Morgan Stanley
  • Access & Opportunity Podcast
  • Apr 14, 2022

Amplifying Asian American Voices


Carla: Between 2000 and 2019, Asian Americans were the fastest growing racial group in the US, outpacing even the booming Hispanic population, according to the Pew Research Center. Today, Asians make up about 7% of our nation’s population, with projections to quadruple their current total by 2060.

Still, Asians remain almost invisible in American media: a study from the University of Southern California found that from 2007 to 2019, just 3.4% of Hollywood’s top grossing movies featured an Asian or Pacific Islander character in a lead role.

Today, we are looking at the state of Asian American and Pacific Islander representation in entertainment, a conversation that has been renewed both by the commercial success of films like Crazy Rich Asians and the tragic increase in violent crimes against Asians in America.

Charlene Kaye: Asian musicians have always had to navigate between self-orientalizing and self erasure. And I feel like I've always been toeing that line in thinking about my identity as a musician

Carla: First, we'll hear from Charlene Kaye (Kay), a musician under the name KAYE (Kay) who has forged her own path as an Asian American woman in the music industry. Then, I’ll sit down with Bing Chen, an entrepreneur who has helped drive record ticket sales for AAPI-led media by putting community and capital behind the fight for better representation.

Bing Chen: If we didn't hit 20 million, there were five other Asian led films on other studio dockets that would have been backburned, which would have set our people back three to five years, right? Unacceptable.

Carla VO: Welcome to Access and Opportunity, I'm your host Carla Harris. And we're telling the stories of individuals working to drive change within their communities. We provide context about systemic inequities and share tangible examples of how ideas around access and opportunity are being made real every day.

Charlene Kaye: [Field tape] Check, check, check.

Carla VO: Our first guest is usually found on the other side of the mic, recording music under the name KAYE (Kay).

Charlene Kaye: Let's see what this Mellotron has to offer.

[Field SFX in then out] - Synth

Carla VO: Charlene Kaye (Kay) thinks a lot about the importance of representation, what it means for the musicians she speaks with on her podcast, Golden Hour, and how she can pave a path for a new generation of musicians. But getting to this point has been a lifelong journey that began at a young age.

[Music Cue in - hopeful]

Charlene Kaye: So I was born in Hawaii and raised in Arizona. My parents are Singaporean.

Even though I spent quite a bit of time in Singapore, and also in Hong Kong, definitely identify as an American. And it's been a part of my journey in my life's work to sort of bridge these two cultures.

[Music sting out]

I wrote this essay in talk house a couple of years ago. Things that I did to erase my Asian-ness, which make me so sad to think about. And I would perm my hair because I wanted to have curly hair the way that, uh, the girls in the sitcoms on Nickelodeon did. I tweezed my eyebrows so painfully thin and a lot of it was in response to being treated differently.

Carla VO: At a young age, Charlene’s house became filled by the riffs of guitars and rhythm of a drum set as she and her sister took to music.

Charlene Kaye: I have to credit Leanne, my sister. Playing guitar first, she took lessons and she also took drum lessons. She was extremely cool.

I would say that my sister actually was the one who gave me a lot of the really formative bands that informed my music tastes and the way that I wrote and the style of music that I eventually gravitated towards

Carla VO: While she didn't realize it at the time, looking back Charlene noticed something about the music that captivated her during those early years of learning the guitar.

Charlene Kaye: It is interesting to see how much of my guitar playing and my music tastes was informed by this canon of white male rockers. I mean, emo and punk is so dominated by white men, and rock itself is so dominated by white men.

Barack Obama has this quote he says, “It's hard to be what you can't see.” And I definitely think it applies to Asian Americans and people of any ethnic background who haven't had, historically, much representation for the thing that they care the most about.

And for me in seventh grade it was music.

And so it was a huge game changer for me when Michelle Branch came on the scene and she had the hit “Everywhere” and I would watch it on MTV constantly.

Carla VO: Michelle Branch emerged onto the pop music scene with the hit single "Everywhere" released in 2001. For young Charlene, seeing a multiracial female artist rocking out on TV was the signal she needed to commit to her dream.

Charlene Kaye: And I learned the song on guitar. And I remember that that was one of the first moments where I was like, I feel so connected to this. And it was the first song that I played on guitar that made me feel quote, unquote good. Like I felt like I was a good guitar player when I, once I learned that. And so it really propelled me on this path of wanting to continue to write songs. And it does feel like a very primal thing to identify with somebody who looks like you, who's doing the thing that you want to do.

Carla VO: As Charlene started writing songs of her own and began performing, limited representation for AAPI women in the music industry meant comparisons were abundant.

Charlene Kaye: One of the comments that I got besides, you look like Michelle Branch was you're just like Cassandra from Wayne's world. And I was always so flattered by that at the time, because Cassandra was one of the first representations of an unapologetically sexy, bad-ass Asian woman who rocked the bass. But she wasn't fetishized in the way that you're so used to seeing Asian women in film and TV.

And the more I thought about it as I got older, the more I realized. That? Yes, it was a compliment, but also it made me realize how few Asian lady rockers we have because Cassandra is not a real person, even though she's very prevalent in our pop culture, to people of maybe my generation, but she doesn't exist in the actual music industry.

And I think about that constantly with my own work. And when I get that today as an adult it makes me want to be that person. It makes me want to continue to play music and be that version that we never really got in the real world beyond somebody who was invented.

Carla VO: It took Charlene some time to get to this place. In the early days of her career, she faced a lot of struggles with how she wanted to project her identity through her work.

Charlene Kaye: Something, that seems to be a common thread, which I'm sad to say exists. Was that in the early two thousands, and even in the late two thousands, I didn't want to acknowledge my heritage at all. And I didn't want it to be interlaced with my identity because I didn't want to be known for being Asian.

There's a wonderful New York Times magazine profile called the Asian pop stars taking center stage and the writer says this thing that I keep thinking about, which is that Asian musicians have always had to navigate between self-orientalizing and self erasure. And I feel like I've always been toeing that line in thinking about my identity as a musician, and it's the struggle of so many minorities to just want to be seen as a whole person and not be pigeonholed and not be put into a box.

If you know somebody, you can't hate them.

The more you are familiar with something or somebody, and the more you see their vulnerabilities and what they're going through, you cannot other them because you realize how individual they are.

Carla VO: For Charlene and other Asian Americans, a large part of this conversation in recent years has been in response to an increase in racially-motivated hate crimes.

News Clip #1: In the years since that attack, in some of America’s largest cities, hate crimes have surged. A reminder that there’s still a lot of work ahead.

News Clip #2: The surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans only getting worse, and some of the accounts are extremely violent

News Clip #3: A recent report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism says anti-Asian hate crimes increased by more than 300% in 2021

Charlene Kaye: So I originally had the idea to start Golden Hour in March, 2020 when the first wave of anti-Asian sentiment was happening in New York and across the country. And I conducted a bunch of interviews over zoom.

And then when George Floyd was murdered, it became evident that the black community needed our solidarity. And so I didn't launch it at that point. It, but the impetus for launching it for real was in March, 2021 when the Atlanta shootings happened at the spa. And I remember calling a bunch of my friends who were also Asian, we were all crying all day.

I hate that it takes tragedy for big events to be put in motion.

And that was the moment when I realized that I couldn't put it off anymore and that this needed to be in the world.

Carla VO: Through her podcast Golden Hour, Charlene found an answer to the question, "what can I do?" through the celebration of Asian joy, creativity, and musicianship. While Charlene uses her platform to deepen the conversation around representation in music, there’s work to be done across entertainment, especially in TV and film.

Charlene Kaye: I think that it's deeper than representation. It's deeper than just seeing an Asian face on a TV show. It's about the quality of that person's presence and the depth of that person's presence.

When Crazy Rich Asians came out in theaters, it was a new feeling for me. And it was new, partly because all of my white friends and people that I knew were talking about this movie that had an all Asian cast, but the excitement among the Asian community was undeniable. The fact that people are seeing that Asians can be multifaceted characters instead of tokenized is so important. And it's a small, small step that I will take.

And so my hope is that people listen to this podcast and they listen to my work and through that vulnerability and through that storytelling, I become seen as a whole person and the people in my community get seen as whole people. And we resist this need for others to stereotype us and put us in boxes.

Carla VO: Our next guest had a hand in the success of movies like Crazy Rich Asians capturing the mainstream. Bing Chen has spent the last 4 years creating a global network of Asian and Pacific Islander leaders, creatives, and changemakers to fight for better representation, and economic success, on the big screen and beyond.

One way Bing works towards these goals is as the president and co-founder of Gold House, an AAPI non-profit collective that has helped create and support initiatives behind movie-ticket buyouts, founder mentorship, and business acceleration.

While our conversation today focuses on representation, I want to first acknowledge how he and Gold House are contributing to the fight against Asian hate crimes. In March of 2021, Gold House helped launch #StopAsianHate with GoFundMe, which raised over $5.5 million in donations to a number of AAPI-led non-profits.

We spoke to Bing about his own entrepreneurial journey to help improve the landscape of entertainment for artists like Charlene, and his most recent venture, a fund for multicultural filmmakers.

Carla Harris: Bing thank you so much for being here with me today. It's a pleasure to have you on this show. Are you ready? Can we jump right in?

Bing Chen: Yes, ma'am. The privilege is obviously mine.

Carla Harris: Alrighty then. So you grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. What were you like as a kid?

Bing Chen: I think my mom would describe me as probably obnoxiously happy. She was always worried I'd get stolen because I'd always make friends with strangers and she'd say, ‘don't talk to strangers,’ and I'd say, well, it's not a stranger. His name is Bob or Mary or whoever have you. And I remember I was always friends with everybody, and most importantly, I always wanted to help everyone, and I think it's a testament to how my mother raised me.

Carla Harris: Well, the other thing I've heard you talk about is that when you were a kid, you wanted to be Walt Disney. And so talk to me a little bit about that. Did you have a favorite movie, a favorite character, somebody that you really identified with?

Bing Chen:  I've never been inspired by individual fictitious characters.I've always been inspired by the creators. And so, I always thought Walt Disney was actually Mickey Mouse, who is also Asian because he obviously has black hair and light-skin, like I do. And so I remember like Mickey mouse was always my hero, not because he was a cartoon, but because I thought he made all the dreams come true, which is what I wanted to do.

Carla Harris: Ah, okay.

Bing Chen: Which I know is a warped perspective but.

Carla Harris: No, not at all and it's very interesting. That's why I have this huge smile on my face, because it's interesting that you said he was Asian because he had black hair– no, no, no, seriously. And you know, it's just really interesting to think about kids and how they, how they see the world.

And were you aware at all, growing up, of the lack of representation of people who look like you in, in cartoons or entertainment, or it didn't even phase you at that point cause you had Mickey?

Bing Chen: To be honest, it never phased me. And I think this is a couple of reasons. I think one is, my parents raised me to own my distinction. That being different was a strength and I was strong because of and not in spite of it. I think the second thing is–they really beat this out of me– I've never been obsessed with celebrity of any form. I think because of that, my heroes truly, since I was three were outside of Walt Disney, which was Mickey, Gandhi, Mother Teresa and MLK Jr.

And these are real life superheroes. These aren't even fictitious. And so I think I was always moved by that. And then the third piece was being a third culture kid is at once the greatest privilege and greatest challenge. The place where it's a privilege is even though I was one of only three nonwhite families we were consistently exposed to in Tennessee, I never felt over racism.

I think it's partly because our environment, I think it's partly because I was too naive. And then I went to Shanghai where there's a billion and half reasons why, you know, being Asian is not a deficiency. Right. And so, so I think because of these experiences, I've honestly never felt like a true victim, not until honestly well into adulthood.

Carla Harris: Even not the victim mentality but feeling like you were missing out on something or treated in a markedly different way.

Bing Chen: Yes. Ma'am that's right.

Carla Harris: Okay. So you graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in creative writing, and then you go straight to Google and eventually becoming the global head of creator development and management for YouTube. So what did the online media landscape look like when you began and how did it grow? And why that?

Bing Chen: Why don't we start with why that. So I thought that the 21st century articulation in the media conglomerate AKA the 21st century Walt Disney was YouTube. But I think the reason I was so drawn to it was, one, I was less interested in democratizing distribution and more interested in democratizing creation. Because if you think about how we really re-imagine an industry, it's not about who can get to where they need to be, it's who could even figure out who they are. That's the first step.

And back then, if you were, let's say an Asian creator or an LGBTQ creator or a black creator, just on TV and film, there just weren't a ton of opportunities relative to where we are. Right? And despite that we saw on YouTube people picking themselves up, being their own C-suites producing their own marketing, their own and so forth.

And there just seemed to be promised where we could democratize creation for even more of those folks.

So that's what we did. And literally within five years, between 2010 to 2015, we built what is now known as the ‘creator economy.’ I would also say as with all new things, YouTube did not care about our work in the early days. And that's fine. I don't expect everyone to be a believer in the beginning, but I do believe in the power of a small village. I do believe in sincere intentions. And most importantly, I believe in excellent execution. And we did all three.

Carla Harris: So Gold House was founded in May of 2018, just three months before Crazy Rich Asians had a 26-and-a-half million dollar opening weekend, eventually grossing almost $240 million worldwide.

So can you tell our listeners how Gold House was created, and Crazy Rich  Asians’ extremely successful opening week, how that was connected?

Bing Chen: Yes. Ma'am.

So Gold House is one of my four companies in my holding company that should in success look like the new existential Walt Disney. Gold House is my Disneyland. And instead of characters like Mickey, Minnie goofy and so forth, those characters are actually the world's largest majority, which are Asians and Pacific Islanders. We’re four and a half billion of the world.

And so, Gold House is devoted to two things. One, how do we rebalance our socioeconomic inequities that are specific to our community? And the second goal of it is, not just rebalancing those inequities, it is specifically to empower us to be better stewards of the world, to hire inclusively, to elevate inclusively, so forth and so on. Cause I'm tired of waiting for what we'll call the ‘single supremacy’ to get this done.

And so how did we get started? We knew that when we were trying to basically  get a 3000-year-old people together, we had to have a single north star. We needed something that was universally applicable and resonant.

And so we thought that actually creativity, or being seen properly, was the right place. And specifically we cared about film. Why? Because 80% of traditional media is still exported from this country. And the overwhelming majority of that is filmed. So it universalizes nicely. Film is also highly cross-pollinate.

Obviously to create a film, you need to help finance it. This is your world, right? There's also a clear metric of success. We know that opening weekend, for better or worse, is everything. Right?

And so we were given this gift of Crazy Rich Asians, the first all-Asian cast from a major studio in twenty-five years. And the punchline was we hosted a salon. Because we know again, that people get things done. In that room were 30 people, including the director, John M. Chu, who’s a founding member.

What we did is we brought together distinct industries. So the founders of YouTube, Twitch, Guitar Hero, Hulu, as well as top venture capitalists as well as Hollywood folks and said, how can we make sure opening weekend is successful? And so, we looked at what the black community did as well as what women did all the way from the late eighties to early two thousands. Where they would stack movie theaters opening weekends.

We looked at what Chance the Rapper often does for Black cinema, where he'll buyout a theater for a community or a school or otherwise for whom a $10 movie ticket is inaccessible.

And so we looked at it and said, ‘Chance’s, great. Why don't we times this by 10?’

And over time, you stack enough opening weekends, Hollywood starts to believe there's a viable commercial market here. In addition, of course, great creative prowess. So that night, that salon, we sold $400,000 worth of theaters. And the reason this number was important is, at the time, the film was only supposed to do $15 million at the opening weekend box office, which is a categorical fail, by the way.

And John was, we can say this now, but John was very transparent that if we didn't hit 20 million, there were five other Asian led films on other studio dockets that would have been backburned, which would have set our people back three to five years. Right? Unacceptable. And so that night we sold $400,000 worth.

Within a week, we sold a couple of million. Fast forward, how do we scale this? So it's almost like a bat signal. We put out this gold light in the sky and everybody knows.

They just show up. And so we called all the major theatrical distributors. So AMC, Edwards, all the way down to landmark. Second is we, of course, leverage the power of social media. This sounds so obvious these days. But different scale systems where we could just start building this intrinsic bias towards opening weekend

It did 36 and a half million dollars at the box office– highest grossing take for a Rom Com in a decade. Right? So we nailed that. Fast forward, you know, three years, we’re the dominant marketing reason why Parasite and The Farewell were number one in their respective categories, opening weekend, despite being majority non-English.

This is before the pandemic. We've helped over 36 different films, and we're now expanding to TV, video games, music, and publishing. So it's been, it's been great.

Carla Harris: Wow. Wow. Talk about an amazing, an amazing playbook. So talk to me about your team because one of the things that I've heard from other entrepreneurs of color is that you really have to be intentional if you want to have diversity, even in the company that you are building as a diverse founder. Because it's so easy, especially if you go to the kinds of schools that you went to, to start pulling on the folks that you went to school with, or that were with you at your first job.

And then all of a sudden you look up, two years later, and your company, as a diverse founder, is not diverse. So talk to me about that intentionality and how you got it done.

Bing Chen: I can't stand it when people think inclusion, D&I are some charitable HR priority. It needs to be seen as a strength because if you're going to expand your company, the only way is through newness: new customers, new content categories, new product lines. Guess who is going to create newness.

It is by focusing on people who traditionally have been out of the system, with different eyes and different experiences. And your job, my job, is to figure out how we bring them into the table and give them the tools they need and then get out of their way.

I think what that comes from is one, understanding what people fundamentally want. The first question to that end that we always ask, whether it's at Gold House or AUM or so forth, for everybody we interview, is ‘what is the dream?’ And they're always usually taken aback because they often don't think about this, which is unfortunate. But we qualify it with, ‘if I give you $10 billion–which is more than anybody ever needs–I give you every contact imaginable

and on the other side of those contacts’ phone call was a yes for whatever you asked, what would you do?’

And we go out of our way to make sure their dreams come true on that. And just to give an example of how we've nurtured. There's a young lady named Megan Ren, and Megan's dream is to run her own fund, especially for women, especially for diverse founders. And so we said, all right, well, how do we get there in the funnel?

Let's build the biggest founder network and accelerator. Fast forward two years, she has built the largest top API founder network at Gold House. We have the nation's leading accelerator and we're about to make her dream come true through something that may or may not be a financial vehicle.And then at a demographic level, this is where we have to have first a mental shift.

And so to that end 50% of our entire team plus, as well as our participants in all of our programs, have been women since the beginning. Our founder network, for instance, is 50% women. The second priority we have, and we're not comprehensive on this yet but, is ethnicity. APIs have 50 different ethnicities. My priority is to make sure on the East, Southeast and South–which is the dominance of Asia for now–that we have global representative parody.

So 21% of the global Asian diaspora is South Asian, 20% of course of Gold House program participants are indeed South Asian. 30%, depending on how you slice it, are Southeast Asian. We should go out of our way to make sure that's the case too. And to be honest, Carla, this is very tough for us because if you actually look at the numbers Southeast Asians are often are actually in the bottom decile of socioeconomic growth outside of the Filipino community.

And so it's difficult where we, again, have to invoke this mental shift of this is not charity, this is, ‘are we doing the work to find the people because they have been shut out.’ And so that’s where we’ve started.

Carla Harris: There you go. Gotta do the work.That's right.

Bing Chen: That’s right. And so that's where we started. Now, as you can tell, we're missing a ton of different demographic representation.

But I am proud and we have made a concentrated effort on gender as well as ethnicity focus. And now it's just a Sisyphean task of getting everybody else.

Carla Harris: Okay, so now your most recent venture was co-founding the AUM group with a few other Gold House members, including, you know, Fruitvale station producing Nina yang Bongiovi, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin. So let's talk about what the goal, what the objective of the AUM group is.

Bing Chen: We are trying to empower multicultural filmmakers to tell their own stories, succinctly. And we think about this in three ways that I also call a Trinity. Number one is, not just empowering them as multicultural filmmakers, in most cases first time. Right? So Ryan Coogler, Chloe Zhao, most recently Rebecca Hall, but specifically in telling a narrative that is going to fundamentally reshape culture for that community and how we see others as well.

Our most recent film, for instance, is called Passing. It's on Netflix now, but it's about two black women, one of which passes as white.

Carla Harris: Yes, I saw it. It's amazing.

Bing Chen: Tears, ma’am. Thank you. Thank you.

Carla Harris: Being a woman of the South. I love it. I know about those stories. Absolutely.

Bing Chen: There you go. So socio-cultural imperative. Second is critical acclaim, right? We can't just have art that is of us. It has to be art at the highest levels because unfortunately as minorities, and in the case of Passing multiple minorities, women of color, we have to be twice as good to get half as much at least.

And then third is commercial viability. Passing was the second highest non-white acquisition film in Sundance film festival history. Period. Right? And so we have to hit all three goals and it's unfair because incumbents don't have to, single supremacy doesn't have to, but this is our imperative.

So that's what we do. At a practical level, we partnered with Nina's and Forrest Whitaker's development fund. So, we have first look deals there and then we majority finance them so they can see the light of day.

Carla Harris: So, talk about how you raised money for the fund.

Bing Chen: Content’s hard. Content's hard because it's not as you know a creed of investment like venture. And so a lot of– and most films lose money. The good news is we have this incredible asset and leader in Nina who just has this sterling seven-year track record of delivering socioculturally indelible, critically acclaimed and commercially profitable film at the highest levels. Right. So people, you know, it goes back to people drive business.

Second is, it was really important to us to have multicultural investors because they would ‘get it’ as it were. I used to fallaciously believe that empathy could be taught and learned. I actually don't believe that anymore. And so it was really important to us to this extent, if we have a multicultural Agenda, the majority of investors have to be multicultural as well. Otherwise we're lying to ourselves. Right. And so that was indeed the case.

It actually– a disproportionate majority of them are actually Asian. Little known secret. The people who helped finance Fruitvale Station and all that are all Asian. So all the more why cross-cultural unity matters.

Carla Harris: That's a significant point. Very significant point because consumers come in all shapes and sizes and colors. So, you know, as an investor, you know, having a wide lens could be very impactful to your returns.

Bing Chen: Exactly right. That's exactly right. And it's also just like the cardinal law. It's better if we go to things together, because like, I would never say for instance just to pick on our two communities cause we're talking about them in this film. I would never say the Asian experience is analogous to what Black Americans face daily. We all know that.

But what I do think, and I think where we focus more on is even though the origins of our challenges are disparate, the solutions that we have are going to be more concentric than they are disparate. And I learned this at YouTube where it's like, everybody wants the same thing, they just talk about them differently.

So the question is, are we each going to solve the same problem distinctly? Or are we going to try to do this together and just translate for each other? And I think, I think there's a bias towards the ladder.

Carla Harris: Yeah, I'll tell you, you almost made me say amen there. Woo. That's a pretty powerful playbook point. No question about it. That's the importance of having the conversations like we're having, Bing, because by having this conversation and being so transparent about the playbook, it inspires somebody else to do, to do a different version or even the next iteration of what you have done.

And if that's the case, we've done our part in terms of inspiring a community of creators to go do the next thing and actually getting us all further down the path, if you will.

Bing Chen: Yes, ma'am. I mean, just to punctuate that further. The only way to be the best and singular at anything, is to be the only person who can do it. Everyone, especially I think, and traditionally marginalized folks, have a natural tendency to think it's a very zero sum game again, for very valid reasons, right? We've just been given a pie. But increasingly, the only way to build your own sort of singular advantages that are highly sustainable is to do something again that only you can do as oppose to trying to be better–

Carla Harris: to make a different pie.

Bing Chen: That's exactly right. Cause some of us don't like apple pie. Some of us like… I don't know. I don't eat pie.

Carla Harris: So tell me what excites you about the future of the entertainment industry?

Bing Chen: Oh, man. So I'm particularly interested, just at a tactical level, of what new franchises can look like. It's one thing for a studio or a walled entity to create a franchise. It is another to empower the world to do so in a way that is not only reflective of them, but it's also useful. Right? And so who is going to empower humans to be in a world that we deserve to live in with tools that will sustain their socioeconomic prowess. That's what we're devoted to. And that's what AUM to Gold house to my forthcoming other two companies are all trying to do. So I'm excited by that: utility.

And then the final thing I would say is I'm just excited about all of us getting together. We just announced this Re-imagine Coalition at the Golden Globes. We're trying to get all the multicultural communities to align on a single agenda and therefore pool resources. I'm excited about this for all the reasons. I just like it when we all get together. And I also like it when we break history. Not even make, just break it. And so yeah, a lot of things to be excited about.

Carla Harris: Oh,  I say, go on young man. Go on young man. Know you got a big cheerleader in Carla Harris.

Bing Chen: I’ll try my best.

Carla Harris: Bing. thank you so much for giving us some time today and giving our listeners, as well as our team, an opportunity to get to know you.

Bing Chen: Thank you, Carla. I appreciate you having me.

Carla: I want to thank both Bing Chen, and Charlene Kaye for joining me on this episode of Access and Opportunity. For listeners looking to get involved with the Stop Asian Hate campaign, head to to learn more. To continue learning about individuals working to drive systematic change within their communities, subscribe to Access and Opportunity on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Thanks for coming along.

On this episode, Charlene Kaye shares her path to embracing her Asian-ness as a musician with few role models who looked like her and how she now strives to be the example for aspiring AAPI musicians. Then, Carla sits down with Bing Chen, founder of Gold House, to discuss his work putting community and capital behind AAPI representation.

On this episode, we’re talking about the push for more representation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in entertainment. First, we hear from musician Charlene Kaye, also known as KAYE, about how the lack of Asian American artists she had to look up to growing up forced her to shy away from her identity. Charlene shares how she is now furthering the conversation through music, and her podcast, Golden Hour. Then, host Carla Harris sits down with Bing Chen, the founder of non-profit Gold House, to learn how he has spent the last four years putting community and capital behind AAPI representation, helping drive the success of films such as Crazy Rich Asians, Parasite and Minari.

Access and Opportunity is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and other major podcast platforms. 

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