The Bonghive Fan Base That Pushed for 'Parasite' To Win Oscar Gold
Perhaps few found the historic Oscar win by Parasite as sweet as the so-called "Bonghive." The online fan base helped the darkly-comic Korean thriller become the first non-English language film to win best picture.
The hashtag "#Bonghive" started showing up on Twitter after the film picked up the Palme d'Or at Cannes last May, named after the film's quirky and extremely meme-able Korean director Bong Joon-ho.
Nancy Wang Yuen, a Biola University sociologist who writes about racism in entertainment, was among those pressuring Hollywood to seriously consider Parasite, and demanding recognition for the talented cast.
The Screen Actors Guild went on to award the ensemble for acting last month, helping to pave the way to Oscar Gold. "I absolutely think that buzz counts for something," Yuen said.
"Everybody's on social media, including Academy members," Yuen said. "We're all swimming in the same water."
The movie's win was especially emotional for another L.A. Bong-hiver, Phil Yu, who writes the Angry Asian Man blog. He said he grew up in San Jose in the early 1980s being asked "What's that?" when he told people he was Korean.
"I couldn't help but think of that, as I saw the Parasite cast up on that stage and be like, wow, that was a long time ago, but it wasn't that long ago," Yu said.
He called his mom right up after Parasite won. They kept asking each other: "Can you believe it?"
Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang was one of the most prominent champions of the film.
"For something like Parasite ,which I think is close to a perfect movie, I went pretty all in," Chang said. "I wrote piece after piece. I mean, a movie like that does not come along every day, you know?"