Client: Ke Huy Quan – Talent
President Biden welcomed around 200 guests to the White House, including Academy Award-winning actor Ke Huy Quan, on Monday in celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
The event included a special screening of the upcoming television series “American Born Chinese,” which stars Quan.
“When I think about this story, I think about the courage it took for so many of you and your ancestors to start the journey in America and to continue traditions; the Native Hawaiians who have engaged in that process for centuries; to adopt the old traditions and new and tell the ongoing story of America, stories of possibility,” Biden told viewers in the East Room of the White House.
“It’s important to remind our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren, to show the country all of our stories,” Biden added. “I am determined to remind everyone … that our strength lies in our diversity.”
Joining Biden and Quan on Monday was Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, Department of Labor acting Secretary Julie Su, Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai; Reps. Al Green (D-Texas) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.), advocates and other members of the series’s cast and production team.
“American Born Chinese” is based on the graphic novel series of the same name. The story revolves around an immigrant family with an American son who becomes involved in a battle between Chinese gods.
The series, Biden said Monday, is about a family “finding their way, forging their own path and dealing with all the highs and lows of that difficult journey. It’s about the blending of cultures, influences and values into a new American identity.”
For Quan, who plays the character Freddy Wong, it was an emotional evening.
Quan rose to fame playing Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and Data in “The Goonies.” But he took a hiatus from acting in part due to the lack of roles for Asian actors.
This year, Quan made history at the Screen Actors Guild Awards when he became the first actor of Asian descent to win outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for his part in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”
Quan shared that he had spent recent days reflecting on his arrival to America as a refugee from Vietnam when he was just 8 years old.
“The day I arrived in America was one of the happiest days of my life because that was the day I reunited with my family and America became my home,” said Quan. “So it is with profound humility and gratitude that I stand before you tonight.”
Quan said he teared up as he entered the White House on Monday night.
“I do not take this moment lightly, because I know this building is a monument to a country that opened its arms to me once upon a time,” he said.
“American Born Chinese” will be released later this month.