Asian-American entertainers are speaking out in solidarity.
On Sunday, Entertainment Weekly hosted a roundtable featuring Daniel Dae Kim, George Takei, Olivia Munn, Dianne Doan, Hari Kondabolu and Chloe Bennet, talking about their experiences.
Among the current concerns has been the rise in anti-Asian racism amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
“This is not a current phenomenon, violence against [Asians] is as old as American history,” said Takei, who has been open about his experience as a Japanese American interred with his family during World War II.
“In this case, it was that has-been president who constantly used that phrase, ‘Chinese flu,’ ‘Wuhan flu,’ or ‘kung flu,’ that these uneducated people take it out on the most fragile, vulnerable people in the community, the elderly,” the legendary “Star Trek” actor added. “And they are cowards, and cowards are throughout American history.”
Bennet also emphasized the importance of solidarity between minority communities, explaining that “white supremacy is pinning non-white groups against each other.”
She added, “We can’t really address the racism that’s happening towards Asian Americans without addressing the racism that is happening towards African Americans, our Latinx brothers and sisters.”
Munn said, “We do need people in our own community to step up and stand up and say, ‘Okay, we’re going to address this, we’re going to do the right things.’ And I know, for me, I was able to watch their leadership and follow behind them, when my time was called to stand up and do something.”
Talking about the entertainment industry specifically, Kim said, “It’s about pushing the boundaries in your respective fields, whether it’s acting, directing, producing, or all of the above — do whatever you’re able to do to push this boundary.”
He continued, “Keep this as part of your agenda because that’s the only way it’s going to get further. The people who are just starting in this business are not in positions like we are where we can make change and ask for things on a daily basis in the jobs that we have. So it’s up to those of us who can to do. And that’s how a wave it gets formed.”
ET Canada stands with the Asian community in working together to stop anti-Asian racism in Canada, the United States, and around the world to #StopAsianHate.
Canadians can stay informed by following community groups and leaders, including but not limited to: https://nextshark.com/, https://www.dearasianyouth.org/home, https://www.thepeahceproject.com/ and https://www.asianmhc.org/instagram-partners.
If you or someone you know is experiencing hate-crimes related to xenophobic attacks in Canada you can file a report at: https://www.elimin8hate.org/fileareport.
Bystander intervention training to anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment is available at: ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/.