KSDK anchor Michelle Li is using a viewer’s racist comment to support Asian American and Pacific Islanders.
Li recently recorded video of herself listening to a viewer complain that she was being “very Asian” and that she could “keep her Korean to herself” after the anchor revealed what type of food she ate on New Years.
KARE morning anchor Gia Vang, who is Hmong, showed her support for Li by retweeting Li’s video and saying “Hmong people consume a lot of Hmong sausage, chicken, pork with pepper this time of year. @MichelleLiTV I must be #VeryAsian too right now.”
While journalists and members of the AAPI community across the country started using the hashtag #VeryAsian to share photos of their own traditional Asian meals, Li and Vang took it one step further with a pop-up clothing store.
The two journalists are now selling shirts, hats and sweatshirts that display the phrase Very Asian. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Asian American Journalists Association, whose goal is to advocate for AAPIs in newsrooms, advance diversity and ensure fair and accurate coverage of communities of color.
KSDK and KARE parent company Tegna is putting its weight behind the two by asking viewers to help bring attention to “the pervasive nature of anti-AAPI hate through their #VeryAsian pop-up to support the Asian American Journalists Association. Learn more at https://veryasian.us/.”
“All of our Tegna colleagues support Michelle one hundred percent and are gratified by the outpouring of positive feedback she’s received from viewers, fans, fellow journalists and others across the country,” wrote Tegna. “We’re continuing our mission to improve diversity and inclusion in our workplace and storytelling, which starts with having courageous conversations and empowering our journalists and all employees to be their authentic selves.”