Comedian Bowen Yang sparked an epic rant on last weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, apparently about the recent wave of anti-Asian-American violence. In the same speech, however, he also made a passionate appeal to recognize the gay characters in Sailor Moon.
For the uninitiated, Sailor Moon is a popular manga and anime adventure series about a group of young women with extraordinary powers. Together, they unite to protect the solar system from the nefarious forces determined to conquer the universe.
Apparently Bowen Yang is a fan. In addition to his plea for recognition of the gay characters in Sailor Moon, Yang has also released a pointed – and often hilarious – denunciation of violence against Asian Americans.
“Is this my official title, Asian Cast Member?” Yang asked when introduced by fellow cast member Colin Jost. Jost noted that Yang had requested to be introduced as “a member of the Asian cast.” “Yeah, I put your ass up, that feels good,” Yang joked.
“So things for Asians in this country have been really dark the past two weeks… and every week before that ever since,” Yang continued. “But there’s a lot of work to be done and I’ve found articles online with actions anyone can take to help. Here are a few that I have found very useful: “Six Ways to Check Your AAPI Friends and Tell Them They Are So Hot.” “
Yang went on to detail several other questionable initiatives, including one to add a Panera to North Brooklyn and “Call your senators and demand they know the lesbian characters in Sailor Moon!” “
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“What can I say to help how insanely bad things are?” he continued. “If someone’s personality is to ‘hit an Asian grandmother’, that’s not a dialogue. I have an asian grandma, you wanna hit her. There is no middle ground, mom.
Yang then got to the heart of his argument: to do more.
“Did you cry during Minari?” He continued. “Congratulations. I was sobbing into my boner for Steven Yeun. Doing more. And why are you telling me you tip your manicurist? Let me know when you get down on your knees and rub your feet while she look at your phone. Do more! “
“I’m just a comedian,” Yang admitted then. “I don’t have the answers. But I don’t just look for them online, I look around. The GoFundMe for Xiao Zhen Xie, the grandmother who fought back against her attacker, raised $ 900,000, which she immediately redistributed to the community. This is where we are as Asians, now come meet us there.
Yang concluded by sharing a phrase in Mandarin which means “to refuel”.
“I don’t know what is useful to tell everyone, but that’s what I’m telling myself,” he added. “Fill the tank. Do more. This is the year of the metal ox, which basically means a car. So everyone, get on, buckle up, these ain’t pee breaks. We are driving at dawn, grannies!
Well said, Bowen.