Master of None's Alan Yang made a powerful new PSA on anti-Asian racism amid the pandemic

Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias PSA
(Image credit: Ad Council)

Ad Council and Alan Yang are taking on anti-Asian racism amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The nonprofit organization Ad Council has released a powerful new public service announcement called "Fight the Virus. Fight the Bias," which was produced by Yang, co-creator of Master of None and director of Tigertail, per Deadline. It addresses the need to "stop the spread of anti-Asian racism," featuring interviewees recalling examples of racism they have been subjected to in recent months during the COVID-19 crisis and taking off their masks to say that they're "not a virus."

Yang told The New York Times this issue hit "very close to home," recalling how actor Tzi Ma, who starred in Yang's Tigertail, was approached by a man during the pandemic who told him he "should be quarantined."

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"This wasn't an abstract idea to me, something theoretical," Yang told the Times. "I knew people this was happening to."

As the Times reports, the Anti-Defamation League has noted "surging reports of xenophobic and racist incidents targeting members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander" community, and in a recent Pew Research Center survey, more than half of Asian adults said racist or racially insensitive views against Asians had become more commonly expressed during the pandemic. President Trump continues to regularly refer to COVID-19 as the "China Virus."

Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman said on Tuesday, per 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." According to the Times, the new campaign is set to be rolled out both online and on TV. Brendan Morrow

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.