Academy Award Winning Director Chloe zhao will executive produce the upcoming Participant limited series inspired by the tragic murder of Vincent Chin. Chin was murdered in his childhood hometown of Highland Park, Michigan, in 1982 by two disgruntled auto workers who were frustrated with Japan’s growing dominance in the auto industry at the time (even though Chin himself was of descent China). Chin’s death is one of the most important events in modern Asian American history, and it literally serves as one of the textbook cases of anti-Asian violence within the United States.
Deadline reports that Participant has hired Zhao to produce its limited series based on the infamous incident, which was first announced to be in development late last year. Helen Zia, executor of Chin’s estate and a member of the series’ creative team, praises Zhao and says the director “He has the vision and the sensitivity to unravel the complexities of racism, hatred, violence and injustice.” A release window has yet to be confirmed at the time of this writing.
Although nearly four decades have passed since Chin’s murder, the case sadly remains relevant today. Social movements like Stop Asian Hate gained momentum over the past year in response to the rise in hate crimes committed against Asians and Asian Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. TV shows and movies may not always directly influence social change, but they can certainly play an important role in educating audiences while humanizing distant historical figures. Chloe zhao He has one of the most distinctive voices in Hollywood today; Hopefully his talents will give the limited series a sense of authenticity that will honor Vincent Chin’s legacy.
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