Asian comedians fight against coronavirus-led racism

These Asian comedians have some thoughts about the coronavirus crisis: wash your hands and stop being racist.

Who are they?

Kyle Marian and Esther Chen have decided to combat coronavirus-based racism with comedy and science. Kyle Marian is a science comedian who hosts and produces inclusive comedy shows like “The Symposium: Academic Stand-Up” and “Woke AF: A Mind-Opening Variety Show.” She is also the alumna of Alda Center, UK Bright Club Comedy, and Upright Citizens’ Brigade. Esther Chen is a stand-up comedian and actress who has been featured in shows on FX, Amazon, HBO, Hulu, Buzzfeed, and MTV. Most recently, she was the dialect coach and a translator for award-winning Mr. Robot seasons 2 and 3. What they both have in common is how they have responded to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent backlash against Asian people using their comedy.

"The thing for me that made me really want to do a comedy show in particular with the science is to point out why, we as humans continue to do things that, you know, make us susceptible to stereotyping and racializing diseases, especially when it's, you know, it's something from far away and it builds on, you know, hatred that already exists… I also wanted to call out, you know, media posts where every time that there's a picture of the flu or every time that there's a picture of the coronavirus, it continues to be associated with an Asian face,” Kyle Marian tells Brut.

The Coronavirus show

In response to the racism, Marian and Chen hosted their comedy show “Asians Strike Back: A Coronavirus Comedy & Science Show” on March 1. The show had both Asian comedians and scientists discuss the pandemic with both jokes and information on how to properly prevent the spread of the virus. They worked with Symposium: Academic StandUp and the Caveat to host the event in New York City. Their next comedy will be on April 12, pandemic-pending.