Bing Chen Stands against Asian Hate
As part of the reporting for Tatler’sAugust cover story, we speak to Bing Chen, the founder of Gold House, a collective of Asian leaders and creatives, who tells us how he’s shifting the narrative of Asian representation in the media.
The 2019 South Korean black comedy thriller film Parasite was critically acclaimed because it was a great film that spoke to people, but its commercial success outside of Asia is in part due to Gold House. Since 2017, the non-profit collective of Asian founders, creative talents and leaders, has regularly bought out screenings of Asian films, including Parasite and Lulu Wang's The Farewell, in the US, as well as been marketing films and consulting on scripts.
Bing Chen, the organisation’s president, says: “We’re now the first call for basically anything Asian by Hollywood. In addition to incredible storytellers and stories, we are without question why there’s an AAPI film market now, because we manufactured it.”
The recent racist attacks against people of Asian heritage have been an added incentive for Chen to work even harder to bring Asian stories to the forefront. His first real exposure to racism happened when he was in ninth grade. “I went up to the [cinema’s] concession stand to get popcorn. I love popcorn. The person behind the counter said, ‘Hello, would you like an egg roll?’,” he recalls. “I remember standing there, shocked, because I didn’t realise they sold egg rolls.
“Of course, they didn’t sell egg rolls. I was like most [children] who have never been exposed to this [racism], especially because I grew up in [Shanghai] where everyone’s Asian. I remember going home at night and feeling very disappointed in myself for not saying anything back.” The childhood memory now serves as a particular impetus to speak out against Asian hate crimes in the US. “I want to raise the floor for all so that we finally have a world where we are strong because of—not in spite of—our differences,” he says.