The 2nd annual Comedy Comedy Festival kicked off yesterday here in Los Angeles. The three day event is packed with more than 100 performers including Randall Park from 'Fresh Off The Boat' and Youtube's Anna Akana. The lineup is also exclusively made up of performers of Asian descent. So, why not point that out in the festival's name?
"Let's be honest," says comedian and festival founder Jenny Yang "For the most part, comedy festivals or other institutions that are predominantly white, they feel comfortable using universal language to describe their experience so we thought you know what? It's time."
Yang adds, "Remember that movie, 'Boyhood'? It wasn't called, "White Boy from Texas Boyhood." Paras interjects, "There's no need to 'other' us at our own festival."
Visibility of performers of Asian descent is especially critical in this cultural moment, where "yellow face"-- the practice of white actors getting cast as Asian characters, endures despite a rallying cry from the public to increase racial diversity in Hollywood.
"You want an Asian face," provokes Yang, "Look, I have one. It's real." Take Two host Libby Denkmann jocularly asks, "You woke up like that?" Paras jokes, "No CGI. I was born with it. It's crazy."