Malu Trevejo, a Cuban-born Spanish singer based in Miami, Florida, has drawn backlash from the Asian community after making racially charged comments targeting the Chinese community in a recent Instagram livestream.
“I’m sorry — not trying to be racist or anythin,g but every time I see a Chinese person I go ‘uhhh, don’t breath'”, she said in the video. “It came from China so it’s a Chinese virus.”
Several hours later, she went on another Instagram livestream and issued a short apology.
“I did make an offensive comment about Chinese people. I didn’t know much about it so I talked the way I did, so I’m sorry for what I said,” she explained while letting out a laugh.
The 17-year-old is known for her videos on Chinese video-sharing app TikTok and has amassed a following of 4.8 million, along with 8.2 million in Instagram. Her single “Luna Llena” has garnered over 100 million views on YouTube since its release in 2017.
On March 16, President Donald Trump referred to COVID-19 has the “Chines Virus”
in a tweet, drawing immediately backlash from the Asian community as many believed the phrase could fuel anti-Asian American sentiments.
John C. Yang, president and executive director of the civil rights group Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), told NBC News
“The deliberate use of terms like “Chinese virus” has definitely fanned the flames of racism toward Asian Americans in this country. We have seen people associate the virus with Chinese people as they are assaulting them. It’s outrageous for any elected official to have been dismissive when the evidence of racist attacks continues to climb. Words matter and they often hold more weight when spoken by our politicians.”
On March 19, The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and Chinese for Affirmative Action, launched a web page
where victims of xenophobic and racist attacks can report incidents. So far, they’ve gotten over 670 direct reports of discrimination against primarily Asian Americans.
NextShark attempted to reach out to Trevejo via Instagram DM, but it appears our account was blocked shortly after. Her management contact listed on her Instagram bio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.