SAG-AFTRA has released a PSA featuring performers, broadcast journalists and social media influencers calling on all Americans to stand against the stigma, xenophobia and harassment related to COVID-19 that Asian Americans continue to experience. The video was inspired by the sudden spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic.
The full video can be viewed below:
Sixteen SAG-AFTRA members appear in the PSA including Jon Jon Briones, Christina Chang, Juju Chang, Joel De La Fuente, Amy Hill, James Hong, Carrie Ann Inaba, Ken Jeong, Clyde Kusatsu, Jodi Long, Lucy Liu, Tzi Ma, Jeannie Mai, Vincent Rodriguez III, Iqbal Theba and Hudson Yang.
“As a global community, we are experiencing a historically difficult time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, instead of working together to get through this crisis, a few misguided people are looking for a scapegoat. We are still seeing a shocking increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans, including shunning, racial profiling, verbal harassment and even physical assault. This is a time of high stress, but that is no excuse for discriminatory behavior. We are all Americans and we are all in this together,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.
“SAG-AFTRA is paying attention to those brave Asian American voices coming forward with their heart-wrenching experiences of harassment. We are listening to our members who have a stake in shaping a better world, free of discrimination and harassment, and we applaud Asian American activists, organizations and allies who are bringing attention to this issue. SAG-AFTRA stands with you,” said Ren Hanami, chair of the SAG-AFTRA National Asian Pacific American Media Committee,
“If you experience hateful, criminal behavior or witness it, please report it to your local law enforcement. Let’s stand up for each other,” added Carteris.
The video premiered today during the union’s Race & Storytelling: Asian American Voices livestream panel discussion, which explored the ways in which better representation in the media and three-dimensional portrayals of Asian American Pacific Islander characters can counter stereotypes and result in larger societal impact. You can view the panel discussion below:
The panel was moderated by Jeff Yang, CNN Opinion contributor and cohost of the They Call Us Bruce podcast. Panelists were: Clyde Kusatsu, actor, Dr. Ken; Christina Chang, actor, The Good Doctor; Juju Chang, broadcast journalist, ABC News’ Nightline; Parvesh Cheena, actor, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Leslie Woo, casting director, The Farewell; and Hudson Yang, actor, Fresh Off the Boat.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. The Lia Chang theater portfolio collection,1989-2011, is in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) collection located in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room and can be accessed here.
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