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‘This is how you make Asians feel invisible’: Business Insider changes article cover after criticism

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Image: Business Insider

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    Business Insider was forced to change the cover image of a recent article to include a photo of an Asian entrepreneur “to better represent diversity.”

    The article, which was published on Wednesday, recognized seven self-made billionaires ⁠— three of whom are Asians ⁠— under the age of 30 in Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List of 2022.

    The original cover featured Luminar founder Austin Russell, Brex co-founder Henrique Dubugras and Bolt founder Ryan Breslow. All three were Stanford University dropouts.

    The cover change came after serial entrepreneur Dave Lu called out Business Insider a day later for excluding Asians in the original image, saying, “This is how you make Asians feel invisible.” He also urged the publication to “do better.”

    “I only learned last year that one of the co-founders of LinkedIn was Vietnamese American and one of the cofounders of Square was Chinese American,” Lu wrote on Twitter.

    “We continue to be written out of stories, stories that could inspire future generations.”

    Lu, a founding partner at Hyphen Capital, which invests in up-and-coming Asian American entrepreneurs, went on to cite a New York Times article that shed light on how Chinese workers behind North America’s first Transcontinental Railroad were nearly written out of history. “Not much has changed in 150 years,” he added.

    After being called out, Business Insider opted to remove Russell’s photo and replace it with a picture of Andy Fang, one of the co-founders of DoorDash. Fang was one of the Asian self-made billionaires featured in the article, alongside his DoorDash co-founder Stanley Tang and FTX co-founder Gary Wang.

    Unlike the three men in the original cover, Fang and Tang, however, both graduated from Stanford.

    Meanwhile, Wang, who has a net worth of $5.9 billion, is “worth five times the others,” Lu said.

    Business Insider included an editor’s note in the story after applying the change that reads:

    “The cover image has been changed to include an image of DoorDash co-founder Andy Fang to better represent the diversity of people on Forbes’ list of billionaires under 30.”

    Lu thanked the publication for making the change.

    “Call it out when you see it. For far too long, we let these microaggressions slide, so they continue to happen again and again. Be the squeaky wheel. Thank you @BusinessInsider for adding Andy’s photo and noting why. This is how things slowly change, when we use our voices,” he wrote.

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