A new AAPI multimedia platform, JoySauce, has been launched by serial entrepreneur Jonathan Sposato that is aimed towards the ‘American Asian’ audience and its allies.
“Starting JoySauce is, in many ways, the culmination of everything I’ve done to date in media, publishing and tech entrepreneurship,” said Sposato, acting Editor-in-Chief. “Growing up as a Korean Chinese American, I hardly ever saw anyone who looked like me on TV or in movies, and when I did, they were always the bad guy or the sidekick. It’s high time we centered stories on American Asians as the default and create a parallel universe where portrayals of the Asian diaspora are positive and flattering and beautiful and funny and strong and cool. All day and every day.”
Note this linguistic change: saying American Asian instead of the commonly-used Asian American is a Sposato and JoySauce’s way of shifting the “center of gravity” while also recognizing individuals make their own choices as to “how the pieces of [their] identities fit together.”
Sposato has hired Frankie Huang as Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Chelsea Lin as Managing Editor, who will publish new articles daily ranging from listicles to profiles, film reviews, and personal essays from new voices and industry veterans.
“At a time of hypervisibility for Asians in America, with both incredible highs and heartbreaking lows, JoySauce is where the full breadth of our vibrant, complicated, imperfect humanity can take up space unapologetically. I am excited to do our part in decolonizing the media and telling our stories the way they deserve to be told,” said Huang.
Industry veteran Ben Press joins the team as chief development officer, taking his experiences as a talent agent, producer, and entertainment tech executive to oversee brand partnership strategy, talent relations, and intellectual property acquisitions.
“It’s such an honor and exhilarating ride being tapped by Jonathan to harness my 30 years in entertainment to collaborate with him in architecting and bringing to fruition his vision for JoySauce: the premiere online destination for art, entertainment, news, commentary and more for the vast APPI demographic and its allies,” said Press.
Sposato is also in the process of forming an advisory board focused on
To expand JoySauce’s influence directly in the Asian diaspora communities, Sposato is forming an advisory focused on this effort, and community leader/activist/TV host/publicist Nancy Yoon has joined as their first distinguished advisor.
“This is such an incredible honor and opportunity to work with the entire highly creative and talented JoySauce team from the beginning in helping to ‘spread the joy,'” said Yoon. “We share an immense like-minded passion for telling OUR authentic AAPI stories in a bold new, provocative yet positive way. There is nothing like this out there for our community and I’m excited to see this new multimedia platform help shine light and voice to our vibrant, diverse and growing community. The exciting content, the talented team and the perfect timing is just right and I can’t wait to watch it grow!”
With this launch, comes a slate of programming that celebrates American Asian talent, both new faces as well familiar ones. Content offerings will include unscripted and scripted streaming shows, licensed movies from directors and writers of Asian descent, stand-up comedy specials from the up-and-coming, documentaries, and more in the classic weekly episode format.
Original series include:
#TeamTan – In this JoySauce original event series, we watch Samantha Tan, a 22-year-old Asian Canadian racing star rising through the ranks of professional race car driving at warp speed. Follow her journey as she navigates the 2020 race season amidst a global pandemic.
6 episodes, 12 minutes each – new episodes every other Tuesday
American Icon – An original series with various living American Asian icons, where Sposato sits down first with actor George Takei, for an interview that’s pure irreverent fun.
#VeryAsian with Michelle Li – We sit down with friend, prominent social movement catalyst, and Korean American newscaster Michelle Li, for a bite-sized JoySauce series on relevant Asian American issues like transracial adoption, reclaiming Asian names, and taking up liminal space.
6 episodes, 3 minutes each – new episodes last Thursday of the month
Travels with Malika – A travel show from travel expert Malika Lim Eubank that chronicles the cross-country journey of her and her small team, as they take to the road in a makeshift live-streaming RV to visit people and places on the edge of transition and to explore what it means to be American.
24 episodes, 20 minutes each – new episodes on Wednesdays
Mixed Six – In this JoySauce exclusive, six mixed heritage couples open up about their meet-cute moments, what it was like introducing their families, and the joys and complexities of growing up American and Asian.
3 episodes, 7 minutes each – new episodes first Monday of the month
Socially Distanced Stand-Up – During peak pandemic cabin fever, JoySauce pulled together a group of Asian American comedians for a riotously funny night of standup on Zoom.
6 episodes, 15 minutes each – new episodes on Mondays
Licensed, acquired, or non-original programming include:
Bound for Glory – An award-winning 36-minute pilot from first-time filmmaker John Wilcox and writer, actor, and producer Michael Naizu about finding cultural and professional identity in modern-day Hollywood. Though cell phone styles and fashion are noticeably outdated in the movie, everything else about it remains deeply relevant to today’s world.
A Leading Man – An episodic reconfiguration of director Steve J. Kung’s feature-length film, this series follows a handsome, talented, and ambitious Chinese American who is working to make his big break in Hollywood, while facing the challenge of how to exist as an actor of Asian heritage with his dignity intact.
Bulge Bracket – (Licensed) A series that takes you into the high-intensity world of mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs, starring recent B-school graduate Cathy Lee (Jessika Van, CBS’s Rush Hour) as she begins her career at a prestigious New York investment bank. Similar in tone to HBO’s Silicon Valley, this ensemble dramedy finds humor in high-stress situations at the office, as it explores the costs of climbing the corporate ladder.
6 episodes, 35 minutes each – new episodes every other Thursday
Currently, the network is in active development on new projects, including a late-night talk show hosted by Sposato, featuring top Asian diaspora talents; a cooking show focused on Korean cuisine with a top chef; and editorial meant to be a guide to arts and food in AAPI hubs all around the US.
In addition to the programming above, JoySauce will also publish to their website original editorial content by writers that represent the wide range of American Asian stories and identities by covering culturally relevant topics (think food, entertainment, lifestyle, etc.). There are also plans to grow podcasts around conversations with experts and AAPI thought leaders on a number of different topics such as entrepreneurship and relationships.
Bella’s Table – A JoySauce original video podcast from Intrepid Indian American business owner Bella Sangar, as she interviews bad-ass female business owners and thought leaders on what it means to belong.
5 episodes, 45 minutes each – new episodes every other Friday
Culturally Relevant Conversations – In this exclusive curated collection, prolific culture critic David Chen shares some of his favorite interviews with Asian heritage visionaries from all walks of life, originally published as part of his Culturally Relevant podcast.
10 episodes, 20 minutes each – new episodes on Mondays
Brown Boi Love – Partners Robinick Fernandez and Jeric Smith take listeners along for a steamy podcast that follows the couple’s search for their next shared lover. Giggle along as the duo discuss sex with friends, pleasure advice from Mom… no topic is off limits here.
3 episodes, 40 minutes each – new episodes on Thursdays
Until It Happened To Us
During the heart of the pandemic, one journalist found herself in the terrifying position of watching the virus course through her family. Episodes one and two happen in real time, mid-2020–episode three follows up in the present.
3 episodes, approx. 20 minutes each – released at launch
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