The Writers Guild of America East said the creative community needs to step up to help its Asian American and Pacific Islander screenwriters and journalist members in the midst of a wave of hate crimes believed to stem, at least in part, from President Trump's branding of COVID-19 as "the China virus."
"As members, we recognize that we can play a key role in changing misperceptions about Asian Americans, and we take that responsibility seriously," the guild said in a statement. "But we can all do more. As writers of television, film, broadcast news and digital news, we pledge to do better."
It provided some concrete examples of how that could be done, including "giving careful consideration to our portrayal of fictional characters of Asian descent" and "covering their communities fairly, accurately and prominently." WGAE members include both entertainment and news writers.
They also said the guild would continue its education, training and outreach efforts.
Earlier this year, the Society of Professional Journalists has teamed with the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) to put a spotlight on threats, harassment and violence toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), including journalists.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.