Agents of SHIELD star Chloe Bennet condemns anti-Asian racism amid coronavirus

Rianne Houghton
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

From Digital Spy

Agents of SHIELD star Chloe Bennet has spoken out against anti-Asian racism amid the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after US president Donald Trump referred to the illness as the "Chinese virus" in a recent press conference.

In a message of solidarity, Chloe – who plays Daisy Johnson in the Marvel and ABC series – warned followers against repeating racist rhetoric and called for unity.

"The Asian American community needs allies right now", she wrote.

Photo credit: ABC

Sharing her thoughts on Instagram, the actress called Trump's and the White House's comments "unacceptable" and "disgusting", and revealed that many of her friends and family have experienced racism in light of the president's words.

"The attitude of the country reflects its leadership. And to have our president ignite racial hatred simply so he can deflect from his own incompetence is disgusting," she wrote.

"Let's be clear. This is a very intentional publicity play by our current administration to take attention away from the COMPLETE mishandling of the virus on American soil. You gain absolutely nothing by referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus"."

Warning followers that racially-charged language only "fuels hate", Chloe – whose father is Chinese – continued: "You will only hurt the Asian American families who have just as much to do with the virus as anyone else. You will fuel hate and create a breeding ground for bigotry and racism.

Photo credit: Marvel Studios

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"I can't tell you how many calls [and] texts I've received from family members and friends, all of Asian descent, speaking to me about their extreme levels of anxiety, shame and fear.

"So, on behalf of my friends and family, this is my attempt to encourage people to just stop and think about how they could be hurting someone before making a recycled bad joke about being Asian and having COVID-19".

As well as reiterating the need for unity over division, the Agents of SHIELD star also told followers, "Don't be a dick."

"People are being verbally and physically attacked, Asian owned businesses are being boycotted," she added. "And this xenophobic rhetoric is the direct cause."

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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