HomeKorean AmericanPetition calls for boycott of Justin Chon's Blue Bayou

Petition calls for boycott of Justin Chon’s Blue Bayou

Members of the adoption community are pushing back against Justin Chon’s latest film, Blue Bayou.

A petition launched on Change.org calls for filmgoers to boycott the film after deported Korean adoptee Adam Crasper alleged Chon used his story without authorization.

As AsAmNews has previously reported, ICE deported Crasper back to South Korea after he had lived in the U.S. for nearly four decades. His adoptive parents who he says abused him never filed citizenship papers for him.

He spent his teen years homeless and was convicted on assault and weapons charges and eventually deported.

“Justin Chon shamefully exploited Adam Crapser by basing a script on his story without securing the rights to it (nor did Chon involve or crediting Crapser in the production of the film that followed),” the petition states.

RELATED: Review: Korean adoptee a forever foreigner in Blue Bayou

As Jenn Fang first reported in her blog Reappropriate, Crasper expressed his dismay about the film on social media.

“Justin and his team have shown a disregard for the real people who lives he seeks to misappropriate. To my knowledge, Justin has not spoken to any deported Korean adoptee,” Crasper said in his statement.

Adam Crasper via Facebook

Crasper said Chon reached out to him once about a possible film, but Crasper instead referred him to Daniel Dae Kim who had also expressed interest in telling his story.

He says that was the last he heard about the film until one of Chon’s producers in 2020 called to ask for a photo of him with his adoptive parents and to use his likeness in the film.

“Anyone who has done even five minutes of homework would know that my adoptive parents were charged with rape, sexual abuse and child abuse,” Crasper said.

His concerns have caught the attention of the adoptive community.

“Chon could have de-centered himself and cast an adoptee in the leading role,” said Korean American adoptee Stephanie Drenka of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation to Digital Spy. “The Blue Bayou marketing and public relations team should have used their resources and platform to amplify a call-to-action about supporting the Adoptee Citizenship Act.”

If the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 passes, all adopted children regardless of age will be U.S. citizens. Currently, it’s being considered in a subcommittee.

Chon has so far not responded to the controversy, but his production team referred to social media posts by adoptees who applaud the film for sharing their stories, according to Fang.

“I’m a real person. I am not a Hollywood made for profit,” Crasper said. “People who have experienced difficult things deserve the dignity to tell their story.”

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the article. Couple considerations. Justin did respond on Tuesday. He denied basing the film entirely on Crapser and repeated a (false) talking point that he first heard of this issue from his Korean adoptee friends. This is completely contrary to the FB messages since published by Crapser. Also, 5 years ago when he allegedly first heard of this issue, Crapser was the only known Korean adoptee undergoing deportation proceedings. Justin disingenuously claimed he didn’t respond to Crapser’s offer to help because he was “locked out of his Facebook”. Please also look at Adoptees for Justice’s statement. This was a group used in the film’s marketing to give false cover that Justin somehow did this in or with support of the impacted community. Please check out the sources cited on the Wikipedia page. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Bayou_(film)

  2. Why do you say Adam “claims” his parents abused him, but when speaking of Adam, you say he was “convicted”? It’s a matter of public record that his parents were both criminally indicted and then convicted of abuse against their adopted children. While subtle, this difference in language shows the bias and slant of your coverage of this important issue in favor of Justin. Too bad. Adoptees have frequently been the butt of jokes of the AAPI community–see season 1, episode 5 of Ugly Delicious for a prime example.

  3. Have you seen Adam’s primary source records when you used the word convicted for him!? The New York Times reported the indictment and conviction of his parents, if you trust their cite checking?

  4. I’d be careful about posting Wikipedia because this is what was on there today: Adoptees for Justice, which Chon purportedly consulted when making the film, refused to endorse it, calling it “disrespectful,” “exploitative,” and “clearly based on the life of Korean American adoptee Adam Crapser, who did not give the filmmaker his consent or the rights to his story.” The film, however, does not include references to Adam’s criminal history of domestic abuse (including his 2015 conviction for domestic violence and strangulation against his ex-wife, Anh Nguyen), and his previous arrest for a sex crime against a minor.[26]

  5. Regarding the issue of abuse…according to this article (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/adoptee-deported-u-s-sue-south-korea-adoption-agency-n961776), there was a Michigan couple whom Crapser claims was abusive, BUT it was after that unnamed couple abandoned Adam and his sister, that they ended up with Thomas and Dolly Crapser. Now, the second couple was arrested and convicted, but the article doesn’t specify if this abuse was upon Adam.

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