MSNBC Hosts AAPI Documentary Screening

By A.J. Katz 

We’re in the midst of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month, and to mark the occasion, Comcast NBCUniversal, MSNBC, and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies hosted a special screening of MSNBC’s The Culture Is: AAPI Women Thursday evening at the Motion Picture Association in Washington.

Hosted by MSNBC weekend host Katie Phang, the documentary, which debuted in April, on MSNBC, is the third installment in MSNBC’s The Culture Is, a four-part series highlighting women from diverse communities.

For the special, Phang sat down with comedian and LGBTQIA+ activist Margaret Cho and has a round-table discussion with other AAPI women, including Huma Abedin, author, former chief of staff to Hillary Rodham Clinton and MSNBC contributor; Julia Cho, playwright, screenwriter, writer of Pixar’s Turning Red; Min Jin Lee, author, Pachinko and Free Food for Millionaires; Amanda Nguyen, founder & CEO, Rise; Anne Chow, lead director Franklin Covey and former president of AT&T Business; Chloe Dao, fashion designer, and entrepreneur; Mona Shaikh, stand-up comedian and producer; Chef Christine Ha, chef, restaurateur & author, and Chef Suu Khim, chef, and food blogger.


TVNewser spoke with Phang in March about the special, telling us, in part, “it was amazing highlighting and focusing on these women that are icons and trailblazers in the AAPI community.”

The event featured opening remarks from Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.,) as well as MSNBC president Rashida Jones and APAICS CEO Madalene Mielke. A panel moderated by Phang followed the screening and featured Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), along with the aforementioned Huma Abedin and Amanda Nguyen.

“I’ll never forget my first meeting with Rashida Jones, the first Black president of a cable news organization … and her commitment to diversity in front of the screen but also behind it,” Rep. Chu shared in opening remarks as she spoke to the origins of the evening’s event. “And I remember her saying, ‘there’s this upcoming documentary – maybe we can make something of this. Maybe we can do a showing. And that’s how this began!”

“I was watching the town hall yesterday … but it’s just a reminder of how high the stakes are and how close our elections are. And I think our community is awake,” said Abedin, in response to a question from Phang about AAPI political participation.

Spotted at the event:

  • Rashida Jones
  • Katie Phang
  •  Rep. Grace Meng
  •  Rep. Judy Chu
  •  Huma Abedin
  •  Madalene Mielke
  •  Amanda Nguyen
  • Richard Lui
  •  Jonathan Capehart
  •  Nick Schmit
  •  Phil Tahtakran
  •  Emma Carrasco
  •  Lorie Acio
  •  Diana Hwang
  •  Joon Kim
  •  Linda Shim
  •  Dan Koh
  •  Tejasi Thatte
  •  Namrata Mujumdar
  •  Catalina Tam
  •  Kris Schneider
  •  Opal Vadhan
  •  Annie Yu
  •  Naomi Zeigler
  •  Nadia Belkin