‘Gold House advances unity and success of Asian Pacific Islanders’ – Jeremy Tran

“By collaborating with other diverse groups, we can provide leading industry stakeholders with collective guidance on how best to use their enormous cultural influence to advance equity and inclusion for people of all backgrounds,” said Jeremy Tran, executive director of Gold House, the leading nonprofit collective of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) leaders, on why it joined the HFPA, NAACP, and others in the Reimagine Coalition.

In October last year, the HFPA and NAACP announced a five-year partnership that included the unique dimension of the Reimagine Coalition.

In the Golden Globe Awards show last January, the Reimagine Coalition was formally announced on stage, with partners NAACP (represented by Kyle Bowser, senior vice president, Hollywood Bureau), Gold House (Jeremy Tran), RespectAbility (Lauren Appelbaum, vice president of communications and entertainment & news media), IllumiNative (N. Bird Runningwater) and HFPA (Helen Hoehne, president, and Neil Phillips, chief diversity officer).


Gold House is described as “a changemaker community fighting for socioeconomic equity” and helping to transform “the public narrative and mobilize action through innovative programs that advance API representation and success.”

Tran, an API himself who was born and raised in Southern California, went to college and law school at Harvard University. Before he joined Gold House, Tran was a counsel at O’Melveny & Myers and worked on high-stakes entertainment litigation.

We recently interviewed Tran via email for an update on the coalition. The following are excerpts of our interview.

What inspired Gold House to join HFPA and others in the Reimagine Coalition? Any updates on the Coalition, especially from Gold House’s side?

We know that we cannot achieve progress on our own. Equity and inclusion, by definition, require that we learn from, work with, and uplift people from all diverse backgrounds, especially those from other marginalized communities.

As such, Gold House has always been committed to advancing cross- and multi-cultural initiatives – from co-hosting solidarity town halls and panels to building programs that unite Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) with the Black, Latinx, and other diverse communities. We firmly believe that the path to real change is much shorter together.


Gold House is proud to join the Reimagine Coalition to help establish concrete, measurable, and meaningful change in the entertainment industry. By collaborating with other diverse groups, we can provide leading industry stakeholders with collective guidance on how best to use their enormous cultural influence to advance equity and inclusion for people of all backgrounds.

The Reimagine Coalition has been working hard to bring together an unprecedented collective of leading voices across diverse communities and will have exciting announcements to unveil soon.

One of Gold House’s goals is to increase and improve the representation of Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs). What programs do you have towards that goal?

Authentic representation is central to Gold House’s mission. Our programs inspire and transform the public opinion of APIs through creative projects that anchor our heritage and evolve our identity.

Through Gold Open and Gold List, for example, we work to ensure the success and recognition of key multicultural films that advance affirming portrayals of APIs. Gold House’s annual A100 List has become the nation’s leading cross-industry award recognizing contributions from API leaders, and Meta Gold Talks regularly convenes distinguished changemakers to connect the broader API community.

Behind the scenes, we work directly with nearly every major and independent studio, streamer, and network through extensive cultural consultations and partnerships (e.g., Netflix Gold) to advance authentic portrayals of API stories.

Can you describe Gold House’s other programs? How is Gold House engaged in helping in the urgent need to stop API hate and violence?

Outside of representation, Gold House’s other key pillars advance the unity and success of APIs. Our membership and broader community efforts regularly host events and build initiatives to fortify relationships among APIs and with other marginalized communities (e.g., We Can Do This and API COVID-19 Vaccine Information, All Americans Movement, Yelp API Small Business Tool).

For example, we’re proud to have helped GoFundMe raise over $7 million to support API organizations and causes through its Stop Asian Hate Community Fund. In terms of advancing the economic success of APIs, Gold House has built the nation’s largest network and accelerator for top API founders, and Gold House Futures accelerates and invests in the most promising API leaders in film, art, music, entrepreneurship, and social impact.

As Gold House’s executive director, what do you think are the challenges in improving API representation in media and entertainment? What other steps are still needed to improve the casting and hiring of diverse actors and creatives in film and television and to amplify API stories?

The biggest challenge has been educating our partners about the importance – and frankly, often missed opportunity – of understanding the vastly diverse Asian and Pacific Islander community. While diversity has become “trendy” in recent years, the inclusion of APIs in DEI conversations only became mainstream due to the recent media attention around the rise of racism against APIs during the pandemic.

We’re often sitting in rooms with well-intentioned people who never meaningfully thought about the API community before. Many inevitably say, “You only represent seven percent of the population” or “We already have an API project/team member/cause we are supporting.”

We have to vigilantly remind many decision-makers that we represent over four billion people, dozens of ethnicities and languages, and wide-ranging economic and sociopolitical realities, let alone opportunities such as representing the fastest-growing racial group in America, the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade, four of the top ten grossing films in the 2021 domestic box office, the most-streamed series in Netflix history, and by far the greatest growth in commercial buying power.

Talk about the genesis of Gold House Ventures, how the idea began, and what you hope to accomplish in promoting API entrepreneurship.

As part of our holistic approach to empower the API community, Gold House has long been committed to advancing API entrepreneurship in tandem with media representation. APIs have long been confronted with “bamboo ceiling” tropes and studies showing that we are the least likely to be promoted to management (especially API women).

From 2000 to 2020, for example, only six Asian-American women have been CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (white men, on the other hand, held 85.8% of Fortune 500 CEO positions in 2020).

Rather than wait for a seat at the table, we decided to build our own. Gold House Ventures is the preeminent API-focused fund and is led by a nonprofit General Partnership that enables shared access across the venture ecosystem. By investing in our community, we empower sustained economic and cultural success while unlocking cross-industry opportunities.

Being an API born and raised in Southern California, what was that like? And what did you learn from that life experience?

I was born and raised in Westminster, California – fondly referred to as Little Saigon. The vast majority of my childhood friends and classmates were Vietnamese Americans whose parents similarly escaped the Vietnam War.

My first language was Vietnamese. I essentially only ate Vietnamese food at home. And I celebrated every Vietnamese holiday and tradition my parents could possibly squeeze into their schedules.

As such, I never felt “Asian” until I had experiences outside of Westminster – first, as the only Asian cast member of a short-lived ABC reality TV show, and then in college 3,000 miles away from home.

An indirect feeling of being viewed as “other” suddenly became palpable and eventually grew into my first experiences with overt racism and classism. That began my journey in understanding how different facets of my identity intersect with my career ambitions, personal goals, and creative passions – a journey that I am very much still exploring today.

How do you see Gold House’s role in ten years? What still needs to be done?

In an ideal world, Gold House would no longer need to exist in ten years, and the API community will feel fully empowered and heard. Realistically, we not only hope to continue our work in advancing the API community domestically but also to deepen our initiatives with other multicultural communities and with Asian communities abroad.