Kal Penn Raises $200K For Refugees In 24 Hours
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Penn responded perfectly to a bigoted tweet sent his way back in 2017. The actor and former Obama staffer received a hateful tweet telling him, "you don't belong in this country you f***ing joke." The "Harold & Kumar" actor's response was to create a fundraising page for Syrian refugees, which earned $251,052 in donations in less than 24 hours after making the campaign.
"How's that for showing the world who we are?" tweeted the actor in response to the outpouring of generosity.
Simu Liu Speaks Up About Racist Storylines In 'Kim's Convenience'
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Although "Kim's Convenience", a CBC show about a Korean family owning a small convenience store, is one of the highest-rated Canadian shows ever, the cast had to deal with unfortunately discriminatory experiences while filming. In a lengthy Facebook post, Liu revealed the unfair conditions placed on him and his actors.
"Our producers were overwhelmingly white and we were a cast of Asian-Canadians who had a plethora of lived experiences to draw from and offer to writers," wrote Liu, who was "increasingly frustrated" with how the writers were portraying his character, Jung Kim.
The actor also described their pay as "horsepoop," compared to other famous Canadian network shows like "Schitt's Creek".
Zendaya Calls Out Critique Of Her Locs
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"Fashion Police" co-host Giuliana Rancic slammed Zendaya for wearing dreadlocks at the 2015 Oscars, saying she looked like she "smells like patchouli oil or weed." The actress, 26, responded on Instagram in a classy post which addressed Rancic's ignorance. "My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough," wrote the actress in the post.
Years later, Zendaya reflected on the moment, sharing with W Magazine: "And it made me think, 'How could I always have a lasting impact on what people saw and associated with People of Color?'"
Michelle Yeoh Declines Work For 2 Years Due To Stereotypes
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The recent Oscar winner was already a big star internationally in 1997. However, she experienced her big American break after starring as a highly skilled martial arts spy in the James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies".
Though the role put her name on the map in Hollywood, she experienced many biased and unfair reactions. The roles she was offered following her stint in the film were also rooted in stereotypes, causing the actress to decline roles for over 2 years.
"At that point, people in the industry couldn't really tell the difference between whether I was Chinese or Japanese or Korean or if I even spoke English," Yeoh said to People magazine. "They would talk very loudly and very slow [at me]. I didn't work for almost two years, until 'Crouching Tiger,' simply because I could not agree with the stereotypical roles that were put forward to me."
Gabrielle Union Launches Discrimination Complaint Against 'America's Got Talent'
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Despite being the highest-performing judge on "America's Got Talent", producers removed Union from the series after just one season in 2019. The star said that her days on the show were problematic from the first day of filming. Simon Cowell would smoke indoors beside Union despite her cigarette allergy; something producers did not care to solve. There was also a racist joke on set by Jay Leno, a guest judge, who said a painting of Cowell with his dogs looked like a "food items at a Korean restaurant," causing Union to freeze up. She was also told her hair was "too Black" by hairstylists.
The actress finally took a stand and launched a discrimination action against Simon Cowell and Fremantle over her wrongful firing from the show. The case was settled in court, reaching a "amicable resolution."
The Weeknd Cuts Ties With H&M
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The Canadian superstar departed from his deal with H&M following a slew of offensive and racially insensitive advertisements which featured a Black boy modelling a hoodie that read "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" in 2018. The singer tweeted in reaction to the tone-deaf ad: "Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I'm deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore."
Beyoncé Asks Viewers To Help 'Dismantle A Racist And Unequal System'
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While receiving the humanitarian award at the 2020 BET Awards, the singer used her speech to encourage viewers to vote "like our life depends on it" in the upcoming US election. She used her platform to ask viewers to help "dismantle a racist and unequal system" in the country.
Before receiving the award, Michelle Obama highlighted the musician's philanthropic commitment to the Black community, saying: "You can see it in everything she does, from her music that gives voice to Black joy and Black pain, to her activism that demands justice for Black lives."
Beyonce then dedicated the award to protesters nationwide during the BLM and George Floyd protests.
Lizzo Takes Companies And Celebrities To Task
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Following the tragic killing of George Floyd in 2020, Lizzo used her platform to call her followers and fans to protest against systemic racism and police brutality. "Protest is not the end of progress, it is the beginning," she captioned her post on Instagram.
The singer further propositioned corporations and peers in the industry to use their platforms to fight for the cause. "I wonder what would happen if all the big companies and celebrities who have showed support on social media came out and used their platform to let activists and protesters speak and be seen? I wonder what would happen if we allowed the outrage to have positive influence in our local government?"
Idris Elba Voices Disappointment Over Racist Bond Backlash
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While speaking with Vanity Fair, the 50-year-old actor expressed how "disheartened" he felt by the flurry of racist backlash he received following the rumours that he was the next James Bond.
"You just get disheartened, when you get people from a generational point of view going, 'It can't be.' And it really turns out to be the colour of my skin. And then if I get it and it didn't work, or it did work, would it be because of the colour of my skin? That's a difficult position to put myself into when I don't need to," Elba said to the publication.
Viola Davis Says Her Life 'Is A Protest'
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While Vanity Fair interviewed "The Woman King" star in 2020, she shared how she feels like her entire life is a "protest."
"I feel like my entire life has been a protest," Davis says. "My production company is my protest. Me not wearing a wig at the Oscars in 2012 was my protest. It is a part of my voice, just like introducing myself to you and saying, 'Hello, my name is Viola Davis.'"
The actress also highlighted the lack of opportunities for young Black women in Hollywood, stating: "There's not enough opportunities out there to bring that unknown, faceless Black actress to the ranks of the known. To pop her!"