Exclusive - Eddie Huang Extended Interview

June 14, 2016 - Michelangelo Signorile and Eddie Huang 06/14/2016 Views: 4,391

Chef and "Huang's World" host Eddie Huang describes growing up in a gun-heavy culture in Orlando, FL, and talks about finding himself in the book "Double Cup Love." (6:01)

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My next guest is the hostof Viceland's Huang's World

and an author.

His new book is called Double Cup Love.

Please welcome Eddie Huang!

(applause and cheering)

Welcome to the show, Eddie.

-Thank you. Thank you.-This is weird.

I love your work,I love what you do,

but then I picture youas this little boy

that loves hip-hopand lives in Orlando.

A 12-year-old.A 12-year-old, yeah.

Is that still who you are?

Uh, the 12-year-old kid on ABC?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.I mean, personality-wise.

-I mean, I'm not saying,"Is that who you are?" -Oh. No.

I mean, think Hudson,who plays my life character

-on ABC-- he's fantastic.-Yeah.

But it's a different characterthan who I was at 12

and who I am now, you know.

But I thinkI still have the same shirt on.

-(laughter) -You...That's exactly. -Yeah.

Exactly the same shirt.

Before we get into the book,before we get into the comedy,

-let's talk a little bitabout Orlando. -Yeah.

In the first few pagesof this book,

you talk about how easy it isto get an AR-15.

It's insane, you know...

You can buy a Dora the Explorerbackpack and an AR-15

and put 'em in the same shoppingcart in a lot of states.

And both of them areas dangerous, let's be honest.

-Yes. -We know that.-(laughter)

-Dora the Explorer is dangerous,people. -Yes.

-Um, you grew up in Orlando,though. -Yeah.

-You have friends there.-Yes.

You also have friendsthat have guns like this.

Yeah. Um,in Orlando, growing up,

um, there isan out-of-control gun culture.

There's a lot of gun clubs,there's a lot of gun ranges.

I remember playing video games,

and friends of mine had guns

hanging on gun racksover their couch.

I remember friendswatching sports holding AR-15s.

-We talk about it in the book.-Yeah.

Um, in the book,it happens in Houston.

In my life,it happened in Florida.

I've lived in D.C.,I've lived in Orlando,

I've lived in Pittsburgh,

I've lived in New York,I've lived in L.A.

The only place I've had gunspulled on me was Orlando.

I had guns pulled on me twicein high school.

Here's the questionI have, though.

How do we movea conversation forward?

-As you said,they're your friends. -Yeah.

So I'm assumingthey're not bad people.

No, they're not bad people.

It was other peoplefrom the other neighborhood...

No, no, no. But I'm saying,how do you engage

in that conversationwith your friend about the guns?

Like, your friend is going,"I'm not a bad guy.

"I just like guns. I alsohave a right to these guns.

-This is part of what my countrystands for." -Yes. Yeah.

How do you... how do you movethat conversation forward

-for yourself?-It's... You know, also,

you have... you...

I think all of us have friendsthat have guns in their homes.

Maybe it's under a mattress orit's somewhere safe in the home,

because you wantto defend yourself.

Well, the mattress is not safe,but I know what you mean.

And you see...Yeah, no, mattress is not safe.

-But, like, you see thingson TV, -Yeah, yeah, yeah.

people... you know,you see things going on,

people do get robbed, and peoplewith families, children,

girlfriends, live with them,they want to protect themselves,

and I understand that.

I would... I would neverfight them on that.

But an AR-15 isan assault rifle.

Um, I just don't seeany need for this.

And an O.G. once told me, thisis... that this is something

somebody told me-- he said,"If you don't have a gun,

you're not gonna havegun problems."

-That is true.-You know, very rarely

do I hear stories of peoplethat have a gun for defense

and they've actuallysuccessfully used it

to defend themselves.

Most of the times,whoever's pulling it first,

they're doing whatthey're doing, you know?

And-and that's what...that's what an O.G. told me:

You don't have a gun,you won't have gun problems.

I've never owned a gun,you know?

I know people who own them.

It doesn't make thembetter or worse people.

But I personally believein gun control.

I don't think we shouldhave access to AR-15's.

I think we really needto take a look at this.

-(applause)-And also, the one thing I...

(audience whooping)

It's an emotional thingto talk about,

because whenwe went back to Orlando

for the Viceland show two,there was a scene

-where we went to this place,the Sausage Castle, -Yeah.

and they're shooting offthe guns.

My brother almost got shot,

and my cameraman was two inchesfrom being shot,

and it's in the show.

And we pulled it Sunday.

Viceland,we all did the right thing,

we pulled the show Sunday...

-Because of... yeah.-because of the gun violence,

and it's too much to stomach.

Because even thoughwe went to cover it

and we talked about itand we talk about gun control--

and it's the only sceneI've ever walked out of,

because I was disgusted--

I... I wish we could dosomething more.

Like, when you seesomething like this happen

in your community, you just wishyou did something more.

'Cause... I thinkthere's something all of us...

there's... there's somethingall of us can do

to prevent these thingsfrom hap...

They're happening way too often.

-(cheering, applause)-That's very true.

Your book...

-is about finding love,finding yourself, -Yeah.

-uh, (bleep) your pants.-(laughter)

-Yes. Yes. -Uh, do youever find it challenging

to be so vulnerable whenyou're telling your stories?

'Cause that's one thingthat comes across

-in all of your books.-It is hard.

It's super hard. You know,like, I had a panic attack

a week ago, after an event in...in Oakland for the book,

because, you know, you end uptalking about domestic violence.

Kids come to the book eventsand they ask, you know,

"How do I deal withdomestic violence in my home?"

"How do I deal with identity?"

Um, there was a...there was a kid

who was an ethnic minority inChina, immigrated to Oakland,

and he liked to makeraw pork salad, raw beef salad,

and people laughed at himgrowing up,

-Yeah.-and he was out there asking,

"How do I make raw beefand raw pork salad cool?"

And I was like, "My heartgoes out to you, brother,

-'cause I don't know."-(laughter)

You know?I said, "Put it on bread.

Americans like bread.Like, put it on bread."

I always said if Obama wantedthe health care act passed,

he should have put iton cheddar biscuits.

You know, like, Americans votefor things on bread. You know?

"Americans votefor things on bread." -Yeah.

-Yeah. -That is an epic quote.I think we can, uh...

-Thank you.-we can end on that.

-(whooping, applause)-Thank you. -That is fantastic.

It really is a funny book,so insightful.

And the season finaleof Huang's World will air

Thursday, June 16, at 10:00 p.m.on Viceland.

And Double Cup Love is available now.

I suggest you go out and get it.

Eddie Huang, everybody.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)