alarmed by the lack of Asians and other minorities (African-Americans and Hispanic) in the audience and on the nominations list. Unfortunately, the Asian community is woefully under-represented when compared to the African-American and Hispanic communities in Hollywood.

Shay Mitchell of "Pretty Little Liars"
Shay Mitchell of "Pretty Little Liars" | Source

So What Now?

Back in December 2011, the organization, The Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC), challenged Hollywood (Film and Television studios) to create more roles for Asians in the next 3 years. Although there has been growth by the industry over the past few years, APAMC said that the ethnicity of most Asian stars, in which the majority are of Eurasian mixture, is not made known by the networks or by the film industry. For example, actor Mark Paul Gosselar of TNT's "Franklin and Bash" may look caucasian but little does the audience know that he is part Indonesian as well.

It remains to be seen if Hollywood will, in fact, take up the APAMC challenge.

Nonetheless, the growth of the Asian community in Hollywood has increased greatly since the days of Nancy Kwan (in the 1960s) and Bruce Lee (in the 60s and early 70s), but there is still room for progress.

"The People's Choice Awards" and "The Golden Globes" may not show the growth but the increasing numbers within the FIlm/TV industry in front of the camera and "behind-the-camera" don't lie. It's just that the two award shows haven't shown the recognition, by way of nominations.

Unfortunately, the upcoming 84th annual Academy Awards in February is looking like an event that will continue to follow the trend of the People's Choice and the Golden Globes with no Asian presence to speak of.

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