Daniel Dae Kim is bound and determined to see that veteran actor James Hong gets honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, going so far as to create a fundraiser and social media campaign calling for it to happen. Describing Hong as the "most prolific actor in Hollywood history," Kim's fundraiser is looking to raise $55,000 for the "creation and installation of the star" that will bear Hong's name. To help spread the word, Hong has also been tweeting the GoFundMe page with the hashtag #StarforJamesHong.
"This man epitomizes the term 'working actor,' and that's not even taking into account all he's done to help further representation for actors of color," the GoFundMe page reads. "Not only was he one of the few who worked steadily when there were even fewer roles than there are now, but he also served the Asian American community by co-creating the legendary East West Players theater company with fellow pioneers like Mako and Nobu McCarthy, just to name a few."
Of Hong, Daniel Dae Kim also says, "Let's show this man the respect and love his career has merited by getting him a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame! We all know what an important part of Hollywood lore the Walk of Fame has been over the years. Tourists from around the world flock to these star-studded blocks stretching across Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. If you're reading this you probably agree that James deserves to be among them."
As noted on the GoFundMe page, Hong's incredible career includes nearly 700 acting credits. His work spans across many mediums, including hundreds of roles in television shows, movies, short films, and even video games. His career has also spanned over seven decades and counting, with Hong making his debut in the early 1950's. Some of his most well-known roles include playing Hannibal Chew in Blade Runner, David Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China, Jeff Wong in Wayne's World 2, and Chi-Fu in Mulan. He also voices Mr. Ping in the Kung Fu Panda franchise and has multiple upcoming projects in the works as well.
Hollywood Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez has responded to the campaign. She notes that while they're happy to consider Hong if he applies "in writing" before the May 29 deadline, they cannot endorse any petition or GoFundMe campaign. "We don't endorse GoFundMe petitions because what happens with the funds if the person is not selected? They should have a back-up plan in case that happens," Martinez says. "Otherwise, there will be many angry donors wondering where the money they sent will go to. The Walk of Fame stars are sponsored by the nominators and the stars cannot be purchased, which is what the group may be thinking by setting up this petition."
In any case, news of the fundraiser is gaining some traction throughout social media as well. In addition to Kim's social media push, Ken Jeong also tweeted the fundraiser to help raise awareness. There's no doubt that Hong is incredibly deserving of the honor, so if money's the issue, let's hope this fundraiser will finally get his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can read more about the cause and donate to the fundraiser at GoFundMe. Martinez' words quoted above come to us from Variety.