Bee Vang published an op-ed criticizing the anti-Asian slurs in the 2008 movie directed by Clint Eastwood.
Vang said the lead role was a historic cinematic moment for Hmong people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group.
Before his role in “Gran Torino,” Vang did not have any known acting experience.
“At the time, there was a lot of discussion about whether the movie’s slurs were insensitive and gratuitous or simply ‘harmless jokes,' I found it unnerving, the laughter that the slurs elicited in theaters with predominantly white audiences. And it was always white people who would say, ‘Can’t you take a joke?'”
Vang discussed how anti-Asian racism has shown its true colors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the number of heinous attacks towards Asian Americans has only continued to spike around the country.
“A microscopic virus was replaced with a recognizable target.And once again, in this pandemic, anti-Asian sentiment has turned us into a faceless, invasive peril to be extruded from this country.”
“And I no longer wonder what people mean when they ask me why I can’t take a joke. Covid-19 has removed all doubt.”source