“Beyond the Bad and the Ugly: Stereotypes and Asian American Pop Culture — A Summit” will be held on Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

In 1914, Sessue Hayakawa became the first Asian American actor to break through on the silver screen, appearing in movie pioneer Thomas Ince’s silent classic “The Typhoon” and launching a career as one of the most popular and well-paid stars in the nascent Hollywood industry, albeit in roles that consistently depicted him as villainous, violent and manipulative.

As he put it himself, “I want to be shown as I really am, and not as fiction paints me…. My one ambition is to play a hero.”

Ninety-nine years later, Asians and Asian Americans have a much greater presence in U.S. popular culture — but they are often represented in ways that Hayakawa would recognize and lament: Silent thugs. Sexless nerds. Predatory temptresses, calculating conspirators and impossibly strange foreigners.

Organized by Jeff Yang, Wall Street Journal Online columnist and editor-in-chief of the new graphic novel anthology “Shattered,” which uses the medium of the comics to explore and explode unyielding stereotypes of Asians in pop culture, “Beyond the Bad and the Ugly” gathers together some of the brightest and most interesting Asian American creators, and critics, activists and academics in a unique one-day summit that begins by looking back at the heritage of Asian images in American media and society, and ends by looking ahead — discussing new ways to prevent distortions and present more vivid, humanized, three-dimensional portraits of Asians and Asian Americans to a wider and more accepting audience.

Admission is $15 for students, $25 general, $35 premium (includes reserved seating and a complimentary copy of “Shattered”), plus a service fee. To order, click here. JANM members receive a $5 discount; email agiffen@janm.org for discount code.


9 to 9:30 a.m.: Registration (continues throughout the day)

9:30 to 10 a.m.: Brief Welcome by Dr. Greg Kimura, president and CEO of JANM; Jeff Yang

10 to 11 a.m.: Opening Plenary: “Is This Stereotype Really Necessary?”

Keith Chow (moderator), editor at large, “Shattered”

• Parvesh Cheena, actor, NBC's “Outsourced”

Beau Sia, poet and author, “The Undisputed Greatest Writer of All Time”

• Andrew Ti, blogger, Yo Is this Racist?

Jen Wang, blogger, Disgrasian

Gene Yang, graphic novelist, “American Born Chinese” and “Level Up”

11 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Keynote Conversation: “Orientations”

Professor Jack Tchen (moderator), author, “New York Before Chinatown: Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture, 1776-1882”

• Jack Shaheen, author, “Reel Bad Arabs”; former CBS News Middle East consultant and professor emeritus of mass communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

William F. Wu, author, “The Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, 1850-1940”

12 to 1 p.m.: Keynote Conversations: “Sextypes”

• Jeff Yang (moderator), columnist, Wall Street Journal Online; editor-in-chief, “Shattered”

Helie Lee, director, “Macho Like Me” (documentary on six months as a man)

Keni Styles, adult film star

1 to 2 p.m.: Lunch break

2 to 3 p.m.: Breakouts A: “What We Teach and Show”

“Taming Tigers: Getting Beyond Stereotypes in Parenting and Education”

Daren Mooko (moderator), associate dean of students, Pomona College

Julie Kang, blogger, Geisha School Dropout

Cynthia Liu, co-founder, K-12 News Network

Jason Sperber, cofounder, Rice Daddies

Paula Yoo, author, “Good Enough”; producer, “Eureka”

“Screen Adjustments: Getting Beyond Stereotypes in Media”

• Jocelyn Wang (moderator), blogger, 8Asians

Stephen Dypiangco, National Film Society

Patrick Epino, National Film Society

 Brian Hu, artistic director, Pacific Arts Movement (organizers of the San Diego Asian American Film Festival)

Jerry Ma, art director, “Shattered”

Steve Nguyen, Channel APA

Jude Narita, theater artist and activist, “From the Heart”

3 to 4 p.m.: Breakouts B: “What We Do and Say”

“Move This: Campaigns That Work”

• Lisa Lee (moderator), blogger, Thick Dumpling Skin; diversity program manager, Facebook

• 18 Million Rising (Jenn Pae/Cynthia Brothers)

Eileen Chow, visiting associate professor, Duke University

• Generations of War (Traci Akemi Kato-Kiriyama, founder, Tuesday Night Café)

• Racebending (Michael Le)

“The Politics of Perception”

Ling Woo Liu (moderator), executive director, Fred Korematsu Institute

Tanzila Ahmed, voter engagement manager, Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Jay Chen, Hacienda Heights School Board member, congressional candidate

4 to 5 p.m.: Special Panel A: “When Is It Okay to Laugh? Ethnic Humor that Works”

 Jenny Yang (moderator), comedian, organizer, DIS/ORIENT/ED comedy tour


Kiran Deol, director and comedian

Andrew Fung, The Fung Brothers

• David Fung, The Fung Brothers

• Joe Luu, comedian

• Greg Watanabe, 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors

Special Panel B: “Man Bites Dog: How Stereotypes Shape the News”

Richard Lui (moderator), anchor, MSNBC

Leslie Berestein Rojas, immigration and emerging communities reporter, Southern California Public Radio

Mei Fong, Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter, Wall Street Journal

• Wendy Lee, business reporter, Southern California Public Radio

Andrew Lih, associate professor, USC Annenberg School of Communications

Co-presented with Asian American Journalists Association-Los Angeles

5 to 6 p.m.: Closing Plenary: “Changing the Game”

Oliver Wang (moderator), cultural critic, assistant professor of sociology, CSU Long Beach

Christopher Chen, producer, “Linsanity”

Jay Caspian Kang, editor, Grantland; author, “The Dead Do Not Improve”

Ted Kim, executive vice president, CJ Entertainment America

Deepa Jeeva, head of production, YOMYOMF Network

Mike Le, creator and executive producer, “K-Town”

Benson Lee, director, “Planet B-Boy” and “Battle of the Year: Dream Team”

Parry Shen, actor, “Better Luck Tomorrow”; managing editor, “Shattered”

6 to 6:30 p.m: “All In” Closing/Roundtable

6 p.m. to closing: “Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology” reception (open to all attendees and others by invitation)