SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — During these troubled times, with Asian Americans continuing to endure physical and verbal attacks across the nation, racist comments by a conservative YouTube host targeting KPIX 5 reporter Betty Yu garnered outrage from a community pushed to the edge.
Steven Crowder made the comments during a segment of his online show Wednesday. It began as an attack on the dispute between San Francisco health officials and In-N-Out burgers over a local COVID ordinance to check customers’ vaccination status.
The veteran, award-winning journalist was covering the story.
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After an opening comment or two, Crowder’s rant turned into a racist attack on Yu because of her Asian American heritage.
The racist comments came after Yu became one of the leading reporters on the rise of attacks on Asian Americans in the Bay Area, her stories elevating local awareness of the stunning and shameful rise in racially based crime.
Now, she too had become a target of racist attacks and the outrage was immediate.
Twitter officials were notified of the racist and disturbing nature of the posting. From a page dedicated to reporting possible violations by Crowder to the San Francisco-based social media giant, there were several reports on Crowder and his hateful posts.
CBS Television Stations President Jennifer Mitchell and KPIX-TV San Francisco President/GM Kevin Walsh also voiced their support of Yu and condemned the attack.
“CBS Television Stations and KPIX 5 fully support our colleague Betty Yu and condemn the horrific, racist comments directed at Betty as well as the other demeaning Asian stereotypes spread during Steven Crowder’s program on Wednesday. We stand in solidarity with Betty, an accomplished journalist and valued member of our CBS family. These hateful and offensive remarks are outrageous and destructive and reaffirm the importance of our work as journalists to shine a light on anti-Asian violence and hate speech when it occurs.”
SAG-AFTRA, the union representing on-air talent like Yu, released an official statement later Thursday.
SAG-AFTRA condemns in the strongest terms the racist and xenophobic remarks made by commentator Steven Crowder targeting Bay Area television reporter Betty Yu in a video widely shared on social media. The revolting segment finds Crowder and his co-host laughing, as they ‘joke’ about Yu’s ethnicity.
Online hate and dehumanizing rhetoric — in addition to being disgusting and hurtful in its own right — can have a ripple effect, encouraging physical attacks and emboldening like-minded racists. Last month, the FBI reported that hate crimes in America were at the highest level in 12 years, and Asian Americans were one of the most targeted groups.
SAG-AFTRA expresses its support for Yu, an award-winning journalist for CBS station KPIX, and denounces the demeaning verbal attacks.
Crowder and others with large followings who trade in hate and misinformation would do well to consider the effect of their words on people’s lives.
SAG-AFTRA will continue to work to fight racism and promote diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the entertainment and media industry and in society at large.
Her colleagues, who have admired Yu’s reporting over the years, and others on social media added their anger and support.
“#CBS Television Stations and KPIX 5 fully support our colleague Betty Yu and condemn the horrific, racist comments directed at Betty as well as the other demeaning Asian stereotypes spread during Steven Crowder’s program on Wednesday. We stand in solidarity with Betty,” posted anchor Juliette Goodrich.
“This is just appalling and disgusting. Nobody should be treated this way. My colleague @BettyKPIX
is a great journalist who does important work for the community. I am proud to work alongside her. #StopAAPIHate,” added KPIX reporter Max Darrow.
“We stand with you @BettyKPIX. We need more than an apology from @scrowder @YouTube remove his channel,” posted KPIX reporter Maria Cid Medina.
“#CBS “Television Stations and KPIX 5 fully support our colleague Betty Yu and condemn the horrific, racist comments directed at Betty as well as the other demeaning Asian stereotypes spread during Steven Crowder’s program on Wednesday. We stand in solidarity with Betty.” staffer Maya Castro.
“Fresh off a one-week suspension by YouTube, this guy was at it again, spewing casually racist comments about my friend Betty Yu. Proud to stand with CBS, and all my colleagues in the media, who are denouncing this bigotry and hate,” posted KPIX 5 reporter Kiet Do.
“I stand with @BettyKPIX @KPIXtv to stop attacks against our #AAPI community. This kind of attack doesn’t belong in any platform or our streets. @YouTube What are YOU going to do about it? #StopAAPIHate,” posted anchor Elizabeth Cook.
Others joined in offering their support.
Stand tall, Betty Yu. You do great work. We are proud of you!
— Claire Lee (@ClaireLee_1) October 21, 2021
Never heard of @scrowder but I have heard of #BettyYu & that means she is more important! Heard he was nasty. I hope she can rise above his ugliness & toss it aside. He’s not worth her time, nor R those being blatantly vicious on social media. @BettyKPIX @KPIXtv @abc7newsbayarea
— mary french (@ukgirlinsf) October 21, 2021
His ratings must be down, and at the expense of an honorable, dedicated journalist, Betty Yu, he's only doing this to draw attention to himself. Don't give him the platform to stand on. He will only keep failing.
— M (@Maren01ml) October 21, 2021