Asian Pacific stars descended at the historic Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday night (October 22) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of an equally remarkable organization,the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), a group working for equality and diversity in the industry.
Tia Carrere and Carrie Ann Inaba, both of whom were not popularly known to come from Filipino ancestry, obliquely represented Filipino American visibility in the affair.
Steve Yeun of the “The Walking Dead,”; Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim of “Hawaii Five-O” also came and walked the red carpet.
“CAPE is a wonderful organization. Back in the days when I was so young, I did a diversity workshop for ABC (TV). And I don’t know if you notice that I’m with the DWTS (Dancing With The Stars) which is one of ABC’s top shows. That connection that they provided for me back in the days has proved to be helpful in so many ways for me as I pursued my career,” Inaba told Weekend Balita/US Asian Post during the red carpet interview.
Inaba went on to commend CAPE for pursuing programs aimed at developing Asian American writers, explaining that “the more there are Asian American writers, the more characters we will see on the screen.”
Carrere, for her part, also commended CAPE’s steady growth and consistency.
“Check the roster and board members, the people that you’ll see donating tonight – because I’ll be going up there tonight to do the fundraising part. We have some heavy hitters in the organization. And I think that’s how we’re gonna get people who look like you and me on television and film,” Carrere added.
During the program, Wenda Fong, one of CAPE co-founders, recalled that the group’s first meeting happened in a Chinese restaurant in Beverly Hills.
Fong remembered that CAPE initially saw the problem of Asian Americans being invisible was worse then because Asian Americans were also invisible to each other. With the coming together of Asian Americans, Fong said the organization’s mission has evolved to “educate, connect, and empower people already in the industry but more importantly, the next generation.”
CAPE co-founders Filipino AmericanFritz Friedman, Chris Lee and Fong were given a standing ovation when they went up the stage.
After walking the red carpet, guests participated in a silent auction and were treated to Asian-inspired cocktails and food.
Fong, Inaba and Twitch COO Kevin Linall gave respective Ted-style talks during a modest program that also featured a brilliant magician named David Kwong.
A colossal selfie that included all the stars, CAPE officers, the staff and guests was done before the after-party begun.