Stop depicting East & South East Asians in Coronavirus related media

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We are demanding for our UK government and media outlets such as The BBC, The Guardian to stop using photography depicting East & South East Asian related imagery when discussing COVID19. It is damaging and hurtful for our British East & South East Asians (BESEA) communities and perpetuates the idea that all BESEA are coronavirus carriers.

This imagery may seem harmless on the surface. In reality, due to their mass audience, these images make a significant contribution to racial discrimination, stereotyping, prejudice, verbal and physical abuse and harassment. 

  • The BBC has recently depicted imagery of an East/South East Asian woman and two people in an Asian supermarket when talking about coronavirus and wearing masks in shops. 
  • The Guardian shows a group of East/South East Asians in an article published 27th July 
  • Our UK government showed an East/South East woman in a Facebook post on masks. 
  • The Guardian showed an article of two East Asian women in a Coronavirus in Leicester article. There are only 1.29% East Asians in Leicester.
  • The BBC depicted two East/South East Asian people in Coronavirus related article in Blackburn. 721 are Chinese out of 148,942 Blackburn’s population. That’s 0.48%.
  • All types of East/South East Asian communities (not just Chinese) have witnessed more mass racial abuse, harassment and discrimination in relation to Coronavirus. 

In the first three months of 2020, there were at least 267 offences against Chinese, East and Southeast Asians people compared with 375 hate crimes in the whole of 2019 and 360 in 2018. 

Chinese people make up around 0.7% of the population in the UK, but the rate at which Chinese or other East/Southeast Asian people are depicted in coronavirus related stories is disproportionate.

We need to hold media outlets and our UK government accountable. 

We demand our UK government and media outlets stop using East Asian imagery in relation to coronavirus.

#WeAreNotAVirus