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Los Angeles City Council declares May 2nd as Fresh Off the Boat Day

Randall Park, one of the mainstays of the Fresh off the Boat sitcom, shares a light moment with LA City Mayor Eric Garcetti (right) and City Council president Herb Wesson during the honoring of the successful ABC sitcom at the City Council plenary hall this week. Photo © Abner Galino

THE Los Angeles City Council has declared May 2nd as “Fresh Off the Boat Day” in recognition of ABC’s popular sitcom television show’s positive portrayal of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) in mainstream media.

The recognition of the successful comedy show was part of the celebration of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM).

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, during his turn to commend the Fresh Off the Boat’s cast and producers at City Council plenary hall, said he and his wife were big fans, adding that the show plays out the “American story that we all can connect to … the voices and faces that are often written out in Hollywood.”

City Council president Herb Wesson, who called the show hilarious and classy, recalled that he couldn’t see anyone who looked like him on TV when he was a boy.

“And it was disturbing. So to me, it is important that when we watch television, we try to depict the real world and the real issues,” Wesson said.

For his part, Council member David Ryu, said Fresh Off the Boat “is milestone for Asian American and immigrant communities,” bring together audiences in this way and tell the unique plight of an Asian American immigrant family is a show worth celebrating.”

“It is the first Asian American comedy sitcom in over 20 years, featuring an Asian Pacific family air(ing) in a major network, in primetime,” Ryu said.

Randal Park, one of the show’s mainstays, said he that it mattered to him greatly the show was honored by the city where “he was born and raised.”

Park told the crowd at the plenary hall that he too didn’t see many actors on TV that looked liked him when he was growing up.

The show’s executive producers Nahnatchka Khan and Melvin Mar, and cast members Randall Park, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen, Lucille Soong, and Chelsey Crisp came to accept the award.

Fresh off the Boat was inspired by chef Eddie Huang’s memoir. The sitcom portrays the culture shock a 12-year-old boy and his immigrant family experience after moving from DC’s Chinatown to suburban Orlando in pursuit of the American Dream.

Meanwhile, as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which is being celebrated across the United States, the City of Los Angeles will also be hosting a music festival dubbed as IDENTITY LA at the Grand Park on Saturday (May 6, 2017) at 5 p.m.

The family-friendly concert will feature Asian Pacific American artists and entertainers.

There will also be a beer garden, food trucks and other art presentations.

 

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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