Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a surge in racism against Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) which has been bolstered by Donald Trump and his administration’s consistent use of the terms “Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu” to describe COVID-19. To combat the wave of harassment and discrimination Tigertail director and Master of None co-creator Alan Yang partnered with the Ad Council’s Emmy-winning “Love Has No Labels” for a new PSA titled “Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias”, which looks to dispel racism against the API community.
Produced by Yang, the PSA features Asians from all walks of life including Top Chef winner Melissa King. Each of them start off wearing face coverings as they speaks candidly about the racism, harassment and discrimination they have experienced during the pandemic. The PSA breaks the silence around the hate and racism impacting the API community. Accompanying the PSA is a new AR filter, available on the Love Has No Labels Instagram page in the Effects Tab, empowering users to show solidarity and how they are stopping the spread of anti-API racism.
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“At a time when hateful rhetoric and racially-fueled discrimination are plaguing the API community, it’s critical that we all play a role in dispelling the racist misconceptions and actions pervading our country,” said Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman. “Amid this pandemic and the stresses associated, nobody should have to also endure the added layer of fear that comes from this surge in racial violence and harassment. We hope this film will inspire Americans to rethink their biases and help put an end to the wave of racism facing the API community.”
Just this week, former Celebrity Apprentice host Trump tweeted, “We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance.” His use of the term “China Virus” conflates the Chinese community with the coronavirus.
According to a recent report from the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council’s Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans in California have self-reported 832 incidents of discrimination in the past three months. Of those, 81 were incidents of assault while 64 potential civil rights violations. Nation-wide, there have been nearly 2,0000 reported incidences of discrimination and hate speech against the API community during the crisis.
According to a new survey conducted by Pew Research Center, Asian Americans are among one of the marginalized groups who are more likely to face racial bias and discrimination during the pandemic. Close to one-in-three Asian adults (31%) report being victim to slurs or jokes because of their race or ethnicity since the outbreak began and a majority of Asian Americans (58%) admit it is happening more frequently now than before the pandemic.
The discrimination of the API community comes at a time when many communities of color are continuing to face racism. With the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, Nina Pop and numerous others, the Black community has been continuing their life-long fight against injustice. Meanwhile, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, specifically the Latinx community, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The campaign features new resources for users to get a deeper understanding of the discrimination facing the API community and what they can do to help. Along with the launch of the PSA, Love Has No Labels will participate in the Asian American Marketing + Advertising Townhall on July 21, hosted by the 3AF (Asian American Advertising Federation) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Educational Foundation to help drive awareness by addressing anti-API bias impacting the community.
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