The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has quickly become the newest social media trend of the summer, and now Asian American celebrities have joined in on the chilly fun.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was originally created to raise money to help find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or more commonly known in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This is the same disease that took the life of Morrie Schwartz, the subject of the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie, and is affecting Steven Hawking today.
With the challenge growing viral overseas, the ALS Association says donations as of August 21 have reached $41.8 million since the campaign began last month. Many Asian American celebrities including actors, singers, journalists, YouTubers, and even Kollaboration alums have taken on this challenge. Here are some of our favorite AAPI Ice Bucket Challenges:
David Choi – Singer-songwriter + YouTuber
*Kollaboration LA alum
Arden Cho – Actress + Singer-songwriter
Eric Nam – Singer-songwriter + K-pop artist
*Kollaboration Boston alum
Jubilee Project – Filmmakers + YouTubers + Philanthropists
The Fu – Singer-songwriters + YouTubers
*Kollaboration ATL alum
Grace Su aka Peachies – Blogger + Actress + Filmmaker
Michelle Wie – Professional Golfer
Wesley Chan (Wong Fu Productions) – Filmmaker + YouTuber
*Former Kollaboration Star judge
Jun Curry Ahn – Musician + YouTuber
*Kollaboration Chicago and Star alum
Ryan Higa – YouTuber
Lana McKissack – Actress + YouTuber
Jeremy Lin – NBA Player
Lisa Ling – Journalist
George Takei – Actor
Maia and Alex Shibutani – Olympic Ice Dancers
Ann Curry – Journalist
Chloe Bennet – Actress
Harry Shum Jr. – Actor + Dancer
And last but not least, our executive director, Christine Minji Chang!
Though many notable Asian Americans accepted the challenge, there were also plenty of nominees, such as Ki Hong Lee, Amy Okuda, and Angry Asian Man Phil Yu, who resorted to donating $100 instead of undergoing the challenge. On the other hand, some AAPI nominees like author Amy Tan, who was nominated by Ming-Na Wen, have yet to make their move.
While the carnival fun and the celebrity culture the Ice Bucket Challenge brings may detract from its original purpose of fighting ALS, it’s undeniable that the challenge is probably among the most successful charity campaigns. The challenge has done a phenomenal job spreading awareness of ALS in not only the U.S. but also in Asia to K-pop stars and China’s tech billionaires. However, the question remains whether or not people will continue to donate once the novelty wears off.
What do you think of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? And who would you nominate? Let us know in the comments below!
To learn more about ALS, visit the ALS Association website.