Bowen Yang Uses 'SNL' Megaphone to Demand People "Do More" to Combat Anti-Asian Hate

Bowen Yang on "Weekend Update" during 'Saturday Night Live' on March 27, 2021.
Courtesy of NBC

Bowen Yang on "Weekend Update" during 'Saturday Night Live' on March 27, 2021.

“What can I say to help how insanely bad things are?” the comedian asked.

Bowen Yang used Saturday Night Live to demand people do more in combating the rising anti-Asian violence and rhetoric in America.

Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, Asian Americans have been targeted for harassment and attacks.

Several Asian American stars have used their platforms in an effort to stop the hate and help their community. On Saturday, Yang — SNL's first Asian American castmember —  joined them when he visited "Weekend Update" to demand people "do more" to help.

Opening his speech with a few jokes, Yang stressed how dire the situation is for many. “What can I say to help how insanely bad things are?” he asked. “If someone’s personality is, 'punch an Asian grandma,' it’s not a dialogue. I have an Asian grandma, you want to punch her? There ain’t no common ground, mama.” Yang was referring to Xiao Zhen Xie, who was randomly attacked on Market Street in San Francisco. A GoFundMe campaign for the 75-year-old raised nearly a million dollars. Xie plans on donating that money back to her community.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition that tracks violence and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., almost 3,800 instances have been reported to the organization over the past year. The actual number of instances could be much greater.

Yang said people making small gestures is nice but not enough.

"Why are you telling me that you tipped your manicurist well? Let me know when you get on your knees and scrub her feet while she looks at your phone. Do more," he said. "I’m just a comedian. I don’t have the answers, but I’m not just looking for them online. I'm looking around me."

In concluding his message, Yang shared a Mandarin cheer that means “fuel up," which he says has helped him when he is feeling distraught.

“I don’t know what’s helpful to say to everyone, but that’s what I say to myself,” he said. “Fuel up. Do more. It’s the year of the metal ox, which basically means a car. So everyone, get in, buckle up! It’s no pee breaks! We ride at dawn, grandmas!”

Watch the entire clip below.