The Irvin Paik papers include correspondence, article typescripts, subject files, scripts, photographs, news clippings, slides,
and audiotapes created by television and film editor Irvin Paik during a period (early 1970s) when he was actively involved
in several organizations (East-West Players, Brotherhood of Artists, Japanese American Citizens League, Asian Americans for
Fair Media) centered around the effort to more fairly and accurately represent Asians in the media, to expand the opportunities
open to them in the movie and television industries. Paik also conducted research for several related projects.
There was a broad-based effort during the 1960s-1970s to build the foundations of a multi-ethnic society in which mutual respect
between people of differing cultural backgrounds could meet on a level field and thereby be accorded more equal access to
opportunities of all sorts. In this effort, the importance of the images put forward of Asians and Asian Americans in the
mainstream media was recognized and found to be characterized by stereotypical appearances, demeanors, accents and social
roles.Irvin Paik was born in Bakersfield in 1940, the youngest of six children--and the only son--of Meung Sun Paik and Rose Park,
both of whom came from large immigrant families. The Paiks and Parks were both farming families, in Oregon, Idaho, Utah and
California. Irvin was born as his parents were in the process of moving to Los Angeles, which by then had the largest concentration
of Koreans in North America. Growing up in postwar Los Angeles, in the midst of a close community and with almost twenty uncles
and aunts and dozens of cousins, Irvin had open to him a greater range of opportunities than had most Koreans prior to World
War II. In high school, he became interested in drama and photography, and continued to pursue those interests at UCLA. In
his effort to foster an acting career, Paik confronted the problems of Asian stereotypes and limited opportunities for Asian
American actors. He joined several organizations (East West Players, Brotherhood of Artists, Japanese American Citizens League,
etc.) and became an active advocate, as reflected in this collection.
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