Natalie Tran’s WMAF Documentary — Hot Takes from the Plan A Team

Dispatches from the Plan A slack chat on Nat Tran's hard hitting doc.

3 years ago

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by Plan A Editors

Natalie Tran dropped her long awaited mini-documentary on the most divisive topic in Asian American discourse. The following are unscripted reactions to Natalie Tran’s doc, straight from the Plan A team’s slack chat.

A lot of the comments were focused on the diverse cast of interviewees:

Both JT and Katie were great at putting the emasculation of Asian men and dating inequality out front and center… while being classy in the way they presented it.
 — Filip
Katie asks her female clients: “What if I found someone who had all these qualities, but they were not caucasian, what would you do?” They respond: “Oh gosh, I never thought you could find that.” What is that? They literally can’t imagine a non-white man could make them happy.
 — Jong
I’ll bet that matchmaker hears the most bizarre shit. I like how she talks about how attraction works in real life and how she steers people away from seeking partners based on race and stereotypes.
 — Eliza Romero
The hapa indonesian friend was great though, because she was completely honest. She tells a powerful story of how she faced racism when she was with her indonesian BF, compared to her experiences with her white one. So refreshing.
 — Oxford

We had a lot to say about Professor Park’s part, with differing opinions:

I don’t like the way she began by framing this as AM being possessive. Orientalist overtones.
 — Oxford
The fact that she said she dated only white men until she “awakened” is not something you often hear. Ever.
 — Five Alive
Double-consciousness applies here. I’m always interested in what older Asian-American women have to say about Asianness.
 — Christina
It was cool to hear real talk between prof Park and Nat Tran about their own perspectives on dating dynamics (mail order brides, age differential, judging other asian women, etc.) as actual Asian women.
 — Filip
I was tempted to fast forward past Dr. Jane Park but I’m glad I stuck with it.
 — Eliza Romero
She’s refreshingly upfront about how bad AM have experienced things and why. Things get less real when she starts talking about her own experiences. Says she’s a multicultural dater, but then talks about dating mostly white due to her being in a mostly white environment… We know the whole environment thing is a factor, but certainly not the end of the story.
 — Jong

The whole crew expressed surprised (and maybe delight?) at the appearance of the enigmatic EurasianTiger:

EurasianTiger was the best in the video so far. Impressed.
 — Mark
I was really surprised when I heard Eurasian Tiger’s interview. I was dreading it but he came across as completely rational and open-minded. So different from how he is portrayed by others online.
 — Eliza Romero
He presented his position well. I was surprised to hear that his dad and him were neo-nazis. Didn’t know that.
 — Jong
Really surprised he was included. Stumbled across his page when I was looking up abortion rates for Asian women for a column and don’t think I was ever the same again. I got angry for him, angry with him, and angry at him.
 — Christina
I really think EurasianTiger knocked it out, he was excellent. ‘Cuz while his POV is just touched on, he cleared out SO much space for further conversation. He cleared out like an entire forest for Asian guys to speak.
 — Five Alive

And some felt like it could have gone into more depth:

She does understand, but it’s all stuff I’ve heard before. Wasn’t breaking new ground.
 — Mark
This is a great starting point, honestly.
 — Five Alive

But overall, everyone was positive on Natalie’s message:

One of the most sensitive, informative and well produced videos I’ve ever seen about such a hot button topic in the Asian community. …You can tell that a lot of these people have been thinking about this for years before Natalie interviewed them.
 — Eliza Romero
This video is called White Male Asian Female, but it was really about Asian men it felt like.
 — Jong
As someone who has always noticed these relationships but never really thought about why they exist or what tensions they might create or exemplify, I thought the video did a great job at presenting many different perspectives and showing how complex the issue is, and opening the door for people who are distanced from the communities in which these questions originated to begin thinking about their place in the discussion.
 — Oriana
I don’t know what else to say, but seriously — props to Natalie for putting Asian men’s viewpoints like that out there. It was actually a really, really freaking good video.
 — Five Alive
The fact that what was said in the video could be genuinely surprising to an Asian woman speaks volumes. Men and women in our community don’t communicate with one another. I think part of why it was so great was Natalie really tried to bring out the best of everyone’s point of view. It felt agenda-less.
 — Christina
Props to Nat. She’s gone a long way to showing she’s a genuine actor in this debate.
 — Mark
Jesus it’s 40 minutes? Yeah I’ll watch this later, my first final is Wednesday lol
 — Q

You can check out the documentary here:


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Published 3 years ago