He’s a trailblazer in the TV news industry; the first Asian-American male to anchor a daily cable news program.

Richard Lui was a rising star in the news industry when he landed his dream job at NBC and MSNBC News as an anchor. Soon after, he received devastating news. His father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was soon faced with the difficult decision of whether or not he should, or could, become a caregiver for his father.

“I knew I wanted to take care of him,” Lui said. “When he could no longer fight for himself, I really thought, ‘OK, it’s my turn.’ And that would mean leaving New York and coming to California.”

Lui walked into his boss’s office to tell her he needed to become a caregiver for his father, expecting to be let go from his job. Instead, his boss, Yvette Miley, said, “I’m taking care of my mom too, in Florida. We’re going to figure out how we can keep you here.”

After the Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2014, Lui traveled between New York and San Francisco to continue anchoring part-time and caregiving full-time for his father. Lui’s father passed in 2021.

In a powerful new documentary, “Unconditional,” Lui is giving an intimate behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like being a caregiver. The project, which was directed by Lui, took seven years to complete and followed different caregivers, including Lui himself.

“Unconditional” recently premiered at both Universal Studios in Hollywood and the White House.

First Lady Jill Biden gave a speech at the White House premiere, saying “Caregivers, you do what you have to do for the person you love, but I know that you get tired of always having to be strong. I know you get tired of feeling like you have to carry the weight of the world alone. We are here today because you are not alone.”

Photo taken by Valerie Plesch. First Lady Jill Biden screens “Unconditional” at the White House. May 10, 2023.

An estimated 53 million people in the United States are caregivers. Lui says he hopes his film will help inspire those who serve as caregivers to find joy in the difficult moments, and to know they aren’t alone.

“The most important thing I learned along the way is that sometimes we’re scared to laugh, we’re scared to find funniness in things that are new to us.” On joy, Lui said, “I think that the key that we try to show in the film is find joy despite difficulty, and it’s there, and don’t push it away.”

“A must-see perspective on caregiving, mental health, and the healing of mind and soul.” 
– Lauren Miller Rogen, executive producer; co-founder, Hilarity for Charity 

Former First Lady of California Maria Shriver is an executive producer on the documentary. When asked about her thoughts on the film she said, “Caregiving takes courage, compassion, commitment. If you want to see love in action, then rush to watch this incredibly inspiring film.”

“Unconditional” will stream on PBS through July.