Amazon has teamed with the Producers Guild of America to host a virtual conference to examine the state of AAPI representation in media and entertainment.
The May 20 event, which will be open to the public free of charge, will feature panels, interviews and a musical performances to showcase the array of Asian and Pacific Islander ethnicities and cultures.
The focus of Amazon Studios Voices: API Representation in Film and Media will be on how Hollywood can take steps to become more anti-racist and drive broader societal change. Among the speakers lined up to take part are actors Daniel Dae Kim, Sophia Ali, Stephanie Hsu and producer Christina Oh, along with a range of experts and academics.
“Amazon Studios DEI has been diving deep into our own data, examining our systems and structures, and reimagining our policies to be unapologetic about what inclusive, authentic, and nuanced storytelling looks like,” said Latasha Gillespie, global head of DEI for Amazon Studios and IMDb. “Improving representation and eliminating harmful stereotypes will not happen overnight, and will not happen in a vacuum. That is why we are inviting the whole industry to join us in this event and in this work.”
The event comes on the heels of shocking incidents of hate crimes targeting the AAPI community. A series of shocking hate-crime incidents, some involving elderly people and some captured on video, has galvanized many to speak out against AAPI hate and to combat stereotypes that persist in popular culture. According to the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Asian hate crimes have skyrocketed 149% across 16 of America’s largest cities.
“We have been having these vital conversations as a company and are excited to bring these discussions, centering the API community, to our whole industry. Please join us as we work to change the narrative around API representation on screen,” said Albert Cheng, Amazon Studios’ chief operating officer and co-head of TV.
The half-day event will feature musical performances from AJ Rafael and Alyssa Navarro and Amber Liu. Rafael and Navarro went viral last year with their TikTok performance of “Reflection” from Disney’s 1998 animated movie “Mulan.”
(Pictured: Daniel Dae Kim, Sophia Ali and Stephanie Hsu)