HomeBad Ass AsiansCBS's The Equalizer, Tackles Anti-Asian Hate in NYC Chinatown

CBS’s The Equalizer, Tackles Anti-Asian Hate in NYC Chinatown

By Shirley Ng, AsAmNews Staff Writer

Hitting close to reality, an episode of The Equalizer, tackles anti-Asian hate airing this Sunday at 8pm EST.

AsAmNews got an exclusive screening of the entire episode called Chinatown before it airs this Sunday. It was shot on location in Manhattan, Chinatown. 

Robyn McCall (Queen Latifah) and her colleague, Melody “Mel” Bayani (Liza Lapira) are on a case in Chinatown to find the killers of a Chinese American bakery owner, Ms. Li who was receiving racist reviews of her business. She died in a fire when her bakery burned down in an electrical fire.. or was it?

The episode includes a bit of everything that Asian Americans are experiencing right now; violence, racism, vandalism, White supremacy, the uneasiness of reporting a crime, the frustration of a system that doesn’t understand us, and a lack of faith in the justice system.

Queen Latifah in The Equalizer. CBS Photo

It captured the reality of the plight of my people so well that I actually teared up. It also hit home for me because Toisan and Cantonese dialects were spoken in the episode and I connected with that.

We are blamed for COVID, scapegoated, seen as a threat to businesses, verbally harassed with racial slurs, and seen as perpetual foreigners.  This episode spoke to me personally because it acknowledged that anti-Asian hate exists and it needs to be dealt with. It reflected so much truth in a fictional show.

I saw a message of unity in the diverse cast of Blacks and Asians working together to fight racism. We don’t often see people of color in the media working on the same team for a common goal. The Equalizer gave us an episode reflecting the diversity anyone would see in a coffee shop in Manhattan.

Actor and activist Perry Yung who plays Ray Lai in this episode, told AsAmNews, “This episode of the Equalizer dares to tackle systemic and institutionalized White Supremacy through the anti-Asian violence storyline by showing solidarity between people of color. It offers a solution. Having been in the acting business for just over 30 years, I have never seen a television show show up for our community like this one has. Queen Latifah did it right. Let’s amplify this as a model for meaningful television.”

Tune in to watch The Equalizer this Sunday, March 6 at 8PM EST.

Now if only Queen Latifah was really solving anti-Asian hate crimes, wouldn’t that be nice?

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