Tan France joins Netflix stars to reclaim Asian identity, loudly and proudly

Published 12 May, 2021 12:25pm

Images Staff

"Asians deserve better than the erasure, caricatures, and stereotypes perpetuated by the entertainment industry," says Netflix.

British-Pakistani-American fashion guru Tan France uploaded a new video to his Instagram, and he's celebrating being Asian. Targeted at Asian Americans, the short video urges them to reclaim their identity more confidently, and loudly, than ever before.

"We're not just one thing one, obviously. Being Asian is so much more than that," said the Queer Eye star as the video starts.

"Asians deserve better than the erasure, caricatures, and stereotypes perpetuated by the entertainment industry," read Netflix's caption for the same video uploaded on the platform's YouTube channel. Sharing the same video across its social media channels, the streaming site said, "We are brave, we are strong, we are more than a stereotype. Our stories have no boundaries. Today and everyday, celebrate who we are."

The video talks about the treatment of Asians on screen and in western society at large. They complain about how Asians are reduced to mere "cliches" and how it's easier to "hurt someone who's not real".

Other familiar faces that appear in the video include Daniel Dae Kim, Ashley Park, Ramona Young, Lana Condor, Justin H Min, Ronny Chieng, Jimmy O. Yang, Leah Lewis, Jessie Mei Li, Jo Koy and Punam Patel.

France has been very vocal in his support against racism, colourism and Islamophobia — problems that plague the lives of Asians in the west.

The best part of the video is the note it ends on, saying, "Leave your shoes at the door. You've been walking in sh*t all day and we don't want that in out house!"

Hate crimes against Asians in the US have been on the rise in the pandemic. Late last year, a UN report was published detailing "an alarming level" of racially motivated violence and hate crimes against the Asian American community. In response to the racism against Asian Americans during the pandemic, a non-profit by the name of Stop AAPI Hate was set up in 2020. It runs a reporting centre to track and record reported hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders communities in the US.

In a press release, Stop AAPI Hate said it that last year it received more than 2,800 reports of hate incidents directed at Asian Americans nationwide.