May 27, 2020
By Stuart Winchester
In a virtual celebration for Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Carrie Ann Inaba talks about confronting racism, the blessings of a multiracial upbringing, and creating her own destiny with CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers.
For The Talk host Carrie Ann Inaba, who is Japanese-Chinese-Irish and grew up in multicultural Hawaii, her multiracial background has always been something to celebrate.
“You wear it with a badge of honor like, ‘I'm this many,’” she remembered of her childhood. “’How many are you?’ Like, ‘Oh, I'm four nationalities.’ ‘Oh, I'm seven.’ It's kind of like it's something that we just talk openly about.”
Inaba considers her “in-betweener” status, as she calls it, to be a sort of superpower. “I'm really starting to believe that being an in-betweener has made it better for me, because I couldn't define myself as one or the other,” she said. “I just had to pave my own path, and I think the more that we think that way in life, that the better we are.”
Hundreds of ViacomCBS employees watched from their homes as Inaba expressed this upbeat viewpoint earlier this month. Inaba, accompanied at times by her dogs, sat in a cozy room decked out with stacks of pillows and comfortable furniture as she spoke to CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers, who interviewed her from his own home, in a room bursting with books, colorful artwork, and guitars.
The event, hosted by ViacomCBS’ AMP (Asian American Media Professionals) resource group in celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, is the first virtual event hosted by the Office of Global Inclusion since ViacomCBS initiated an indefinite work-from-home order on March 12. It served as an affirmation of the company’s values in the midst of a major business disruption.
“Today is yet another example of how technology can bring us all together and unite many of us from around the world,” said Marva Smalls, head of ViacomCBS Global Inclusion, as she introduced the event from her home. “Our being here today is further testament to ViacomCBS’ commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.”