An Asian American media company apologized after backlash for posting a yellow square in response to the Atlanta shootings

Lauren Frias
·3 min read
88rising
A general view of atmosphere during the Head in the Clouds Festival by 88 Rising at Los Angeles State Historic Park on August 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
  • Asian media company 88rising went under fire after posting a yellow square in response to the Tuesday shootings.

  • Eight people died in three shootings in the Atlanta metro area, six of whom were Asian women.

  • Some likened the post to people sharing black squares amid the Black Lives Matter protests last year.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

An Asian American media company apologized after receiving backlash from posting a yellow square to show support for the Asian community in light of the Atlanta area shootings.

Eight people were killed in three shootings in the Atlanta metro area Tuesday night. Six of the victims were Asian women.

The suspect, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, was arrested and charged in connection with the shooting earlier Wednesday.

The shooting spurred support for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, as people, including prominent Democrats, condemned the violence that took place. Members of the Asian community also spoke out against the violence, calling out an increased number of hate incidents targeting Asian Americans.

American mass media and talent management company, 88rising, also added their voices to the mix with a controversial post on their Instagram depicting a single neon-yellow square.

"Enough is enough. Heartbroken with the disgusting and senseless violence in Georgia tonight," the caption of the now-deleted post read. "Violence against the Asian community has to stop. Let's protect each other and stand against hate."

The post backfired, as some compared the post to when posts of "Blackout Tuesday" black squares pervaded the social media platform amid the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, but instead with the color yellow, which has been stereotypically used to represent Asian skin tones.

"Not 88rising co-opting something which the folks at the center of the original movement (black people) explicitly said wasn't helpful," one user wrote on Twitter.

"When i saw people tweeting about big accounts posting yellow squares i thought they had to be joking. and yet 88 rising actually did it," another user tweeted.

Following the backlash, 88rising amended the caption addressing the criticism, later deleting the post and issuing an apology in its stead.

"Thank you to our community for sharing your comments and critiques with us," the music label wrote in the post. "It was never our intention to cause harm, but we recognize the effects of our actions and apologize."

"We are not trying to start a yellow square movement, though we understand how it was misinterpreted," the company continued. "We are heartbroken and wanted to share our thoughts on the horrific violence in Georgia and to decry the racism against the Asian community."

Representatives from 88rising did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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