"Chinese restaurants are closing at double the rate of others"

CNN reports that a new social media campaign is encouraging people to eat at Asian restaurants amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Using the hashtag #TakeOutHate, the campaign was launched by Asian seasonings and food company Ajinomoto. Social media users are encouraged to use the hashtag and share their meals at Asian restaurants.

Asian American comedian Margaret ChoTop Chef judge Gail Simmons and Crazy Rich Asians star Harry Shum Jr are featured in the a promotion clip for the campaign.

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Asian restaurants have been closing at an alarming rate,” Ajinomoto wrote on its site. “Hateful rhetoric and acts of discrimination, fueled by unfounded fear, is impacting Asian Americans and their businesses.”

58% of independent Chinese restaurants nationwide have ceased operations since 15 April.

“Can’t believe I have to say this, but Covid is not sushi’s fault,” Shum says in the campaign video.

Meanwhile, Simmons reminds viewers that Chinese restaurants are “closing at double the rate of others.”

Cho states that avoiding Asian restaurants is “just a sneaky new form of racism.”

“I am alarmed about the surge of racist attacks against Asian Americans and this was a great way to talk about the issue,” Cho wrote. “All of my work has been about this kind of activism and the rise in violence made it feel incredibly urgent.”

Hate crimes towards Asians have been rising since the outbreak of the pandemic. A report by the Human Rights Watch has shown that Coronavirus is fuelling anti-Asian hate.

Most recently, an Asian American CNN correspondent was subjected to racism whilst reporting at Myrtle Beach.