What #StarringJohnCho Means for Asian America

Amidst the craziness of Donald Trump and the Black Lives Matter Movement, Asian America stood up this week with a campaign called #StarringJohnCho.

What is Starring John Cho?

#StarringJohnCho is a campaign started by a Digital Marketing Strategist and a friend of mine, William Yu. The hashtag gained massive popularity after his campaign, consisting of photoshopping Asian American movie star John Cho into famous film posters, launched a few weeks ago. This was a testament against a “whitewashed Hollywood.”

A Baruch student who has been following the movement closely, Nancy Zhu, shares her opinions about the positive effect it has made in her life.

“The #StarringJohnCho movement really began my interest in reading more about Asian American issues. It was just something I never put any thought to, but now my Facebook feed is filled with causes that I’m fully in support of.”

Rise of Asian American Conversations

Stats for the trending hashtag

As Nancy Zhu mentioned, the numbers indicate a huge rise in conversations about Asian American culture, reaching over 30 million impressions. However, the impact of this campaign stretch further than this, causing a spark for similar campaigns.

“I’ve seen more and more campaigns on my social media feed, especially driving conversations on Buzzfeed and New York Times. It has been a really reflective period for me and I’m challenged to become more vocal – which is something I’m not used to.” – Nancy Zhu


Why it’s important

Speaking up for societal issues hasn’t been the norm for the Asian American community until now. The general consensus in many households, including my own, is to keep your head down, focus on you and your family, and work diligently. Driving conversations online not only mark a change in culture, but also an indication that Asian Americans can make a positive change. Times are changing – and we’re just seeing the beginning of it.

Also Read: New York Times’ intriguing piece about driving Asian American conversation

Leave a Reply