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Overseas Vietnamese director partners with int’l organization for a #StopAsianHate film

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

April 18, 2021 | 07:50

Crowdfunding site GoFundMe is collaborating with Vietnamese American film director Bao Nguyen for a short black-and-white film named #StopAsianHateTogether, which shines a light on the anti-Asian racism in the US.

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(Video: GoFundMe)

“Knowing that it’s up to all of us to keep each other safe and shine a light together,” the film quotes, and it’s a harsh look at the history of anti-Asian attacks in this country and the typical brush aside that happens until we’re confronted with these horrific crimes once more.

Featuring Olivia Munn, Ken Jeong, Simu Liu, Akemi Look, Lisa Ling, Khalif Boyd, Lacy Lew Nguyen, Winston Duke, Diana Barbadillo, and Vivian Bang, the video points out the anti-Asian hatred that has filled this country for decades. Racism against Asian Americans is not a new thing, and now that it has been brought to light once again because of the tragedy in Georgia, it’s important to recognize this history and how we can try to stop the racist acts happening against Asian Americans.

The film directs viewers to GoFundMe.org’s AAPI Community Fund, which has raised more than $5.5 million from more than 46,000 donors since it launched March 4. That includes a $500,000 contribution from YouTube. Along with the film’s release, GoFundMe.org, the company’s charitable arm, is increasing the goal of the AAPI Community Fund to $8 million. The next round of organizations that will be receiving grants include the Asian American Federation, AAPI Women Lead, and Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, as reported by Yahoo Finance.

“Asian Americans have felt unseen and unheard for a long time but we’ve been standing up against racism and speaking out for our communities for decades — it’s just no one was listening,” Nguyen said in a statement. The Vietnamese American filmmaker’s credits include “Be Water,” a documentary about Bruce Lee that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Nguyen added, “This film is a forceful yet poignant reminder that these incidents are part of our American identity and we must act together to stop these incidents from happening in our communities.”

Overseas Vietnamese director partners with int’l organization for a #StopAsianHate film
Bao Nguyen is a Vietnamese American independent film director (Photo: Vietcetera)

Ken Jeong, who has donated to and promoted GoFundMe.org’s AAPI Community Fund, said the main takeaway he hopes people have from the film is simply: Stop Asian hate. “Honestly, it’s crucial for all of us to participate and to be loud and clear in our messaging,” he said in a statement. “Speaking out and lending our voices to educate are actions we can all take to make a difference.”

Olivia Munn said in a statement, “I want people to know that anti-Asian racism is not a recent phenomena. It’s been happening to our community for a long time. But we are united in our efforts to protect each other and put an end to the hate.”

Lisa Ling, who hosts “This Is Life with Lisa Ling” on CNN, added, “As someone who has a bit of a platform, it’s imperative for me to speak out against acts of hate in the Asian American community.”

GoFundMe chief marketing officer Musa Tariq said he wanted to get the company involved after “several of my friends expressed concerns over the rising violence toward the Asian community.” Those included fashion designer Phillip Lim, who reached out to Bao Nguyen about a video project featuring leading voices in the community.

Overseas Vietnamese director partners with int’l organization for a #StopAsianHate film
(Photo: Captured)

“One of the things the team wanted to get across was, this wasn’t new — there’s a history here,” said Tariq, a former Airbnb exec who joined GoFundMe this past January.

Other fundraising efforts by GoFundMe.org, an independent, registered 501(c)(3) public charity, include a COVID Relief Fund, America’s Food Fund, the Justice and Equality Fund — supporting organizations including the Bail Project, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Center for Policing Equity — and GayCities’ LGBTQ Nightlight Relief Fund.

GoFundMe takes a portion of donations for payment-processing fees but does not otherwise collect any other funds by default. In November 2017, GoFundMe switched from charging a platform fee to voluntary tip-based business model. On donation pages, the suggested “tip” amount to give to GoFundMe is set at 12.5% but a contributor can set that to zero (or any other percentage).

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