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Author Topic: Bee Vang, Actor who played Thao, Trashes "Gran Torino"  (Read 32054 times)
Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2014, 06:13:45 AM »

While I don't consider Gran Torino to be a masterpiece either, but it is a pretty good movie.  And to me it is very entertaining.  The script of movies is very important to me on whether or not I like a movie very much or not.  But the entertainment value is just as important to me as well.  So I consider Gran Torino to be my favorite CE movie that's not a western and not a Dirty Harry.  Because I thoroughly enjoyed it and it entertained me a lot.  Million Dollar Baby is a much better script with better actors.  But it didn't entertain me as much as Gran Torino did.


I have to agree with you Rawhide7
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_Clintan_
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2014, 08:56:46 PM »

Nice hearing a Shakespearean actor commenting on the directorial skills of an inexperienced director.


Jesus Christ, this made me laugh SO hard. Thank you!

As for Bee, shame on him. I would be embarrassed if I were him. He got to star alongside Clint Eastwood when he was 17 years old, with NO prior experience. Boo-hoo, poor you. He is everything Walt said he was in the movie.

By the way, Gran Torino = Best Clint Eastwood movie since Unforgiven.
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Gerry
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« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2014, 06:36:42 AM »

Leave us not to forget that moments bring about reflection as time passes, even in an actor's life. And in Bee's case this very well could be the case. Bee Vang did portray an immature and disillusioned teen in Torino, and was convincing to my viewing pleasures. Tis' only human and natural that BV's self critiquing reaction would surface as a 'humiliated' upon reflection of his work in Clint's movie. Bee's a young guy and just starting out a an actor folks? Give him a break?  :angel: Possible future interviews of Clint's self critiquing of himself in Gran T. may bring forth his professional cinematic thoughts on BV's portrayal? A Gran Torino critiquing rebuttal would be healthy even from a seasoned director as Eastwood  ;). Is there a reaction rebuttal in here from Clint on Bee Vang' performance and trashing of GT film? O0
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Gerry J Hilliard
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« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2014, 06:42:12 AM »

I haven't heard of a response from Clint. Nor have I heard any more of Bee Vang, the actor. Not surprising, since according to the IMDb, Grand Torino is his one and only screen credit to date.
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Gerry
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2014, 07:24:03 AM »

macDave,

fictional worst case scenario; say I join a Steven Seagal aikido dojo and get my butt spanked? In future, I may well have earned and learned a life saving lesson with martial arts etiquette on some dark street at night. I'm certain I'd feel humiliated and ridiculed, and despise Seagal. But I don't believe Seagal would hold a grudge against me. It was all apart of the lesson I wanted to learn from the college of self-defense. Perhaps, this was Bee Vang's lesson with Clint Eastwood filmdom? I think empathetic compassion for BV is the way to go. Clint Eastwood is the cinematic dojo master in some aspects ;).
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Gerry J Hilliard
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« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2021, 09:45:18 AM »

Quote
From Hocine: I found an article from Indiewire, in which Bee Vang, who played Thao Vang Lor in Gran Torino, talks about the fact that Gran Torino could have mainstreamed anti-Asian racism in America:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiewire.com/2021/02/gran-torino-actor-clint-eastwood-asia-racism-1234617752/amp/

Here is an essay of Bee Vang, published in NBC News:

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/covid-19-era-s-anti-asian-racism-isn-t-new-ncna1258184

 

Here are the excerpts from his article about "Gran Torino."

Quote
Back in 2008 I starred opposite Clint Eastwood in ?Gran Torino? playing the lead Hmong role in a tale of two people transcending their differences to form an unlikely human bond. It was a historic cinematic moment for Hmong people around the world, despite its copious anti-Asian slurs.

At the time, there was a lot of discussion about whether the movie?s slurs were insensitive and gratuitous or simply ?harmless jokes.? I found it unnerving, the laughter that the slurs elicited in theaters with predominantly white audiences. And it was always white people who would say, ?Can?t you take a joke??...

Today, I shudder at the thought of what that meant. More than a decade later, the anti-Asian racism that was once disguised as good-natured humor has been revealed for what it is, thanks to Covid-19.

?Gran Torino? may have elided the crisis in Asia that birthed our diaspora and many others across the Pacific. But more concerning was the way the film mainstreamed anti-Asian racism, even as it increased Asian American representation. The laughter weaponized against us has beaten us into silent submission .

To this day, I am still haunted by the mirth of white audiences, the uproarious laughter when Eastwood?s curmudgeonly racist character, Walt Kowalski, growled a slur. "Gook." "Slope head." "Eggroll." It's a "harmless joke," right? Until it?s not just a joke, but rather one more excuse for ignoring white supremacy and racism.



 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 09:51:30 AM by AKA23 » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2021, 09:49:40 AM »

Bee Vang has practically made a cottage industry for the last 13 years out of attacking Clint Eastwood and criticizing "Gran Torino." If he didn't like the script, and found it to be a disservice to the Hmong community, he should not have accepted the role, but this iteration of his argument is different than he's made before. His previous criticisms focused on his belief that the minority family was saved by a white man rather than exercising their own agency, how he felt his character was depicted as being weak, and how the cultural depictions were not always accurate. This article deems the entire film to be racist.

I think his article is mostly well written, and does make some valid points regarding the larger issues of anti-Asian racism and how some have used COVID 19 as a vehicle for propagating that. But his comments on "Gran Torino" to me are ridiculous. I think it's quite the stretch to say that "Gran Torino" mainstreamed Asian-American racism in the United States. There was racism in the United States and everywhere else in the world long before "Gran Torino" ever was made, and I don't think Eastwood intended for anyone to find Walt's racial slurs to be humorous. Depicting racism in order to show the evolution of someone who became more tolerant over time is not the same thing as praising it, and Bee Vang seems to have missed the entire point of the film. This was to show that Walt had grown and that he had re-evaluated his racist views after getting to know his Hmong neighbors. Walt served as a commentary that other older people in society could also change, grow and re-evaluate previously prejudiced points of view. Walt sacrificed his own life to save them from the gangs that would have otherwise continued to terrorize them, so it's quite the stretch to say that the film supported racism. If Bee Vang was in theaters with people laughing at the racist jokes, I find that to be regrettable, but I don't think that's what Eastwood intended, and that's clearly not the message of the film. As a viewer I never found any of those racial slurs to be humorous, and I question how many people actually did.
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Hammerhead
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« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2021, 12:46:42 PM »

I think the only scene you could question is the one where Walt and his barber shop buddies make slurs against each other and say it?s harmless fun.
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« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2021, 06:07:37 AM »

and Bee Vang seems to have missed the entire point of the film. This was to show that Walt had grown and that he had re-evaluated his racist views after getting to know his Hmong neighbors. Walt served as a commentary that other older people in society could also change, grow and re-evaluate previously prejudiced points of view. Walt sacrificed his own life to save them from the gangs that would have otherwise continued to terrorize them, so it's quite the stretch to say that the film supported racism.

Exactly.  The film was actually anti-racism... in the same way that Unforgiven was really anti-violent themed.  As an actor in the film, Bee Vang should have easily understood this.  Walt wasn't being glorified for his views, but rather shown as being ignorant and so wrong with these views.  I remember thinking at the time that Gran Torino was just like All in the Family where Archie Bunker so often threw out racist stuff but it was to show how wrong he was, not to laugh at it.  There were tons of humor in the show, but not with Archie's racist slurs.  And I agree with AKA that most sensible people who saw Gran Torino knew exactly what Clint intended with the movie and Walt's character.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 06:08:51 AM by exit00 » Logged
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