Asian American Gossip Folks

January 27, 2011

The New York Times recently profiled "nice guy" blogger Jared Eng, creator of snark-free celebrity gossip site JustJared which will purportedly pull in seven-figures in profits this year. Eng, one of five boys in a Chinese American family straight outta Queens, is a Columbia grad who decided that pop culture was more fulfilling to him than the job he was led to via his computer science background. Amen, Jared! Can you explain that to my family please? C'mon, it'll take just five minutes on the phone. Jared?


The profile hints at a rivalry between Eng and Perez Hilton, the notoriously cutting gossip blogger with a penchant for drawing MS Paint penises atop celeb photos. But in recent visits to, one would see that he's taken a decidedly tamer, more civil approach to his posts. Perhaps, Eng's nice guy strategy is a more long-tail approach to maintaining profits and relevancy on a celeb-flooded Interwebs market.

That said...

I love me some good snark. And luckily there are two other bloggers of Asian descent that supply with me with my fix.

Michael K -- of Mexican, Chinese, English, and Danish descent -- is a New York City-based blogger who runs DListed, the most gloriously off-color and unapologetic gossip blog around, in my humble opinion. His frequent references to his ethnic background (particularly his cranky abuelita) and his sexual orientation make you visit his site more for him than the celebrities he profiles (and ridicules, lovingly).

Elaine "Lainey" Lui is a Chinese Canadian blogger who runs, and perhaps it is her nationality which keeps me returning to her site which includes frequent updates of her fellow countryman Ryan Gosling.

But the site isn't merely eye candy for the celeb-obsessed. Lui holds no punches in her analysis of the celebrity image. Her nicknames for Jessica Simpson ("Porny"), Carrie Underwood "Country Bitch") and Gwyneth Paltrow ("GOOPy"), while perceived by some as catty, are also (again, in my opinion) a hilarious indictment of starlet construction in popular culture.

So we've got some Asian (North) American heavy hitters in the celeb blogging game. When will Asian Americans actually be gossiped about? Check out some links below, which are what we'll have to settle for until paparazzi begin paying out the nose for pictures of Daniel Dae Kim buying toilet paper at Costco.

Padma Lakshmi may begin custody battle with father of her baby. Someone needs to pack their knives and go.

Vanessa Hudgens replaces Britney Spears as the new face fo Candie's Shoes. Yes, they still make Candie's Shoes.

Jamie Chung promotes her role in Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch on the cover of Complex magazine.

NPR features YouTube star Ryan Higa and the men of Wong Fu Productions.

Also on the public radio tip, NPR's post of Jake Shimabukuro's "Bohemian Rhapsody" cover is one of their most viewed.

Popeater calls this year's Oscar's the "whitest" in recent history. Very true, though, they forget to mention that Hailee Steinfeld (Best Supporting Actress nominee for True Grit) is of part-Filipino descent on her mom's side. We got one!

Tony Kanal, No Doubt bassist and the source of many lovelorn songs penned by Gwen Stefani, just had a baby girl.

M. Night Shyamalan, Dev Patel, and Rob Schneider are all nominated for Razzie Awards, celebrating the worst in cinema for the year.

Jim Carrey stepped out with new girlfriend, twenty-four-year old Anchal Joseph, formerly a contestant on America's Next Top Model, booted by Ms. Tyra for saying she was more interested in the business side of modeling than actually ... modeling.


Sylvie Kim

contributing editor & blogger

Sylvie Kim is a contributing editor at Hyphen. She previously served as Hyphen's blog coeditor with erin Khue Ninh, film editor, and blog columnist.

She writes about gender, race, class and privilege in pop culture and media (fun fun fun!) at and at SF Weekly's The Exhibitionist blog. Her work has also appeared on Racialicious and Salon.