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A limited scripted series about the murder of Vincent Chin 39 years ago will be developed and produced with the support of Chin’s relatives and Helen Zia, an activist involved with his case. The series was announced days after a podcast dramatizing Chin’s murder was removed after his family complained that it was not involved in its production.
The media company Participant announced that it will produce the series through an exclusive agreement with the Chin estate and Zia, who is a spokesperson for the Justice for Vincent Chin Campaign. The series will be the only one authorized to tell the story of Chin, a Chinese American engineer who was beaten to death in Detroit in 1982 by two autoworkers who blamed Japanese car manufacturers for stealing their jobs. His death sparked outrage among Asian Americans and brought the community together to fight for civil rights.
Zia, along with producers Vicangelo Bulluck and Paula Madison, will be part of the creative team, as will Donald Young, director of programs for the Center for Asian American Media. They first announced that they would be working on the project in December.
“Vincent Chin, his legacy, and the communities that came together to fight for justice have been a part of my life for nearly 39 years. In today’s climate of hate towards our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, this story shows how many diverse people in America came together in solidarity, to stand together for the full humanity of all,” Zia said in a statement to NBC Asian America.
The project will “reveal the definitive account of a civil rights movement that matters today more than ever, when a community discovered its voice,” according to a news release.
“Hold Still, Vincent,” a six-episode podcast dramatizing Chin's murder, was taken down after it was revealed that producers had not consulted Chin’s estate or Zia. The podcast included “Crazy Rich Asians” actor Gemma Chan as a producer, and starred Kelly Marie Tran (“Raya and the Last Dragon”), Remy Hii (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Rosalind Chao (“The Joy Luck Club”) and David Harbour (“Stranger Things”).
A-Major Media, a film and television production company, released an apology to Chin's estate and Zia on May 29.
“On behalf of the producers, we profoundly apologize to Helen Zia and the Vincent Chin Estate for our oversight during the making of ‘Hold Still, Vincent,’” the company said in an Instagram post. “We are deeply sorry to all the generous partners who came together to donate their time and bear no responsibility for our mistake.”
In a joint statement, Young, Madison and Bulluck acknowledged their role in sharing Chin’s story.
“We understand the responsibility in making sure that this story is culturally and historically accurate, and respects Vincent Chin’s legacy,” they said. “We could not have better partners than the team at Participant to tell this compelling civil rights story about the Asian American community and their ongoing fight for social justice.”