Matthew D. Loeb, International President of the IATSE, has released the following statement:
“One of the most devastating impacts of the unprecedented coronavirus health crisis has been the rise of anti-Asian rhetoric and racism due to the geographic origin of the virus. Asians of every descent are dealing not only with the virus itself, but have been widely scapegoated with verbal harassment and physical violence from xenophobic individuals.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) condemns, in the strongest possible sense, the coronavirus related racism observed since the onset of this public health crisis. We stand in solidarity with our members and all those of Asian descent who are being wrongly victimized.
We emphatically support the resolution introduced by Congresswoman Grace Meng denouncing coronavirus related racism, and urge all Members of Congress to do the same.
As reflected in the IATSE Equality Statement, we are committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination. We believe that equality for all is a basic human right. The IATSE celebrates the diversity of society and is striving to promote and reflect that diversity within this organization.”
Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) has introduced a resolution (H.Res.908) calling on all public officials to condemn and denounce anti-Asian sentiment, racism, discrimination, and religious intolerance related to COVID-19. If passed, the formal condemnation from Congress would call on federal officials to expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes, incidents, and threats against the Asian American community and prosecute perpetrators.
Rep. Meng has stated, “Asian Americans, like millions of others across the nation, are worried about the coronavirus; however, so many Asian Americans are also living in fear following the dramatic increase of threats and attacks against those of Asian descent. During this time of heightened anxiety and fear surrounding COVID-19, we cannot lose sight of protecting the health and safety of every single person – no matter their race, ethnicity, or background.”
The IATSE is committed to creating an inclusive working environment, and world, where differences are valued and equality is celebrated.