A campaign that aims to quash racism against Asian Americans amid the COVID-19 crisis has launched on the internet this week.
Produced by “Master of None” co-creator Alan Yang, “Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias” features Asian Americans from all walks of life, brought together by experiences of discrimination during the pandemic.
For the new PSA, Yang partnered with the Ad Council’s “Love Has No Labels,” a movement promoting “acceptance and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability.” It won an Emmy in 2016.
The ad starts with each Asian American sharing their story of racism. It ends with everyone removing their mask, revealing their profession and stating, “I’m not a virus.”
Among the individuals featured is Chinese American chef Melissa King, who won “Top Chef” in June. She vowed to do her part in putting an end to racism.
“My biggest fear is that all the stereotypes that we’ve worked so hard to break are just going to be reversed,” King said. “I won’t let that happen.”
The campaign also comes with a new AR filter, which can be accessed on the Love Has No Labels Instagram page.
“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,” Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman said, according to Deadline. “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.”
Asian Americans have battled a surge in racism since COVID-19 hit the U.S. As of July 1, those in California alone reported 832 incidents of discrimination and harassment in the last three months, according to aggregator Stop AAPI Hate.
“Racist demagoguery matched with anti-immigrant policies have always been used to deny Asian Americans full social and political rights,” said Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), which co-founded Stop AAPI Hate. “In California, we have to do more than condemn racist rhetoric — we must take bold action today to address attacks whether they happen in grocery stores, in the workplace or in the schoolyard.”
Ad Council has also released individual clips of the Asian Americans featured in the campaign.
Feature Image Screenshots via Ad Council