Asian-American actors raise voices against racism stemming from COVID-19 pandemic

Many have condemned Donald Trump's recent remarks where he labeled the disease as a 'Chinese virus'

Entertainment Desk March 26, 2020


During the past week, several Asian American public figures have criticised in various interviews with The Hollywood Reporter over racism stemming from the pandemic in the country.

Eugene Lee Yang, form The Try Guys, discussed an incident where he saw a woman demanding her coffee be remade since it was made by an Asian barista.

Yang talked about how he was able to give the person a shut-up call right there and then, most Asian Americans don't have that privilege.  "My job is literally clapping back every day online as a comedian. It wasn't hard for me," Yang says. "That's not the truth or the situation for almost every other Asian American, particularly those who are elderly, those who might have a language barrier, those who are young, those who are female. They don't have that option." His biggest advice to those who experience hate  is to "remember you're not bad inherently, you're not wrong."

Eugénie Grey, a fashion, beauty and travel blogger who runs Feral Creature, how she was physically attacked while walking her dog outside."I worry about everyone else who doesn't have the chance to stay home around the clock: those who need to go to work or lose their apartments, those who don't have partners to walk the dog for them, or those who have to go get groceries."

According to her, US President Trump describing coronavirus a "Chinese virus" is only escalating matters.

Mulan star Tzi Ma shared an incident where someone told her to be in "quarantine" when he visited Whole Foods in Pasadena.



"This is in Pasadena, a really diverse community. I was really caught off-guard, and that taught me a lesson," Ma said. "I should always be on guard in these troubled times."

"Hatred and division aren’t going to prevent this virus from spreading and will only make an already difficult situation even worse. We’re calling for everyone — regardless of their race or country of origin — to recognize that we’re all in this fight together," he said.

The actor took a trip down memory lane to add further context to what was happening today. "I grew up in the '60s. I understand all of these reactions. What I see here is another incident of a particular group being targeted, and Asian Americans are not unfamiliar with these targets — the internment of Japanese Americans, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Rock Springs massacre, the 1992 Los Angeles riots," he said.

Celia Au, who stars in Netflix's Wu Assassins, talked about how Asian Americans are falling victim to misplaced fear and anger.

"Many Asian Americans work in the medical field," Au said. "They're already risking their lives going to work every day trying to save your life. By attacking them, they are afraid to go to work. They're afraid that on their way to work, they're going to get attacked by people. If these people don't go to work, you're not going to get care."

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