Jully Lee, an actor and director, had a bad feeling about this year’s Ovation Awards, the annual competition honoring stage work in greater Los Angeles. She was a voter who had never been told when the ceremony would be, and she learned she was a nominee only when she was given 48 hours to submit a pretaped acceptance speech for use in the event that she won.
She watched anyway.
What she saw was not good. The awards ceremony, streamed online last week, showed a picture of a different Asian-American actress when announcing her category. And it mispronounced her name.
Lee laughed, reflecting a lifetime of trying to be a good sport. But her boyfriend grabbed a screenshot, and posted it on social media, and he was not the only one.
The reaction was swift, and furious, as long-simmering frustration over the functioning of the LA Stage Alliance, which administers the awards, combusted with the pain and anger of an Asian-American community devastated by a wave of anti-Asian violence.