Episode 25 The growing hunger: why do we need more critics of color?

Today is our first of three episodes exploring why we all need critics of color. Colin talks to Jeff Yang, an American writer, journalist, and business/media consultant who has written for The Wall Street Journal and CNN, and, Mauricio Mota, a producer of East Los High, an award-winning Hulu drama series that has earned five Emmy nominations for its realistic portrayal of Latinx high school students. We talk about the gatekeeping responsibility and power of the few critics of color when they are critiquing media coming from their own communities: They can break or make a show or movie. We also discuss their importance for unpacking the cultural context and nuance of movies such as Crazy Rich Asians and Coco within their fan community and for those encountering these more inclusive representations for the first time. We also discuss how globalization should, and can, work in unexpected ways: Coco did very well in China, for example. How do we move forward? “Everyone can be a critic” says Mota, but for a long time “we were not allowed to have taste in this town.”


Here are some of the things mentioned in this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Jeff Yang’s mahjong explainer for Crazy Rich Asians

Margaret Cho’s All American Girl

Yang’s review of All American Girl for the Village Voice is not available online, but this NYT article on his son Hudson covers some of it

Rotten Tomatoes‘ recent move to add over 200 critics to increase its diversity

Maureen Ryan’s column on The Leftovers


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