The somber ad includes testimonials describing being told to “go back to China” or having people spit in their direction.
Anxiety about the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has fueled xenophobia and bigotry toward people of Asian descent. A list of recent cases compiled by the Anti-Defamation League chronicles “surging reports of xenophobic and racist incidents,” including Asian-owned stores defaced with racist graffiti, video chats disrupted by anti-Asian comments and people being beaten or denied entry to businesses.
But the issue has been largely ignored by federal leaders — President Trump has repeatedly described the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” — and the fight against pandemic-related harassment of Asian-Americans has largely fallen to civil rights groups, marketing agencies, social media accounts and nonprofit organizations, which have promoted hashtags like #IAmNotCovid19, #RacismIsAVirus, #HealthNotHate and #MakeNoiseToday.
The nonprofit Advertising Council, which also introduced a face mask initiative with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York this month, will roll out the new anti-harassment campaign online and on television.
The issue of racism toward Asians hit “very close to home,” said the Emmy-winning writer Alan Yang, who is known for popular shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “Master of None.”
“This wasn’t an abstract idea to me, something theoretical,” Mr. Yang said. “I knew people this was happening to.”