The Myth

+PDXMay 18th 2022

This May, in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Wieden+Kennedy team behind the award-winning film “Call It Covid” released "The Myth," a new film exposing the myth of The Model Minority: a false narrative weaponizing Asian Americans against other ethnic groups.

We spoke with the creators of "The Myth" to learn more about their film, its topic, and how it all came to life.

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The Myth Team

Can you start by telling us a bit about where you're from/your background?

Mimi Munoz: My parents are Vietnamese boat people, refugees that fled by boat during the Vietnam War. I was born in California and moved to Oregon at a very young age.

Dan Koo: I’m a Korean American born and raised in LA, while my family comes from various parts of Korea and South America. It makes for some interesting table conversation during the holidays when surrounded by trilingual speakers (not me).

Titania Tran: Like Mimi, my parents are Vietnamese refugees – both “Boat People”. They first met in Vietnam, after the fall of Saigon, reunited in America, and had me. Their meeting, eventually leading to my birth, was a product of war. I am a product of war. Its conditions are ingrained in me. Learning of their experiences, raised in the aftermath, I’ve learned: Wars aren’t won. They’re fought. Fought by devastated people who have everything to lose, for a few selfish people who have everything to gain. It reminds me that in any war, in whatever form it takes, to see myself in the person across from me, and for both of us to look up. To recognize who – or what – put us here.

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the myth bts

After launching your inaugural film “Call It Covid” in 2020 and then the companion film, “A Word,” in 2021, what made you decide to tackle the myth of the model minority for your next project?

Titania: The reception to “Call It Covid”, aka, “A Word”, taught us there is a need for this work. And we – those of us in advertising, film, and media – are in a unique position to do it. We have the rare ability to insert ourselves into people’s lives, and share with them a message they need to hear – whether they’re ready for it or not. Like “Call It Covid”, “The Myth” is a response to the times. It’s an attempt to protect our most vulnerable communities. Also like “Call It Covid,” it is born from a truth of the Asian experience. It is more expansive though. It goes beyond the Asian experience, and builds bridges to other affected communities.

There’s a very similar spoken-word style to both The Myth and your earlier films, what was the thinking behind that creative approach?

Titania: Would you believe if I admitted both were products of less thinking? The approach was more one of letting go. Pausing thinking, and finally pouring out what I’d been holding in for a long time.

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This film was made for under $200,000 and with a very small team … What have you learned working on small-scale projects like this and the impact they can go on to have?

Mimi: What we learned from “A Word,” we took with us on this project. As long as you have people involved who are emotionally invested in the message, it doesn’t matter if we have a large team or not. Everyone worked beyond their typical roles because they cared.

As we saw with “A Word,” small-scale projects can garner the attention desired. Being small should not limit the potential of its impact. It just pushes us to do more and work in ways that may be deemed unconventional in the industry.

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the myth bts

Tell us more about the team - who were your partners in making this film?

Mimi: It began with Titania, Dan and I. Then we roped in [W+K Media Director] Jason Strickland, who made all the difference in the relaunch of “Call It Covid”. Shortly after [W+K Executive Producer] Hayley Goggin joined us – that is our core team.

Titania, Dan and I have been working on this for over a year. Not because the creative wasn’t ready, but because we wanted to identify the right partners for this project – partners that understood the importance of the message and the need to stay true to our voices. Biscuit ended up being that partner.

What’s it been like working together on these films? Did you know each other beforehand?

Mimi: Titania and I have known each other for a bit now. I credit Asiancy for that. Working on these projects with her has earned me a lifelong friendship. This is my first time working with Dan. He’s not just a colleague anymore, but a great friend. When you work on these types of projects, you can’t help but grow close because of the insane amount of time you see each other’s faces. But moreso, because of the topic. These social impact films require a lot of unpacking and are emotionally tolling. Only so many people can relate to what you’re going through right then and there. You all have to navigate through unique challenges together and somehow come out of it.

You all have day jobs - Titania as a creative copywriter, Dan as an art director and Mimi as a Global Culture and Operations Manager - do you have any advice for people working on passion projects while also holding down a day job?

Mimi: Be kind to yourself.

Dan: Bring all of yourself into whatever it is that you decide to do. This is your chance to show people how you see the world - to have a point of view. That can be something as simple as “Why Basketball cards should be shaped like basketballs” or making a film about The Model Minority Myth. For me, this has been the way I find investing my free time feel worthwhile.

Titania: Find the right people. Trust them.

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What do you hope people will take away from this film?

Dan: The Model Minority Myth has been well-documented and intellectualized in academia over the years - where it breaks down the history and supplies us with overwhelming statistics. However, despite all this, the Model Minority Myth has hardly ever been humanized.

My hope is that when people see this film, we can start a conversation where people start to understand why the Model Minority Myth is so harmful to all of us. A conversation that comes from a place of humanity first and how the Model Minority Myth strips us of that basic right to be seen and treated as humans.

Titania: This film has an uncomfortable ending. Especially for advertisers who expect a clear call to action. But this isn’t an ad. And the next steps aren’t so clear. That’s reflective of the nature of the problem. The problem isn’t something a short film can solve. There is no answer. But there are questions. I hope people allow themselves to sit with their discomfort, and ask themselves the questions: How has the Model Minority Myth shown up in my life? How has it affected my relationships? With my partner, my family? With myself?

What’s next? Any plans for your next project?

Mimi: Very early on, we knew that the film would only be the first phase of this project. One film can’t tackle the myth of the model minority, but it is needed to begin that conversation. We hope to be pivotal in carrying out those conversations in service of our community and other marginalized communities.

Film Credits


Creative Directors: Titania Tran (writer) & Dan Koo (art director)

Voice: Titania Tran

Executive Producer: Hayley Goggin

Executive Producer: Mimi Munoz

Sr. Producer Lead: Mauricio Granado

House Mother: Jason Kreher

Head of Production: Orlee Tatarka

Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Kacey Kelley

Business Affairs Manager: Kevin Moyer

Business Affairs Manager: Maggie Harasyn

Associate Business Affairs Manager: Tristan Martin

Group Media Director: Jason Strickland

Group Media Director: Samantha Casagrande

Group Media Director: Kim Sizemore

Media Supervisor: Philip Chiu

Associate Media Planner: Kiran Boyal

Integrated Traffic Supervisor: Billy Mucha

Integrated Traffic Manager: Eric Nguyen

Studio Manager: Alicia Kuna

Sr. Studio Designer: Hui Chen Ou Yang

Director of Retouching: Frazer Goodbody

Sr. Retoucher: Saskia Thomson


Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks

Director/DP: Jackie Bao

Creative Director: Isaiah Seret

Partner/Managing Director: Shawn Lacy

Executive Producer: Jordana Freydberg

Head of Production: Sean Moody

Producer: Quentin Lee

Producer: Stanley Yung

Production Supervisor: Han Yan

Assistant Production Supervisor: Michael B. Williams

UPM: Aaron Shershow

Production Designer: Hanrui Wang


Editorial Company: JOINT

Editor: JB Jacobs

Associate Editor: Ling Chua

Executive Producer: Kathleen Russell

Head of Production: Catherine Liu

Sr. Post Producer: Jenny Greenfield

VFX & Finish

VFX & Finishing Company: JOINT

VFX CD & Lead Flame: Stefan Smith

Finish Artist: Kevin Alfoldy

Executive Producer: Nirad “Bugs” Russell

Head of Production: Catherine Liu

VFX Coordinator: Zai Outlaw


Music Supervision: Walker

Executive Producer: Sara Matarazzo

Executive Producer: Stephanie Pigott

Sr. Producer: Danielle Soury

Written By: Wilson

Composer: Wilson Trouve

Mix & Sound Design

Mix Company: JOINT

Audio Mixer: Natalie Huizenga

Associate Audio Engineer: Candace Mortier

Executive Producer: Kathleen Russell

Head of Production: Catherine Liu

Audio Producer: Louise Woodward

Composition & Arrangement: Natalie Huizenga / Louise Woodward


Telecine Company: Co3

Telecine Producer: Kevin Breheny

Colorist: Tom Poole

Found Footage

Center for Asian American Media: Memories to Light


Additional Music Provided By: Score A Score

Owner/EP: Jordan Passman

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