In speeches and interviews, President Trump insists on using racist and stereotypical language to describe the novel coronavirus: China virus, kung flu, Wuhan virus. Without evidence, he blames a Chinese plot for the pandemic. Meanwhile, discrimination against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is rising in the U.S., with a third of community members reporting racial slurs or jokes. More than half say it’s gotten worse since the pandemic.
A new “Love Has No Labels” campaign from the Ad Council pushes back against slurs and bias. Produced by Alan Yang (“Parks and Recreation,” “Master of None”), it features masked Asian Americans recounting the discrimination, assaults and attacks they have faced from people blaming them for the coronavirus. As each one removes their mask in turn, they define themselves by the ways they are helping their communities: firefighter, essential worker, doctor, nurse, chef (Melissa King from Bravo’s “Top Chef”).
An Instagram filter allows anyone to mask up, marking their pic with tags like “friend,” “ally,” “health care worker” or “neighbor.” A campaign site includes resources for people facing discrimination and allies looking for ways to fight it, like how to respond to racist language and links to equal justice organizations.
The Ad Council is also participating in the Asian American Marketing + Advertising Townhall on July 21, hosted by the 3AF (Asian American Advertising Federation) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Educational Foundation.