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Participant’s limited series about Vincent Chin and the landmark civil rights case following his death has added Chloé Zhao as an executive producer.
The Oscar-winning director of Nomadland and The Eternals joins a producing team that also includes journalist and activist Helen Zia — the executor of the Chin estate — and Vicangelo Bulluck, Donald Young and Paula Madison.
“I was deeply moved by Helen’s personal connection to Vincent’s story as well as her incredibly insightful and nuanced perspective on this difficult yet inspiring story,” said Zhao. “I’m very honored to join the team and to embark on this journey together.”
Chin, a Chinese American draftsman for an auto parts supplier, was killed in 1982 by two white autoworkers amid a wave of anti-Asian sentiment in Detroit, where Japanese imports were blamed for declines and layoffs in the U.S. auto industry. His killers received light sentences, having to only pay fines and serve probation, which sparked outrage among Asian Americans and a federal civil rights trial. Zia helped lead the push for federal charges in the case.
“Chloé Zhao has the vision and sensitivity to unpack the complexities of racism, hate, violence and injustice,” said Zia. “We are eager for Chloé’s insights into the multilayered story of Vincent Chin, who was killed in Detroit as it faced economic collapse, where Asian immigrants were unwelcome yet struggled for legitimacy, where masculinity and homophobia added to the toxic brew of communities in conflict — and where people came together to fight for the humanity of Vincent and all people. We can’t overstate how enthused we are that Chloé Zhao has joined our project.”
Added Participant CEO David Linde, “Chloé is an incredible filmmaker and we are so fortunate that she will be lending her talents to this project. We could not have asked for a better creative team to tell Vincent’s story and honor his legacy in an impactful way.”
Zia, Bulluck, Madison and Young announced in December 2020 that they were developing a series project based on Chin’s murder and the civil rights case. The project doesn’t have an outlet attached to it yet.
A QCODE podcast about the case, Hold Still, Vincent, was announced in April of this year with a voice cast including Gemma Chan, Kelly Marie Tran, David Harbour and Dane DeHaan. Following its release in late May, Zia and Annie Tan, a cousin of Chin’s, said they had never been contacted by producers — who include Chan, A-Major Media and M88 — which led to the podcast being pulled down.
Deadline first reported the news.
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