An online gathering of Asian American women and their allies to talk about anti-Asian discrimination felt the damage firsthand when a racist internet troll attacked their meeting.
Leah Asmelash of CNN reported that the “virtual gathering of high-profile Asian American creators, including actress Olivia Munn, became the subject of their own discussion — after the meeting was ‘Zoom-bombed’ with anti-Asian images.”
According to Asmelash, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, Munn and Asian American beauty brand Cocokind had “gathered to discuss efforts to stop discrimination against the AAPI community.”
Following the unplanned and biased attack, both Munn and the NAPAWF spoke out about the attack on their respective social media accounts.
In her statement, Munn said, “We were communing to celebrate, elevate and protect the AAPI community, and we were subjected to a hate crime in real-time. It was a cowardly and unconscionable act.”
Meanwhile, both Cocokind and the NAPAWF spoke of how these kinds of attacks will not deter their groups’ efforts to fight anti-AAPI hate.
“While it disrupted our conversation, we later resumed because these malicious acts will not stop the conversation,” the groups wrote. “We started our event with beautifully-spirited and powerful members of the AAPI community talking about our experiences and using our voices, and we will continue.”
Cocokind and the NAPAWF added that the attack against their group plans on reporting the incident to the FBI.
Sadly, they aren’t alone in needing to keep authorities abreast of growing hate in the country.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, racist attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have steadily risen,” Asmelash said. “From March 19, 2020, through September 2021, more than 10,000 hate incidents against AAPI people were reported, according to a report by Stop AAPI Hate.”
“Just this month, 40-year-old Michelle Go was pushed to her death in front of a Times Square subway train. Though the incident has not yet been labeled a hate crime, many advocates say the incident is still inseparable from the trend of the last two years,” Asmelash added.