At the top of the pandemic, when former reality show host Donald Trump referred to the coronavirus as the “China Virus” and “Kung Flu”, violence and harassment against Asians and Asian Americans started to surge. This all came to a head on March 16 when Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Grant, Suncha Kim and Yong Ae Yue were senselessly murdered by a man who, according to authorities was “having a bad day” when it was clear as day that this was a hate crime.
Six of the victims were Asian and the violence against Asians and Asian Americans continues to plague this country — but it’s nothing new. From the horrible treatment of Chinese railroad workers to the Chinese Exclusion Act to Japanese internment camps during WWII to the rampage of a Filipino community during the Watsonville Riots to the fetishization of Asian women to Hollywood’s history of degrading and harmful portrayals of the Asian community since the inception of film and TV — anti-Asian racism has been alive and well as white supremacy continues to pulse through the veins of this country. As Hollywood becomes more aware of this, CAA is set to bring together leading experts and cultural icons at a virtual CAA Amplify Town Hall on April 1 starting at 10am PT to provide education and inspiration for action.
“It’s important that we engage in a conversation about how we can work collectively to bring about sustainable change in the face of systemic racism,” said Kevin Lin, Co-Head of CAA’s Cultural Business Strategy Group. “We are creating a forum to address the racism and stereotyping that too often fuel discrimination and hate crimes targeting the global Asian community and to examine the role of media and entertainment in telling our stories authentically. The upcoming Amplify Town Hall offers an opportunity to hear from activists who have long led this charge and to provide action items so that we can all play a part in combatting the ongoing violence.”
“Anti-Asian discrimination is not new, but it’s worsening in a very dangerous way where many AAPI community members fear walking down the street,” said actress and producer Kelly Marie Tran. “In the past, I’ve found that community is the only way to combat hate. I am so proud to be part of the upcoming Town Hall – not only am I inspired by the leaders in our community who are actively furthering the anti-racism movement, but I’m reminded that a better world is both attainable and worth fighting for.”
The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University reports that anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in America’s largest cities jumped nearly 150% in 2020. Since March of last year, more than 3,800 anti-Asian incidents in the United States alone have been reported to the Stop AAPI Hate center
Featured CAA Amplify Town Hall speakers and appearances, among others, will include:
- Actor and Co-Founder of RUN AAPI, Chloe Bennet
- President of Anthem of Us, Anurima Bhargava
- Writer and Cultural Strategist, Jeff Chang
- Founding Partner of Stop AAPI Hate and Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, Cynthia Choi
- Academy Award-Nominated and Grammy Award-Winning singer and songwriter, H.E.R.
- Co-Founder of The Hundreds, Bobby Hundreds
- Playwright and Screenwriter, David Henry Hwang
- Co-Founder of RUN AAPI, Brad Jenkins
- Actor, Minari, Alan Kim
- Most Decorated U.S. Figure Skater, Michelle Kwan
- Artistic Director of The Young Vic, Kwame Kwei-Armah
- U.S. Congressman (D – Los Angeles County), Ted W. Lieu
- Journalist, Lisa Ling
- Actor, Author, and Activist, Simu Liu
- Founder and CEO of Rise, Amanda Nguyen
- Actor, Author, and Co-Founder of ActToChange.org, Maulik Pancholy
- Tony and Grammy Award-Nominated Actor, Emily in Paris, Ashley Park
- President and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation and TIME’S UP Now, Tina Tchen
- Actor and Producer, Raya and the Last Dragon, Kelly Marie Tran
- Actor, Advocate, and Producer, DeWanda Wise
- Comedian, Writer, and Actor, Jenny Yang
The Town Hall is open to the public and those interested may register at https://amplify.caa.com/AAPI. Action steps the public can take to help address the crisis will be posted on the website at the conclusion of the event.