(pic from here)
If you’ve got extra money on your hands and feel like giving it to yet another AF/WM movie (but this time on a non-romantic level!), see this Kickstarter: Top Spin. It looks like it’s “official,” as there’s a link right on the Team USA page. It features stories of Ariel Hsing (Asian woman), Lily Zhang (Asian woman), and Michael Landers (White dude) as they tried to get into the Olympics. If you look at the page, there are TWO Asian American producers (Mina Son and co-producer Yen Le), and lots of other Asian Americans who worked hard on making this film. So support our people, even if they won’t put Asian men in front of the camera! [/irony] See below:
N sent this to us here. He wrote:
“I’m not really into table tennis myself, but my friend was (he played in a lot of comps in high school) and he went something like this through Skype – “A documentry about Asian girls play table tennis, that’s brilliant, but why the f*ck are they filming a f*cking white guy when half the f*cking Table Tennis Olympic are Asian guys?”"
So I did some research. Actually, it used to be even worse than “half the fucking Table Tennis Olympics.” According to Wiki:
Due to China’s dominance in the sport the format was changed in 2004 where competitors are divided into two groups such that those in the same country must be in their respective group. This format makes it such that one single country cannot win all three top medals – as have been the case during numerous Olympic tournaments, where China dominated in almost all events and won the vast majority of medals. In 2008, the doubles events were replaced by team events to lessen the emphasis on doubles play.
They needed a RULE CHANGE to make sure there were enough medals for non-Chinese.
In terms of the American Team USA…it looks like they’re only sending four athletes–three Asian women (Ariel Hsing, Lily Zhang, and Erica Wu), one Asian guy (Timothy Wang), and nobody else. But I guess Timothy Wang’s story just wasn’t interesting enough for an “American” audience. Never mind that there were probably hordes of other other Asian guys fighting to get a spot on that team. No one ever thought of showing their struggles?
Even right now, who is the U.S. Men’s National Champion in Table Tennis? Some dude named Peter Li.
I’m not angry at Michael Landers for taking the spotlight. He’s a great athlete and ought to be commended. He could kick my ass blindfolded. But really, why is it that everything in U.S. media seems to put Asian men in the back where we can’t be seen? Why does every film producer, even the Asian ones, seem to put White men out in front, as if Asian men have no stories deserving to be told? Asian men are representing the U.S. or competing to represent the U.S. So why bury our stories?
I especially feel bad for the Asian male athletes who work so hard at their sport, only to have their people in the media ignore them. Maybe Asian American filmmakers don’t believe that their own countrymen are American enough. The filmmakers really put a “Top Spin” on this story.
You know…fuck it. I may not have $75,000 in Kickstarter money, but I’ve got an internet connection and server space. Read about Timothy Wang here.