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The new film “Ktown Cowboys.” The stars take on Korean-Americans, Asian stereotypes and what we see in the movies.

A scene from the new movie, "Ktown Cowboys," which focuses on five young men living, working and partying in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles. (Francisco G. Hamm / Freestyle Digital Media)
A scene from the new movie, "Ktown Cowboys," which focuses on five young men living, working and partying in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles. (Francisco G. Hamm / Freestyle Digital Media)

For years, when Asian Americans hit the big screen it with kung fu and old stereotypes. Think Bruce Lee and Mr. Miyagi.  A new generation of young actors is more than ready to say goodbye to all that. A Korean-American crew out of Los Angeles is out with a new film based in L.A.’s Koreatown. It is called “Ktown Cowboys.”  Young men, bros, American guys partying and searching and coming of age.  The reviews are mixed but the message is clear:  don’t pin us down, box us in, tag us with your old clichés. This hour On Point: the young men of “Ktown Cowboys.”
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Brian Chung, producer and filmmaker. Producer of the film, "Ktown Cowboys."

Danny Cho, actor and screenwriter. Co-writer and actor in "Ktown Cowboys." He plays Danny in the film. (@dannycho)

Shane Yoon, actor. He plays Jason in "Ktown Cowboys." (@shaneyoon)

Victoria Kim, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, where she covers Koreatown and the Korean community. (@vicjkim)

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: No formula or stereotypes: 'Ktown Cowboys' bromance holds true to the filmmakers' vision — "It was never meant to be a statement on how Asian American men are portrayed in pop culture, or about how seldom they're seen on the screen. They were just friends who created a Web series, then a feature film about their experiences as Korean Americans coming of age in the boozy, disco ball-lit backdrop of Koreatown nightlife."

L.A. Weekly: Ktown Cowboys Is a Breakthrough For Diversity — And A Disappointement, Too -- "Ktown Cowboys indicates by its title both insider status and a desire to fit in. Ktown — short for Koreatown — refers to the Los Angeles neighborhood marked by art deco buildings and Korean signage, where the film is set. Though not actually known for cowboys, L.A. has for more than a century produced movies perpetuating that chiseled myth of American masculinity. While the stereotypical cowboy is white, those hailing from Ktown are both proudly Korean and quintessentially American, a tension they wrestle with throughout."

The Guardian: Oscars' apology for 'racist' Asian stereotypes labelled 'patronizing' — "East Asian Hollywood stars have reacted angrily to a “patronizing” apology from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its 'tone-deaf' attitude at this year’s Oscars. Two dozen Academy members, including the two-time Oscar-winning film-maker Ang Lee, Star Trek actor George Takei and the actor Sandra Oh, published an open letter to organisers on 15 March, complaining about 'tasteless and offensive skits' based on racial stereotyping at this year’s ceremony."

Watch A Trailer For "K-Town Cowboys"

This program aired on March 18, 2016.

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