There’s another limited series in the works about the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin, an event that catalyzed a national civil rights movement for Asian Americans, this one from Participant.
Participant announced that it is developing and producing a new limited scripted series inspired by the true story of Chin, a Chinese American who was brutally beaten and killed by two former autoworkers who blamed him for the economic downturn in Detroit.
The project joins another limited series about Chin’s murder in development at Amazon Studios in association with First Look Media’s Topic Studios. It’s created, written and executive produced by Marilyn Fu, with Destin Daniel Cretton (“Just Mercy”) on board to direct and exec produce.
Meanwhile, last week, a podcast dramatizing Chin’s murder, titled “Hold Still, Vincent,” was pulled by producers after Chin’s family members and Helen Zia, the autoworker-turned-journalist who became a national organizer and spokesperson for the Justice for Vincent Chin Campaign, said they had not been consulted about the project. Producers on the “Hold Still, Vincent” podcast, which featured a star-studded cast for a table read of a script for a prospective feature film, included Gemma Chan (“Eternals,” “Crazy Rich Asians”).
Participant said it is developing the currently untitled series through “an exclusive agreement” with the Chin Estate and Zia, who was appointed executor of the Chin Estate by Vincent’s mother, Lily Chin, before she died in 2002. The production company said that the Participant series “will be the only authorized telling of the landmark civil rights case” involving Chin’s killing.
Zia has been tapped to serve as part of the creative team on the Participant project, along with Vicangelo Bulluck, Donald Young and Paula Madison. Miura Kite, Participant’s SVP of global TV, will oversee the series on behalf of Participant.
“Vincent Chin’s brutal slaying, at a time of intense anti-Asian hate across the country, galvanized Asian Americans to rally together, unite with many diverse communities, and create a new movement for racial justice that impacted all Americans,” Zia said in a statement. “With today’s current tsunami of anti-Asian hate sweeping the globe, the full story of Vincent Chin and the powerful community response must be told, and I’m thrilled that Participant will be leading this effort.”
In a joint statement Young, Madison and Bulluck said, “We are honored to be working with Helen Zia and the Vincent Chin Estate. We understand the responsibility in making sure that this story is culturally and historically accurate, and respects Vincent Chin’s legacy. We could not have better partners than the team at Participant to tell this compelling civil rights story about the Asian American community and their ongoing fight for social justice.”
David Linde, CEO of Participant, commented: “I have been friends and colleagues with many of our partners for years and am incredibly honored that they came to Participant. Having the chance to work with a writer and activist like Helen is humbling, as we seek to tell the most culturally vital stories possible.”
Paula Madison, who is CEO of Madison Media Management and a former NBCUniversal executive, and Vicangelo Bulluck, producer and founding executive director of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau, also have a limited-series based on Madison’s book, “Finding Samuel Lowe,” in development at Amazon with Legendary. Donald Young has been a longtime community advocate and production executive with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). Helen Zia’s book, “Asian American Dreams,” includes her eyewitness account of the events that followed the hate-killing of Vincent Chin; her latest book, “Last Boat Out of Shanghai,” has been optioned for a film adaptation.
Zia, Young, Madison and Bulluck are represented by Linda Lichter.
Participant’s 100-plus films have collectively earned 82 Oscar nominations and 21 wins, including best picture for “Spotlight” and “Green Book” and documentary feature for “American Factory,” “The Cove,” “Citizenfour” and “An Inconvenient Truth.”