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tv   France 24  LINKTV  September 27, 2016 5:30am-7:01am PDT

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>> this is "france 24." these are the headlines. hillary clinton and donald trump a software the first live presidential debate. clinton and polls say came out ahead. the world's longest-running conflict comes to an end -- a peace deal after five decades of fighting. theeople on trial over
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ripped shirt case here in france after an french executive was forced to jump over a fence last your to get away from a mob of angry workers. this hour, the markets are also saying hillary clinton was the winner of last night's debate. we will tell you why. n,u may have heard of tin-ti but you may have heard less about his creator. first, our top story live from paris. hillary clinton and donald trump went face-to-face last night for the first ever presidential debate. the two candidates traded by the fund taxes -- traded by john
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barbs on taxes a look back at the highlights of the debate. [applause] woman -- aoned state state woman against the man who shook up the political rulebook. -- the seasoned states woman against the man who shook up the political rulebook. >> i will bring back jobs. >> actually, i have thought about this quite a bit . husband did a pretty good job in the 1990's. i think a lot about what worked -- >> he approved nafta, the
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e worst trade deal -- >> the businessmen accused clinton of allowing the islamic state group to flourish. he did at points look flustered. i will release my tax returns hes whenmy lawyers' wis she releases her 30,000 e-mails that have been deleted. focused on trumps willingness to live for his own lie.s -- >> he has started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an american citizen.
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trump responded by blaming clinton herself for starting the false claim. cs trumps on people as --y, he sees that see what some see as trump's that -- >> the question of who won the debate is in the eye of the beholder. he told us more about just what difference the debate may make in the long run. he could walk out into the middle of fifth avenue entrance someone dead and he would not lose any votes. among his diehard supporters, that is probably true.
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there is said to be quite a few undecided voters with only 5-6 weeks before the election. that is where it will become interesting. there are only two debates left. that walk waiting for away moment that goes down and -- those got you moments that remain in people's minds when they walk into that voting booth. we did not see it tonight. if tonight's debate help anyone it is probably a little more hillary clinton. people who went into this debate tonight thinking she was dishonest untrustworthy and might beto dislike her having a smidgen of second thoughts, maybe just a bit of a thatlodged in their heads
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could make the more receptive to seeing her in a different light. it will still be an extremely tight race. all the polls are indicating that. now to that historic peace deal signed in colombia monday. and thernment there left-wing rebels brought an end to over 50 years of war. one of the longest-running conflicts in the world. among the thousands of dignitaries who attended the ceremony. elliott richardson has more. >> an agreement to end over half a century of bloodshed. took outbian president bullet from the civil war to sign a deal which takes colombia into a new era. took itle in attendance
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as a symbol of peace. >> this statement by the colombian people before the world that we are sick of the war. that we do not accept violence as a way to defend ideals. no more war. the -- i name of apologize to all the victims of the conflict. [applause] for any pain we may have caused during this war. five jets flew overhead, trailing the colors of the colombian flag. there were cheers and could regulations that congratulations -- there were carnivallike celebrations, crowds gathered in front of a giant screen by the government palace building. feeling it could be the beginning of a brighter future. >> my daughter will grow up in a
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different country. , something ie never imagined for her or for me. >> not everyone is happy with the deal. hundreds marched to protest. they say the deal is granting up unity to for criminals and drug lords. for war criminals and drug lords. >> we take a look back at the history of the conflict that gripped the country. when a historic deal was reached and they called it, the -- the mistrust was deep after 52 years of bloodshed. being tested. we have put forward everything we can and reiterated our will.
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is being tested. what happened in the past will not be repeated. >> we armed ourselves out of necessity because the state would not take care of us. if they continue to neglect us, we will have to take up arms again. >> the armed forces of colombia volt ins a peasant re the 1960's. growing cocoa deep in the jungle, they became big players in the drug trade. groupvernment branded the as indigenous and chose to confront the rebels for half a century. in 1998, the president met with and agreed the group
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to create a demilitarized zone. here aboutlems social order, not armament. everything that is happening here does not end with the guns and bombs. >> the violence did not stop and the peace protests collapsed after the rebels hijacked an airplane. the president launched a large-scale crackdown on the group that had 70,000 fighters at that point. >> a complete defeat has come to these bandits. underew peace initiative his successor began a decade later in cuba. the fighters giving up their arms in exchange for a full pardon.
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colombians appear ready to embrace the agreement. a referendum on october 2 is expected to work in the deal's favor. several current and former air france employees are on trial today. they are accused of taking part airlinesce at the headquarters last year. the protests took place at a meeting last october where the bosses announced nearly 3000 job cuts. last year, these images were published across the world. they show the human resources -- the shirt has been ripped off his back and he's being escorted back by security. forfuture looked uncertain the french air carrier.
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an angry mob gathered to protest against restructuring plans said to sacrifice some 3000 jobs. this was the result. eight months later, employees were called to criminal court. five of the men stood charges that they faced up to three years in prison. a session was postponed until now. the trade union has condemned what it calls an attempt to criminalize union action. the international criminal court has just convicted a former islamist rebel from mali for destroying the shrine of timbuktu. he was found guilty of war crimes for attacking the protected site.
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this is the first guilty verdict delivered against a muslim extremist. they hope a nine year prison sentence will send a strong message to help safeguard engine monuments around the world. -- engine monuments around the world. >> he participated in the destruction of at least five of the sites. moreover, he justified the necessity of the attack by writing a sermon that was read before the attack and by giving up speeches as the distractions were occurring. character tin-tin is known around the world. some 250 million copies of the best have been sold. what's less is known about tin-tin's creator. a new exhibition about the artist has just opened up here in paris. here he is at the grand
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palais >> a prestigious honor for tin-tin's creator. he joins the ranks of van gogh. around 100 of the comic book artist drawings and original works transport us back to the 1930's and tin-tin's universe. his characters traced with one black line, all of the same with. i choose the line i like the best. precise or the strongest line. i transferred onto a clean page. some 250 million copies of tin-tin's adventures around the world -- that it are
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commissioned him to set his story in congo. >> it was a racist comic book in the 1930's. he was commissioned to do it. he did not want to write tin-tin in congo, but he was very young at the time. he was a cartoonist and script writer, but also a painter and designer. you also get to see his designs. he was a genius at commercial graphic design. he was creating logos, typography that many tin-tin fans have no idea about. >>'s drawings continue to speak to generations. the exhibition is on until january. >> time for business with someone who looks a bit like tin-tin. >> i will take that as a compliment. >> you've been looking at the
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markets and how they reacted to our big story today, the debate last night in the united states. >> the currency markets were open throughout the debate. 2% inxican peso jumped by trading earlier. a sign that investors are more confident of hillary clinton's chances of winning the presidential election. donald trump had been causing a lot of concern because of his position on things like trade, a great amount of uncertainty. for previous weeks and months, we've seen emerging-market currencies like the mexican peso becoming weaker. weaker, pesoyen is is stronger. people are willing to take more risks. the stock markets in asia had gotten a boost earlier from the debate.
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a different picture in europe today. shares trading in the red amidst the midpoint in the trading day -- continued concern over deutsche bank. shares down 3%. the company is financially solid after the omission scandal. -- emissions scandal. the wto says the growth in global trade will be one third lower than they'd expected this year. of 1.7 percent compared to 2.8% forecast back in april. the slowest growth and trade since 2009. the head of the wto says it should serve as a wake-up call and warning against the rise of anti-globalization sentiment. >> some bad news in france for
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the government when it comes to unemployment. >> the number of people registered as unemployed rose by 50,000 in august. in biggest monthly rise three years comes after a steady decline seen in previous months. hispresident staked reputation on cutting implement. -- unemployment. the latest on implement figures for august will put him on the back foot. the employment minister says the dutch were exceptional. >> we had forecast difficulties in the wake of the attacks in july. those expectations have unfortunately been confirmed. of peopleere are lots
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battling to find a job. tourism in france's suffering due to the recent terror attacks. the number of visitors has dropped by 7%. it's estimated that paris alone has lost $750 million. in august, there was a 1.4% drive in the number of jobless. president francois alonso he would not does president hollande said he would not run for reelection if he did not cut unemployment. >> the overall figures are fairly stable. all show a slight decrease. >> with economic growth projected to remain low, creating jobs will be difficult. just a month before the
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election, president hollande certainly has his work cut out. >> the gender pay gap is very real -- a study says it's also affecting wealthy women. >> there were very few women cdong the top earners in oe countries. women made up 9% of the top .1% of earners in london. the research found the proportion of women has been rising since the 1990's but -- spainains far off had the highest proportion of women in the top earners bracket , up 17%. that a stephen carroll with our business update. time now for the press review. -- that was stephen carroll.
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taking a look at what the papers have been saying today. there has been a lot of reaction about u.s. presidential debate. >> who won the debate? let's take a look at the l a times. a great cartoon depicting donald trump and hillary as to boxers. the late times analyzed the debate as if it were a boxing match. hillary clinton beat donald trump. an opinion shared by many viewers merely up in the debate. -- immediately after the debate. retweeted by dan diamond from politico. you can see here who won. clinton, 27% for donald trump. these results came out immediately after the debate. >> the results depend on who you
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ask. the u.s. media is as divided as polarized as the political spectrum itself. >> some media more in favor of hillary clinton. other media like donald trump, like fox news, for instance. they say hillary clinton did score a lot of points, but she was the aggressor. trump stuck to the fact that he scored a lot of points without counterpunching -- they said this was a good debate for trump because he showed he could debate serious topics with a former secretary of state. he made no obvious gaps, delivered no low blows. gaffes.vious tweeted "i'm a republican voting for trump and he lost that debate."
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-- is thiseted this really the best we can do, america? >> other analysts have a lot to say about trump. how he had a hard time keeping his cool at times. >> the daily beast said donald trump was raving on while hillary clinton was speaking. a very different way they were expressing themselves. clinton seemed more relaxed and more prepared. that is analysis shared by politico today. you can see hillary clinton appears to be laughing while donna trump makes a point. a composed hillary clinton got under donald trump skin. donald trump spend a lot of time interrupting hillary clinton.
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fox counted how many times donald trump interrupted hillary clinton. the first 26 minutes of their encounter. man repeatedly shouting over a highly prepared woman. debate tweet before the by alexander -- finally, the whole country will watch as a woman stands politely listening to a man with bad ideas. >> people were tweeting as the debate went on. >> i had to choose one. medieval reactions. when you take a shot every time hillary and you can see this medieval painting showing someone not really in good shape.
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a lot of people were playing drinking games last night. there is a website called the rules are very simple. pick a candidate and take a shot every time your candidate says a certain thing. hillary clinton's list includes things like family, middle-class or even a cough. donald trump, tremendous, believe me or failed. >> if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. this historic peace deal signed after five decades of war. >> it's too bad this is not the story most media are talking about. a huge story in colombia. eis is the front page of columbialno.
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the president welcomes them into democracy. another interesting editorial in tiempo. is it true that we can really write the year 2016 as the end of this bloody chapter in our country's history? a day that students down the line will learn as part of our colombian history. this has been such a dark chapter. a new columbia has been proclaimed. on the one hand, you know that not much is going to change. on the other hand come everything is going to change. paris, nudists are happy about a potential new biggest colony. given arities have green light to a proposed nudist park. this could open as early as next summer on the edge of the city.
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there are several parks. paris.uld be a first for a huge story in the french press. a lot of people like nudism
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announcer: this is a production of china central television america. may lee: it's the talk of hollywood, but it's not about the latest blockbuster. tinsel town is being accused of whitewashing. actors of color say they've had enough of being overlooked for major roles and, what's worse, characters that are originally created as minorities are being replaced by caucasian actors. this week on "full frame," how stereotypes-- both negative and positive--are a downfall to minorities. i'm may lee in los angeles. let's take it "full frame." [theme music playing]
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man: ♪ whoo hoo ooh, whoo hoo... ♪ may: hi, everyone, and welcome to "full frame." jason scott lee is a chinese-american actor who's perhaps best known for his breakout performance in the biopic "dragon: the bruce lee story," about the legendary chinese-american martial artist. man: it is your birth certicicate. jasoscott le " "bruclee.e." man: it sound d verymeririca bruc i i'm gogointo amemeca. frenchries. "sky's thlimimit. tha's at t thesay. man: "t t a chamanan's chchce." they say tha t too. brbre: i'm ffereren [shouts] man: yr r kindon''t undedetand englis y you gs kikill my dada in korea. yoththink'm ppy to seeouou in gymym? bruce: d''toucuch . man: owhwhat? bruce: oi'i' tououchou bacac [man shout may: a after his acclaimed portrayal of bruce lee, jason
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went on to star as mowgli in disney's 1994 live adaptation of "the jungle okok." hbecacamen inspatation oththersian acto w who rely saw latatabl faces in holwowood, t hehe eventual t took hiatatusrom hollywood foalalmostwo d deces becausththe ros fofor ian actors, esciciallysianan mes, were limited. now, tod l lee i back ihollywooand sa thgs are improving, but e fit for a gher prole is still oning foasian acto. joininus now fm singaporto ta more abt this iss is jason ott lee. jason, welcome to "full frame." glad to have you. jason: hello. thank you, thank you. i'm very honored to be here. may: well, jason, let's start from the beginning. was acting something that you always wanted to do or did you just sort of happen to get into it? jason: um, it wasn't something i always wanted to do. it was, uh--it actually stemmed from sports, i think, because being, uh, an athlete in high school and then after high school, um,
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there was this appreciation of-- of audience, uh, uh, um, i guess applause and--and adoration. and--and i think that's kind of set the stage for, um, my interest in--in acting. may: oh, ok. jason: um, yeah, so it--it kind of started from that, and then, uh, as i got, uh, into los angeles by way of, um, academics and things, i started, uh, pulling more towards, um, the stage and--and, uh, tv and film, uh, acting. may: all right, right. well, this is where it's--this is where it all happens, here in hollywood. but you mentioned-- you grew up in hawaii, and then, as you said, you then came to los angeles. so hawaii being majority asian population, as we know, um, coming to l.a. and trying to make it in hollywood, was that sort of a cultural shock for you? jason: uh, yeah. um, i grew up in the islands in hawaii and, uh, we have a--a sort of a
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language of our own. we--we speak pidgin english. may: right. jason: so even--even landing myself in fullerton, california, in--in orange county... may: right. jason: uh, it was fairly what we called "white bread," so i had to sort of re-tune my, uh, linguistics and, uh, try and fit in. and i think that's kind of been the game ever since, is-- is trying to fit in. and, um, and i think the--you know, the-- the hard part was--i mean, i think the easy part for me is-- is that i was fairly naive at the time... may: mmm. lee: and, um, and i didn't have expectations, um, so that was sort of, uh, made the journey somewhat easier because the-- there was no requirement to--to excel or anything. it was just, you know, kind of a--a self-driven thing. may: right, right. but it must have been tough at that point, um, when you were starting because there were very few asians acting in hollywood, um,
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and those that were were just getting probably bit parts, uh, and not much exposure. so tell me what it was like for you when you would have to go out on auditions. what kind of res-- reactions would you get from casting directors? jason: um, in the early days, le--let's say the late--the late eighties and, um, the--the roles were very, very limited. i mean, there--there was a lot of, uh, projects that were coming up that were immigra-- immigrant, uh, roles. may: mmm. jason: um, uh, mostly one-liner bit roles or even one-word, uh, bit roles. may: right. jason: um, and, you know, like i said, i was a young actor. i was 19 years old and, um... uh, there wasn't a lot of expectations. and i think the-- the big turnaround for me came when i started, uh, doing leads, uh, or when i started getting, uh, bigger roles, say, in a--a
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cbs after-school special or something. may: mmm. mm-hmm. jason: and tho--those--then you really started to see, once you started getting into the--the larger supporting roles or, um, the leading roles, then you really started seeing how inhibited, uh, your opportunities were. may: right, right, and, uh, lots of stereotyping, which we're going to talk about in a second. but your big break, of course, was when you played bruce lee in the biopic. that... jason: correct. may: must have been incredibly intimidating and exciting at the same time for you. tell me what that was like. jason: uh, i--i grew up with bruce lee. bruce lee was an icon for me. uh, my father used to take me to his films. may: yeah. jason: and, um, i was completely blown away, even in my first meeting with, uh, universal. um, they--over the phone, they told me to come in for this project called "dragon." they did not tell me it was a--a biopic for bruce lee. may: oh, my. you had no idea? jason: so when i sat down... may: wow! jason: i had no idea. when i sat
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down with them, um, uh, they explained to me, and i--i immediately thought to myself, "i mu--he must--i must be kidding myself." mamay: ha ha! jaso " "the's way."." can-- i--i didn't t haveny m maral arts traing at theimime. ma wow. jason: uh, i dididn' uh--you know, it's-s--i aays s ma the com--t c compason n th it's like askg sosomee who ner danced befe e to ptrayay rudolf neyeyev.. may: ha ha! jason: uh, ia-a--a sry like tt.t. may: right. jason: s u um, yh, i i w-- and--and--it was h heavyeighght. it was a hvyvy, hey buburd on my shouldersececause wasas jt starting mcacareeruh, , i s 25 years oldndnd--an um,m, i thought, if i ma a fool myselfn this tha-and i've se, uh, a t of actortry to rtray m, and--d fail miseray, or nd of someat ke a mocry of it, d i felt like, d, i just-n my hea, just wand to do e man justice. just want to make
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sothing th was incdibly dynac and-nd that--tt real sold thatthat his charis, his ergy... may: yeah. jason: and his, uh, just zest for life. and i had problems with--with the training, um, when i was getting into it. i--i had--actually had an emotional, uh, breakdown through it... may: oh, really? jason: uh, just 'cause i--i wasn't, uh--i thought the train was moving too fast. may: huh. jason: and, um, so, in, you know, in hindsight, you know, it was kind of necessary because there are certain... issues that you need to plow through and, you know, uh, um, obstacles that you need to break through, and--and sometimes they don't happen unless you invest-- or that kind of emotion or make that kind of commitment. may: right. it's got to be a full-blown commitment to--a role like that, especially, because he's so iconic and so well known. that--that had to be a life-changing experience, uh, and also for your career, but let's get to the nitty gritty
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here about why we're talking today, and that's the stereotypes that exist in hollywood and to this day for asian actors, uh, who want to make it in hollywood. the bruce lee story, that was about an asian man, so therefore that was an easier role for an asian actor to play. so what are your thoughts on what's going on in hollywood to this day? we hear a lot of criticism still about whitewasashing, you u know, oscs so white--that was a big controversy, you know, earlier this year. jason: yeah. may: what--what do you think now? what--what do you think's happening? jason: ha ha! oh, boy. it-- it's--it's finally getting the recognition, you know, the issues are--are getting the recognition it-- it actually needs. may: yeah. jason: um, that's my point of view. i--uh, i--i've been up for a number of the more recent, uh, uh, roles that--that were, uh, significantly asian in origin, and, uh, was passed on. so...
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it's--i always thought, you know, back in the nineties that i thought it would go forward. it was always this promise that, uh, oh, you know, things are going to change, um, you know, uh, but it--it's gotten somewhat more confusing. may: mmm. how--how so? jason: and i look at it--well, back when we--in the eighties when we started, "feature films" were sort of this elite kind of place to be in, and that's why you had the oscars. may: right. jason: um, tv--tv and--and internet was not as prevalent, uh, and it kind of--it--it--it's showing--it's rearing its head now that you--tv has much more diversity. ma for sure. jason: and, , , and e internetif youook at youtube, has an in--the percentage of ethnic g groups tt are involved in front of the camerara is--is gege. may:y: right. jason:n: um, and sfefeature fils
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still carry that kind of, um, that power, you know, where it's still trying to create an elite, uh, program. may: right. jason: and, uh, along with that, you know, come egos and--and, uh, sort of, you know, it goes hand in hand, and so with that-- may: but--so ja--jason... jason: yeah? may: who do you bl--who do you blame, then, um, for this problem in hollywood, especially like you're saying, in the movie business? is it the executives? is it the producers? is it the decision makers? is it the audience? uh, is it the role of actors like you who need to push the envelope a little bit more? what do you think? jason: uh, i--i really contend that it's all of the above. may: ok. jason: um, yeah, because, um, i--i--i'm not a personality kind of think to blame anybody, i think. um, if we want to really show our stories, and if our culture is so much that--so much
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more different than mainstream western culture, then we should write our own stories, we should develop so that--that--we have ourselves to blame for that. may: mmm. jason: on the other hand of the spectrum, we do--or we are looking at executives and we are looking at studios that-- that have the inclination to make decisions to change things or--or enhance, you know, the situation for the better, but are not making those calls. may: right, right. jason: um, so you--you do have, you know, back-and-forth issues, um-- may: because it is--it is frustrating, jason. i mean, um, me, as an--also an asasian-american, when i see these--constantly these decisions being made about the roles, um, and who is being cast for these roles that are originally, uh, meant to be an asian character and then they cast someone who's caucasian. and that's still happening today over and over and over again, so i can't imagine what it's
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like to be in the business as an asian actor. i see it from the outside, and i get frustrated, so... jason: heheh heh heh! may: it must be--i don't know. i mean, do you feel like it's one step forward, two steps back? i mean, that's--that's sort of the feeling i get from folks here in hollywood, um, who are trying to make a difference, but--and yet they don't see enough change going on. jason: yeah, that--that's true. um, um, it is, uh, one step forward, two steps back. i mean, i--it--it's hard to--to really-- i think, you know, like you say, like now, ok? let's say, um, we have actors of asian-american descent who are speaking out. may: mm-hmm. jason: but if you notice, most of the people that are speaking out are actors that are doing pretty well for themselves. may: right. jason: um, they're working actors, they're--they're highly visible. um, what you don't see is a lot of actors who are not working or who are afraid to
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step up to the plate... may: yeah, right. jason: and--and be vocal because, you know, their--their jobs are pending. they got bills to pay. may: yep. jason: you know, they got kids to feed, and, um, a lot of people aren't willing to step forward. and i think, as a--as a collective, asian-americans, unless they're, like, you know, third-generation, um, they... they'rere not really vocal about a lot of issues to be argumentative about. may: mmm, mmm. jason: we tend to be, as a collective, a little more, um, do the work, keep your head down, stay humble, you know, kind of thing, um, so there-- there--there's--i think, over the years, it's been that way. there's been individuals who have--who have been outspoken, who've had the platform at some point or another. may: right. jason: um, and maybe it--it hasn't been a strong enough push, you know? it hasn't had a big wave of effect like how the african-americans have had, um, in--in their approach to entertainment industry. may: right, right. it just--
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jason: you know, they've sort of taken it by storm. may: it does seem--yeah, it does. sorry, jason, to interrupt, but it does seem like we are starting to just see this paradigm shift that's a bit stronger this time around, um, that asian-- jason: yeah, i--i think that-- may: yeah. jason: mm-hmm. may: yeah, go ahead. jason: i think the new generation, the newer generation are--are--are starting to actually become more western, become more vocal, you know. the, um, uh, you know, step into the--into the life for politics as well, and--and as well as, um, you know, racism, so-- may: rightht, right. well, you know, jason, you're right now in singapore, um, in asia, and so i think it's pretty interesting what we're seeing when it comes to media, um, and especially the power of asia--particularly the power ofof china--when i it como hollywood wanting to, you know, uh, seize the moment and get that market share in china. so do you think that's going to shift the way that the media
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behaves and the way that movies are cast because of the growing power of asia? jason: tsk. um, you know, that-- that's been happening for about 20 years now,'s the money grab that's there, um, whether there are asians in films or not. if they're going to, you know, make big bucks off of any kind of film featuring, uh, say, predominantly caucasian actors, then the--they're going to put money towards it. if-- unless--you know, it's like, in--in china, they want to see their own stars. they--they want to see, um, you know, their own, um, identity there, um, so even as an asian-american, we don't quite fit in... may: mmm. jason: because maybe our--our mandarin is not as--as fluent as--as what they demand. may: right. jason: um, so i--i--i haven't seen much change in that
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direction. the--hollywood is definitely collecting a lot of money for--for hollywood films. may: yep. jason: um, and they're doing very well in--in china, um, but you don't see a significant, uh, change, meaning the investors from china are not particular, uh, about who is in the movie. mamay: yeah. jason: and maybe--you know, we always had this thing, you know, throughout my career about being the token asian, you know. it's like you looatat some of t the g blockbuster,r, uh, superhero movies, and they'll put in a token asian... may: yep. jason: you know, and--and--but they won't--they will not give it--give that bigger role, or the leading role to, uh, an asian-american. may: right. jason: um, but they'll--they'll give you, like, little kibbles 'n' bits, yeah? may: jason, um, one last question. uh, what are you up to? what are your--some of the projects that, uh, you're workrking on and w what can we expepect from you?u? jason: um,m, i'm--i'm actualally getting behind the pen and i'm actually writing, so, um, i--
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i'm looking forward to, uh, doing stuff. uh, there's-- there's some things happening with youtube red. um, there's also some, uh, indie films that, uh, show a lot of redemption, a lot of heart in. may: great. jason: so the--yeah, i got stuff going on. it's fun, you know. may: good. well, i'm glad to hear. well, jason, it was such a pleasure talking to you today. thank you so much for your time. i i really appreciate it. jason: nice toto meet you. thank you alall. may: ok. takake care. jason: bye-bye. may: well, diversity is something that can't be ignored as the makeup of moviegoers becomes more and more diverse, so some directors are trying to expose audiences to the talents of minority actors. asian-american director jon m. chu is trying to do just that. he's recently been tapped to direct the movie adaptation of "crazy rich asians," a 2013 bestseller novel by kevin kwan. chu says he plans to shoot with an all-star asian cast. "full
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frame" correspondent sandra hughes recently caught up with the filmmaker to talk about his 2016 release of "now you see me 2" and his thoughts on the state of hollywood. announcer:r: ladies and gentlem, the 4 horsemen. woman: and the gl horsemanan. whoooo! yeah! sandra: "now you see me 2" is a caper filmlm with a dedetour to china... man: we jumped off a rooftop in new york... second man: where the hell are we? [third man shouts] man: and landed in china. sandra: which is very fitting for its director, jon chu, the youngest of 5 children born to chinese parents who taught him a work ethic that has taken him from the halls of the university of southern california film school to the highest levels of hollywood in less than a decade. jon: i think that, um, for me, when i'm making a movie, that's what i focus o on, is what am mi making, who am i servingng? not, uh, the fame that may come with it or the magazine articles that may come with it or the reviews that may come with it. i try not
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to let any of those things affect m me. th's not whwhy i do it. . um, i alwaysys knew from a kid, like, whether peoeople were going to pay me or not, i wawas always going to make movieies. i will continue e to for the ret of my life. sandra: it was his college short film t that first got him noticd by one of the biggest names in hollywood--steven spielberg. jon: it's called "when the kids are e ay," and i it was about a 17-minute e musical shshort film about the e secret life ofof mos and what they do when the kids are away for the day, and they sing and dance, , of course.e. sandra: ha ha ha! exactly what we don't do. jon: ha ha ha! sandra: that is so funny. jon: uh, it's a giant musical of all these mothers comoming together and, uh, , it's sort of a fairy tale in it. what we're trying to do, the texture that we're trying to bring to the project... sandra, vovoice-over: from ther, he's been working nonstop o on films and tv shows. his interest in hollywood diversity evolved along with his career. jon: and i started going to china--i'd never been to china before--and--and talking to companies there e to see if thee was--i don't know of a chinese
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movie, even chinese-language movie or an american movie that could have chinese elements into it, but never really finding the right fit and never quite, uh, until recently with "crazy rich asians," where it spoke to both sides of me. it spoke to me findnding my, um, identity balae side bececause that's what a lot of the story is about. it t als, um, spoke to my family's traditional side of their--what they think about asian america, this generation of asians, and what they think that we should be retaining from their journey. um, also, my grandparents' side, um, and also my friends' who look intnto our--our--our family and see it. so, uh, all of those elemenents were a part of this story th i i thought w was realy fascinating, um, and the facact that it's an all-asian cast. sandra: chu's latestst projects a movivie called "crazy richch asians," based on the book by kevin kwan. for chu, it's all coming at a time when diversity is one of the hottest topics in hollywood.
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this year's academy awards, held here at the dolby theatre, were boycotted by many african-american actors because of an absence of nominations. that led to a movement called oscars so white, but the academy awards host, african-american comedian chris rock, made a joke using asian children onstage. that made many asian-americans in the entertainment industry angry and asking why were they left out of the discussion on diversity. chris rock: the result of tonight's academy awards have been tabulated by the accounting fifirm of price, waterhouse & cooper. . they sent us their mot dedicateted, accurate, and hard-wororking representatives. i want you to please welcome ming zu, b bao ling, and dadavid moskowitz.z. jon: the fact that it's a--a deal now because of a joke, that shows that--that--ththat we haven't had a--a real discussion about it because ultimately, it is just a joke. but, like, we should be talking about deeper things than a joke at t an awars show. we should bebe talking abt the actual worork and what is
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actually going to be on the screen to make c changes. sandndra: so do o you feel comfortable in a meeting with, you know, studio bigwigs when you're talking about projects, saying, "hey, um, let's don't just look atat the same emma stoneses every timime we're l lg for a a female l lead"? jon: uh, no, i don't. i should be d doing it and i amam startio do it, butut it absolutely feels uncomfortablble. it absolulutely makes me feel weweird. um... i wish i could say it didn't, but i--just talking about race is awkward for me. i--i don't know, uh, how else to put it and, um, but i do now, and it's getting less awkward and it's getting g more like we're all in the cononversation. sandra: that conversation was the topic of discussion in steven j. kung's first feature film called "a leading man." man: cut! second man: i'm not a eunuch. i only play one on tv. third man: no job is worth your dignity and respect. sandra: the film follows the life of an asian-american actor
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who gets stereotyped on the road to stardom. kung: it just shows the hardship of b being an asian-american acr in hollywood 'cause it's-s--it's's very painful to be in a profession where you can't find a job. sandra: kung now serves as the co-director of the asian-american committee at the directors guild, fosostering the careers of other asian directors, and he's working on the re-adaptioion ofhe m mov "dear whe e peop"..... man:ou want know whthey used to ca m me blk mimitc second man: absolulyly. woman:obobody lleded y that.t. sandra: to a aetflix iginal sieies. kung: i inink amica'a's in search oa a greacaththars in tes of what's goinon in tes of race. and swhwhen people wat t the sies s in017, they'rere goi to o setelevivion that's very hont and reecects the rld we le in, anthat's part o owhat diverty incluon all about, yoknow--seei somethg on tv at refles e wor's--tha-that flects
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the multiculturaralism around y. sandra: for both steven j. kung and jon chu, growing up in america has given them opportunities, but when they were young, there were few role models onscreen or behind the camera. ultimately, what would you like to see c change in hollywood? jon: for a young asisian-americn to look on the screen and see themselves, um, that their possibilities of being superman are just as much as the kid at school who looks like superman. sandra: and with young asian talent on the move in hollywood, that idea is a script just waiting to be written. for "full frame," this is sandra hughes in hollywood. may: coming up next, one woman's unique attempt to correct hollywood's racial mistakes. stay with us. man: ♪ whoo hoo ooh, whoo hoo ooh, whoo hoo
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ooh, whoo hoo ♪ may: the 2016 academy awards reignited the diversity debate in hollywood, and the oscars so white campaign dominated sococil media, fueling outrage and action. the omission of minorities both in casting and award nominations was particularly personal to aspiring actor and blogger michelle villemaire. simultltaneously discocouraged d inspired, she decided to usese r blog to share a radical new project, "correcting yellowface." using photography, she illustrated hollywywood's prpractice of f whitewashing, casting caucasians in minority roles. posing side-by-side nexet to non-asian actresses playiying roles clearly memeant for asasi, villemaire chronicled hollywood's long history of exclusion and stereotyping. michelle joins me now to tell us more about her fantastic project. i have to say, i thought this was so clever and so powerful in the way you
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used these images. michelle: thank you, may. may: so what--you know, before i ask you what inspired you, let's go back to when you were growing up as a kid. asian-american kid just like me, you know, i mean, in sort of a white community. did you realize when you were growing up that you had this asian identity and you were different and, if so, i mean, how did that shape you? michelle: absolutely. i mean, i am, um, half-asian. um, my father is caucasian, um, and my mother is thai-chinese, so i always had one foot in both-- both worlds. may: both cultures, yeah. michelle: um, but i look mainly asian. may: yeah. michelle: so there--there's my identity, um, and i went to school with mostly, uh, white kids, um, most of my life. may: yeah, so did--did you--did you feel like an outsider? i mean, did that affect the way in which you saw yourself, you know, in--in society? michelle: absolutely. i felt like an outsider, um, and i didn't--i wasn't seeing myself on--on--on television
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and in films. um-- may: that's the thing because-- i mean, we were saying, before we started this segment, both of us grew up not seeing asian images in the media at all. michelle: right, right. may: so what did you think--you noticed that, even as a kid? michelle: i did. uh, you know, i grew up watching black and white movies with my grandfather and, um, first decided that i wanted to be an actor when i saw shirley temple onscreen having fun and, you know, wearing costumes and tap shoes, and i wanted to be her. may: yeah. michelle: um, and, uh, and my-- my grandfather, um, was in love with marilyn monroe, so one of the first movies-- may: well, who wasn't? michelle: yeah. [both laugh] may: right. michelle: so i used to watch those movies with him, and one of the first, um, grown-up movies i remember watching was "gentlemen prefer blondes." may: oh. michelle: and even though i didn't understand the--the context of what was happening, um, the title alone-- may: the title alone, yeah. michelle: you know, there's so much multilevel messaging within that title. may: yep. michelle: you know, um--
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may: yeah, because i grew up wanting to have blue eyes... michelle: yeah. may: and blonde hair, and i wanted my name to be mary... michelle: mmm. may: you know, because, again, we were so subjected to those images and those images alone. michelle: i changed my name a few times, too. i remember putting clothespins on my nose to make my nose narrower... may: wow. michelle: because i was ashamed... may: yeah. michelle: of what i looked like. it didn't fit in and it didn't belong on--on camera... may: yeah. michelle: as far as i knew, as far as they were telling me. may: it wasn't the accepted image of beauty and what people desired, right? yeah. michelle: right, right. may: so that, uh, obviously, leads you to this phenomenal project, "correcting yellowface." um, why did you decide to do it? i mean, what-- what made you go and, you know, say to yourself, "all right, you know, i'm going to--i'm going to take this on"? michelle: well, there's been a lot of talk about whitewashingng in hollywood lately, um, and i-- let's see. i--i have a blog. i'm a creative person. may: yeah. michelle: i like to make things. um, i'm always looking f for new mediums, a and i'm not a great photographer, but i decided to,
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um, to use my y voice in this way ththis time. may: yeah, yeah. michelle: so i decided to, uh-- may: but obviously you were moved enough and maybe angry enough... michelle: yeah. may: to do this because, again, it is very powerful. we're going to take a look at some of the images, but you obviously were not just mad, you were like, "i'm going to do something about this and make a statement." michelle: yeah. a lot of people were talking about it as if it was the first time they were hearing about it, and i--i've been aware for a while. about 10 years ago, i--in adulthood, i discovered anna may wong, and--and her story really moved me. may: yep. michelle: i--i started to write a screenplay about her life and, uh, then i had a family, and-- and that took a back seat, but, um-- may: and again, most--a lot of folks in america don't even know who she is. michelle: ok, well, she was, as you know, the--the first chinese-american movie star. may: yep. michelle: and she had a shot at it, um, but because of the way the world was back then, she was not allowed to play opposite white men on--onscreen.
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may:y: right, as a romantic lea, right? yeah, that was sort of a moral code that was followed in hollywood. michelle: yes, yes. may: yeah, so that prevented her from getting a lot of parts that she would have been perfect for. michelle: yes. may: yeah. michelle: and they were casting white men as--as--asian men. may: exactly, exactly, so--ok, let's go to some of these photos because they are fantastic and we have to show them off. uh, let's look at luise rainer. hehere she is. michelelle: "the gooood earth." may:y: "the good e earth," righ? michelle: yes, there she is. may: pearl s. . buck's s book. michchelle: she's of germaman descenent, i believeve. may: gererman descent, playing a chinese e woman. michelle: yes. may: uh, and so look at you, toto the right.. michelelle: i, uh--- may: how was that? what was that like? michelle: um, i found a black t-shshirt, and i wrappeded it ad like a bandanna... may: yep. michelle: and i had a chinese traditional shirt. uh, a friend of mine helped me with the photoshop to make it look like i had been working in the fields. may: yes, you look tired. michelle: yes, yes, i didn't wear makeup, so i'm proud of myself for that. um-- may: but, yeah, there you go. i mean, a real asian playing that role,e, versus a a woman
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of german descent. michelle: yeah. may: yeah, but she did go on to, apparently--she won the academy award for that, didn't she? michelle: yes. may: yeah. all right, let's go to the next one. all right, the legendary katharine hepburn. shshe played an n asian woman.n. michellele: i discoverered thisn i was seararching for yeyellowfe pictures, anand i was shococked. may: amazingng. michelle: : shocked. may: i--i had no idea. michelle: this was also another book by pearl s. buck, um, "dragon seed," and she plays a chinese villager. may: it's, uh, incredible. michelle: mm-hmm. may: i mean, how--she doesn't look asian. i'm sorry. michelle: she doesn't look asian and they must have used some, um, some glue and tape to... may: to make her eyes... michelle: to give her-- may: smaller and--yeah, ok. michelle: and narrow. may: yeah, i definitely prefer your picture. all right, let's go to number 3--myrna loy. now, she was a favorite actress to be--to use in different asian roles, for some reason. michelle: yes, yeah. for some reason, , she just kepept gettig cast over anand over... may: rightht. michelelle: as an asian woman. may: here shshe is, yup. mimichelle: there she is, ththe daughthter of fu mananchu... may: ok. michelle: um... may: not convincing, ok.
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michelle: which is problematic in a lot of ways, but-- may: ha ha ha! sorry, i'm being really cynical about this, for obvious reasons. i--and then here she is again. michelle: and there she is again and, you know, i saw these pictures and i thought, um, uh, this really...i really wanted to have fun like she was having fun, and that's why i wanted to be an actress when i was a little girl. i wanted to wearar the costumemes... may: t to play dressss-up like . michelle: : and i wanteded toto play dress-s-up... may: sure. michelle: and i wanted to be in those roles. may: you l look fabulous, by the way, in this photo. michelle: thank you. may: really. michelle: thank you very much. may: uh, that's an amazing photo. michelle: i found that headdress in chinatown. may: you did? michelle: i did. ha ha! i showed the lady the picture, and i'm like, "i--you don't have anything like this, do you?" she's like, "yeah, right there." may: wow. ok. now we're going to look at--this was in "the king and i," right? michelle: "the king and i," yes. may: yeah. michelle: rita moreno, obviously latina, um, but because i'm--i'm part thai, i had to go r ththisne, so.... mama this is fab--th oututt of yours is falolous, to michelle: yes, ienteted at, uh, from ahai stor.. may:mazing. michel: in ti town. may: in ai town,k. mielle: yeahha ha! may: allight, nowe're going to gto, uhemma sto. this
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was recent mie, "alo," where she'e's suppososedly 1/4 asian, r right? michel: : well, hahalf. half-a-asian... may: half-asasian? michelelle: 1/4 hawawaiian. may: andnd 1/4 hawaiiaian, righ. michellele: 1/4 hawaiiiian, 1/4, u uh, chinese.. may: ok. u um, reaeally? mimichelle: i know. may: i mean, really?y? michelle: i know.. may:y: there was such h a backlh ababout this bececause that wawe most ridiculouous casting, real. it was just so outlandish. michelle: the defense was that her character was not supposed to look asian. may: ok, she looks whiter than most white people. i mean, you know what i'm saying? michelle: i know, i know. may: yeah, but, uh, adorable outfit that you put together. michelle: oh, thank you. may: and let's just talk about-- one--one second about the fact that you really had to try and find all of these outfits, and that's where your diy, obviously, comes in to try to create some of these looks. michelle: right, yeah, i did. i created that hat, uh, from "aloha." may: right. michelle: um, that was fun. i mean, i just--i had a good time doing it. i mean, i--i can't be angry all the time... may: right. michelle: you know? i--i-- may: it had joy in it as well. michelle: yes. may: right? ok, now, uh, another recent, uh, casting, uh,
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miscscasting, uh, , is scarlettt jojohansson playaying a, um, a e of a character f from comic books, right? michelle: "the ghost in the shell." may: and that is a sort of a-- iconic role to a lot of fans, and so peoplwewere reay upup inrmrms out thisis michel: rereal upset about that. y: yeah. chelel: um, thchcharacte s a--a j janese baground may: yea chelle: s's a panese woma y: japane, ful japanes mielle: ye yes. ma yes. michle: so he we aregain, yeah2016. may:hat'where want to as you, y know, iean, wn u--when u started doing all this research and seeing that it started decades ago, but we're still seeing this happen today... michelle: mm-hmm. may: it's--it's pretty frustrating, isn't it? michelle: it's very frustrating. why is it still happening? may: why is it still happening? i don't know. michelle: oh. may: yeah, that's--that's where i think the asian community and--tell me what you think about it. i mean, this time it seems like they're vocalizing this a lot more, uh, the frustrations are coming out, and people are really starting to step up and talk about this,
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rather than just letting it go. do you see that kind of change happening? michelle: absolutely, yeah. i mean, i don't think we're our mothers' um, model minority anymore, you know? we're noisier. may: right. michelle: you know, we don't-- we're not worried about what other people think. we're not worried about impressing our ancestors. may: that's right, that's right. michelle: you know? or--or we are, and this is the way that we're doing it. we're speaking up. may: exactlyly, exactly. i mean, by you doing this, you are definitely shedding light on it and talking about the history of it and the fact that it's still happening. so what kind of response have you gotten? michelle: amazing response, may. may: yeah? michelle: amazing response. i-- i've been moveved to tears by te things that people have said. may: really? michelle: and i--i had no intention of it going viral the way that it did, but it's been printed in--in--in china, in thailand, in france and australia, india, all over, um, and people have emailed me, telling me thank you, um-- may: are people telling you their own stories about-- michelle: yes, they're telling their own stories and how they-- they look at the pictures, and they feel healed, in a way. may: wow. wewell, michelelle, tk
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you so much for coming in. michelle: thank you for having me. may: andnd i'm so proud of you, um, as a fellow asian-american, that you brought to light this topic in the way you did, in such a creative way. michelle: thank you. may: all right. good luck to you. michelle: thanks. may: all right, coming up, how one actor is using humor to change hollywood and society's stereotypes of middle eastern characters. we'll be right back. man: ♪ whoo hoo ooh, whoo hoo ooh, whoo hoo ooh, whoo hoo ♪ may: we're going to continue this theme of racial stereotypes. this time, let's take a look at another group that's often misrepresented in the media, the middle eastern community. negative stereotypes are intensifying as anti-muslim rhetoric is growing. well, iranian-american actor and comedian maz jobrani is doing his part to try and change that distorted image. he's appeared on hit tv shows like "grey's anatomy," "curb your
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enthusiasm," "true blood," and "the tonight show." jobranani's hilarious material is spot-on when it comes to stereotypes of muslims and very effective in promoting better understanding. maz: but no, guys, really, it is exciting to be here and, like i said, you guys are doing a lot, uh, culturally, uh, you know, and it's amazing. and it helps change the image of the middle east in the west. like, a lot of americans don't know a lot about us, about the middle east. i'm iranian and american. i'm there. i know the--the-- you know, i've traveled here. there's so much--we laugh, right? people don't know we laugh. when i did the "axis of evil comedy tour," it came out on comedy central. i went online to see what people were saying about it. i ended up on a conservative web site. one guy wrote another guy. he said, "i never knew these people laughed." [audience laughter] think about it. you never see us laughing in american film or television, right? maybe, like, an evil, like... [imitates maniacal laughter] [audience laughter] "i will kill you in the name of allah." [laughs maniacally] but never like... [giggles] [audience laughter]
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we like to laugh. we like to celebrate life. and i wish more americans would travel here. i always encourage my friends, travel, see the middle east, there's so much to see, so many good people. and it's vice versa and it helps, uh, uh, stop problems of--of misunderstanding and stereotypes of happening. may: so true. well, his 2015 memoir, "i'm not a terrorist, but i've played one on tv" details life growing up as an iranian-american and his struggles working in hollywood. jobrani says he and his fellow middle eastern-american entertainers are often typecast in the stereotypical roles of villains and terrorists. in his bold new comedy film, "jimmy vestvood: amerikan hero," he parodies these stereotypes and shows that people of middle eastern descent can also be leaders, heroes, and, most importantly, just normal human beings. here with me now is maz jobrani. maz, great to have you on the show. maz: thanks for having me, may. may: yes. maz: i appreciate being-- may: you're hilarious, i mean, in so many ways, but, i mean, it's--it's so nice to see when comedy can address really
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serious issues, right, of stereotypes and racism? maz: yeah, absolutely. i think comedy--you know, i--i've been a fan of comedy since i was a kid. may: yeah. maz: uh, i was a big fan of eddie murphy's when i was a kid. may: yup. maz: and i wanted to be like him. may, chuckling: yeah. maz: uh, but then once i started doing standup, uh, about 18 years ago, i started listening a lot more and--and watching a lot more richard pry-- richard pryor. may: yeah. maz: uh, george carlin, some of these guys who would get political. may: the old-school guys, yeah. maz: the old-school guys, but they got political and they-- and they had social commentary. and i think that comedy can really do a good job of that. that's why a show like "the daily show" is so great now because there's constant social and political commentary going on. may: and it's educational, right? i mean, bececse you're sending a message out in the form of laughter, but it does-- it definitely resonates that way, even better sometimes. maz: yeah, absolutely. you know, it's funny. i was on a panel one time with the comedian d.l. hughley, and i always quote him. he said that, uh, "comedy is like giving people their medicine, but in orange juice." may: oh, that's perfect. that's brilliant. maz: yeah, so they don't taste it. may: right.
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maz: you know what i'm saying? i mean, i think a lot of times, people are more open to listening to a message that comes through comedically, as opposed to just listening-- someone listening to a politician speak. may: totally agree. maz: right away, you're--you're biased against what they're going to say. may: exactly. maz: but when you're there, laughing at a comedy club or at a theater, you might not even realize that the guy's sending a message until later on in the car. you go, "oh, wait. he was trying to get a point across." may: and you actually remember it because it was so dang funny, right? maz: yeah, and i think one of the more important things, too, is, as a--as a comedian and an actor of middle eastern descent, for me, um, it's that--you know, comedians and actors from that part of the world, in america it's a relatively new thing. may: yeah. maz: when i first started 18 years ago, there weren't any other middle eastern comedians, a handful of us. may: right. maz: now there's a lot more, so the thing that's interesting has been--i think it's important for audiences to come to a show and sit with an audience from--with people from that background and laugh with them. i think that that--beyond just the comedian onstage, they can look around the room and see, "oh, wow.
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there's iranians laughing, there's arabs laughing, there's a muslim laughing, there's a lady in a hijab laughing next to me." it's--it's--i think it blows people's minds. may: well, before we get to talking about how you're trying to break these stereotypes, let's go back a little bit to your childhood. you--your family immigrated when you were 6 years old, right? maz: yeah, well, 6 years old, right around the time of the iranian revolution. may: right. maz: uh, we moved from iran to america. may: to tiburon. maz: tiburon, northern california, yeah. may: in the area, which is pretty white, isn't it? maz: it's very white. i'll tell you how white it is, because my dad being iranian, um, he was a self-made, uh, millionaire. he was a successful man, and i think iranians--some--there's a group of iranians who tend to be very ostentatious. may: yes. maz: i always say, like, now, living in los angeles, a lot of those iranians came to los angeles, and los angeles is ostentatious, iranians are ostentatious. it's like ostentation on steroids, right? may: ha ha! maz: uh, well, you can see on that tv show, "the shahs of sunset," right? may: yes. maz: it's--it's over the top. may: oh, yeah.
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maz: but it's interesting 'cause going to marin, where it was-- it's a--it's a rich county, it's a wealthy place, but a lot of the rich people in marin were a little more subtle with their wealth. may: right. maz: so they would drive volvos and saabs. may: ha ha! maz: and here comes my dad from iran, and he shows up and he buys a rolls-royce. may, laughing: oh, man! maz: and i was like, "what are you doing, man? it's, like, you know, ruining my childhood." may: wow. so was that tough for you, though, to--to--i mean, that must have been-- maz: it was very tough 'cause when you're a kid, you're trying to blend in. you don't want to stand out as a different kid, right? may: and then, when you're trying to blend in... maz: yeah. may: to a new culture, there's got to be that clash sometimes. maz: yeah, and i really liked to push that envelope. like, even in my standup sometimes, i like to kind of show the hypocrisy. like, when i did my book, uh, "i'm not a terrorist, but i play one on tv"... may: yeah. maz: and on the cover of the book, i intentionally put on a palestinian keffiyeh, the head gear, and i'm holding, like, a wile e. coyote bomb, and i've got an expression on my face like, "how did i end up here?" may: yeah. maz: and i'm trying to make fun of how hollywood mixes us up all together. i was trying to make fun of that. now, iranians are
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very sensitive to not being called arabs because they just want people to know that arabs and iranians are different. may: mm-hmm. maz: well, i put the cover of the book on my facebook page and i said, "hey, my book's coming out. please check it out." and some iranian lady sent me an email on facebook, you know, "why are you wearing arab headgear on the cover of your book? we are not arabs. we are persian." may: ha ha ha! maz: i had to write her back. i was like, "calm down, lady. i'm trying to make fun of hollywood, right?" may: right, right. maz: and it was just funny, this back-and-forth that i had with this lady, and i was trying to point out that, you know, i understand that--that the world needs to know that we're different, but i feel that your approach to it, this lady's approach, is somewhat racist. you're trying to say, "we're better"... may: right, right. maz: you know, "why are you mixing us up with these people, these savages?" and i was like, "you need to check yourself." let's really, like--we are all citizens of the world, and i just like to put that on people sometimes." may: yeah, yeah, through your comedy, which is--which is the way to go, honestly. well, let's talk about your experience in hollywood because, you know, obviously this show is about how the, you know, minorities are still having their issues
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and still running into those obstacles, right? for you, you've openly talked about that, that, you know, you guys are always cast as the villains, the terrorists, and all that. . so tell me about--do you see a change at all, or do you see it getting worse, better? maz: well, you know, i think, um, i think that overall, my thought--my thought process is this, that i think when an immigrant culture comes from another country to america, the first generation that comes, the parents that come, they set up shop and they want their kids to be doctors and lawyers and engineers. may: definitely. maz: that's it 'cause that's all they know. may: that's all they know, yeah. maz: and they go, "look, i--i fought in a civil war to get you over here"... may: right. maz: "you're going to-- you'rere not going to be a comedian," right? may: yeah, ha ha! maz: "i don't even know what that means." may: right. maz: right? may: your parents probably weren't psyched about that. maz: they were not at all, yeah, yeah, so--but what's interesting is, though, as we come to america and we assimilate, we realize that you can have a career in the arts, you can have a career in entertainment. and furthermore, we realize that you can have a voice, and i think i'm seeing more and more
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people from these backgrounds, whether it's iranians or arabs or muslims or even, like--like asian-americans, like, there's a lot of people that are getting in--behind the scenes. may: yeah. maz: and once we have people behind the scenes, then i think we can start telling our stories a little bit better. may:y: right, right. maz: um, i think--i don't-- i don't necessarily blame hollywood because i'm sitting there going--look, if i'm a guy who's never had an experience with--i don't know any middle easterners, i don't know muslims, i don't know arabs, i don't know iranians. i'm writing a--a movie, uh, that's taking place during the iraq war. well, i'm going to make all the iraqis bad guys 'cause they were the bad guys. may: yeah, yeah. maz: it just makes sense 'cause that's all i know. but if i were an iraqi and i were writing that same movie, i might sit there and go, "wait a minute. i know it's about the iraq war, but let me show you how this one guy got caught up in the war that was a good guy." may: yeah. maz: right? so i do feel that there is some promise, uh, but i think we have a long way to go still. may: yeah, i mean, that--you're saying that's one way of doing it, where you get more people behind the scenes to--to be more of the creators. but you
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actually took a bolder action on your part to say, "ok, you know what? i'm not going to play these roles anymore." maz: yeah, i--i--you know, what happened was--so early in my career, i did a couple of parts, like 2 or 3 parts, where i played a terrorist. may: mm-hmm. maz: and that was just because i thought that's what you got to do. i thought, well, you get an audition, you go on the audition. i didn't realize you could tell your agents and everybody else, "no, i don't want to do this." so--and--and also, i had a day job and i was trying to get out of the day job, so i thought the more of my jobs--the more of these jobs i get, the more--first of all, i'm making money to help me get out of the day job... may: right. maz: but secondly, it--it's leading somewhere for my career, um, and so i did those. i did the--i did a chuck norris movie of the week, where i played a terrorist and it was horrible. may: oh, yeah. old chuck norris. maz: yeah, chuck norris. then i played a terrorist in the tv show "24"... may: uh-huh. maz: and then i just--i--i realized i was like, "you know, i don't like doing these parts." and--and there's good and bad to all that, is that i said no, and then the other parts i've gotten have been all over the place, so i--you know, for example,e, in the movie "the interpreter," which was a sydney pollackck film with nicoe kidman, sean p penn, i played an arab-a-american secret servivice agent. i mean, how cool is that?
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may: yeah. maz: and my ethnicity wasn't even an issue in the movie. may: right, right. maz: um, and then i don't mind-- i tell people i don't mind playing cab drivers or falafel shop owners or any--'cause i think they're kind of--those people exist, and i've seen them and i've met them and-- may: yeah, they're real folks. maz: yeah, and so, you know, if some people think, like, "oh, you know, that's still stereotyping," but i go, "you know what? that's closer to where i want to be." really, i've just dr-drawn a line on the terrorist thing. may: yeah, yeah, which is undersrstandable. but what do yu think now--right now, there's so much anti-muslim rhetoric, right? and that's pervasive, and talk about stereotypes and, like, grouping everyone together. it's just, you know, negativity towards just that entire region. maz: it's one of the dumbest things i'veve seen in my lifefe. may: ha ha! maz: i really think people are stupid when they say stuff like that. it really--it, like--i mean, i see, whether it's donald trump talking about it, like, i mean, or--or his followers or anybody, when they--when you have an attack, let's say, like the san bernardino attacks, and they pledge allegiance to isis... may: mmm. maz: and then donald trump says
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we should shut the borders to any muslims coming in... may: right. maz: uh, till we figure out what's going on. and it's just-- i--i'm an immigrant. i came during the iranian revolution. that's when the hostage crisis happened. i would have been victimized, probably, under donald trump because he probably, like--let's just-- let's just say hypothetically donald trump were president back then. may: mm-hmm. maz: and he said, "we're going to shut the doors to any muslims coming to america, uh, because iranians have taken hostages." may: right. maz: well, number one, a lot of people leaving those countries-- people that left iran to come to america were trying to get away from that government. may: absolutely. maz: we didn't support that government. may: right. maz: we are a lot more pro-american or, let's say, pro-western, and we want our freedom. we came to america-- may: which is the case with a lot of immigrants. maz: that's what the immigrants are coming for. may: they're coming to the land of milk and honey... maz: yeah. may: where the opportunity and freedom-- maz: yeah, and listen, in all honesty, we have a big hand in a lot of the disasters that are going on in the middle east. like, if we hadn't attacked iraq to start with, a lot of the stuff might not have happened, that might not have played out the way it did. may: yeah.
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maz: and so, when you have refugees coming to america to-- for an opportunity, i would say a majority of those people are coming because they love the opportunity of america. they are getting away from wars. may: yeah. maz: those are people that-- that will be patriotic, that appreciate america. and for us to shut the door and go, "no, you guys can't come in," and not look at the specifics of what happened--the guy who carried out that act, or the orlando shooter, were born in america. may: yeah. maz: uh, or were american citizens. um, it--it just-- it's--it's mind-boggling to me. may: it is. um, what i found interesting is that you wrote an op-ed, i think it was a column, uh, where you talk about the italian-american experience in the media. so "sopranos," right? they were a bunch of gang--it was about the mafia... maz: yeah. may: right? but the reason why that works, that there was a balance was that there was also comedies like "everybody loves raymond," nice italian-american family. maz: yeah. may: so you had that nice balance of good and bad, whatever. maz: yeah. may: but with the middle eastern community, there's not that kind of representation. maz: well, i think there's a
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couple there. they--first of all, um, uh, you know, i know some people were upset about "the sopranos," some italians were upset about it, and like i said, you sit back and you go, well, at least you do have "everybody loves raymond" or you do have some other positive, uh, um, people in the media, whether it's actors like al pacino and robert de niro. sure, they play gangsters or what have you, but still, they're--they're worshiped in america. may: yeah. maz: so you have that going. um, i think that the problem with-- with the media and middle easterners and muslims and people from that part of the world is a high percentage of the time, when you see us, it's just the negative. we don't have a sitcom, we don't have a show-- i'm not sure if the networks are ready for it. i--i don't know how it would be done. um, there was a--a show called "little mosque on the prairie" that was out in canada for--for a little bit, did well in canada. they tried to bring it here, it didn't work. may: mmm. maz: um, i did a pilot a few years ago. uh, it was based on a book called "funny in farsi." uh, the author is firoozeh dumas, and she'd written a story about how her family immigrated to newport beach in the early
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seventies, and they were the only iranians in newport beach. may: oh, man. maz: it was actually a funny show, and we shot the pilot and--and it didn't get picked up. it was kind of like "fresh off the boat," but with iranians. may: right, right. maz: um, and so i think the networks are a little risk-averse when it comes to anything that might be too edgy in that way, and i think-- may: especially now, do you think? maz: i--i think so. may: i do think it's a worse situation now because of what we just talked about, because of all of this anti-muslim rhetoric. maz: listen, i think--listen, i mean, imagine if you had a family that were, like, a muslim family show or something, right? i think, if--if it were mid-season and they're working on it, there's probably no-- even things that you think are not controversial become controversial, like, for example, in my own standup, i do material about the lgbt community, and part of it is i'm trying to push that in front of--i know that there's, like, iranians and arabs at the show, and i try to--it--it's--my joke is based off of, um, uh, uh, um, uh, bruce jenner having-- becoming caitlyn jenner.
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may: ok. maz: and i talk about it in the material. i go--i actually support it. i go, "good for him. he knew he wanted to be a woman. that's amazing." i go, "i can't decide what to have for dinner; this guy knew he wanted to be a woman," right? may: ha ha ha! maz: so--but my point i try to make in that joke is i try to talk about how--i try to put it in--put the mirror in front of them and go, "don't judge," you know, just--you know. may: yeah. maz: but--but again, after the orlando shootings, that material became controversial because i knew that if i brought it up... may: right. maz: people would be on edge a little bit. may: right, right. maz: so if you take that now in the bigger image, bigger picture and you put it on a tv show, i'm sure the networks probably are a little wary of, like, "well, what happens if we have a muslim family and then something like this happened? now we got to do an episode where..." may: that's right. maz: "the kid's being bullied" and, you know, so i think they're a little wary of--of it, but-- may: and hollywood doesn't want to take too many risks, right? maz: they don't want to. may: because it's all about the bottom line. maz: bottom line. may: but, speaking of hollywood, you're--you made this movie. maz: absolutely. may: "jimmy vestvood"... maz: yeah. ha ha! may: "amerikan hero," which is, you know, kind of making fun of these stereotypes, right? maz: yeah, i made a movie, uh, "jimmy vestvood: amerikan hero." i describe it as the persian pink panther meets borat.
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may: i love it. ha ha! maz: yeah, it's a silly movie, you know. i--i--i, uh, co-wrote it with a guy named amir ohebsion. we co-wrote it, we co-produced it with the two of us and ray moheet, and then, um, and, uh, and i star in it. and our goal was--listen, growing up in iran, uh, like, the first 6 years of my life, but even after that, when i came to america, i was always a big fan of peter sellers' "pink panther." may: great. maz: just loved them, you know? bumbling--bumbling idiot. may: totally. maz: so we wanted to create a character of middle eastern descent that was a little bumbling... may: ok. maz: but saves the day. may: all right. well, we have a clip. maz: oh, good. may: so why don't we take a look ait? maz:ll right. man: m jamsh? jimmy: just llll me mmy.y. man:hat'your occation? jimmy: we are t t hereo ococcu u. we on come ineace. [peoe singing in forgngn langge] man: i tnk we've got our guy jimmy: jmymy vesood,d, le, uh,h, clint eastodod butestvtvoo [womanauaughs] man:ouou knohow w so peoplpl rn out to be as mbmb as they lo?? jimmy: ow! i'm ining toet c crufied
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for th. y: ha ha! , my godthat looks larious,onestl maz: tnk you. y: but he's at i didot kn. you d to crowdund... maz:e crowd-eah. may: tget somef the financing for this, right? maz: listen, my, uh, respect for filmmakers has gone up so high. may: has it? it ain't easy, is it? maz: it ain't easy 'cause, as a standup comedian, all i do--you show up, there's a microphone, you tell your jokes... may: right. maz: right? uh, you just--you hope to, like--you know, you do it a lot, you grow, you grow a fan base, but you just hope people show up and you tell your jokes. may: yeah. maz: moviemaking is a whole other level. you write the script, you think you're done. you're like, "no, now you need the money." so then, to get the money, we went in--we started with some crowd-funding and, um, and, uh, when i first put it on, uh, uh, on indiegogo, it was indiegogo... may: yeah. maz: uh, i had about, like, a hundred and--i don't know-- 120,000 facebook fans, so i was like, "well, if everyone puts a buck, we got $120,000." may: right. maz: well, we put it out, and nobody was giving any money. may, laughing: oh, no. maz: i think everyone was used to getting free stuff now. may: oh, no. that must have been kind of crushing. maz: it was crushing. then we look at the analytics, and i-- and i realized, like, 40,000 of
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my fans were--were egyptian, another 30,000 in jordan, and i was like, "wait a minute. these--these people aren't even real." like, i think, i--i wrote--i was working with a company who was, like, helping me increase my fan base. may: oh. maz: but i think that they just got some guys in egypt to just go like this. may: yes! oh! maz: you know whwhat i'm saying? and it's funny 'cause-- may: so you actually had 5 fans. maz: i had 5 fans, so i made $5.00 and, uh--no, we--we basically ended up then, uh, uh, we did a couple of fundraisers within the crowd-funding. we made, like, we made a little bit of money there... may: ok. maz: and that got our--that got our--our seed money. may: ok. maz: then we got some investors to put money in, and then we made the movie and then i thought, "well, that's it. now we've made the movie. someone's going to distribute it." then we got into a comedy festival, won a couple of comedy awards... may: oh, fantastic. maz: but then we couldn't get a big distributor to help us. may: oh. maz: and it's funny--well, here's what's interesting. i thought the biggest, uh, um, obstacle was going to be having a movie with a middle eastern lead--an american movie with a middle eastern hero. i thought that was the biggest obstacle. the biggest obstacle is just being an independent movie in this environment.
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may: oh. maz: because you're competing against "captain america." may: right. maz: and then the next week, you're competing against, uh, "x-men." may: yes. maz: then the next week, it's "teenage mutant ninja turtles." and as i'm going through this, i'm like, "how many superheroes do we e have?" may: ha ha ha! maz: and i was like--and what does that say about us as a society? like, how insecure are we that we need superheroes? may: we do. they need to come save the day. maz: they got to save the day. i think that our lives are so miserable that we feel like every week, there's got to be a hero that i got to go see-- may: well, maz, you might be the next hero, then. who knows, rigight? maz: i'm just--i just want normal man. may: yeah, well, you know, you could be the next american hero... maz: i should be, yeah. may: judging from this--this movie, but congratulations on getting it done. maz: thank you. yeah, i know. it's huge. may: and good luck with that, but it was so great having you on the show. maz: thank you, may, yeah. may: thanks so much. that was really fun. maz: thank you. may: all right. well, that's it for this week. join the conversation with us on social media. we are cctvamerica on twitter, facebook, and youtube, anand you can also watch "full frame" on our mobile app, available worldwide on any smartphone for free. search cctv america in your app store to download it today. and get
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the latest news headlines and connect to us on facebook, twitter, youtube, and weibo. all of our interviews can also still be found online at and of course, 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. man: ♪ whoo hoo ooh, whoo hoo ooh, whoo hoo ooh,h, whoo hoo ♪
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> was it a conscicious decis? or a a mentary lalapse of reason? how did progress take priority over humankind? how could the desire for a modern way of life that threatens our future be considered a way of life? could it be we are connected to all things in the universe, not the center of it? that suburbs inin los angeles affect the melting ice caps of antarctica? deforestation in the congo affects the typhoons of japan? now, we must face the insurmountable challenges for whahat they realllly are, opportunities to reinventt d redesisign. "e2: the economies of t the environmementally conscious."


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