Stream “Blasian” for FREE on Amazon

Blasian, Michael Yo, presents his uniquely personal comedy on his debut stand up special, “Blasian.” In this special, he discusses growing up half Black and Asian in Houston, TX. Check it out for free on Amazon Prime!


Michael Yo on “Blasian” Tour

Michael Yo is the first and only blasian comic, and he’s currently on tour!

Michael was raised in Texas, where he got started on radio.  He then got recruited by Miami’s #1 station, Y100.  He did that for years before getting an offer from E!. He moved to Los Angeles and was a correspondent on Extra and E! News. He has appeared on The Insider and The Talk on CBS, as well as The Wendy Williams Show. Then Chelsea Handler (of Chelsea Lately) dared him to do stand-up. Fellow half Asian, Jo Koy (Filipino/European American), has been his comic mentor. The even did a podcast (The Michael Yo and Jo Koy Show) together for a few years.

“Jo told me that I had great stories about my parents and that is where comedy comes from, real life. Not about people writing jokes but what really happened in your life. Growing up in the situation I am from, that is automatic comedy. Having a mom, we all know Asian moms and how they say the craziest things no matter who is around and it can sound racist at times. But they don’t think it is racist and they are just honest people, you know what I mean? So, I talk about the the crazy things my mom says about other people. “

Michael doesn’t like kimchi (김치) and doesn’t speak Korean, and he didn’t really connect with his Asian side until he started doing stand-up. 

“I can honestly say that stand-up has really made me connect more than I ever have because telling the stories about my mom. My stand-up is all about my dad, my mom, how I grew up, dealing with racism and finding my identity. So, the whole show is about that. Me and my mom have always been super close and I feel that telling these stories, Asian people are starting to come out and relate to it. I find it weird because I didn’t connect to it while I was going through it but it is more that I’m connecting to it now.”

Blasian“, his new comedy tour about growing up biracial, started in San Francisco on December 31, 2018. It was released on digital and on-demand platforms on November 27th and is 
available on iTunes and GooglePlay. His tour continues in Sacramento on January 11, 2019. 

Michael is an actor, stand-up comedian, and television host. Currently, he is a co-host on the Bravo series, Play by Play, and hosts The Michael Yo Show on Sirius XM’s Entertainment Weekly. The Michael Yo Show premiered on September 4th via satellite on channel 105 through the SiriusXM app. 

Selected Sources:
* Houston Chronicle, “Houston-born comic Michael Yo releases special about growing up biracial“, November 1, 2018.
* An online community for mixed-race Koreans, Interview with Michael Yo“, August 16, 2013.

Photos courtesy of Michael Yo/Metro Public Relations.

Blasian Comedian to Star in Autobiographical Sitcom

A TV show, inspired by Michael Yo’s life, co-written by and starring comedian Michael Yo, is being developed. The self-proclaimed “Half-Black Brother with a Korean Mother”, Michael Yo, was born “Michael Yo Simmons” to a Korean mom and an African American dad with a PhD in Nuclear Physics.

The untitled comedy centers on a young couple’s life that is made more complicated when the guy’s over-achieving African American, PhD scientist/ex-Military father and scheming Asian mother show up to help them take care of their newborn baby and adjust to their new surroundings. Yo married Claire Elise Schreiner on February 14, 2016 and recently became a father to Oliver Yo Simmons. He came up with the idea for the family comedy when his parents visited to help with their new grandchild. Yo will also be an executive producer for the show.

Selected Sources:
* Deadline, “Michael Yo To Star In Autobiographical Family Comedy In Works At Fox“, November 5, 2018.
* Coming Soon, “Michael Yo Developing Autobiographical Sitcom for FOX“, November 6, 2018.

Blasian Featured in Netflix Show

The first ten episodes of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was released on October 26th. The series is centered on Sabrina Spellman, a half-witch half-mortal. I’m a huge Netflix fan and was super intrigued by the trailer for this new show. In the trailer, I spotted a diverse group of witches in black dresses with lace collars. A brunette and redhead led by a brown-skinned beauty, they are the Weird Sisters, a trio of witches who have developed a sisterhood forged in their bond as orphans. In the trailer, the leader of the Weird Sisters, Prudence Night tells Sabrina, “You’re gonna die, half-breed.” This seems ironic when you realize that two of the actresses portraying the Weird Sisters are actually half-Korean. Adeline Rudolph (the brunette) is German-Korean, and Tati Gabrielle (the leader) is Korean-African American.

Tati Gabrielle (birth name: Tatiana Gabrielle Hobson) was raised by her Korean American mother. Her father, a former basketball player from Ohio, is involved in the entertainment industry as a director and producer. She modelled as a child and graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA. She majored in Drama and French at Spelman College. She moved to Los Angeles and earned roles in the CW’s The 100, Hulu’s Freakish, and TBS’s Tarantula. She was cast as Prudence in March 2018.

Tati’s mom was adopted from Korea and raised in Virginia by an African American family. She raised Tati to stay connected to her Asian roots, and the diverse Bay Area of California was a great environment for a mixed kid. Now Tati’s starring in a show that is being lauded for its ethnic, racial, and sexual diversity. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is arguably one of the most strongly feminist television shows today, with women fighting against dominating patriarchal leaders in both the mortal and witch worlds.

A Christmas special episode, A Midwinter’s Tale, will be released on December 14th, and the second part of the first season is scheduled for release on April 5, 2019. Experience Tati Gabrielle’s fierceness in this spellbinding  show!

Selected Sources:
* Mochi Magazine, Actress Tati Gabrielle on Girl Power and Finding Identity“, October 12, 2018.
* Status Magazine, “Tati Gabrielle Unveils the Magic of her Artistic Journey“, October 1, 2018.

South Korea’s First Blasian Model

Han Hyun-Min is the 1st black model in South Korea. Hyun-Min, 16, is half Nigerian in an ethnically homogeneous country where mixed race people often experience blatant racism with difficulty getting jobs and finding spouses. Mixed race children are commonly bullied and called “tuigi”, a derogatory term meaning cross-bred animals. However, he is now appearing in top magazines.

Organizations to Support Mixed Race Koreans

Mixed race Koreans are a marginalized population.  Korean society has always been obsessed with the idea of racial purity.  Accordingly, it can be quite difficult to be biracial in South Korea.  Life can be especially hard for biracial Koreans with African ancestry, as darker skin is negatively associated with poverty and farm labor.  To address this issue, several organizations have been created to support the growing biracial Korean population.

During the early 1960s, American novelist Pearl S. Buck visited Korea to write The Living Reed.  Buck coined the term “Amerasian”, referring to Korean children fathered by American servicemen during the Korean War.  In 1965, she established the Opportunity Center and Orphanage in Bucheon City (formerly Sosa), South Korea to serve Amerasian ChildrenOffices were subsequently opened in Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.  In the United States, she founded a child sponsorship organization, Pearl S. Buck Foundation (now called Pearl S. Buck International), to address poverty and discrimination faced by children in Asian countries.  She endeavored greatly to raise the awareness of children in Korea who are ethnically mixed and undergo hardships because of the circumstances of their birth and their lives.  Throughout her lifetime, Buck dedicated her energy and resources in order to combat the injustice of social discrimination and prejudice suffered by mixed race children.

MACK (맥) was founded as the Mission for Amerasian Children of Korea in September 1995 in Chicago, IL.  The organization is dedicated to a better understanding of children born to dual cultural parentage and the cultural barrier affecting them, their families, and their communities in Korea and throughout the world, as well as to heighten compassion and understanding by all towards the plight of Amerasians.  In order to meet the needs of a new and growing generation of multiethnic Koreans both abroad and in South Korea, MACK now stands for the Movement for the Advancement of Cultural-diversity of Koreans.

In 2006, American football player Hines Ward created the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation.  The foundation is dedicated to helping mixed race children like himself in South Korea, where they have suffered discrimination.  His Helping Hands U.S. Foundation focuses on improving literacy among children and will provide programs and services to better equip them for achieving and handling success in life.  Abroad, his Helping Hands Korea Foundation (formed as a tribute to his mother, Kim Young-hee) has targeted biracial discrimination, especially as it occurs among the children of Korea.  Ward has spoken out against South Korea’s discriminatory practices and pledged his time and allegiance to the biracial children there.  He plans to continue to help make life easier for the mixed race kids in South Korea.  “I will make the struggle to end biracial discrimination my chief cause, for which I will devote my time and resources, both in the United States and Korea,” said Ward.  Ward is known in Korea as the Ambassador for biracial children and hopes to make this his legacy both at home and abroad.

Blasian to Star in Nick At Nite Pilot

Nick At Nite has announced a new show called Instant Mom.  The show will star Tia Mowry and is about a 25-year-old party girl who marries an older man with kids and becomes an “instant mom”.  Sydney Park has been cast as the eldest child and only daughter, Gabrielle (Gabby).
Syd & mom, Kelly

Sydney was born in Philadelphia, PA on October 31, 1997 to a Korean American father and African American mother.  At the age of 6, using the moniker “Syd the Kid”, she became the youngest person ever to perform stand up comedy at the world famous Hollywood Improv.  She has also displayed her comedic talents on “America’s Got Talent” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.  As an actress, she has appeared in “That’s So Raven” and “CSI: NY”.  In 2011, she starred in her one-girl show “Young, Gifted, Half Black” at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade at the age of 13.

Instant Mom will premiere on Sunday, September 29, 2013.  Check it out at Nick Mom TV.  

Monday, September 2, 2013