The MEDIA ACTION NETWORK FOR ASIAN AMERICANS (MANAA) is the first organization
solely dedicated to monitoring all facets of the media – television,
motion pictures, print, advertising, radio, etc. – and advocating
balanced, sensitive and positive portrayals of Asian Americans.
The all-volunteer, non-profit group was formed in April of 1992 to address
the negative stereotypes long perpetuated by the media which detrimentally
affects all Asian Americans, hurting not only their self image, but how
non-Asians treat them.
MANAA operates a 24-hour hotline (213) 486-4433 and (888) 90-MANAA which enables the community
to report incidents worthy of criticism or praise. The group then checks
out the item and, if appropriate, contacts the sources responsible, trying
to educate them and prevent such offense from happening again.
· In July 1993, after months of fruitless behind-the-scenes negotiations
with 20th Century Fox, MANAA launched the first nationwide campaign by
Asian Americans against a film, “Rising Sun,” since 1985’s
campaign on “Year of the Dragon.” The year-old organization
coordinated educational protests in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis,
Seattle, San Francisco and other cities.
· MANAA’s concern over Warner Brothers’ radically divisive
film, “Falling Down” (1993), led director Joel Schumacher
to produce a public service announcement film trailer promoting the need
for people of all races to understand each other.
· In 1994, MANAA met with Marc Platt, President of Tristar Pictures,
over another insensitive depiction of Korean American grocers in “It
Could Happen to You.”
· In 1995, after a year and a half battle and after targeting the
station’s advertisers, MANAA got KKBT FM’s morning show, “The
House Party,” to stop its practice of imitating well-known Asian
Americans with fake accents.
· In 1997, the organization also got Los Angeles radio station
Power 106-FM to agree to the same policy within a month’s time.
That same year MANAA met with the Executive Vice President and head of
casting at CBS Television to discuss the network’s dismal handling
of Asian American regulars on their programs (this was a follow-up to
1996’s talks with the President).
· In 2003, MANAA organized a protest against “Banzai”
aired by Fox. MANAA, along with activists across the country, successfully
persuaded advertisers from pulling their ads. The show was soon removed
from the network.
· In 2004, MANAA, in conjunction with other API organizations,
met with the Editor-In-Chief of Details magazine regarding an article
titled “Gay or Asian.”