DEL TORO: Arthur Chu became a celebrity winning big on "Jeopardy!"
ARTHUR: What is Louisiana?
ALEX: That's the state.
ARTHUR: What is Dell?
ALEX: Dell is the company.
ARTHUR: What are pixels?
(audience applauding) ANCHOR: Some say, Megyn, he's the best ever, and as you say, others call him an emotionless villain.
DEL TORO: And then the hate tweets started.
"This Asian on 'Jeopardy!'
is one of the worst human beings on the planet."
DEL TORO: "Who is Arthur Chu?"
on "America ReFramed.
♪ ♪ CROWD: Four, three, two, one!
(crowd cheers) (water running) (sighs) (phone chirps) (phone chirps) (phone chirps) (phone chirps) (phone chirps) There's definitely a sense in which there was a time when I really didn't wanna be associated with my family, and I didn't wanna be associated with my ethnicity.
Um, you know, this lie, this delusion of, like, I can be a blank person.
I can be just, like, my opinions and my thoughts, and I won't have a race, I won't have a gender, I won't have a history online-- I'll be totally anonymous.
And ultimately, I think, that's a... That project is doomed to fail, and it's also not a good thing to be trying to seek out.
(crowds murmuring) ANG LING: Are you shy?
ARTHUR: I don't know.
ANG LING: Not really, right?
ARTHUR: When he was in high school, he forced himself to become, like, a... How do I say, popular or... ARTHUR: Well... ELIZA BLAIR: Outgoing?
ANG LING: Outgoing, yes.
ANG LING: I saw him struggle at times, you know?
ANG LING: ARTHUR: I don't think so.
ANG LING: ANG LING (speaking Chinese): ARTHUR: Okay.
ANG LING: Ah?
I've always been an angry person.
I've always been a person who has cared a lot about fairness and about who's being mistreated by whom.
And the motivation to, like, stick up for people, to, like, take down bullies, that's still, you know, very core to who I am.
♪ REPORTER: Has he cracked the code to winning?
REPORTER: One of its most controversial candidates of all time.
REPORTER: He's a self-described mad genius.
REPORTER: No respect for "Jeopardy!"
ALEX TREBEK: Arthur.
ARTHUR: Who is Philbin?
TREBEK: Regis Philbin, yes... Arthur.
ARTHUR: What is Louisiana?
TREBEK: That's the state.
(applause) And you have a big lead.
REPORTER: This 30-year-old from Ohio is singlehandedly turning America's favorite quiz show into a mind game.
REPORTER: Some say, Meghan, he's the best ever, and as you say, others call him an emotionless villain.
They call you controversial-- why?
REPORTER: While the typical contestant often sticks with one category and goes from top to bottom, Chu often jumps around the board, keeping his opponents guessing.
This guy figured out a strategy.
He moneyballed "Jeopardy!"
The strategy of the game is not just playing offense, but playing defense.
TREBEK (chuckling): Five bucks?
(laughter) Don't feel confident in sports.
All right-- here is the clue.
"Eddie Giacomin, Herb Brooks, Conn Smythe."
ARTHUR: I don't know.
(laughter) TREBEK: Correct response, what is hockey?
REPORTER: Online haters have dubbed him a mad genius and hero villain.
Here he is-- what's his name again?
MAN: Arthur Chu.
WOMAN: Arthur Chu.
REPORTER: Arthur Chu.
REPORTER: Arthur Chu.
The answer is, "Who is Arthur Chu?"
ARTHUR: Here's a guy doing sort of the opposite of what Asians are supposed to do, you know, which is be polite and succeed in a, you know, respectable way.
Like, there aren't that many Asian-Americans who go on "Jeopardy!
", or on any show.
And to see someone making waves and being unapologetic about it was a big deal.
ARTHUR: Who is "Jerry"?
TREBEK: It's pronounced "Gary", but it's Elbridge Gerry.
ARTHUR: Well, the gerrymanders.
TREBEK: I know.
That's one of those weird things about our language.
It took a little while for Arthur to get the audiences to warm up to him because he approached our program with an attitude.
You know, a lot of people were surprised that I would take, like, controversial stances as a good little Asian boy who's suddenly in the spotlight.
But I did.
(laser sound effect plays) TREBEK: The answer there is the other Daily Double.
(applause) You have almost a $25,000 lead.
ARTHUR: Can I get $10,000?
TREBEK: All right-- here is the clue.
"A 2013 CNN special on him, 'A Man of Many Firsts,' included his newsmaking line, 'Who am I to judge?'"
ARTHUR: Who is Pope Francis?
TREBEK: You are correct.
(applause) ARTHUR: "This Asian on 'Jeopardy!'
is one of the worst human beings on the planet."
"The Asian guy on 'Jeopardy!'
is such a (bleep)."
"I hope your wife dies."
"That fatty face (bleep)-- I hate you, Arthur Chu."
(chuckles) This is in all caps: "Arthur Chu (bleep), "stop being a fatty McFat (bleep) "and leave 'Jeopardy!'
(bleep) let the white people win, you cheating (bleep)."
"Cheating (bleep)," sorry.
TREBEK: Arthur won a ton of games.
He became a celebrity, and I'm glad to note that he is milking it for all it's worth.
And good for him!
ARTHUR: To the degree that some people embraced my image on "Jeopardy!"
was very much, like, "Oh, here's this young guy "coming into this American institution and upending what it means and what it stands for."
"And here he is on his Twitter account, you know, off the reservation, going rogue."
(phone chirps) (phone chirps) Our next dance is an old-fashioned Texas folk dance called "Skip to My Lou."
♪ Skip, skip, skip to my Lou, skip, skip, skip to my Lou ♪ ♪ Skip, skip, skip to my Lou, skip to my Lou, my darling ♪ ♪ This little red wagon... ARTHUR: Quite often in my life, I've been the only Asian-American in the room, and it's been a thing that's, like, defined me.
For a long time, I never really forgave my parents.
They kept me sheltered.
They kept me a weird kid, right?
They discouraged me from getting involved with all the stuff that they saw as negative about American culture, from, like, pop music, from, like, watching TV.
And they thought that would help me.
And, like, a huge amount of just what made it hard for me to, like, exist in the world, to, like, communicate with other people, was that sheltered background.
MAN (on TV): "Look in the mirror-- a dragon."
He looked in the mirror and breathed-- "Whoo!"
(Arthur laughs) MAN (on TV): "Dragon!
You've frightened yourself."
The dragon crawled along the table.
ARTHUR: When I had the opportunity to, like, watch TV and to, like, get on the Internet and learn about pop culture things, I, like, I threw myself into it.
♪ There's danger, there's danger ♪ ♪ They're fighting for their lives ♪ ♪ And danger, and danger (TV theme continues) ARTHUR: That knowledge was, like, my armor, right?
The more things I knew, the less things I could be caught out as being ignorant of, the more safe I felt.
And I think my parents got mad because, from their perspective, it was, like, when I was exposed to mainstream culture, to Western culture, that's when I turned against them.
ANG LING (speaking Chinese): (family conversing in Chinese) ANG LING: ELIZA: This is so wrinkly.
Oh, my God, Arthur, it has a hole in the elbow.
(sighs) Please don't wear a shirt with a big hole in the elbow on national television.
I can tell a story about how that's my, my lucky hole.
BLAIR (laughing): Lucky... ARTHUR: This is my shirt with the lucky hole.
ELIZA: With the lucky elbow hole.
He can pitch an article, and people will actually take it seriously because they know his name now.
And that's a huge deal.
That's the lasting effect that he wanted from "Jeopardy!"
Everything is up in the air right now.
Money... Money isn't... You know, money isn't the end goal.
The end goal is the ability to do what we want.
I've had huge dark circles under my eyes for, like, seven years.
It's just a function of never being able to get enough sleep.
(sighs): Oh, God, is that even doing anything?
It just looks like I just, like, drew in dark circles under my eyes.
It's ridiculous-- I'm just gonna freakin'... (water running) TREBEK: Good luck-- here we go.
(electronic chimes play) Philosophy, $1,600.
TREBEK: Answer-- Daily Double.
The other one.
ARTHUR: What is egoism?
TREBEK: Oh, no-- what is cynicism?
TREBEK: So you're back at zero, but there's plenty of time left.
Go on-- Arthur.
ARTHUR: Who are the Navajo?
DIANA: Who are the Hopi?
TREBEK: That's it.
ARTHUR: What are the Monties?
ALEX: No-- Julie.
JULIE: What are the Teris?
TREBEK: The Teri, yes.
Okay, Arthur, we come to you.
You were in third place, and you wrote down, "Who was George II?"
Nope, wrong guy.
TREBEK: It's going to cost you how much?
$6,400, dropping you to zero.
$15,700 as our new champion is crowned, Diana!
And Arthur, you're going away with just a little shade under $300,000.
Till tomorrow-- so long, everybody.
ARTHUR: I liked the idea of being a winner.
Because I might as well admit it: That persona of some genius who always has a perfectly crafted strategy for how to cruise through life is not me.
There's a tiny handful of things in life I've tried that I haven't failed at.
The one success that really matters to me is that my wife somehow still hasn't left me after eight years of being with a chronically unemployed and unemployable social misfit.
Winning on "Jeopardy!"
comes as a distant second.
I started deciding to do exactly what I was told not to do.
I talked about gender.
I talked about race.
I talked about the sickness in my own culture.
I talked about the anger in myself.
But that angry jerk is also who I am.
And while I have the opportunity, I want to be an angry jerk in service of making the world a slightly better place, rather than a worse one.
(train bell clanging) (coughs) I ought to mow the lawn as soon as it's, uh, dry enough.
(drill buzzing) Once everything's secure, and the door is installed, then Mycroft will be able to come out here, and none of the other cats will be able to follow him.
He'll get the solitude that he has always craved.
(drill buzzing) We were moving out of our apartment, and he had to go audition for "Jeopardy!"
And so I had to handle everything.
Honestly, I was so angry, because it seemed like this... You know, this "Jeopardy!"
audition probably was not gonna pan out, just like the other one hadn't panned out, and that it was just this... (inhales deeply): You know, this...
This reaching for this, this dream that I knew he had, and I wanted to support him in, but was also dealing with...
I was working full... You know, I was working full-time, as well, and I was also disabled with chronic pain and fatigue.
But I did care about him a lot.
(cat meowing) He's self-conscious on camera.
I was pretty bad at making friends as a kid.
And then when I was about 11, I started writing poetry, mostly fantasy and science fiction poetry.
I'd say that now, writing is a great comfort to me, actually, because... You know, because you make up a world, and you control everything in that world.
Every time I write, it's sort of a victory over despair.
You know, it's...
It's me proving that I haven't been completely destroyed by this illness.
I would really like to have the energy and focus and everything to be able to finish this novel.
(people talking in background) (mouse clicking) (typing) (playing chords) (music ends, applause) MAN: Arthur's in the third grade, and he has been studying music for about 15 months now.
Enjoyed those songs very much.
ARTHUR: There was a while where being religious was part of my identity, was part of, like, "I don't care about what the world thinks.
I'm defiantly different from the world."
(upbeat music playing, children singing) I was steeped in an idea of, like, sin and redemption, and I still am.
You know, that's part of how I see the world.
Are you the kind of person who thinks the world is messed up, and it needs to change, and you want, in whatever way you can, to be part of that change?
Or do you think everything's basically okay, and therefore, you just kind of wanna, you know, get along and buy a big house and, you know, have an okay life?
I've chosen to say, "I'm dedicating my life "towards changing a world "I think is fundamentally screwed up instead of just trying to, you know, have a happy life."
REPORTER (on TV): Scott, late tonight, the NFL announced that it will move the game to a new location that has yet to be determined.
REPORTER: Breaking overnight: A deadly shooting near U.C.
The Santa Barbara County sheriff calling it a "planned mass murder."
The shooting rampage left seven people dead, including the suspect, and hospitalized seven more.
REPORTER: Rodger's manifesto describes a life of deprivation and unfairness, jealousy and hatred, especially for women, who he blamed for a life of loneliness, rejection, and misery.
It was 9:17 p.m., only 13 minutes before the shooting started.
(typing) (mouse rolling) (mouse clicking, typing) ARTHUR: We male nerds grow up force-fed the script.
Lusting after women out of our league was what we did.
But the overall problem is one of a culture where, instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories-- just like we are of ours-- men are taught that women are things to earn.
I've heard it from acquaintances.
I've heard it from friends.
I've heard it come out of my own mouth in moments of anger and weakness.
Because, in other words, I was a coward and had the privilege of ignoring the problem.
How much longer are we going to be in denial that there is a thing called rape culture, and we ought to do something about it?
Listen up, fellow self-pitying nerd boys, what the (bleep) is wrong with us?
You know, I think every guy who's struggled with fitting in to society, with feeling excluded, we kind of locate a lot of that in women.
That we look at rejection by women as being this huge, significant thing in our lives.
REPORTER: And you end your piece with, "What did Elliot Rodger need?
"He didn't need to get laid.
"None of us nerdy, frustrated guys need to get laid.
"When I was a 'bleep' with rants "full of self-pity and entitlement, "getting laid would not have helped me.
He needed to grow up-- we all do."
Just finally, 30 seconds, Arthur: How'd you grow up?
ARTHUR (chuckles): That's the million-dollar question, isn't it?
ARTHUR: There's no...
There's no magic switch, there's no magic pill.
I don't know how to help Elliot Rodger, if he could've been helped, but the first thing is to just listen, you know?
Listen to women and listen to their perspective instead of making it about you.
(treadmill whirs) (exhaling) (sizzling) ARTHUR: I met Eliza when I was a sophomore in college.
ELIZA: We were in a nerd club together, and he was just kind of that guy who didn't bathe enough, like a lot of college students.
And he was kind of a jerk.
And so I had this sort of nascent crush on him, but he was not dating material.
He was kind of a crappy person sometimes.
ARTHUR: Yeah, I was definitely a bitter nerd, you know, believing, like, if the world were fair, then smart people like me would be on top, and popular people or socially connected people would be on the bottom, right?
And I totally bought into that.
You know, it was at Swarthmore, at SWIL, where I, like, was confronted with, like, this, like, hellish thing that a lot of geek girls go through because there's a bunch of geeky guys who have this chip on their shoulder about how they deserve to be loved, you know, by women.
(timer beeping) That's supposed to go for 20 minutes.
It was when things were going really badly for me, when I, I basically, I didn't graduate on time, and I was basically, like, dropping out of school, that she said she felt she needed to reach out to me 'cause she wouldn't get a chance otherwise.
And so that was when, you know, like, she was, like, my rock during the... Like, I was surprised that she was coming out and being so nice to me.
You know, it's still weird to think about that because it was a long time ago, and yet some of it still feels very fresh.
I felt like I hadn't done a very good job of being alone.
Um, that... That I needed somebody to, you know, hold me accountable, to keep me sane.
I don't need to feel like I'm totally in charge of my own life, that... My need for that has screwed up my life a lot.
I kind of see us sort of leapfrogging our whole lives.
This is the year of Arthur Chu, and, you know, maybe three years from now, maybe that'll be the year of Eliza Blair.
I don't know-- I can't predict the future.
(birds chirp, soft breeze blows) WOMAN: Hi, nice to meet you!
ARTHUR: Nice to meet you.
Yeah, I'm just meeting someone here.
WOMAN: I listen to you on the... all over.
Were you on Rover?
You're on Rover.
ARTHUR: Yeah, I was on Rover.
WOMAN: Yeah, you're so... he's so smart!
ARTHUR: Thank you.
He's Arthur Chu, the star of "Jeopardy!"
WOMAN 2: Oh, yeah, I just saw it on TV yesterday.
WOMAN 1: I read an article in the "Cleveland Magazine."
WOMAN: I never watched, but I saw your picture on there yesterday.
ARTHUR: Thank you.
Hey, this is Arthur.
EDITOR (on phone): Hey, how are you?
ARTHUR: Good, how are you?
EDITOR: Good -I wanted to talk to you about your writing.
It seems like that has been one area that has springboarded you since... ARTHUR: Oh, yeah.
Yeah, a lot of things have come together, um... And it just started out because I'm kind of a... a pop culture kind of guy.
And someone said, like, on Twitter, "It's like Arthur Chu has become the ombudsman of nerd culture," or something.
But I think I have a little bit of credibility, you know, as a nerdy guy, as part of this subculture because of everything that's happened.
And so I feel like I've got stuff to say about that, and people are listening.
ROCQUE TREM: So... We've done... we're regional.
We do a lot.
We have seven employees full-time.
We're in Ohio, D.C. We do a window company out there, Window Nation.
ARTHUR: My dad is still pushing, like, "Oh, you should use this to get ahead in your day job.
"You should become a lawyer.
"You should get something steady.
You know, that's security."
But, you know, there's a certain hunger to not be dependent on other people.
I'm trying to sort of put together a plan to do that.
I mean, I've got a pretty self-contained set-up.
So yeah, I mean...
If you need me to just, like, bang out, just, like, these are the specs, I need a read on this, I can do that pretty quickly.
EDITOR (on phone): In the meantime, you still plan on writing?
ARTHUR: Yeah, yeah.
I've always been a writer, you know, even before anyone was paying me for it.
So I plan to keep on doing it.
You know, it's been a way that...
Sort of my window onto the world in whatever form-- blogging, tweeting, you know.
MAN: You're a star, man!
Here you go.
WOMAN: He's in there?
MAN: Yeah, full page.
WOMAN: Did you know?
MAN: You got two articles, not one!
ARTHUR: Oh, wow, really?
MAN: You banged it up damn good.
(laughing) (camera clicks and beeps) MAN: Yeah, I like that.
(camera clicking and beeping) ELIZA: Is that you?
ARTHUR: That's me.
ELIZA: Oh, you look so cute.
Me and your dad before we had you, at my sister's place.
ARTHUR (sighs): Dad was the disciplinarian.
My dad and I are both very stubborn people who become very emotionally invested in being right.
And that's why we didn't... You know, that's why we had difficulties with each other.
Like, there was a big issue over whether I should major in the hard sciences in college, because I really didn't want to.
I didn't want to...
I wasn't... You know, I didn't take any pleasure in it, and it turned into this huge fight about how I was, like, throwing my future away and, you know, wasting my time, you know, wasting a lot of money for a prestigious degree that wouldn't lead me to a specific career path.
I think he saw it as a personal betrayal, kind of, I guess, because it was very different from the choices that he made.
SHIRLEY: I think it is always hard, because for a teenager, they know something they don't want to do.
But they don't know what they want to do.
So they have to struggle to find their own path.
And at that time, if you have someone against you, you don't know how to defend yourself.
Because you are not sure, is it the right path for you, either?
WOMAN: Can I take a phone photo so I can find it later?
ARTHUR: All right.
Got a selfie with Arthur Chu!
ARTHUR: I just...
I don't know what to expect from the crowd.
I don't know.
Like, I don't even know if I'm gonna succeed in meeting anybody here.
Including my dad, who has been out of touch all day.
JARED LETO: And, you know, that's... That's pretty mind-blowing.
INTERVIEWER: Do you feel like the state of the media is worse than it's been?
LETO: No, no, no, no.
I think media's in a really great and interesting place because it's transparent.
And I think media has to work really hard because everyone is the media now.
And that's a great thing that's changed.
We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for technology.
So thanks for the question, thank you, guys, so much.
Thank you, Robert, I love you.
ROBERT: Thank you, sir, thanks.
LETO: And good night.
ROBERT: Thanks, everybody.
LETO: Thanks so much.
(cheers and applause) MAN: Please welcome comedian Arthur Chu.
(applause) ARTHUR: Hello, everybody.
The topic that I chose, to quote one of the great sages of "Saturday Night Live, Tim Meadows, is, "Does the Internet have a lady problem?"
Or those three words that everyone loves to hear: "Sexism in tech."
Is technology... Has it been good for society, for our relationships with each other?
Has it built bridges?
Allowed us to have new modes of expression?
Or has it been bad?
Has it alienated us from each other?
Are we addicted to our phones?
Obviously, sexism was not invented with digital culture.
Sexism goes back at least as far as 50 gazillion BC, according to anthropologists.
But the Internet is a force multiplier.
If we build a social web that's based on leveraging the social power you already have, men's existing greater social power leads to more sexism, not less of it.
So I believe in the potential of technology to empower people.
My question is, who are we empowering and to what degree?
I am very happy about stories I hear about technology empowering the powerless.
I'm very unhappy about the potential that it has to empower the powerful-- thank you.
(applause) That wasn't super-good, but I did it.
YU GU: You did great, Arthur.
ARTHUR: I don't know-- I did, like, half of it, you know?
I totally, like, overestimated how much time I had.
But... 'cause I didn't have time to rehearse.
RICO: Hey, what's up?
It's Rico from Bay Area HQ standing here with Who Is Arthur Chu?
(Arthur chuckles) RICO: What's up, man?
champion and here at Techmanity.
Welcome to San Jose.
RICO: Speaking of Who Is Arthur Chu?, I brought you in saying that because that's the name of the documentary that you're filming right now.
There are cameras following you around.
RICO: And documenting your life.
What does that feel like?
ARTHUR: It's a little bit weird, I got my random 15 minutes of fame from a game show, and I've always had a lot of things to say, and I'm trying to, you know, do it well.
I'm trying to get a message out that... RICO: That's good.
That's about more than just me, you know?
To me, the most important thing that we can try to do in the world is relate to each other better as people.
Thank you very much-- enjoy it, all right.
(sirens blaring in distance) (music playing, people conversing) I didn't get a chance to rehearse, so I didn't know...
I didn't wanna go over.
I really didn't want that-- you know, that's really bad.
ANG LING: ARTHUR: Okay.
ANG LING: Yeah, they put me under some time pressure.
There was a clock ticking down from 15 minutes, yeah.
ANG LING: I thought it was better to leave more time, yeah.
ANG LING: Oh, okay.
So have you been doing anything interesting recently, or...?
ANG LING: ARTHUR: Okay.
ANG LING: ARTHUR: Okay.
ANG LING: ARTHUR: I'd like to...
I'd like to write books.
I'd like to speak.
But if I could have a way of making money, like, writing or speaking where I didn't have a day job, I had flexible hours, so that I could, you know, pursue projects that I cared about, that would be ideal for me, yeah.
So, uh... (waiter speaking) ARTHUR: Uh, that's me-- thank you.
ANG LING: Thanks very much.
ANG LING: ARTHUR: Yeah, yeah.
ANG LING: ARTHUR: Yeah.
ANG LING: Yeah.
(music, conversations continue) ANG LING: ARTHUR: Huh?
Oh, do you need to... you're still working?
I didn't... ARTHUR: Okay, let me get the check.
It's my... ANG LING: ARTHUR: No, no, no, I just won a bunch of money.
ANG LING: ARTHUR: Thanks.
ANG LING: ARTHUR: Yeah.
ANG LING: Okay.
(wind blowing) (coughs) (giggles) ARTHUR: The worst thing that a kid can feel is like you can't trust your parents not to, like, go off the deep end.
You can't trust your parents to not lose it and become emotional and do things that they'll later regret.
And I never had that feeling as a kid.
I always had this feeling like, if my dad lost his temper, then everything would go to hell.
SHARON: Look what I got here!
A Chinese Barbie doll!
ARTHUR: Donkey Kong Country-- yay!
We've got that video game!
ARTHUR (screeching): I got Donkey Kong Country!
I got Donkey Kong Country!
It was, like, this ridiculous charade.
You know, we kept pretending that things were okay until finally, like, it all fell apart when my mom discovered that he'd been having an affair, and, you know, that was just the end of it.
Like, they formalized what we'd informally known, that they weren't really married anymore.
(kids cheer, Shirley laughs) GU: Was there ever a sense of, like, "Oh, he betrayed me as my father?"
ARTHUR: Definitely the period of time where my dad was just, like, going away on business trips to China, and where he was refusing to get a job in the United States and was just, like, burning through our life savings on his business ventures in China-- that felt like a betrayal.
You know, that seriously harmed our quality of life, and for what seemed to us like no rational reason.
And then later on, finding out, like, oh, it was perfectly rational-- it was just that he had another family that he needed to support over there.
(kids chattering) ANG LING (speaking Chinese): My dad has a pattern of overcompensating, of, like, trying to be, like, father of the year after doing something really nasty.
You know, coming back and giving gifts, and, you know, giving lots of, like, helpful advice and trying to be the good guy.
In the cycle of abuse, they call it the honeymoon period, and I'm very familiar with it.
(insects and birds chirping) I spent a lot of time thinking about everything in terms of proving something to my dad.
And then I actually saw my dad, and he's just, like, you know, he's just another person now.
It doesn't matter what he thinks.
He's... uh.... ELIZA: I'm glad to hear that.
ARTHUR: I feel like the old American dream was very much about, you know, a house, a big yard, 2.5 kids, right?
Achieving these things by getting a good job with a pension.
And a lot of people chased that to their detriment.
You know, our idea of what's important doesn't match with what actually is important.
(laughter, cheers) NORBERT: I don't see, like, why he's doing so much for the social justice movement thing.
I guess that makes me sound like a (bleep), but... (Sharon laughs) I think what he's doing is commendable.
I just personally don't see the value in it.
But, I mean, totally support him if he wants to be doing that.
(door opens) (Sharon chuckles) Hey.
I mean, I think, obviously, for Arthur, the expectations were a little higher, and... ARTHUR: Yeah.
Both 'cause he was the first-born son, and also just, like, the first-born.
NORBERT: He really wanted to be, like, a scientist, an engineer, something like... Take after his footsteps.
So Arthur tried to compromise and majored in history with a minor in economics, which is somewhat more practical than, like, theater.
But Dad still was having none of it.
It's how it was.
(chuckles) ARTHUR: And he would, like, actually go on about, like, in acting, there's, like...
Anything that has a subjective component to it, you're not going to succeed at because America's a racist country.
NORBERT: Can you say that he's wrong, though?
ARTHUR: No, but if he, he would say, like, "Maybe it'll change in the future, "but I don't want my kids "to have to be the ones to suffer, to, you know, to sacrifice to make that change," you know... Yeah, I mean, he took it too far, but I think he has a point in that...
There's a reason why there's a lot of Asians in objective fields... ARTHUR: Yeah.
...where success is measured by quantifiable metrics.
GU: What do you do, Sharon?
SHARON: Oh, I'm a research scientist.
I'm a technician in a lab down at Women and Infants, which is kind of the premier hospital in New England for women and newborns.
Dad talked about the importance of planning for a career.
He actually said, "It doesn't matter so much for Sharon, 'cause she's a girl."
You remember that?
SHARON: I, I told Dad about it and how angry I was.
And he was, like, "Oh, Sharon, you didn't know I was joking?"
(chuckles) Oh, way to backtrack, like, five years later.
(laughs) When Arthur was doing news interviews and stuff, Norbert and I would look at the videos and be, like, "Why can't Arthur figure out what to do with his hair?"
(Norbert chuckles) Okay, this is a little better, right, Didi?
A little better?
NORBERT: Fix the back.
SHARON: The back?
(Sharon laughs) You should use gel for this, though.
ARTHUR: I don't like gel.
SHARON: I'm trying to just smooth it down.
(Norbert mumbles) (chatting, laughter) ("Hush, Little Baby" plays on toy) ARTHUR: The story was that my grandfather filled out my father's college application form for him.
And the space to declare a major, my grandfather wanted my dad to go into computer science, and he wanted to check CS.
But he-- he made a mistake because it was in English, and he checked the one next to that alphabetically, which was chemistry.
And that's the whole reason that my father went into chemistry.
My father would never second-guess or, you know, change something that his father had written.
WOMAN (speaking Chinese): ANG LING (speaking Chinese): A big part of my struggle was, like, looking at his life and thinking, "Well, he doesn't seem that happy," you know?
He's gotten everything that he supposedly wanted-- the six-figure income, the PhD, and all of that-- and he's still struggling against himself so much of the time.
And I just knew, like, I didn't want to do that.
I didn't wanna be that kind of person, you know.
(voices echoing) ARTHUR: You know, what's interesting about all of this is, I, I did spend a lot of time sort of feeling this inferiority complex towards people, especially fellow Asian-Americans who were on the straight and narrow path, on the path that you were supposed to be on.
But to have this many other Asian-Americans come to me and say, "I think you're doing something really important, "something really cool just by being out there and saying, "you know, 'I have the right to be heard.
"'I have the right to be different.
I have the right to break rules.'"
To me, that's something Asian-Americans haven't done enough of, that we don't have enough political activism.
We don't have enough people speaking out and being different.
We don't have enough people making culture instead of just talking, reacting to culture.
And we kind of need a bargain, I feel, as a subculture, as a race, that we would play this one particular role.
That we would be your doctors, we would be your engineers.
We would be your lawyers, we would have our credentials and accomplish our job descriptions.
But if I'm going to be known as a guy who won a lot of money on "Jeopardy!
", I'm going to turn that into my own voice and my own career, talking about the things that matter to me.
And the only thing that I would encourage you to do is, whatever you do, wherever you go, that you do the same thing: live for yourself and not for other people.
(applause) GEORGE ZIMMERMAN (on tape): This guy looks like he's just up to no good, or he's on drugs or something.
It's raining, and he's just walking around, looking about.
And this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?
ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
REPORTER: Several U.S. cities have been gripped by protests against the controversial acquittal of George Zimmerman.
He was cleared of murder charges after shooting dead an unarmed black teenager.
REPORTER: Saturday afternoon, 2:15 p.m., Ferguson, Missouri.
18-year-old Michael Brown is walking home from a convenience store.
Moments later, shots ring out.
The Ferguson police officer fires his gun, killing Brown.
PROTESTERS: Don't shoot!
ARTHUR: When my father first came to this country as a graduate student, there was an incident where he and a friend were walking home and were suddenly confronted in a parking lot by a group of apparently intoxicated students in a car, driving around them in circles, shouting threats and racist catcalls.
My father waited.
And then my father picked up a rock and said, "I'm counting to 30, "and if they're not gone by then, this rock is going through their windshield."
Luckily, they tired of the sport and peeled off around when my dad hit 15.
(typing, mouse clicks) There was a moral to this story when my father told it to me.
"This is not your country.
"You can live here.
You will never, ever belong."
I resisted this lesson-- I fought back.
I binged on America!
I stuffed myself so full of America, I was bursting at the seams with America.
Everything I could find, every TV show, every radio station, every book in the library: history, literature, politics.
I swallowed it all, as much as I could.
I swallowed things that tasted foul and struggled to keep them down, but I did the best I could to prove I could.
But none of that was real.
That was all in another world.
(typing) "This is not your country."
ELIZA: I don't know, my dreams have changed a fair amount since I've been sick and everything.
I was in the DC area for the World Fantasy Convention, and maybe I'll find some kind of a... (sighs) Some kind of medication or something that'll help someday.
And maybe I can rethink my priorities then.
(door closes in distance) But I mean, I just...
I just want to write at this point.
I just want to-- hi.
ARTHUR: How are you?
ELIZA: Are you okay?
ARTHUR: I'm okay.
(Eliza chuckles) ELIZA: Go to sleep.
ARTHUR: I was thinking I could just go down to part-time at work.
ARTHUR: Pretty much whenever.
ELIZA: Yeah, do it.
That would be nice.
ARTHUR: You should-- if you can-- you should talk to your dad's accountant about setting up a Section 105 plan.
ELIZA: What's a... ARTHUR: It's the thing we were talking about.
ELIZA: Oh, okay.
ARTHUR: A Section 105 Plan means when your employer reimburses all of your health expenses.
Well, I mean, that's the kind of thing that you would need to be involved in, too, because you'd be my employer, right?
ELIZA: So, so that's something that we could... ARTHUR: That's... that's just drawing up documents.
There's some standard documents that you have to have.
ELIZA (laughing): Okay, well, you're the one with his contact info, so you'd have to forward it to me.
(bus brakes squeal) ARTHUR: All right, it's the parking garage for Severance Hall, so that means... ELIZA: Okay, um... ELIZA: I, I could... ARTHUR: It's over there.
ELIZA: What if I just dropped you off over there, and you could go in?
SHANNON LUNDEEN: Welcome to one of our first series of about three, we hope, that's going to focus on masculinity and feminism, misogyny, nerd culture, race, and much more.
I want all of us to go ahead and give him a warm welcome.
Thank you, Arthur Chu.
(applause) ARTHUR: My name is Arthur Chu.
It is not as famous a name as LeBron James.
So if you're here, and you're not at the Q, and you're not glued to your TV, that tells me that you are unusual people, counter-cultural people.
(laughter) You have taken the road less traveled, and I thank you for that.
(directional clicking) I've been scrambling to get stuff done.
I got another article out today.
ELIZA: Oh, yeah?
ARTHUR: About Ferguson.
ELIZA: Is that why you stayed up all night?
I'm just a regular guy, and it's led to a very different kind of life for me, because now, you know, I have 14,000 followers on Twitter, I have a bunch of people who know who I am on the internet, and it's just, it's a very strange way my life has changed, and it couldn't have happened without this, this game show.
What is a nerd?
What does that mean?
It means someone who's intelligent, socially awkward, passionately devoted to specific sub-cultures.
Someone who breaks from the main current of mainstream culture.
Though, let's be honest, it also usually in our minds means a white man.
(hammering) But I'm still thinking, you know, "What is it I want to say?
What do I have to say?
How can I do it without being presumptuous?"
Like, "Why should people listen to me about it?"
But that's really what's been weighing on my mind, and it's been-- it's been hell trying to, like, juggle all of these things.
In our model that we can't escape, that we're all part of in our society, men are seen as the competitors for sex.
They're the users of services centered around sex.
Women are seen as the prize, as the content.
Anita Sarkeesian had a really great quote.
I actually thought this was a much older quote.
"In the game of patriarchy, women aren't the opposing team, they're the ball."
As far as I can see, what it comes down to is, players can hate players, but the ball can't hate players.
When a woman speaks up, suddenly everyone reacts with much more intensity, as though some kind of unspoken rule has been broken.
WOMAN: I just wanted to thank you, because I was, when I was preparing to come to this, I was reading some of your articles, and I got kind of teary-eyed and, like, had a little mini-breakdown... ARTHUR: Oh, thank you, thank you.
WOMAN: When I was reading your piece on Ferguson.
Like, what do you call it?
Like, coliseums with tons of people.
You speak so well.
ARTHUR: Oh, thank you, thank you.
WOMAN: Well, keep doing what you're doing.
I kind of see the internet as this, like, the broken promise of modernity, right?
That, that there was always this idea that we could somehow erase these age-old things-- gender, class, race-- that we could make them go away.
That if technology got to a certain point, we'd all be so prosperous and happy that these things wouldn't matter anymore.
And I think, you know, as the internet's gone mainstream, we've learned that's just completely not true.
That's a totally broken promise.
Things have gotten worse, not better, in terms of how we talk to each other and communicate to each other.
ELIZA: I'm very frustrated today.
It's the same sort of thing I've been thinking about for ages, just what can I personally do to make the world a better place?
And it doesn't-- I don't know.
I'm having trouble finding good things.
I don't know, I'm trying.
ELIZA: I know.
Well, you're doing a better job of it than I am.
You've got a national microphone right now.
Who knows if it'll last?
But you seem to be a, a regular columnist now.
ARTHUR: Emma wants to talk to me about a book proposal after Thanksgiving.
ARTHUR: So I'll try to put something together.
Can I help with that?
ARTHUR: Oh, I don't know.
ELIZA: All right, well, I mean...
I'll continue to run support.
I mean, that's-- that's what I can do right now.
ARTHUR: Did you see my thing about going on HealthCare.gov?
ELIZA: Yeah, well, I saw your text.
I didn't really have a chance to look at it yet.
(woman shouts over) ARTHUR: Oh, thank you.
WOMAN: I was totally watching that the whole time.
(Eliza laughs) ELIZA: I don't know.
(sighs) ARTHUR: I just feel really overwhelmed.
I don't know-- I need to get out of working full-time sooner rather than later.
ARTHUR: I feel like it's very important that whatever you're doing right now, you're living the life you want to live right now, and you're not living entirely for the future.
Because I know so many people who were taught that.
Like, you suffer, you suffer, you suffer until you get to this one point.
And then, everything will be great.
And the world doesn't work like that.
COUNSELOR: Very good, don't make it too tight.
Yeah, there you go.
COUNSELOR 2: Whoever gets all the balls out first wins.
If you cheer, you get extra points!
COUNSELOR 2: Three, two, one!
(cheering, stomping, clapping) ARTHUR: I once wrote an article last year about The Hulk, which is my favorite superhero.
And The Hulk started out being wrong about what his superpower was.
The Hulk starts out as Bruce Banner, who's a brilliant scientist whose power all lies in his mind, but not in his emotion, and not in his physical strength, right?
And then he has a terrible accident, and something changes.
And all of that anger that he had inside comes out.
And, you know, my-- what I want to say to you is, like, take that opportunity as soon as you can to, like, really think about, what is it that you want?
What is it that drives you?
What is your mission in life?
And, and regardless of what anyone else thinks, regardless of how important other people think you are, you know, you have to know that for yourself.
And everything follows from there.
The Hulk stops being The Hulk, you know, not because he gets hurt or injured-- he's almost invincible when he's The Hulk.
But he gets tired, and he falls asleep, and he turns back into Bruce Banner.
You can't-- you just can't keep that up.
It, it consumes you.
(crowd chants "Arthur!")
(cheers and applause) (fireworks bursting) (talking excitedly) (fireworks bursting) STEPHEN COLBERT: As a gamesman, I am gripped by a scandal called Gamergate.
REPORTER: One million tweets and counting to the #GamerGate hashtag.
It's an online battle of the sexes over how gamers are portrayed and the sometimes violent reaction to women who speak out.
Gamergate involves some male gamers harassing women who are speaking out about the portrayal of women in video games, presumably after the initial shock that women were speaking to them at all.
REPORTER: It is a group of male gamers who are attacking women.
REPORTER: Threats of death and of sexual violence.
Bomb, rape, and death threats from online harassers.
I can't sit idly by and watch this happen to someone else again and just say, "Oh, that sucked," you know?
Just tsk-tsk over it.
I have to do something to, like, oppose it.
And I think a lot of other people, like, became "anti-Gamergate," like, it was because of that, you know?
Like, like, I can't just accept that this is normal for the... the hobby, the community that I'm in.
DAVID PAKMAN: We're continuing our discussion today of Gamergate, and I'm pleased to welcome Arthur Chu to the program.
Arthur, you've, on Twitter, been very, very critical of some of the prior interviews that I've done with regard to Gamergate.
You're giving voice to an angry mob, and you're hurting real people, okay?
You are legitimizing insane conspiracy theories in a way that's hurting real people.
Okay, so... so what you're saying is, you just don't think that there should even be a presentation of sides on this, it should just be presented basically with your point of view...
If you do any factual looking into what has actually happened, if you do factual reporting on it, then the two sides are not equal.
Just letting two groups of people talk is not empirical reporting, okay?
If you want-- if you want, we could sit down and go through the actual factual discussion of what the specific objections to things that have happened that Gamergate has are, we could do that.
I want to go through a few of the things, just the minority of the stuff that you've said that I actually find worth following up on.
Why, why is it worth following up on me, David?
What-- who am I?
I'm a person who's specifically said I'm-- I'm a person who's anti-Gamergate.
I'll talk about why people don't like Gamergate.
But now it's about me, even though I'm not in the industry, even though I'm not a journalist, not a developer-- why?
You're asking me about something that's literally almost completely irrelevant to Gamergate.
GU: There was a comment, you know, that someone wrote: "He came across as an angry, bitter little man "looking for someone or something to lash out at.
"Yet we aren't allowed to question or criticize "his reasoning, methods, or ethics "because, well, it's not fair.
"He's clearly intelligent and well-spoken, "but he seems paranoid, "immature, insecure, and overly defensive.
He did himself and his causes no justice."
ARTHUR: Yeah, whatever.
A lot of that is concern trolling.
To the extent that it's true, I mean, I would just say that was one of the worst 24 hours of my life.
(phone chirps) (phone chirps) (phone chirps) (phone chirps) (phone chirps) (phone chirps) What is the point?
You know, even if I were to get into this, now we're starting a big conversation about me and random crap that I tweeted, which has nothing to do with anything that's actually important.
But it's a way to, like, use up my energy and to turn attention to, like, me and to, like, make-- you know, put me in the spotlight, where I didn't want to be.
And I was just, like, "I don't want to do this anymore.
This is not worth it," you know?
And it's-- it's too easy for them to manipulate me into playing into their hands because I get angry.
I'm not a person who thinks a lot about owning stuff or having experiences for myself.
That I always had to feel like there was something more that I was contributing to, and that that's been a driving thing for me my whole life.
Oftentimes, wanting to end your own life comes from just like, not being able to answer the question, "What should I live for?"
You know, "What-- what am I supposed to do?
Why should I be alive?"
(birds chirp) (playing piano) ARTHUR: I try to keep in mind the things and the people that I love, you know?
And to, like, center that.
To care about, more about who I'm fighting for than who I'm fighting against.
But I'm-- I don't think I'm ever going to stop being the person who, you know, when you see something screwed up happening, you know, I'm going to be the person whose initial reaction is always going to be to jump in and to try to stop it, you know?
And to do that from a place of, like, anger, from that... And, you know, it may not be the best thing, but it's who I am, and I've come to accept it, so...
SHIRLEY: It is not easy to be with Arthur, and I really appreciate Eliza.
And I hope Arthur would help Eliza more, to help her grow, to help her with her dreams and her ambition, too.
Sometimes I think he is too busy, too busy doing a lot of things he thinks is important.
Sometimes, you... After many years, you go back.
It might not that important at all.
He needs to find the, find the value of his life.
(train rumbling) ARTHUR: You can't really understand me without understanding my childhood, which means you can't understand me without understanding my parents.
And you can't understand my parents without understanding where they came from in Taiwan.
A lot of what I've done in the past year has been, like, trying to accept that, trying to, like, really understand and, you know, not rebel against it.
Just accept and understand where it is I came from.
You know, why my parents were the way they were.
And-- and, you know, trying to find some kind of peace with that.
(crowd murmuring) (cheering) (laughing) (singing): (song ends) MAN (speaking Chinese): ANG LING (speaking Chinese): Yeah.
(people conversing) WOMAN (speaking Chinese): ANG LING (speaking Chinese): ARTHUR (speaking Chinese): ANG LING (speaking Chinese): WOMAN (speaking Chinese): ANG LING (speaking Chinese): (laughing) Forgiveness would mean... being fully willing to, like, open up to him, be fully willing to re-establish a relationship with him.
And I don't know that... You know, for me, letting it go means, like, just deciding "Hey, it doesn't matter that much either way."
It's that I don't really want him to have an influence on my life, you know?
And as far as forgiveness of the other kind, I don't know if I could achieve that, I don't know if I want to.
I, I see him for who he is.
I think I see him for who he is, as a flawed person who was trying to do his best in the way that he knew how, and me continuing to be resentful about it isn't going to help me, you know?
That-- that it would just make things worse for me.
So, I just, you know, let it go.
(speaking Chinese): ANG LING: This is my mom and my father's tomb.
My mom-- my mom died when I was ten years old, and my father died 44 years later.
This is from '95, '51.
He single-handedly raised five of us, and we all grew up with our own capability, you know, to survive in the world.
So sometimes, I just really feel sorry for my father, you know.
Anyway, and I'm glad Arthur can make it.
Arthur is my... my father's beloved person in the world.
(people talking in background) (speaking Chinese): (praying in Chinese) (prayer ends) I was the first one born in America, and that was significant.
You know, my grandfather thought it was a really big deal.
He... he really pushed my dad to come to the United States and get a degree here and, you know, get a better life here.
And so, whether I would turn out to be a success was kind of, like, the goal of the whole project.
The whole migration project, right, is to have a, a real homegrown American success.
When you have a lot of high expectations placed on you, and then you don't live up to those expectations, or, or you reject those expectations, whatever, when-- when you are supposed to be the golden boy-- and, you know, I was supposed to, like, get an awesome job out of college and, like, start making a difference in the world.
Instead, it's, like-- you know, I, I just had to confront the fact that some part of me wasn't able to do that, wasn't able to commit to doing that.
And I didn't do that, you know?
And I had to, like, decide what my life was about, and I had no idea.
(parade music playing) (singing) ARTHUR: The, the easiest thing to do is to just say, you know, "Screw you, I got mine.
"I want to make a lot of money.
"I want to be left alone "and do the things that I enjoy and forget everything else."
And it just seems like I can't do that.
There's, whether it's just, like, I'm a busybody, or I have a guilt complex or something, I keep feeling like there's something more for me to contribute or more for me to do, you know, online and offline.
That I'm always volunteering for the next thing, or wanting to do the next project.
I, I can't even, like, defend it and say, "Oh, it's-- it makes me a better person because I'm making more of a difference," 'cause I don't really believe that.
Maybe it's just flattering yourself to think that, you know, writing something or saying something makes a difference.
You do it because you-- you feel like you have to do it, and whatever difference it makes comes after that, you know?
But it is-- in the end, it's just who I am.
I don't know.
I don't know what's going to-- what's going to happen next.
Maybe he is going to have to... (laughing): Have to make, make a change in how he, how he interacts with the internet.
ARTHUR: Yeah, I don't know.
This is the path that I'm on, and we'll see, you know?
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