We reported earlier this month on the runaway online success of #StarringJohnCho, a social media campaign that protests Hollywood’s Whitewashing and racist treatment of Asian and Asian-American performers and characters by imagining “Star Trek” and “Selife” star John Cho as a lead in blockbuster films. Cho, who is Korean-American, praised the hashtag in a new interview while also commenting on racism against Asian Americans. 

“I loved that it was sparking this discussion that otherwise we wouldn’t be having and it did it in a positive way,”  Cho told Yahoo7 yesterday (May 22). “[The campaign] was kind of silly, but then people really did have that discussion, and it did get people thinking about it. I felt like it was me on the poster, but it wasn’t really about me. I really dig it.”

Cho also elaborated on what he sees as the public’s lack of awareness when it comes to racism directed at Asian Americans:

This experience made me reflect on how people think. In the United States, we’re very aware of racism, and that pertains to African Americans because it’s built into this dark period—obviously slavery—and so that’s on the forefront of people’s minds, and often a topic of discussion. In that sense, racism towards African Americans as an example is something people can recognize as existing.

Preconceived notions and stereotypes of Asians is something people don’t think about or recognize. It’s a similar attitude towards women. There’s so much chauvinism in the world and patriarchal viewpoints but it’s so embedded in our culture that people don’t even realize.

Read the full interview here.