One of the more unfortunate side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a notable rise in anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander sentiment in the United States. A great deal of misinformation and blame was a rampant part of politics and certain news cycles throughout the previous year in relation to COVID-19, and the rise in hate crimes and violence has prompted a #StopAsianHate initiative in support of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. It’s an initiative in which Bandai Namco has announced its support and called on fans to do the same.
Bandai Namco released an official statement signaling its support of the #StopAsianHate initiative and AAPI community on March 16, 2021.
“We stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, our culturally diverse and inclusive team of employees, players and fans from all cultures and backgrounds, our families, and especially our elders, to speak out and raise awareness against the terrible rise in anti-Asian aggression and hate crimes,” Bandai Namco wrote.
Throughout the lockdowns and stay-at-home policies of 2020 prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a tremendously damaging and foolish misconception was spread that people of Asian descent were to blame for the pandemic. Hate crimes have been on the rise throughout the previous year with AAPI (and particularly elderly) individuals finding themselves victim of various incidents.
As a Japan-based company, Bandai Namco and the communities it nurtures and supports are directly affected by these issues, but the #StopAsianHate initiative is most certainly one of importance for all as we seek to eliminate disinformation and the hate and violence that results from it against vulnerable groups of fellow citizens and people. In particular, even if one is unable to monetarily support the initiative, the provided Guide to Bystander Intervention is well worth reading among the various educational materials. Bandai Namco has a potent platform and its effort in spreading awareness and education on the #StopAsianHate initiative is one to be applauded.