One in all eight TV creatives chosen for the NBC TV Writers Program, William Yu was taking a break from his craft on the time of this interview. “With the [Writers Guild of America] strike now upon us, I’m in full help of them,” the Korean American screenwriter stated. “I’m pencils down on any writing work.” His beforehand accomplished venture “GOOD BOY” ( was workshopped on the Sundance Episodic Lab. And sooner or later, he’ll resume work “on a function romantic comedy that’s arrange with Electrical Someplace, the manufacturing firm of ‘Loopy Wealthy Asians’ director Jon M. Chu, and growing an animated half-hour sequence with Rooster Enamel and Faith Of Sports activities.” Based mostly out of Los Angeles’ Koreatown, Yu posts common updates of his work on Instagram and Twitter (@its_willyu).

Q: How has dwelling somewhere else impacted your view of the world?

A: I’m fortunate to have household roots that stretch across the globe. I used to be born in Philadelphia, moved to Hong Kong once I was 5, then to Boston, after which to New York, earlier than popping out right here to Los Angeles. My older sister at present lives in London. Whereas we nonetheless have household in Seoul, the place my mother and father had been born, my mom went to highschool in Taiwan, whereas my father spent adolescence in Jamaica, earlier than the 2 ended up in America for school and past. Transferring round a lot, I gained empathy for seeing how large the world is. And the way there’s a lot vary and nuance to all of our upbringings, whereas additionally realizing that there are such a lot of elementary values that join us. This angle made me a curious individual, which drives me to dig deep at any time when I’m growing new tales and characters.

Q: What was the impetus on your #StarringJohnCho social media marketing campaign, which featured the “Harold & Kumar” actor depicted because the main man?

A: It began in 2016, when just a few issues occurred – a number of whitewashed films (“Physician Unusual,” “Aloha,” “Ghost Within the Shell”) had been introduced. I had seen studies from USC Annenberg and the UCLA Bunche Middle that had revealed knowledge that confirmed that movies with extra numerous casts are higher returns on funding than non-diverse movies. And I had grown actually, actually uninterested in having conversations about Asian illustration that ended with well-intentioned of us saying that they couldn’t [imagine] a bonafide Hollywood film with an Asian lead. So, armed with just a little design data, I made a decision to point out them. I Photoshopped hit film posters, swapped out each Hollywood Chris with an Asian John, and shared them on Twitter with the hashtag #StarringJohnCho. Seems, an Asian “Captain America” really seems fairly regular and the world agreed! Earlier than I knew it, a viral dialog had been sparked and CNN, BBC, even the New York Instances had been overlaying the motion.

Q: Do you converse any international languages? And in the identical prepare of thought, do you decide up new languages simply?

A: Though I’m Korean American, Mandarin is definitely my second language. I first studied it when dwelling in Hong Kong after which took courses for it throughout school, as a result of my faculty didn’t provide Korean. I’ve additionally bought my highschool Spanish and a few dim sum Cantonese. As a result of I used to be by no means formally taught Korean, it’s my worst language, however I’m engaged on it. I simply hit my 115 day streak on Duolingo! Small steps.

Q: What are your 5 favourite cities?

A: Copenhagen. Hong Kong. Amsterdam. Seoul. New York.

Q: The place would you wish to go that you’ve by no means been to earlier than?

A: Berlin has been on the high of the checklist for some time now! I’ve additionally needed to discover Singapore as an grownup. The one time I’ve visited was as a child.

Q: What sort of analysis do you do earlier than you go away on a visit?

A: I’m a large planner once I journey. I’ll normally plan my day round meals, landmarks I wish to go to, or museums, design shops and cafes that I’d like to take a look at. Earlier than any large journey, I create a customized Google Map the place I’m capable of catalog my want checklist of locations. Then I’ll begin breaking apart the times I’m visiting by grouping locations which are in the identical or close by neighborhoods. What I’ve realized over time is that whereas I really like overlaying all my planning bases, I’ve to present myself the grace to know that issues in all probability gained’t all the time go the way in which I count on. Which is why I additionally ensure to throw in some backup, contingency spots in case issues go awry.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Instances bestselling creator and journey author. You may reply to this column by visiting her web site at You may additionally comply with “Go Away With…” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae the place Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and feedback.)

©2023 Jae-Ha Kim. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.


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