Views From The Edge: Asian American Celebreties Launch #WashTheHate Campaign

Mulan star Tzi Ma, and other notable Asian American stars have taken to social media to join the #WashTheHate campaign against racism.
#WashTheHate is a digital campaign that launched on March 18th, by marketing agency IW Group to combat against coronavirus-related harassment towards those of Asian descent. The campaign features numerous videos from influential Asian public figures washing their hands and sharing their experiences on how COVID-19 affected their daily lives.

According to Telly Wong, Chief Content Officer at IW Group who talked to Asian Journal, the IW Group created this social media campaign to tackle against the “increasing rate of hate and biased incidents against Asians as a result of the coronavirus.” Since then, the IW Group has brought together some “influential voices” who tried to not only address the problem but become part of the solution.

Ma, a Chinese American actor who starred in Rush Hour and Mulan was one of the first actors to post a video on Twitter under #WashTheHate.

In the video, Ma was seen washing his hands while pointing out how the virus had emotionally scarred Asian Americans. “We’re all scared; now we act out of our fears by wearing masks, hoarding supplies and sadly some of us lash out on Asian Americans as if Asian Americans were responsible for this virus just for being of Asian descent,” he said. “Stop it.”

In an interview with ABC News, Ma said that he was motivated to join the campaign because he had first-hand experience of xenophobia.

Ma shared how a stranger rolled down the window of his car at a Whole Foods in California and yelled, “You should be quarantined.” Ma further went on to explain how he went “numb and then “felt assaulted.”

Celia Au, another Asian American filmmaker and actress known for her appearance in Wu Assassins also backed the campaign.

The Chinese American actress had also partnered with the #WashTheHate campaign after seeing the surge of attacks on fellow Asian Americans.

In her campaign video, Au was seen setting a timer for 20 seconds and then washing her hands. After thoroughly washing her hands as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Au emphasized that in times like today racism is uncalled for.

Currently, there is a growing amount of American artists, celebrities and influencers joining this anti-racist campaign. This includes Filipino American artists AJ Rafael, Shawn Wasabi, Korean American fashion designer Carol Lim, and Chinese Peruvian fashion designer Humberto Leon from Opening Ceremony.