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Gogglebox’s Tim and Leanne respond to racism

"Words are weapons"
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Gogglebox faves Tim and Leanne have shared a heartbreaking message in light of a racist message they received.

WATCH: Gogglebox Australia star Tim Lai cracks fans up with his food commentary

Yesterday, Tim Lai, 43,  shared an eye-opening post on Instagram after the pair received an offensive comment, and revealed that the ongoing hate towards them and other Asian Australians has led sister Leanne Lai, 31, to quit social media.

Gogglebox
Gogglebox’s Tim says his sister has quite social media because of the abuse they face. (Credit: Instagram.)

“Words are weapons,” he began. “We just received this message. This is the reason I now fully manage our IG and FB. This is why Leanne has quite social media.”

“How much hurt and trauma must someone have gone through for them to lash out at someone because of the colour of their skin, because of who they love, because of wanting to live their authentic self?”

Gogglebox Tim Leanne
The Gogglebox siblings may have an 11 year age gap, but they’re each other’s closest friend. (Credit: Instagram.)

Sadly, Gogglebox’s Tim and Leanne aren’t the only Asian Australians on-screen experiencing racism and discrimination by viewers. Last year, MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo shared a powerful message after he read an awful comment about his co-judge, “work wife” and mate, Melissa Leong.

“She’s my work wife, my sister, my mate, she drinks espresso like I do, she is able to express and articulate a damn sight better than you can clearly and that is just the beginning Graham.”

“She’s a woman whose origin happens to be different than yours, but why does that make you so afraid?”

“I feel sorry for you that you cannot see past the colour of someone’s skin or actually the fact they are just different than your white a** in any way. Graham, please get educated and be a better human. You owe it to yourself and everyone around you who are most probably too embarrassed by the s**t you say to let you know.”

WATCH: MasterChef Australia‘s Andy, Melissa and Jock on the AACTA Awards Red Carpet with WHO

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Tim’s heartbreaking words come after a tragic shooting fueled by anti-Asian hate last month in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, where a 21-year-old white man fired into three spa and massage parlours, leaving eight people dead, six of which were Asian women, per the ABC

The horrendous act of racism shocked the world and reminded us that it wasn’t an isolated incident; Asian people around the world had been experiencing a dramatic spike in racially-targeted violence, microaggressions and discrimination since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, including down under. 

A survey from the Asian Australian Alliance recorded 377 reports of racism in a two month period, including acts of physical harassment and threats towards members of its community, with Asian women making up the majority of the victims. Similarly, a study of over 3,000 people by the Australian National University found that 8/10 Asian Australians reported at least one instance of discrimination between January and October 2020.⁠⁠

So, again we say, #StopAsianHate. If not for us, for people like Tim, Leanne and Melissa. If you want to learn more about how you can help your Asian Australian brothers and sisters, check out a helpful guide our sister site Elle Australia has made here.

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