Actor John Mitchell defended his meme as being "satire" not racism
A Philadelphia SAG-AFTRA board member has resigned after posting a racist anti-Asian meme.
Actor John Mitchell, who served on the Screen Actors Guild that represents 3000 peole in the city, posted the meme shortly after the President’s inaugration.
“Introducing our 46th president,” the meme reads. “Sum Dum Fuk.”
The image shows a picture of Joe Biden photoshopped with stereotypical Asian features behind a dragon and in front of a China flag.
In a statement, a union spokesman said the board disapproved of the meme.
“While SAG-AFTRA respects each individual’s rights to free speech, members of the local board are held to a higher standard,” the statement read.
“The Local Board will now fill his spot with a union member that better reflects the diversity of our union. This incident is not reflective of who we are as a union and will not slow our work to achieve a more just society.”
Mitchell, how has since deleted the post, defended his meme as being “satire” not racism.
Denise Nakano, a Japanese American KYW Newsradio anchor and SAG-AFTRA member, was bewildered at her fellow member’s actions.
“At a time when Asian Americans face an increase in hate crimes, how is this board member still allowed to serve on the board of a union that supposedly holds sacred — democracy, truth, respect for our fellow Americans of ALL races and faiths?” Nakano posted on Facebook on Tuesday night.
Trang Do, a Vietnamese American CBS Philly anchor and SAG-AFTRA member, tweeted Tuesday night, “I will not allow this behavior to go unchecked & neither should anyone else.”
The incident follows a series of recent attacks on elderly Asian individuals including an Asian woman had her car stolen after being attacked on Chinese New Year in Oakland.
In another attack, a 70-year-old grandmother who was knocked to the ground and robbed on her way home from the bank.
Prior to that attack, a 91-year-old man in the city was pushed to the ground by an attacker who was already out on bail.
Most recently, two elderly Asian women were attacked on the New York Subway in two separate events.