YouTube Showcases Anna Akana, Steve Aoki, More API Creators Across Platforms for Heritage Month

YouTube Showcases Anna Akana, Steve Aoki, More API Creators Across Platforms for Heritage Month
Carl Samson
By Carl Samson
May 6, 2021
YouTube is putting Asian and Pacific Islander (API) creators in the spotlight of its platforms in honor of Heritage Month.
In a blog post on Monday, Go-To-Market Shows Lead Dennis Chiu said YouTube could not be more proud of the global API community, whose work “influences the cultural fabric of America and the world beyond.”
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Amid all of the talent, Chiu acknowledged the increased racism and violence towards APIs in the past year and noted that “for many in this community, words aren’t enough.”
Throughout Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), YouTube will showcase the stories and creativity of API creators and artists across its platforms to educate, uplift and inspire people.
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For one, YouTube has dedicated an APAHM playlist in its Spotlight channel, which features videos about the lives of creators such as Anna Akana, Steve Aoki, Hasan Minhaj and Amanda Lee.
NextShark’s 2016 interview with Aoki, in which he talks about the struggles of growing up Asian American, is currently at the top of the list.
YouTube Music has also created a flagship playlist called “Celebrating APAHM.” On this week’s cover is rising artist Audrey Nuna, while the rest of the playlist features tracks from Olivia Rodrigo, Eric Nam, Dumbfoundead, Jay Park, Amber Liu and Hayley Kiyoko, to name a few.
Chiu said fans will be able to enjoy several other YouTube Music playlists throughout the month that showcase artists from across Asian diasporas. The Spotlight channel’s “RELEASED” playlist, updated on Thursdays at 11:45 p.m. ET, will also feature “some special API programming.”
Meanwhile, YouTube Kids will feature “AAPI Storytime” videos from The Conscious Kid and Wong Fu Productions, with children’s books on AAPI heritage to be read aloud by celebrities like Harry Shum Jr. Videos will be released every week on The Conscious Kid’s YouTube channel and in the learning section of the YouTube Kids app.
YouTube Learning will launch two playlists: “Explore AAPI History” will honor API communities who have helped shape modern U.S. history, while “Asian American Heroes” will celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of noteworthy Asian Americans.
Finally, YouTube Originals will release a docuseries called “Recipe for Change” (working title), with executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter, according to Deadline. Available on June 16, the series will “bring together Asian American celebrities, chefs, activists, and creators to celebrate API culture and discuss the recent and historic acts of hate and violence against the API community.”
“It’s undeniable how rich and expansive the API community’s body of work is — so we’re just here to surface it even more,” Chiu wrote. “We’re so grateful to the API community for what they bring to YouTube! The stories, the creativity and all the heart. Thank you.”
Feature Image via Anna Akana (left), NextShark (right)
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