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tv   France 24  LINKTV  September 13, 2016 5:30am-7:01am PDT

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genie: you are watching "france 24." i'm genie godula. these e are the totop stories ts hour. the new cease-fire across syria heads into his first full d day- into its first full day. the weeklong truce, brokered by the u.s. and russia, seems to be holding. three women arrested after a spoiled terror plot near notre are puthedral in paris under formal investigation. police say they were planning on other attacks, including one
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on a major train station. hillary clinton says she should be back on the campaign trail aa few days f from now, after she almost collapsed sunday at a 9/11 memorial. due to a bout of pneumonia. up, the anti-poverty charity says the u.k. says the u.k. is one of the most -- says the u.k. is one of the most may haveand contributed to the vote to live the european union. something breathtaking but not for the faint of heart. -- spectators in china. first, our top story, live from paris. genie: we will start in syria,
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with a new cease-fire that began monday at sunset. it has held through the night with just a few minor violations reported. the weeklong truce was negotiated by the u.s. and russia, and as mary explains now, it has many hoping it could be a turning point in the war. calm slowly returns to the streets of aleppo as officially -- officials met residents in government held areas. >> we support the truce, but every time we have one, they attack us. better andngs get god makes the army victorious. after weeks of negototiations, the syrian government announced it would comply.
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for the united states, the aim of the cease-fire is to move forward negotiations in order to end the war. believe thatry: we the only realistic solution to i urge alle -- parties to support because it may be the last chance one has to save a united syria. notpposition forces have formally signed up for the truce. ththey say they y need stronger guarantees they will not be targeted. a the cease-fire holds for week, moscowow and washington wl begin a joint campaign to target militants. ththe cease-fire shoululd also w a groups to deliver -- aid groups to deliver supplies through the country. genie: despite the relative calm in syria overnight, there were a few minor violations, as our regional correspondent reports. >> the cease-fire got off to a
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bit of a rocky start yesterday. around 10 violations were reported across the country before midnight. includes -- that barrel bombs in the northern city of aleppo, but there were also attacks in homs and around damascus as well. that, there was a significant reduction in violence across syria. the u.s. secretary of state spoke in washington late last night, expressing the kind of cautious optimism about the cease-fire holding. he also echoed the words of the white house, were he said much of what happened in the coming russia and on how the syrian government act. we will l be looking very closey over the coming hours and days to see how likely the cease-fire is to hold. a few things w with tell us tha. pausey, can the sustained
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in the violencnce be sustainine? thirdly, with the key caveat that the regime remain able to target terrorist groups, will it focus on the islamic state and those linked with al qaeda, and ignore moderate rebel groups? if those three things happen, this deal has a good chance of holding, but that is quite a big if, and we will have to look closely to see if the deal will hold up. genie: not a massey reporting -- reporting from beirut. it has been three weeks since turkey launched its offensive on syria. to try to oust the islamic state group. the biggest town freed so far is john robb loose -- is jarablus. , athe road to jarablus syrian town freed from the islamic state's hold just three weeks ago.
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thethe sound of joy from fills theval of eid street. an unimaginable scene as the syrian army welcomes us. here.m four years ago i was forced to leave, and two days ago i return. thank heavens. smile spread across the faces of these children, thanks to toys sent to them from turkish officials. many will leave empty-handed and with a broken heart. because these scenes of celebration are a rare sight inn general blue's. -- in jarablus. basic necessities are rare. electricity.ter, humanitarian aid is not distributed evenly. it does not reach everyone. >> the situation was made worse by the return of some refugees
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who have claimed back there occupied homes. jarablus havefrom returned and they want to come after us. the different military factions do not care about our problems. >> that is because the free longerarmrmy is taking than expected. relying moreis now than ever on the support of the turkish army. president,ed our recep tape aired again. may god protect him. the syrian army wants too recruit more soldiers coming even if they are very young. genie: the syrian army says it has shut down a warplane in the golan heights after -- the
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israeli army itself has denied the claim. let's bring in our jerusalem correspondent. at this point, there is a lot of confusion on what happened exactly. what more can you tell us? >> i can tell you that there are two accounts, but this is what we know. sometime after 1:00 a.m. this morning, monday night after the syrian cease-fire came into effect, israeli planes, one warplane and one drone, struck a target inside syria. that is in response to mortify her that came from syria into israel during the course of the pre--- that is in response to syria fire that came from into israel during the course of the previous day. at the moment, the onus is back on bashar al-assad to produce pictures or a pilot or a ruined plane of some kind. in the absence of that, we have
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to whether the two planes were knocked out of the sky. of a hee are in a bit said he said at the moment, but why is this incident so significant? >> for two reasons. one is the border, where the mortar fire is coming in. israeli analysts say that despite the mortar fire, it is not part of the syrian plan either to involve israel in their war or to attack israel. it seems to be accidental fire. nevertheless, israel responds to every attack. the significant thing about this syrian armyat the responded. significance, where it is, and what was done in return, rather than anything else at the moment. i do not think it is an intention or a name of pulling israel into the conflict. genie: thank you for that.
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a formal request to the united states for the arrest of a u.s.-based turkish cleric known as fethullah gulen. the turkish president says he is the man behind the attempted military coup this summer. g gulen has lived in pennsylvania for almost 20 years and has denied any involvement in the coup attempts. washington has already told turkey that if he were arrested andeffort tied it, it -- extradited, it would have to be a legal process, not a political one. here in france, three women have been placed under formal investigation over a foiled terror attack. they were suspected of plotting to blow up a car near the notre dame cathedral in the center of paris. france says it has been thwarting attacks on an almost dadaily basis. they were spurred by repeated calls for the islamic state
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organization, and now they have been put under formal investigation, charged with attempted to carry out terror acts in france. the three women had plans to blblow up a car using gas canisters near the capital's iconic notre dame cathedral. contains a letter pledging allegiance to the islamic state group. after heras arrested finger print was found on the rented car. another terrorist plot has been toward it. if 15-year-old boy has been charged with plotting an imminent attack on a walkway in paris. the minor had been under house arrest since april for suspected links to islamist extremists. a legend terrorists in both plots are suspected of using the encrypted messaging service telegram to communicate.
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in a related story, three suspected members of the islamic state group have been arrested in germany. they are three men from syria who traveled to germany via turkey and greece. one minister says those three suspects arrested do have links to attackers here in paris. the u.s. presidential campaign. hillary clinton says she is resting from her bout of pneumonia at that she hopes to be back on the campaign trail in the next few days. the democratic nominee nearly fainted at a september 11 memorial on sunday. she said she was just powering through the illness, as she did not think it was that big a deal. our correspondent reports. >> the job way to clinton's house, quietly garde uarded while she is
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resting inside. she will stay a couple more days at home and says she is feeling much better and that she did not think her pneumonia was "that big a deal." her campaign admitted it could have informed the public sooner, responding to critics who say clinton is not transparent enough about her health. while she is in bed, bararack obama and her husband, bill clinton, will talk on her behalf. tuesday inobama philadelphia, and bill clinton wednesday in las vegas. tim kakaine was pickining up the slack in ohio. just been onhad the campaign since july 22. hihillary clintnton has been one campaign trail for 18 months. her energy staggers me. i have a hard time keeping up with her. >> donald trump has not slowed down his campaign. polls have been improving, and he has managed to close in on clinton's lead. the republican has so far
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avoided d attackining his riri's health. instead, he focused on her controversial statement about republican voters. his voters aref deplorable's. mr. trump: you cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the american voter, and she does. spokespeople for clinton say they will release her medical information this week. genie: how about a breathtaking dance routine off the side of aa clcliff. take a a look at this. those little red things are dancerers. they are from the uniteded stat, but they delighted people in china, performing vertical dances o oa cliff face in the hearart of china.. performed at a altitude of 1300 meters. the dancers are equipped with safety ropes, but still, it is an amazing achievement and beautiful to watch.
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this is "france 24." let't's take a look at today's headlines. the new cease-fire across syria has s completed itits first full day. the truce, brokered by russia and the u.s., seems to be holding, despite a few reported attacks. three women arrested after a foiled terror plot near notre dame cathedral are put under formal investigation. planningy they were other attacks, including one on a major train station. hillary clinton says she should be back on the campaign trail a few dadays from now, after she almost collapsed sunday at a 9/11 memorial due to a bout of pneumonia. time now for our business news with stephen carroll. you are starting in the u.k., where a new report shows started going -- startling l levels of inequality. >> it shows the u.k. is one of the most unequaual countries s n the develoloped w world, 1% of
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people in britain having 20 the poorestalth of section of the population. it is said that the problem was likely contribute to the u.k.'s vote to leave the european union. let's speak to a senior policy advisor on u.k. inequality and poverty. he joins us from oxford. thanks for being with us. what is new in this report? is the gap between rich and poor getting wider? that all thend is wealth is being captured by a small number of people at the very top of society. so the very rich are racing away in terms of their wealth, and the rest of the country has been increasingly left behind. what we saw with the referendum vote earlier in the summer is some of the divisions in use case society -- in u.k. society incomes --omes, low
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certainly the u.k. feels divided at the moment, so we need to see more action to address those inequalities and divisions. flo what sort what sort of inequalities have we seen? >> with all the wealth created in the equality -- in the economy, it is captured by a small number of people at the top of society. the way businesses operate, the way they are managed, often mean that those at the top of business and those who are shareholders get the benefits, and the rest of the workers and the rest of society do not. so there need to be major changes to corporate business practices in the u.k. want to see companies do more to address pay disparities so we do not see these huge divides between what someone at the top
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of an organization gets paid versus someone with a middle income salary or at the bottom. are you hopeful that prime minister theresa may will listen to your message? graham: there are positive signs. she has talked a lot about the divide within society, and she has called for a change in corporate culture among british businesses. she wants to see that those people who for many decades have been left behind since the economy has grown, she wants to see them benefit. there is a strong agenda emerging from government to do more about inequality and to think about how the british economy works in a way that is fairer. there is some positive stuff emergingng from government. stephen: thank you for joining us from oxford. genie: thanks for that, stephen. next, to the latest on the controversy of a closure of a
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train factor in france. stephen: the company told the employees at its plant in eastern france that it is impossible to ensure a long-term future for the site. the firm says that statement was written before the french president intervened in the controversy monday when he said the factory must remain open. the state opened -- the state owned 20% of all stump. tom.f als alk us through genie: -- genie: talk us through what is happening on the markets today. stephen: there are hints that the federal reserve will not be meeting -- will not be raising interest rates at their meeting. in company where watching london is a home delivery service, shares down 4% today after their margins came under pressure. oil prices are trading sharply today. brent crude is the international benchmark for oil, up 2% after
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the international agency says there will be a global supply glut into the middle of next year. genie: you have good news to wrap up off the pitch for manchester united. stephen: 610 million euros over the last financial year. earnings were boosted by 14 increasedp deals, and ticket and tv earnings. m morepany expects revenues, to the tune of 640 million euros. it is the first time a british football club has passed the 600 million euros mark in their annual revenue. that's is -- that is to say nothing about their performance. genie:e: next up is the press review. florence villeminot is with us here on the set to talk about today's papers. you are going to start with this
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u.s. brokered cease-fire that has gotten underway that took effect in syria yesterday. flo: that's right, the top story across the world, as we take a look at the front page of "the wall street journal," focusing on the cease-fire, taking hold in a war-weary syria. thecease-fire comes as sacrifice feast is being celebrated. many wonder whether this eid cease-fire will hold. it certainly seems like a fragile one, taking a look at this paper in london. will all sides respect the agreement? will be syrian regime respect the agreement? this gun, the little stick accepts that truce. the stick is very fragile and small and appears to be breaking. genie: let's move to another story getting attention. an italian town is suing the french satirical magazine "charlie hebdo" over some
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cartoons. flo: the town was devastated by an earthquake that killed 300 people. this is big news, and this is focusing on the legal action the taken by over two cartoons that were published in "charlie hebdo." this first one is also in a tweet. the cartoon is by a cartoonist named felix, and it is called "earthquake italian style," and it portrays the earthquake as different types of pasta. it is arguably in bad taste, very "charlie hebdo." if you look at the tweet by a , fromlist, actually naples, he is outraged and says, "i would like to see where they are now." genie: charlie hebdo, known for being provocative, published a second one. cocoa,is is a cartoon by
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one of the "charlie hebdo" cartoonists. this is another cartoon that has caused legal action. we can see a person half buried under the rubble. they are saying, "it is not charlie hebdo who built your homes, italians, it is the mafia." there are absurd insults to the victims. a local prosecutor is now going to investigate "charlie hebdo" for these allegations of deformation -- of defamation. genie: and saving and distort an iconic alstom train factory. flo: francois hollande has jumped on board, to make sure this plan is mobilized in the eastern city will remain optional.
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this was where the first high-speed dg be -- the first train was made and we are months away from the presidential election next year, at a business paper said that aland -- by by francois hollande is a political promise. he has made several promises throughout his presidency, and the communist paper wonders, is this a stump promise, one that he will actually keep? ther papers say government's response is completely disproportionate because we are talking about 400 jobs at this factory, jobs that alstom has promised to replace. there is a business paper talking about a state of hypocrisy coming from the government. in this cartoon, you can see the economy minister, depicted as a train switch operator, asleep on the job. instead of pointing toward real institutional strategy, the switch is pointed toward a short-term vision. in the united states,
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there is another hot topic in the press today. that is hillary clinton and her health after she had that stumble at a 9/11 memorial sunday. according to her doctor, she is suffering from pneumonia. clinton said she did not think it was a big deal, yet many papers think it is. flo: it is a big deal in the press, getting a lot of attention. this is by a norwegian cartoonist. you can see hillary clinton getting a check up here, and it is not her heart rate but her holes that are going up and down. is getting a lot of attention, too. if you take a look at this cartoon in "the independent," you can see his wig saying, "we demand hillary clinton's health record." aside, therekes are calls across the political spectrum for both candidates to release their medical records. flo: take a look at the
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editorial in "the wall street journal," talking about honesty and presidential health. no one expects the president to be an olympic athlete, but the written -- but the public has the right to see. there's an editorial talking about the need for full disclosure for the candidate's health. candidates are passed the nation's capital merry retirement age, so "the new york times" says it is high capitalt he nation's retirement age. so "the new york times" says it is high time that the nation see their medical records. according to "the guardian," she can take heart from former president and prime ministers who did not let health problems hold them back. there is a long list of leaders
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and former leaders who have a long list of problems. jfk had addison's disease. french president mitterrand -- genie: stephen thank you so much fo
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announcer: this is a production of china central television america. may: who doesn't love a great story? so much can be learned, felt, and expressed through storytelling, but most importantly, stories can foster better understanding across cultural and social lines. whether it be through film, song, or even comic books and digital media, stories that are able to truly reflect the global village in which we live can only help open up new horizons and shift perceptions for the better. this week on "full frame," conversatitis with cultural storytellers who are spurring change. i'm may lee in los angeles. let's take it "full frame."
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when you bring up eddie huang's name, a few things come to mind: chef, hip-hop fan, tv host, rebel, a storyteller. eddie is a taiwanese-chinese- american author who wrote "fresh off the boat," a best-selling memoir that inspired the hit american tv sitcom of the same name, which is all about eddie's struggles growing up as a young boy trying to fit in in suburban florida. in the last few years, eddie has connected even more deeply witith his chinese culture and has chronicled the journey in his latest book, "double cup love: on the trail of family, food, and broken hearts in china." eddie huhuang is here with me now. eddie, great to have you here. eddie: thanks for having me. may: it's great to meet you. eddie: this is my favorite show to watch in hotels in china. may: hey, man, we like to hear that. that's awesome. i didn't
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pay him to say that, of course. eddie: no. i watch it at the w all the time. may: do you? eddie: yeah. may: i'm glad to hear you're a fan. eddie: hopefully, i get starwood points for saying that. may: [laughs] ok. all right, let's talk about you now. um, it's only been 3 years, right, since you wrote "fresh off the boat," that memoir? eddie: yeah. may: and now, all of a sudden, you're coming out with a new book? eddie: yeah. may: um, that's pretty quick to pump out a new book. what was the inspiration behind "double cup love"? eddie: yeah, it is. i remember when i wrotete the first one, there were people, before they read it, were like, "why would you read a memoir from someone who's 29 years old?" well, read the book. it's good, you know? and it is very tough to write a memoir, but so much happened immediately after the launch of the first book. may: ohh. eddie: my life totally changed, and i had to deal with it, and i was really... may: in a good way or bad way? eddie: searching for myself once again. it's always--well, i don't think anything in life is either good or bad. it's--it just is. may: yeah. eddie: right? it is, and, you know, it's the yin and yang thing, but i dealt with it, because i shed a new skin,
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writing the old book. i--i got a monkey off my back, and i said a lot of things, and i think the first book is very reactionary. it's at times angry and defiant, but, like, it's to be expected of someone who's an asian that grew up in america who a lot of people called black and was not allowed to just be himself. may: yeah. eddie: and so i wrote that book as a reaction for a lot of other asian kids like me, and once i got it off my chest, i was, like, "wow, i don't need to be a reaction anymore. now i need to figure out how i really think if all these external factors didn't exist," and i started to wonder, what would my life be like if i lived in china and i was born in china? may: yeah. eddie: right? so i went back to china, and i chronicled kind of this reversed migration, and i had also met a really, really cool girl in brooklyn at the time, and before i went back to china, i met her, but the trip was already planned, so it's juggling, like, your love life, your identity in new york, china, and family, and going
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back to explore all these things. may: so whatat did you learn about yourself and your identity going back to china? eddie: well, it affirmed a lot of what i already knew, which is that race is a social construct. the idea of chinese is different in china, in taiwan, in singapore, in new york, or l.a., right? and the only really definition of it that matters is yours, and so i think every person, whether you're chinese or taiwanese or japanese or african-american or irish, you have to figure out what it means to you, what your history, your culture, your language, and all those things that go into this social construct, which is race, and you have to take control of it. this--this book is very much about how if you actually start to dig and you start to actually do the personal work, you realize that everything that was put in your head by somebody else or society and you u allowed it to defifine yos not real and that when you start to break it down, you can finally build yourself back up,
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because for a long time, i was just a reaction to the way i was treated in america and the things that people said, and this book is about owning it, developing, actually, my own identity that i believe in, that i've worked for and, like, talking about it. may: so do you--when you look at yourself now, do you see yourself as a chinese-american, taiwanese-american, just--or just you? i mean, what--what-- what--what are you now? eddie: you know--you know, they're--they've all affected me, right? the--i mean, i identify as a taiwanese-chinese-new yorker that was, you know, touched by perverted orlando, you know? [both laugh] may: that's great. eddie: so, yeah, orlando's kind of the funny uncle that touched me, so... may: [laughs] oh, yeah. eddie: you know? may: that's an interesting way to put it, eddie, yeah. eddie: yeah. may: ok. eddie: you know? but i have to--i have to give orlando credit, because if i hadn't been thrown in that washing machine, where, like, no one really understood who they were or what it was or what the hell suburbia was in the nineties,,
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like, i had to figure it out for myself. it wasn't, like, you're born in a community with a lot of chinese-americans or taiwanese-americans, and you can kind of define yourself by proxy. in orlando, i was the one kid, and then i had to figure out what it was about life in america, orlando, and everything in the world that spoke to me, and so i--i thank orlando for that. may: well, that's cool. so--so "fresh off the boat," obobviously, you're saying it ws a waway that you shed some of te image and, you know, some of the stuff that you needed to get rid of, right? eddie: yeah. may: um, what i find interesting, though, you know, as we know, there's the tv sitcom that's doing really well called "fresh off the boat." it's inspired by your memoir. it's been 21 years since there was an asian-american sitcom. the first one was margaret cho's "all-american girl." it lasted one season. it did horribly. it was totally rejected by viewers. do you think things have changed enough that in 21 years, now people are like, "oh, yeah, we can see asians on tv. that's pretty cool."
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eddie: youou know, i'll tell you what it is. i don't think it's the people that have changed, because even when i was growing up in orlando in the nineties, yes, people made fun of me... may: right. eddie: but the friends i had that came to my house and ate my mom's food, it is undeniable how good taiwanese beef noodle soup is. undeniable. every single kid, palestinian, white, native-american, black, came to my crib, they ate that, and they were, like, "wow, this is great. i want to know more." you know? and, yeah, my friends called me chinaman all through middle school, all through high school. it was like my nickname to call me china or chinaman or whatever, or kamikaze, but, you know what? i definitely believed they were genuinely interested in what i was doing. they didn't know how to express it, you know? people hadn't taught them how to deal with my culture... may: right. eddie: but i think that people have a genuine interest in individuals, and so the--the problem for me is that i don't think networks give these things a chance, and--and it goes into the whole "oscars so white" thing, is that you need
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to give people a chance to tell you u what they like, bubut if u keep giving them what they''ve proven to like, you're never going to figure out anything else, and the thing is, is that if you work in hollywood, you see that when you go to do a pitch, your agent, whoever is working with you says, "you need to make a comparison. you have to compare it to something that's proven that they already know sells and then tell them why this a new spin on that." may: right, right. eddie: and then they'll buy it, because they're risk-averse, but you know what? like, true visionaries, real artists, they don't look at other people, they're not reading other people. they--they speak from the heart. it's a voice that is unstoppable, and it--it's--the artistic process is the most beautiful thing, because, at least for me, it genuinely feels like it's the hand of god. do you know what i mean? like, something is coming out of you. i don't even think i do it on my own. i think it's like a human or universal spirit, and you can't stop it. may: well, let--you know, with oscars, i--i don't know if you saw the show, but i'm sure you heard about the backlash, right? there were two jokes that were made during the oscars that were derogatory
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towards asians, and everyone's reaction in the asian community and non-asians, too, they were like, "wait a minute. why is this ok?" here's a show, it was all about the lack of diversity in hollywood, and--but it's ok to make fun of asians? eddie: yeah, you know, the--the race conversation in america has always been binary. it's black, and it's white, and nobody else, youou know, gets sa voice, or nobody else really matters in between, you know? that's not how i think white people feel. that's not how i think black people feel. that is the way that society has pitted us against ourselves, you know? like, societety plays the barbarians a against each other. that's what they do. it's the oldest trick in the book, but, you know, for me, i'm not--i think 99% of what chris rock did that night was phenomenal. the way that he navigated african-america's relationship with media, entertainment, race, everything, was masterful. i thought it was incredible. that joke about asians was terrible.
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chris: the result of tonight's academy awards have been tabulated by the accountining firm of pricewaterhoususecooper. they sent us their most dedicateted, accurate, and hard-wororking representatives.i want you to please welcome ming zhu, bao ling, and david moskowitz. eddie: and it just goes to show, someone asas brilliant as chris rock, that can understand black and white relations from his perspective, has a blind spot... may: yeah. eddie: but i'm not trying to take another black man down. like, it's hard enough. do you know what i mean? and it's not that i'm holding him to a lower standard than i would a white person, but the thing is, is that, like, i think 99 of out of t the maybe 100 jokes he totd was fantastic, and he told one really bad one, and i want to know who wrote it, and--and if he wrote it, then you know what? he should apologize. may: shame on him, yeah. eddie: but it doesn't undercut centuries of conditioning, and to, like, blame him individually, i mean, he's kind of the wrong one. may: but it does tell you that we still have some progress to be made, right? eddie: yeah, we got a lot. i mean, yeah. may: obviously, yeah. eddie: if you needed that to tell you, though, like, come
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on, what have you been watching? may: yeah. no, no, no. eddie: it's--yeah, there's a lot of progress. may: there's definitely a lot of progress that still needs to be made. i'm curious, though... eddie: people, when i say i'm from taiwan--when i say i'm taiwanese, people still think i'm from thailand. you know what i mean? likike, there's a lolot of progress to be made. may: well, you know, people still say, "where are you from?" and then i'll say, "oh, i'm from ohio, originally." "no, where are you really from?" right? so there's still that... eddie: yeah, just say--ask me what my race is. do you what i mean? like, i'll tell you what my race is. i'm not ashamed of it. may: right, right. eddie: but where i'm from, this is actually where i'm from. may: exactly, exactly. eddie: you know? may: i'm curious. your love of hip--hip-hop and black culture, where did that--where does that come from, and what is it about that culture and that music that you gravitate towards? eddie: well, it--it's just that because race is binary. when you grew up in america, you only saw white or black people on television. there was an asian person on television. it was long duk dong, saturday afternoon after wwf, and he was, like, riding a unicycle, a stationary bike e next to a girl that he had the hots for, you
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know, and i was just like, asians are emasculated. we're basically paralyzed in the media. we're not allowed to be whole individuals, and neither are black people or latino people or gay people or women. do you know what i mean? and--and so the thing is, though, i felt like black people laid a lot of the groundwork for civil rights for us to start to understand what was happening to us because it happened to them, and i--i gravitated towards it. i related to it, and even as a, like, 5-year-old kid, i would just--i would watch black movies, i would listen to black music, i would watch the athletes, listen to what they said. i loved charles barkley. i modeled so much of myself after charles barkley. may: did you really? eddie: yeah, he was literally one of my biggest role models. may: charles barkley, for those of you who don't know, nba superstar, yeah. eddie: yeah, because he wouldn't let people define him as a fat guy, as some country dude from alabama. like, he spoke up for himself, and so, you know, i just saw lots of black people in america sticking up for r themselves and
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what they believed in, and they were kind of the only people that we were allowed to see do it. may: yeah. i hate to say this because i--maybe if i say it, i'm feeding in to the stereotype, but i'm going to say it anyway. the stereotype of asians is that we're--we don't speak out, we're not vocal, we're the silent majority--minority, and, you know, we just kind of do our thing, right? eddie: yeah. may: so it's--it's refreshing, but, also, i think it's sometimes shocking for people when they see someone like you who's just going to say whatever he feels like saying. eddie: yeah, i speak at colleges a lot, and asian kids literally ask me, "what made you think you could do this? what--what gives you the confidence do this? why can you do this?" and i was just like, "because i knew i needed to. like, i felt a duty to myself, my grandparents, everybody," because when people call you a chink in school or people push you down or people want to fight you, you're like, "you know w what? my parents didn''t come to amamerica for r this..." may: that's right. eddie: "anand this is not t whoi am." may: that's right. eddie: "i'm not the bottom of the barrel, and i refuse to let you think that." and so, like, i stuck up for myself, my
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family, and everybody else that i know that gets that same treatment. may: that gets put down. listen, man, i mean, i did, too, right? eddie: but i really think that individuals want to do the right thing. may: they do. eddie: you know, i meet people from all walks of life, different races. they meet you on a personal level, they care about you. they want to do right by you. they'll start to ask you, "hey, what should i call you? what should i do?" and, you know, it's almost weird to say or teach them, but you have to do it, right? may: yeah. eddie: and i think the thing that's really to blame is that society continues to proliferate this idea of race as, like, a reality, that like because of this skin, you do that, and because of that skin, you do that, but it's not true. these are characteristics that have been attached like socially and politically through hundreds of years, but they're not real, and that's everything that the second book is about. it's, like, to break the chains of race as a social construct. may: and what do you find out? what did you find out by writing this book? did yoyou get an answer? eddie: yeah, of course. may: for yourself? yeah?
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eddie: yeah, of course. yeah, but you got to read the book. yeah. may: ok, that's a good way to pitch it, yeah, ok. eddie: yeah, otherwise, what am i selling here? ha ha ha! may: well, let--let me ask you this, then--let me ask you this, because this--the book was about your journey back to your identity, you know, your roots. it's also about love, right? eddie: yeah. yeah. may: and trying to figure out what that means to you and... eddie: because that's the thing that is the most difficult to do with all of these stereotypes swirling. like, love, when--when you''re in an interracial relationship, everything becomes a crucible, because now you're living with people from a different race, and, like, it may be easy y to o to dinner with people that are from a different walk of life than you and enjoy them for 2 or 3 hours and go home and be like, "you know, that was really nice. i learned a lot from them. i'm not going to see them for 3 months." do you know what i mean? you do it 4 times a year, and you're like, "no, i really understand these people now," but when you are engaged to somebody or you're in a relationship, like, their family is now your family, and when you're in that crucible and when it's that close, that's when your beliefs and
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values really start to get tested. may: yeah. eddie: you know? may: for you, though, going--going back to china--i know you convinced your two brothers to come with you, right? eddie: yeah, and you know what, my middle brother now lives in chengdu.u. may: oh, ok. eddie: he loved it so much. the trip did so much for him. he now w lives in chengdu. may: really? eddie:e: he owns a r restaurant called papa's fried chicken in chengdu. may: no kidding. eddie: yeah, he opened a fried chicken spot in chengdu. may: is it doing well? eddie: doing really well. he's great. may: wow. eddie: his fried chicken's awesome. may: well, ok. so food runs in your family, clearly? eddie: yeah. may: i mean, you know, food is such a part of asian culture, anyway, chinese culture, for sure. for you to be a chef, i mean, was that part of the plan for you, or did you just sort of decide that... eddie: no, my parents did not want me to be a chef. may: ok. eddie: they did not want me to. may: because they were restaurateurs. eddie: yeah. may: yeah, so they did not want you to go in the food business. eddie: no, he--my dad in college wanted me to run his restaurant, but once i got out of that, i went to law school. he wanted me to be a lawyer, and then i wanted to open a restaurant, and he kind of... may: did you want to go to law school? eddie: um, i--i felt like it
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was a good thing for me to go to law school. it was not something i genuinely wanted to do, but i had run into the trouble--i had run into trouble with the law, and i was trying to go to a lot of mfa programs. i wanted to make movies, and i wanted to write books, but, um, i had to check the box because was a felon in america--not a felon--i was--very complicated. may: [laughs] ok. eddie: i plead--i plead nolo contendere. so it's a withhold of adjudication. it's a very, like, purgatory in the legal field... may: oh, wow, ok. eddie: but there was a case. it was, like, self-defense, but then we didn't want to go to court, we plead out, right? so when i was applying to schools, i had to check the box, like, "yes, i have a criminal record," right? and then i said, you know, i think if i go to law school, and i behave myself for 3 years, prove myself, do well in law school, then maybe people will look at me like a, you know, a good person, right? they'll give me another chance. i needed a second chance, and i felt like going to law school, getting that piece of paper, and saying, "hey, i can accomplish
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these things intellectually, and i behave myself. like, i need a second chance." so that's why i went to law school. may: oh, wow. so it's not really that you wanted to maybe practice law perer se, it's... eddie: i never wanted to practice law. i was interested in social justice, though. may: right. eddie: very interested in social justice, and once i got there, i was like, "you know what, if i got to work in constitutional law or intellectual property law, i would do this," because i think those are the two most interesting fields, but, um, you know, i--i won this fellowship, i got placed at a big firm, and then they had me doing, you know, corporate law, and i was-- may: i cannot see you doing that, eddie. eddie: no, nobody can. i got out in 6 months, you know. may: you did? ok. eddie: i was, like, giving myself haircuts at the law firm and goofing around, so, yeah. may: ok, ok, but you gave it a go at least.... eddie: yeah, i gave it a go. may: but then you found your passion for food and cooking, and obviously that's done well for you. eddie: i always loved food, and--and the thing was i would cook chinese new year at my crib, and people would come over. people would eat the food, and then i did this food network show, and then, you know, people at the network and my friends were like, , "dude,
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you really should sell this. this is a travesty if you don't sell this food. people should be able to experience this." may: wow. eddie: and that's why i opened baohaus. may: no kidding. what's your fafavorite dish to m make? eddie: red-c-cooked pork. may: yeah? eddie: yeah, red-cooked pork is my favorite, hong shao rou. may: really? eddie: yeah. may: is--does it just make people swoon? eddie: yeah, yeah. it's good. i think--i thihink i make the best red-cocooked pork.k. may: rigight on. eddie: yeah. may: well, eddie, it was such a pleasure talking to you. eddie: thank you. may: thank you so much... eddie: yeah, i appreciate it. may: for coming on the show. eddie: yeah. may: hey, and good luck with the book and all of your other projects that you're working on. eddie: yeah, i hope you read it. may: so--yeah, i'll--i'll see you soon, and i'll let you know. eddie: definitely. thank you. may: all right. ok. well, well, coming up next, comic heroes with a cultural impact. we'll be right back. young kids often have an incredible imagination that helps them create incredible
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characters and stories inside their heads, but then they grow up, and that free spirit fades, but not gene yang. he never let his love of superheroes, animation, and storytelling dissipate. in fact, he made it into a stellar career. gene is a renowned comic and graphic novel author who has written for iconic series such as "avatar: the last airbender" and "superman." today he is one ofof the mosost respected writes in the industry. his first graphic novel, "americican born chinese," was the first ever graphic novel to be named a finalist for the national book award, and it was the only graphic novel ever to win the coveted printz award in 2007. an advocate for using comics and graphic novels as learning tools,s, he's rrrrently prpromog his s educational platformrm, reading without walls, which encourages kids to read outside of their comfort zone. gene yang joins me now to tell us much more about his great work. welcome to the show, gene. gene: thank you. thank you for having me. may: wow. gene: i'm excited to be here.
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may: i mean, talk about a list of achievements. congratulations on all of that. gene: thank you. it's--it's been kind of crazy. it's been nuts. may: it's kind of crazy, but it's great because you're doing what you absolutely love doing. gene: yeah, i--i think--you know, when i started making comics in n fifth grade, i used to hang out with my best friend jeremy kuniyoshi. we would be at the lunch tables making up stories. i'd do all the pencils, he did all the inks, and if you were to tell me then that all of this stuff would happen to me, i--i don't think i would've believed you. may: i know. so it was just innocent kids just doodling, right? gene: yeah, yeah, it really was. it was fun. i mean, we were very serious about it, but it was a lot of fun. may: right, right. so i always have to ask, you know, asian-americans--fellow asian-americans that go into fields that aren't the conventional fields, right, because we have asian-american--or asian immigrant parents, right? they all expect us to be lawyers, doctors, engineers, right? gene: yeah, that's the--that's the chinese trinity: doctor, lawyer, engineer. gene: koreans too, right? so--so i i wonder what your
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parents thought about you going into graphic novels. gene: my--my mom was a little more u understananding. she's always had some interest in the arts. my dad is a pretty typical immigrant dad. may: ok, conservative. gene: so he--he was very into doctor, lawyer, engineer. in fact, right before i went to college, he sat me down, and we had this conversation. he said, "you know, you need to major in something practical," meaning medicine or law or engineering. may: right, chemistry and all that, yeah. gene: "and as long as you get that degree in something practical, you can do whatever you with your life, and i won't say a thing." so i did. i--i majored in computer science. it's also because i do love--i do love coding, but i majored in computer science. after that, i became a software developer. i worked as a software developer for two years. during that two years, he didn't say anything, and then i left my software development job to s start concentrating on comics and also to start teaching high school, and he didn't say anything because he promised he wouldn't. may: still didn't say any? ooh. gene: but every few months, i would get this little envelope in the mail from him, and this envelope, it wouldn't have a letter or anything. it would just have newspaper clippings.
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it would be, like, one ad's from apple computer or--or google... may: that's hilarious. gene: or--or it would be like an article comparing teacher salaries to programmer salaries. may: oh, no! gene: every few months, i'd get one. may: so subtle. gene: yeah, so subtle. it's so my dad, too. may: but they must be so proud now, obviously. gene: yeah, yeah, and--and the turning point for my dad at least was right after "american born chinese" came out in 2006, a chinese language newspaper came and--and did an interview with me and featured me on--on their--like in their living section, you know? may: oh, wow. gene: and--and when i went to visit him after that happened, he actually had that article clipped out and laminated. may: oh, my goodness. gene: and that's when those little envelopes stopped. may: that's amazing. that is amazing. so let's talk about, you know, the--the storytelling part of what you do, because that--it's not just--people sometimes think of graphic novels, "oh, it's just a bunch of, you know, pictures and cartoons and things like that," but there is story--true storytelling in graphic novels, right? gene: yeah, i--i think in america, for a really long time, when people thought of
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comic books and graphic novels, they thought of only one genre. they thought of superheroes, right? maybe some funny animals, but it was mostly superheroes. may: right. gene: and--and i think it's only within the last 10, 20, 30 years that--that things have really shifted that people have--have started realizing that graphic novels are just--they're almost a container, and they're a container that can contain any kind of story that you want to tell. may: right, right. when you write your graphic novels and you come up with your stories, i would imagine that a part of you is in some of these stories, or at least somehow you can relate to these characters. gene: i--i think that's true of every writer. i think every writer, no matter how fantastical your story, you do pull heavily from your own life. you know, that's part of the research that you do, is you just go through your memories and figure out what you can use. may: and what about "american born chinese"? because that was such as huge hit, got such accolades, obviously. for you, what was that about for you to do that t story? gene: when i started "american born chinese," i had been doing comics and graphic novels for about 5 years,s, and it always-i had multiple protagonists that
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were asian-american, but their cultural heritage never played a big part in the story, so i wanted to do some kind of a story where that was the focus, where it was about cultural heritage, it was about the asian-american experience, and that's what "american born chinese" was. there are 3 different storylines. the first one is about the monkey king, who's not my character. he's like this really famous... may: chinese fable, yeah. gene: yep. the second one, i pulled heavily from my own life. it's a fictional story about a young chinese-american boy growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, but that, i pulled heavily from my own junior high experiences to tell. may: right. yeah. gene: junior high was a little rough, right? i think it's rough for everybody. may: i--listen, gene, you and i, i'm sure have lots of stories about how rough it was to be an outsider. so when you were writing this and then you got the reception that you did to the book, were you surprised that... gene: i was shocked. may: yeah, you were shocked, ok. gene: absolutely, yeah. i mean, it's crazy. when i started in--in comics, it was the mid to late nineties. at that time--i don't know if you remember, but marvel comics
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had declared bankruptcy... may: yes. gene: and comics in general in america were just not doing very well. may: they were dying, right. gene: yeah. i--i would go to these comic book conventions with my friends, and--and some of the days at those conventions, there would be more exhibitors than there were attendees, which is the exact opposite of how it is now, right? may: now it's crazy. gene: now it's crazy, yeah, but back then, people just thought it was a dying art form. so to go from a situation like that to now, where, you know, there's a "new york times" bestseller's list that's focused on graphics novels, comic book conventions sell out months before they're held. it's--it's amazing. may: yeah. gene: so the way i pictured my life was, i thought i would just teach high school full-time, and i would always just do comics on the side. may: wow. wow. but you never thought it'd be turned just like [indistinct] gene: no, this is... may: and then getting these awards... gene: it's been kind of crazy, yeah. may: all these awards, and then now you're--what is it, the national ambassador for young people's literature. you were appointed by the library of cocongress. gene: yeah, that was--that was a crazy thing. may: that's huge. gene: it was, like, one of the fanciest thihings i've ever been a part of. it--it happened this past january. i flew out to the library of congress. they gave me this super fancy medal. it
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was--it was a lot of fun, but--but i really do feel lucky to be involv in comicscs, you know, , when--when i''m involved in comics, like, in this era. may: what is it--what is it about graphic novels that makes it different from other types of illustrations and comic books? gene: well, i--i do think, you know, graphic novels are just one of many different ways that we can tell stories, and there are certain stories that just work better as graphic novels than they do in any other medium. for me, my attraction comes from a pretty logical place. like, i think i fell in love with graphic novels, and then i thought about why i fell in love, right? but one of the things i appreciate the most is this inner play that you have between the visuals and the words. that relationship that the pictures and--and the words can have can be really, really complex, and you can--as a creator, you can really play with that complexity. as a reader, i think it gives your mind a little bit something more to hang on to. may: mmm. you wewere once quoted saying, "living a life without art, living a life without stories is a smaller life."
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gene: yeah, i think it is. i think it is. i mean, i just think k storytellingng is so fundamental to the human experience. it's--we--we constantly tell stories about ourselves in our own heads. you know, we understand other people through stories. so i--i--i think it's--i think it's actually almost impossible to live as a human being without interactive stories. may: right, right. it's a way to exchange culture, social issues, you know, and the environment, i mean, all sorts of ways that you can understand each other, right, through storytelling? gene: yeah, yeah. may: but here's my question, though. in this day and age of social media, where all kids are on their smartphones or their ipads or whatever, and they're just--their attention span is getting shorter and shorter, do you worry that, you know, this new generation is not going to be reading as much and they're not going be as interested in stories? gene: yeah. i mean, i'm 42 years old, so i do worry about myself. i worry that my own worries are rooted in my old man-ness, you know?
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may: you're not that old, gene, come on. gene: so--but--but i do--i do think about it. you know, i do think about how kids these days are growing up in a--in a much noisier world, and that noise isn't cecessarily babad. it's just--there's--- may: but there's a lot of distractioions. gene: there's a lot morere competing. yeah, there's a lot more competing for their attention, and i do think, for books, especially, you need that quiet place, you know, and--and... may: and that focus... gene: and--and that focus, and i think it's really good for you. i mean, they've even done research about it, right? like, being able to sit down quietly with a book for an extended period of time is good for your brain, it's good for your spirit, and--and i think--at least t with t the kids that i'e met, they understand that. they--they get, like, if they've s sat down and ththey've read a booook for a half an hour or an hour or whatever, they know the difference e that it makes in--in themselves, in their own interior life. may: they experience it. gene: so i--i don't necessarily--i feel hopeful--i feel hopeful that this new generation has that same value for stories. may: well, your platform, reading without walls, i mean, that's all about encouraging kids to read, but beyond that, you're trying to get them to
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read out--like, i said before, outside their comfort zones. gene: yeah. yeah. may: so tell me about what you're trying to accomplish there. gene: well, the--thehe national ambassadorship was established in 2008. every term runs for two years, and every ambassador is encouraged to come up with a platform, something that they want to focus on. i had a meeting with the library of congress and with the children's book council last year, at the end of last year, and we camame up with this platform of reading without walls. what we mean by that is essentially what you said. we want kids to read outside their--their comfort zones. essentially, we want kids to explore the world through books. exploration is such an important part of--of growing up, and books are such a great way of exploring, you know? specifically we want them to do 3 things. number one, we want them to pick out b books wit people on the cover that don't necessarily look or live like them. second, we wanant them to pick out books about topics that they might find intimidating. so for me, you know, i grew up as kind of a nerd. i don't know if you can tell, but i was kind of a nerd. may: no. gene: i was not into sports at all, and i was especially not into basketball. every time i played basketball, i got hurt. may: but you're so tall.
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gene: i know. that was the thing. that was the--like, but height doesn't come with coordination, right? may: ok, that's true. gene: those two things are not genetically linked. may: that's true. gene: so basketball has always been an intimidating topic for me, and i ended up getting interested in basketball in part because of books, because i read these amazing books abouout basketball, and finally, we want kids to explore readadg in different formatsts. so for a kid whwho's nevever tried a grgc novel, we wawant them to t try a graphic novel. may: right, righght. gene: and for a kid who only reads graphic novels, i want them to try prose books or books in verse. may: great goals, all 3 of them. all right, gene, thank you so much for coming in. you're doing great stuff. gene: thank you for having me. this was fun. may: well, from graphic novels to music, innovators like gene are making an impact. mamak khadem is a great example. she's an iranian-american songstress whose unique sound blends ancient persian poetry with bold musical risk taking. she's been called one of the wonders of world trance music, but as "full frame" contributor sandra hughes found out, mamak khadem would like to be remembered as a cultural nomad
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who uses her art to bridge traditions and tell a new story of cultural diversity. [mamak and saman singingng] sandra: she is a teachcher and a singer, plucking at thee heartstrings of f her homemela's classical music. mamak: smile. cheeks up. smile. i was born in tehran, iran, and my p parents arere both irirani, and i grew up in iran and came to united states in 19--end of 1976.
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sandra: she always thought she would go back to iran someday, but a revolution kept mamak khadem in the united states. mamamak: i wanteted to do sometg that connected me to my culture, so i chose the iraranian classical music, the trtraditional mumusic. sandra: but o one can s say tht she e sticks to trtradition. [mamak and man singing in foreign language] mamak: i started with a group called axiom of choice. we wanted to take our traditional music but kind of, like, put our own understanding and impression on it, and so the--the classical--the traditional music became a basis for our work. however, you know, we went outside of, like--we went beyond the tradition. [singing in foreign language]
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sandra: she has traveleled the world learning about her persian roots and adopting sounds from other places along the way. mamak: it's a cross-cultural-- it's--it--it's rooted in traditional music. it is about bringing some of the very beautifuful melodies frorom the villages, from the different regional music of iran, puputting it i into some d of form that is more available for the non-iranian together with the iranian second generation, third generation that's accessible to them. [singing in foreign language]
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saman: it's the singing, and it's what she's singing. the messages are about love. they're about integration. there's something about this music that's so incredibly soulful and gets me back in touch h th my own n culture. [laughter and chatter] sandra: on the eve of nowruz, the persian new year that is celebrated on the first day of spring, khadem dines with her iranian friends and gets ready to share her message of cross-cultural dialogue while celebrating her iranian heritage. [mamak singing in foreign language]
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khadem is the headliner of the los angeles county museum of arts 2016 nowruz celebration sponsored by the farhang foundation. khadem's audiences are by no means all iranian, but her music is about much more than the lyrics derived from the poetry of legendary persian poets like rumi and hafez. she considers herself a performing pioneer who is breaking barriers on stage and around the world. [mamak singing in foreign language] [cheering] sandra: do i need to know farsi to "get" you when i'm watchihing
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your performance? mamak: i hope e no. my intensnsions are for anyone to e able to pick up the feelings and the expressions, rather than the language. i really want to be able to--to connect to--to the people outside of my own culture. sandra: a connection she hopes the next generation of iranian-american artists will work to make even deeper. for "full frame," this is sandra hughes in los angeles. [mamak singing in foreign language] may: and we'll be right back with a look at how digital media is helping to shape cultural stories.
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well, the 2016 academy awards may go down as the most contentious and controversial ever as calls for greater diversity in hollywood grow louder and louder. now, according to a new university of southern california report on diversity in media, more than half of all filmed tv and streaming shows surveyed failed to portray one speaking or named asian role on screen. that's enough to make you want to scream, right? well, not for philip fung and julia lam. they are channeling any and all frustrations into making a difference through a3, their nonprofit group, which fosters and supports asian-american artists in american entertainment media.a. both jula lam and philip fung join me now from san francisco to tell us more about their mission. hey, guys. welcome to the show. thanks for being here. julia: hey, thanks for having us. philip: good morning.
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may: well, listen,n, you just heard what i said about the academy awards. you know, it was all about the lack of diversity in hollywood, but what's worse is that asians are pretty much invisible when it comes to the numbers. your thoughts on what's going in hollywood? julia: yeah, so, i mean, i think it's overall a funnel problem, um, if that make sense. so, i mean, in order to have authentic asian-american stories onscreen, you need to have it through the entire funnel, so that means the screenwriters need to be able to authentically create--write stories for asian-americans. the casting director needs to be able to see an actor and be able to cast them at--in that role, regardless of what race they are, and the directors need to be able to embrace that experience, as well. so you really need to see it in--all through hollywood and--in order to see more diversity on screen. philip: and also it's not really a new problem. i meanan, this has been going on for years. only 1% of all lead
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actor--acting roles go to asians, and, you know, they make up 5% to 10% of the population. latinos, the same way, as well. um, you know, only one out of every 20 lead roles out there are given to--to--to the asian-americans. so it--it's a really bad number to--to begin with. may: well, ok, so let's talk about why you guys decided to start a3, and it's asian american artists foundation, right? julia: yes, that's right. may: you--you're both with facebook, so, you know, you're relatively successful, whatever. um, so but why--so why did you decide to do this? why did you decide to start this foundation? philip: so, i think, like, we were--you know, we--we bototh came from--you know, after we came out of facebook, we spent one--a very long time there. i was one of the first engineers. julie was one of--one of the first partnership people at facebook. we spent, like, 8 or 9 years there, came out, and then we're saying, "hey, we've done pretty well for ourselves. what--you know, what--what are some problems that we see that we want to achieve next?" and, you know, both of us, you know, grew up in the u.s., and we
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just never saw any, you know, any people of color on tv and, you know, it's been like that since the eighties and nineties all the way up to today, and, you know, it hasn't changed at all, and we want to make sure that we can kind of make a difference in that, and--and the--you know, since we have been relatively successful, we want to help with that, and after talking to a lot of, you know, a great--a big group of our network, we--we actually found out that a lot of people are interested in this issue. they just don't want to talk about it, i think. may: and you do have some programs, right, at a3 that cultivate that? i think you have something called the sundance fellowship. tell me about what that program is about. philip: yeah, so sundance fellowship it, like, goes back to, like, you know, 2, 3 years ago when we started the foundation. we wanted to find a way to make an impact, and we talked to a lot of ceos, talked to a lot of people in the film industry, as well, and everyone agrees that, you know, there--there's kind of two ways that asians are--are kind of making a big impact. one is in, like, film and, you know, more outwardly. like, the bigger impact right now is really in
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digital, in youtube and things like that, but in the traditional film sense, there's--there's been--it's been really hard for asian-americans to do really well, and so we talked to a lot of, um, you know, entrepreneurs, a lot of filmmakers, and they all said, "hey, why don't you start the cream of the crop?" if you can get into--if a filmmaker can get into the sundance film festival, they--they've kind--they've kind of got it made. they've kind of had a big leg up in their career, and we were like, "ok, let's--let's talk to the executive director at sundance and see what we can do to o kind of foster that," ad after kind of going through all that, we kind of came up with thinking about, you know, why--why don't we come up with a asian-american fellowship at sundance? may: here's my question, though. one of the biggest problems is that it's the decision makers at the top. it's the executives at the studio who are green lighting projects. they are the ones who say they're going to make something or they're going to buy something or not, and if that doesn't change, it doesn't matter how many stories are being made, right, how many films are being made? if they're not going to be
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distributed, they're just not going to see the light of day. so is--it's a structural problem, too, isn't it, whenen t comes to the power of how--how hollywood is structured? julia: so i think the exciting thing about this is with the rise of digital media, you have this opportunity for more stories to more segments. so you're right. in hollywood specifically, there is one decision maker, and they're trying to create content that can appease a broader audience, and the guy in middle america may or may not be interested in, you know, content that is more diversely focused. so, you know, they have to make hard decisions there, and, you know, i--i'm sure that's--that's difficult, but, you know, really, there's--there's a lot of segments around that, you know, like, we're talking about asian-americans today, but, you know, i mean, even the latino segment, females, lots of other groups, as well, where they're just not getting as much play on mainstream media, but, again, i think with the rise of digital media--youtube, hulu, netflix, amazon--you're seeing that there is again this--this audience that really wants more
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diverse content, more diverse storytelling, and you see, like, the--people that look like them on camera, as well. philip: if you have an oscars where, you know, they're tout--they're touting diversity, and then you could still throw w in a major asian joke in there, and no one really cares, i mean, it's-- may: right. philip: it's--it's--is it's really showing that the mainstream kind of traditional media is really lagging behind. may: yeah. julia: and, i mean, in the last few years, though, there has been this--this switch where, you know--i mean, "fresh off the boat," i mean, clearly is one of the first asian-american sitcoms in the last 2020 years.. may:y: well, julia, i i was goig to-- julia: but you also see-- may: i was actually going to bring up "fresh off the boat" because it--at least that's an example... julia: yes. absolutelyly. may: of mainstream show, right, of a mainstream show that cacane seen by a broaoader audience, ,d the statatistics show the demographics of the audience is actually pretty widespread. so it's not only asians watching ththat show. it's across the board.d. so that''s a proven concept right there. julia: yeah. i mean, i think that--i think in the last 20 years, you know, we've seen a lot of change. you know,
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we--i--we don't see as many roles as we would like in, you know, asian-americans in leads, you know, again, 1% right now, but you are seeing asian-americans at least on camera, at least, like, you know, here and there as a character, still not as much screen time, but, again, they're there, they're present, and so i think it finally set the scene for a sitcom to finally make it, and then i think that they've done a great job throughout the entire process, you know, from, again, the screenwriters, you know, being a diverse set of screenwriters, to casting directors to the directors, to try to create something that's really authentic to the asian culture but thatat also appeals to a broader audience, and i think "fresh off the boat" is a fantastic example of that, and i hope to see many more. may: hey, julia, phil, i love the fact that you're doing this, and good luck to you, and we'll definitely keep in touch and see if there are improvements to come alolo. hopefully, there will be, so thanks so much, guys. julia: thank you. philip: thank you. julia: thanks for having us. philip: thanks for having us. may: well, we'll be right back
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with this week's "full frame" close-up. stay right there. finally this week, a multicultural story that spurs a different kind of change, the kind you find in your pocket. washington d.c. commuters bombarded with a noise of loud trains and the hectic pace of life in the nation's capital are now being soothed by a more pleasant sound, a mesmerizing countertenor. hisham breedlove often performs at the entrance of train stations where hehe accepts donations of appreciation. hisham grew up in zimbabwe where he perfected his voice at a young age. in zimbabwe, opera music is revered. hisham hopes to foster that same appreciation for the art in the u.s. by giving people the opportunity to experience it where they least expect it, on a busy street in
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the middle of rush hour. >> [operatic singing] hisham: music is not an endangered species. classical music opera is no longer an endangered species. ♪ somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue ♪ well, when i'm singing out on the metro, i can't even describe the--the gift that you
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get from having someone come up to you and tell you, you know, i--i don't have a dollar today, but i just want tell you you made my day, and you just--you really touched my soul, and i'm so grateful for that. [indistinct singing] it made me become a far more humble person. it made me respect human beings and respect the--the trials and tribulations that they a all experirience, because we all experience them. zimbabwe, we were colonized by the british, and south africa had portions o of it that were colonized by the british, as well, and, you know, the german flemish. the part of the world that still today appreciate and value classical music as if it were a precious jewel. you
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know, it was a standard in the education system that you take up two hobbies. i chose piano and choir. maybe 3 to 4 months of being in the choir, my choir director pointed me out of the choir, and she insisted that i do a solo because we had competitions coming up. this is my very first certificate ever. that was the--the bud--buddings of my career as a solo singer, and my parents signed me up at the zimbabwe college of music to take private voice lessons. [choir singing in foreign language] this world renowned boys' choir, the drakensberg boys choir school that was located in the mountains of the
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drakenensberg in southfrfrica, after every tour, they were auditioning, and after the auditions, they sent all the other fafamilies home and pulled my mom and dad asidede, and they asked if it would be possible if they could possibly actually just leave me right now, and they would provide all my uniforms and everything. [choir singing in foreign language] i had no idea ththat one day i'd bebeent alone on my own atat 17
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years old to america with two suitcases and good luck, you know. i had a really tough--tough beginning. you k know, i came from a school where i was a semi-celebrity to now being an ant in an ant hill in the united states of america, and it was very--a very daunting feeling, i will not lie. i struggled for my firstst two years. i had a lot of folks that took advantage of me because of my innocence and humbleness. [indistinct singing] i chose the metro originally because it was a suggestion from my mom, and--but then i
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realized that, you know, not only was it a venue to help out with p paying a couple of my bills, but i realized that, you know, it was a venue that i was able to practice, i was able to promote myself, touch people's lives, and have them touch my life. man: nice. nice. valerie: we definitely know that our child is gifted and has a gift from god. woman: yeah. valerie: we definitely do know that. i know it's for you. i know this is for you. i know it's for you, and we're behind you a hundred percent. we have nothing but admiration for you. hisham: yes, mama. valerie: thank you.
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hisham: [indistinct singing] the reason i got into washington adventist university was because a gentleman came up to me one day and said, "you have a fantastic voice, and i think you'd go far at my school," and i attended the school, and they offered me a full ride. [indistinct singing] i am a countertenor, and countertenor is a male voice range that derived from the early, early centuries where they had what we call castrato--castrati singers. [indistinct singing]
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deborah: he has a very--a very unique voice, and he also is--is--is made for the stage. so among the students i've had, one does not get a countertenor very often. come in! how are you, honey? hisham: good. how are you? deborah: good to see you. so when you encounter one, it is--it's really quite a pleasure. hisham: yes, i'm back in d.c., and as you can hear in my voice, [indistinct] 100%. deborah: yeah, you don't sound good. yeah... hisham: i've been singining at 100 miles an hour,r, not necessarily for the moneney, but just primarily to promote myself. deborah: well, i suppose that's what--that's what keeps you going. of course, you have all the regulars. they probably miss you. hisham: yes, they do. deborah: after being gone for a couple of years. hisham: oh, my gosh. yes, they do. [indistinct singing] maria: you are like an angel coming up the metro, and i--i will probably cry every time i hear you sing for as long as i hear you sing. hisham: awesome. nice of you. for all the years--over the
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years. maria: yes. hisham: from the beginning. maria: yes. hisham: you know, i remember. maria: and then i didn't see you for about two years, and i was at pentagon city, and i was in a hurry, and i was having a bad day, and i heard your voice coming out from the metro. i just wept. i was like-- so amazing to see you again. hisham: thank you. maria: i can't believe that everybody that passes by him doesn't either stop and listen for a while or give him some money. hisham: [singing] maria: and anyone who is fortunate enough to hear him sing, it should change their day. hisham: [indistinct singing] ♪ ave maria
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deborah: i would love to see him really now take all the skills that t he's worked so had for in the last 10 years a and really put them together in a nice package and go out and audition for people away from the metro, but really in a professional situation. the world needs to hear him. man: oh, man, that's awesome sound. awesome sound. hisham: [indistinct singing] valerie: whether you're selling computers, whether you're selling eggs, whether you're singing in a--in a subway... woman: uh-huh. valerie: as long as you do it well... woman: what he loves. he's doing what he loves. valerie: and you do what you love, and you're happy in your heart, you're happy for it. that's all i say. hisham: i didn't give up, and that's one of my main mantras in life, don't give up and keep pushing forward. once you've achieved greatness, try and double it, you know.
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may: he's so talented. well, that's it for this week. join the conversation with us on social media. we are cctv america a on twitter, facebook, and youtube, and now you can watch "full frame" on our new mobile app, available worldwide on any smartphone for free. get the latest news headlines and connect to us on facebook, twitter, youtube, and weibo. search "cctv america" on your app store to download today, and, of course, all of our interviews can still be found online at, and let us know what you'd like us to take "full frame" next. simply email us at until then, i'm may lee in los angeles. we'll see you next time.
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