Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennet is speaking out against Gigi Hadid and Steve Harvey for their “ignorant” jokes aimed at Asian people.
“Dear Gigi Hadid, As a kid, (and frankly as an adult) people would make fun of me for being Chinese. For having ‘Asian eyes,’” Bennet wrote on Instagram on Wednesday, alongside an adorable throwback pic of her as a young girl. “I would laugh it off because it was always a ‘joke,’ and if I didn't I was being ‘too sensitive.’”
Bennet’s comments come in response to Hadid seemingly mocking “Asian eyes” in an Instagram story last week, squinting as she held up a Buddha cookie while out to dinner with friends.
“In reality it made me feel horrible,” explained Bennet, whose father is Chinese-American. “Like, just BEING ME was a joke that was not meant to be taken seriously. I was embarrassed of who I was. I dyed my hair blonde to make myself look less Asian just so I could feel ‘worthy’ of the people who made me feel less than.”
“Fortunately, now I know that none of this is true,” she continued. “That my value does not come from how I LOOK, but from my CHARACTER. From how I treat others… It hurts my heart to see someone like you, a beautiful young woman with so much influence, act in this inconsiderate way.”
While Hadid has yet to comment on the blowback from the video herself, her boyfriend, Zayn Malik, whose father is British Pakistani, dismissed a fan’s concerns on Monday by simply tweeting, “Trust me.. she likes asians ;).”
“This does not make you a bad person or racist, however, it does make you ignorant to the pain that your actions can cause others,” Bennet clarified in her comments to Hadid. “No matter how unintentional those actions are. And, even if it was just ‘a joke.’”
“So...to the young Asian men and women who are used to laughing off others ignorance, even though deep down you are hurting. I HEAR YOU,” she added. “You are badass. You are awesome. Who you are is not "funny". YOU determine your self worth. Be proud of who you are.”
The 24-year-old actress also fired off a shot at comedian and TV host Steve Harvey, who recently issued a public apology
after mocking a dating book about Asian men, quipping, "I don't even like Chinese food, boy. I don’t stay with you no time.”
“P.S. While I'm at it, Asian men are super sexy,” Bennet wrote. “So with all due respect f*** you Steve Harvey.”
See more on Harvey’s controversial comments in the video below.