LOS ANGELES - After growing up playing a character based on a real-life chef, actor Hudson Yang took an interest in cooking at an early age. The star of the TV series Fresh Off The Boat, Hudson regularly cooks his grandmother’s recipes at home.
Now, he’s using his platform to raise awareness of racism against Asian Americans.
“You can yell and like argue and become aggressive all you want, but it’s not really going to solve the issue,” said Yang. “The best way to kind of make an impact and change the world is to teach people.”
That’s why he got involved with the social media campaign Make Noise Today. Featuring Asian-American influencers sharing their favorite recipes, it’s about educating those looking for someone to blame and humanizing a culture through food.
“What it’s doing is teaching the people who maybe didn’t know what they’re saying is racist and teaching them, 'Hey this here, what you said, how a food looks weird is wrong and it’s still offensive and it’s still racist,'” said Yang.
Over a six-week time period, the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council reported over 1,700 incident reports of verbal harassment, shunning, and physical assaults against Asian Americans. Thirty-seven percent of these incidents occurred in public places.
“In the past, sure, maybe we haven’t spoken up enough or haven’t spoken up at all, but I think right now is the easiest time and the best time to change that because technology gives us a platform,” said Yang.
Having a platform gives you an audience, so Yang choose to share his grandmother’s recipe for peanut butter noodles in the hopes it will change a few minds.
“So the best way to push back against racism is to be calm, deescalate the situation and come together with other people who can support and understand you and the situation you’re in,” said Yang.