Guy Aoki will discuss Media Action Network for Asian Americans on Wednesday, March 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Choi Auditorium, Johnson Hall 200, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Rd., Los Angeles.

This event is in-person and will require the use of a surgical or N-95 mask and will follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines set out by the college.

Guy Aoki

Aoki (Occidental Class of ’84) will be speaking at his alma mater about the work he’s done over the last 30 years with MANAA, the all-volunteer media watchdog organization he co-founded in 1992. 

During this multimedia presentation, Aoki will share his experiences dealing with television networks, movie studios and radio stations while pushing for more inclusion and sensitive portrayals of Asian Americans. 

He’ll address the growing problem of white-washing, where Hollywood takes Asian or Asian American source material and hires non-Asians for the lead roles. He’ll also explain why it’s a very hopeful time as Asian and Asian American actors and projects like “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Parasite” and “Shang-Chi” have become overwhelming critical favorites and hits with the non-Asian public.

For 25 years, Aoki wrote “Into the Next Stage” for The Rafu Shimpo, the longest-running column on Asian Americans and the media.

In 2001, Aoki debated Sarah Silverman on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” over a racial slur she used in a joke on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show.

In 2021, he got former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno to apologize for his habit of making jokes about Koreans and Chinese eating dogs or cats after MANAA threatened to go after the advertisers of his game show “You Bet Your Life” if he wasn’t fired as host. 

Also that year, Aoki got two KFI-AM disc jockeys, Tim Conway, Jr. and Sheron Bellio, suspended for two weeks without pay after they aired a skit impersonating Yuko Sakamoto, saying stereotypical Japanese things with an extreme Japanese accent when in real life, she speaks with none.

In the ’80s, the Hilo, Hawaii native was a researcher and mixing producer for “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem” and a Los Angeles Times entertainment reporter. For 17 years, Aoki wrote syndicated radio shows for Dick Clark, including “The U.S. Music Survey” and “Countdown America,” which won a Billboard Magazine Radio Award.

This event is presented by Media Arts and Culture with the generous support of the Biology Department, Oxy Library, and the Remsen Bird Fund. For more information, contact Vivian Wenli Lin at vlin@oxy.edu.

For more information on MANAA, go to: https://manaa.org

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