Kerwin Berk is a San Francisco native and Japanese American. He said he was motivated to make the PSA, "Stop the Hate," after seeing the rash of attacks on Asian Americans, which he attributes to former President Trump's rhetoric amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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Although Berk says anti-Asian bias has has been there, the intensity and frequency of the recent attacks motivated him to send an anti-hate message in a way that will resonate.
Berk's Ikeibi Films features the stories of Asian Americans, as portrayed by Asian American actors.
Berk was on ABC7 News Getting Answers today along with Oakland resident Anne Luna, a part-time actress who's in the PSA. Luna told ABC7 News anchor Kristen Sze she wanted to appear in the PSA because she's experienced anti-Asian verbal assaults herself recently.
In addition to the work "chink," which is deeply offensive and derogatory against Chinese Americans, the Chinese Filipina was called a "nip," a slur against Japanese Americans popularized during World War Two.
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ABC7 normally bleeps out racial slurs, but we made the decision to leave them in as we aired the PSA. We did not want to soften the blow or diminish the pain that Asian Americans feel when they hear those hurtful words.
Berk says the goal is for people to understand that Asian Americans are just ordinary Americans - no different from anyone else - and his PSA conveys that point by interspersing the testimonials of Asian American actors with videos of the attacks on them.
Watch the full interview in the video player above.
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