April 16, 2021

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Bowen Yang on ‘SNL’: ‘Fuel up, do more’ to fight racism against Asian Americans

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Following a recent spate of violence against Asian Americans, “Saturday Night Live” comedian Bowen Yang made a call to action during a segment on this week’s “Weekend Update.”

The bit opened with Colin Jost introducing him as an “Asian cast member” of the show, to which Yang responded: “Is that my official title?”

“That’s how you told me to introduce you,” Jost said. 

Yang went on to recognize that “things for Asians in this country have been bleak for the past two weeks, and all the weeks before that since, forever.”

He then listed “action items everyone” can take, including checking in with AAPI friends “and tell them they’re so hot” and amplifying “Asian voices who want more Paneras in North Brooklyn.”

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Sounding aghast, Yang continued: “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.”

He urged people to do more: “You cry during ‘Minari‘? Congrats, I was sobbing into my boner for Steven Yeun. … And like, 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.”

Yang joked that he would have rather done an “Update” piece playing a “gay Passover bunny.”

Finally, he said that as a comedian, he didn’t have the answers. 

Yang mentioned the San Francisco grandmother who was attacked and donated the nearly $1 million she received through GoFundMe back to the community.

“That’s where we are as Asians. Now come meet us there,” he said. 

Citing a Mandarin cheer that means “fuel up,” Yang said: “I don’t know what’s helpful to say to everyone, but that’s what I say to myself. Fuel up, do more.”

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