Asian celebrities work to combat xenophobia

Asian celebrities work to combat xenophobia
Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Since the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak which originated in Wuhan, China spread to the rest of the world, Asians have been reporting increased cases of racist attacks. Late last month, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a report indicating the uptick in discrimination displayed towards Asian Americans since the pandemic spread.

Some blame the country of China, Chinese people and their diets for the spread of the virus which has reached over 3 million cases and claimed the lives of 211,663 people across the globe as of April 28. The pandemic has also left economies around the world depressed and has skyrocketed the unemployment rate.

Trump has also referred to the virus as the “Chinese virus,” which although some – including Trump – have said to be innocuous and comparable to labeling the previous 1918 pandemic the “Spanish flu”, “…it’s the undertones,” stated “The Good Doctor” actor Will Yun Lee.

Lee has reported feeling worried about taking his baby – who is of mixed Asian-European origin – to the supermarket.

High-profile Asian Americans are now working to combat this discrimination.

Earlier this month, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang released an op-ed in the Washington Post entitled, “We Asian Americans are not the virus, but we can be part of the cure.” However, his efforts were not well received by some who interpreted his article as him pushing for Asian Americans to embrace “our American-ness in ways we never have before.”

Director of “Crazy Rich Asians”, Jon M. Chu states feeling more cautious than usual. “It’s very sad when I feel a little bit weird when I’m going to go for a walk around the block.”

This comes amid a time when Hollywood has made progress in casting Asian actors beyond typical typecast roles, which some contribute to the success of the 2018 film.

The Millennial Source has also been approached to publicize information on the charitable acts Asians are engaging in to combat the pandemic, including donations made to hospitals and charities assisting with the battle.

The intent of these publicity requests, according to the source who requested anonymity, represented an attempt to decrease the “negative feelings [some people have] about the Chinese” in certain parts of the world.

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