The Dramatists Guild of America condemns in no uncertain terms the rise of racist, xenophobic and discriminatory attacks against Asian Americans.
As writers, we believe in the power of words to illuminate lasting truths and ennoble us all. We know, however, that words also have the power to inflict irreparable damage. Cruel and inaccurate terminology like “Chinese Virus” or “Wuhan Virus” perpetuate anti-Asian stigma. Driven by vitriolic speech from the very highest levels of government and beyond, attacks against Asian Americans have intensified all across this country: an elderly woman beaten in a New York City subway, a family of four in Midland, Texas set upon by assailants with knives, a 16-year-old boy in California set upon by bullies and subsequently hospitalized.
The words that fuel these crimes diminish us all, degrade the human spirit and erode our faith in fundamental values like decency, magnanimity and grace. They also suppress the rights of others through intimidation and by instilling fear. The Guild exists to defend freedom of expression; it in no way supports criminalization of any individual’s Constitutional right to free and unfettered speech.
However, on behalf of our entire membership - and especially during these fractious times, those who are Asian American - we unequivocally decry language that purposefully denigrates, scapegoats or otherwise terrorizes members of specific and vulnerable communities.
President of the Dramatists Guild of America
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