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Actor subjected to racist COVID-19 rant near North Bay film set

'We are a welcoming and inclusive community and the City of North Bay vehemently condemns all forms of racism'
russell yuen headshot
Russell Yuen. Photo courtesy Allmovie.com

NORTH BAY — A Canadian actor has told the Toronto Star he was a victim of COVID-19 racism in North Bay this month. 

Russell Yuen was in North Bay as part of the crew filming the movie "Swan." 

See that Toronto Star article HERE.

Yuen, who is Asian-Canadian, told the Star he was going for a walk near Lake Nipissing when he claims a man started making racial comments to him relating to the COVID-19 virus. 

According to Yuen's account, the man asked him, "It's so much nicer here than Toronto. We can get away from that Chinese Virus."    

The conversation escalated as the man went on a vulgar racial tirade. 

"You f---king Chinese man, why aren't you wearing an f---king mask?"

The fourth-generation Canadian actor then went to go warn two First Nations crew members. “I didn’t want them to bump into these guys,” he told the Star. 

On March 11, the City of North Bay was planning to host a media event at the set of "Swan" located on Lakeshore Drive by the old Chrysler dealership. That event was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.  

The City of North Bay only heard about the incident earlier today when the Toronto Star story came out.  

“We are a welcoming and inclusive community and the City of North Bay vehemently condemns all forms of racism,“ stated Gord Young, City of North Bay communications officer in an email to BayToday.  

Jim Calarco, a well-known local actor, was very disappointed to hear about the incident, but he is not surprised. 

"North Bay is certainly not immune to racism," Calarco told BayToday.

"Our First Nation people still endure this behaviour. We can thank Trump for labelling this the Chinese virus."

BayToday has reached out to Russell Yuen through his agency but he did not reply prior to publication. 




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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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