A conservative YouTube provocateur known for his wildly offensive content has come under fire for spewing racist vitriol while attacking a local news reporter.
Steven Crowder was suspended from YouTube earlier this month for hate speech, after repeatedly pushing a fake story on his channel about a transgender woman who allegedly raped and impregnated an inmate at a women’s prison. A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson ultimately threw cold water on the false story. Just months before, Crowder and his YouTube co-hosts went on a spiel mocking Black farmers and American slavery.
Now, shortly after his YouTube hiatus ended, Crowder has received a wave of backlash for verbally ambushing a local Bay Area reporter with a slew of racist comments. While watching the journalist’s news segment on his “Louder With Crowder” show, Crowder commented that she had an “aggressively Asian face.”
On Tuesday, Betty Yu of KPIX San Francisco, a CBS affiliate, broadcast a segment about the city’s only In-N-Out Burger closing its indoor dining area because it would not comply with the city’s orders to check customers’ vaccination statuses.
In a video post reviewing Yu’s news segment, Crowder applauded In-N-Out Burger for its stance, then fired off a barrage of racist assaults.
When Yu appeared on screen, Crowder interjected, “Oh! That’s an aggressively Asian face.”
A co-host can be heard laughing and implies that Yu resembles actress Lucy Liu, saying, “Where’s Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz?”
“Usually with reporters, they’re kind of Americanized Asians. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s full Asian,” Crowder said before the co-host attempted to make a geisha joke.
With anti-Asian discrimination surging during the coronavirus pandemic, fellow journalists were quick to jump to Yu’s defense.
Dion Lim, an anchor for KGO-TV San Francisco, wrote on Twitter, “Here’s my ‘aggressively Asian face’ [Steven Crowder]. Enjoy. #StopAAPIHate #StopAsianHate.”
“This is gross,” wrote Good Morning Iowa anchor Chenue Her. “[Betty Yu] is a constant professional & an upstanding journalist. You hit her with racism like this, you’re targeting **all** AAPI journalists. We’re not here for it.”
“It’s amazing how people who are overtly racist are also not funny,” said columnist Jeff Yang. “Completely disgusting attack on [Betty Yu] by Steven Crowder, who I suspect has not yet seen an aggressive Asian up close and probably should.”
CBS Television Stations President Jennifer Mitchell and KPIX-TV San Francisco President/GM Kevin Walsh also voiced their support of Yu and condemned the attack.
“CBS Television Stations and KPIX 5 fully support our colleague Betty Yu and condemn the horrific, racist comments directed at Betty as well as the other demeaning Asian stereotypes spread during Steven Crowder’s program on Wednesday,” they wrote in a joint statement. “We stand in solidarity with Betty, an accomplished journalist and valued member of our CBS family. These hateful and offensive remarks are outrageous and destructive and reaffirm the importance of our work as journalists to shine a light on anti-Asian violence and hate speech when it occurs.”