Legendary film critic Roger Ebert who together with Gene Siskel made the thumbs up and thumbs down synonymous with movie reviews died today at the age of 70.
Ebert battled cancer for several years and ended up losing his jaw and speaking voice to the disease, according to the Los Angeles Times
The Pulitzer Prize winning critic will be remembered in the Asian American community for standing up for Justin Lin’s movie, Better Luck Tomorrow.
The incident happened in 2002 at the Sundance Film Festival and is recounted on the website AsianNation.
“This [white] guy stood up and starting screaming, ‘How could you do this to the Asian American community? How could you portray these characters so badly, because it’s such a great community?”‘ Lin recalls in AsianNation. “It started off this frenzy where people stood up saying ‘What are you talking about?’
Ebert then stood up and screamed “What I find offensive and condescending about your statement is nobody would say to a bunch of white filmmakers, ‘How could you do this to your people?’ This film has the right to be about these people, and Asian American characters have the right to be whoever they want to be. They do not have to ‘represent’ their people.”
You can see the whole incident here on You Tube