Steve Park (comedian)

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Steve Park
Born Stephen Park
Vestal, New York, U.S.[1]
Nationality American
Ethnicity Korean[1]
Occupation
  • Comedian
  • actor
  • voice actor
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Kelly Coffield Park (m. 1991)
Children 2

Stephen "Steve" Park[1] is an American actor. The son of Korean immigrants, Park originally began his entertainment career as a stand-up comedian before transitioning into acting. He is best known for being a cast member of the sketch comedy television series In Living Color during the 1991–1992 season. He is also known for the film roles of Mike Yanagita in Fargo (1996), Sonny in Do the Right Thing (1989), and Detective Brian in Falling Down (1993).

"[T]he 1st AD (assistant director), in a short tirade, called an Asian-American actor to the set over a walkie-talkie with the words, 'I don't have time for this! Where's Hoshi, Toshi or whatever the f--k his name is. Get the oriental guy!' He did not even have the respect to learn the name of the actor, a veteran of 40 years."

—Steve Park, recounting his experience on the set of Friends[2]

In 1997, Park wrote a mission statement in which he called for Hollywood to portray people of Asian descent in a less negative light. He wrote the statement after witnessing a racist incident while appearing in a guest role on the television series Friends.[2]

In his statement, Park notes that "[i]n movies and television, Asian characters, mostly men, are subjected to indignity and/or violence or are tokenized, while Asian women are exploited as objects of sexual desire. You rarely see Asian characters in leading roles that contain any significant power or influence".[2] Park also describes the negative impact that racial stereotypes in the media have on American society, and ultimately urges for peace and love among people of different races.[2]

Further acting work by Park includes the role of Mike Sorayama in the Adult Swim animated television series The Venture Bros. (2003–present) and the role of Judge Pete in the critically acclaimed independent film Rocket Science (2007).[3] Park has acted in two Coen brothers films: Fargo (1996) and A Serious Man (2009).[4]

Park married Kelly Coffield Pecora, another former cast member of In Living Color, in 1991.[1] They have a son, Owen, and a daughter, Eliza.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Williams, Stephen (June 5, 2009). "'In Living Color,' the Sequel". The New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Asian American Empowerment - Steve Park's Mission Statement
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (August 10, 2007). "A Boy Rendered Speechless by Life". The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2016. 
  4. ^ Emerson, Jim (April 25, 2011). "Steve Park: A funny man, serious and significant". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 

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