Episode 2

Episode 2: Swintoning


We discussed Margaret Cho and Tilda Swinton's email exchange regarding the Doctor Strange controversy (in which Marvel whitewashed an Asian character and cast Swinton, a white woman, instead). We also coined the term Swintoning (def. treating someone as your racial confessor under the guise of curiosity and politeness). For further reading, check out Rebecca Sun's open letter to Tilda Swinton, Mark Tseng Putterman's article on Cho's co-opting of black history and thought, and Gene Demby's tweet storm about Swinton's demand for absolution despite being "exceedingly polite and charming in a way that almost camouflages the grossness of what she's asking."

While this year has been a great year for Asian American activism in film and media, we wondered why Hollywood is so often the public focal point for most Asian American activism, politics, and media visibility. Other issues like the Peter Liang protests and a record number of minority women getting elected to the Senate this past year are equally important to report on and discuss, but often lack the same coverage and fervor that issues like Cho and Swinton's email exchange get from major news outlets.

In a new segment called Can We Not? we dive deep into rap lyrics and ask: can we not refer to Asian women in rap solely in terms of Asian food? BuzzFeed has also compiled a (great?) list of 22 Dumb Rap Lyrics about Asian People.