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Seeing Parasite win Best Picture (along with best director, best original screen play, and best non-English language film [what's up with foreign language as a category?]) was something else - especially as a Korean American.

Here are some reflections:

1/ It felt like the US finally caught up to the rest of the world in its acknowledgement of Korean media (Korean Dramas, Pop, and Movies). Korean shows and music are popular all throughout the world. There is a reason BTS was number one in 73 countries last year.
2/ Activism is actually fixing some of the gross disparities we see. From the sexism (along with harassment & assault) being addressed in the #metoo & #timesup movements to the racism being addressed in hashtags like #oscarssowhite, public accountability actually changes things.
3/ In a society where Asians are relegated to either assimilate into the dominant majority or fall in line with stereotypes that keep us in an opaque #bamboocage, through a Korean movie winning best picture, I felt like Koreans were seen on terms that weren't dictated by others.
4/ It was amazing to hear them speak in Korean from the stage. But even then, I was amazed at how mindful they were to speak in a way that the translator could keep up. It is the collectivist consideration that is deeply embedded in the Korean culture.
5/ The class by which #bongjoonho received the awards (especially the best director) was first rate. How he honored others while he was being honored was classic Korean. He spent his entire speech honoring the other nominees.
6a/ It was incredible to see the Oscar's stage full of Koreans. Especially as I think how the history of Asians on the silver screen was one where Asians weren't allowed to play themselves (but had to be played by white actors - i.e. Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's).
6b/ Asians were also relegated to sidekick roles and martial arts roles, and even now, Asian roles are continued to be played by white actors (i.e. Scarlett Johannson in Ghost in a Shell, Emma Stone in Aloha, Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange).
7/ Though #parasite winning best picture does not mean that prejudice, discrimination, and racism in media (especially in Hollywood, which is further ahead than other industries) is gone, it does feel like there is much to celebrate in this.

With that, I bid you good night.
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