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Taiwanese-American actress praised for excellent performance in latest Justin Bieber video 'Hold On'

Christine Ko’s casting is timely due to discrimination & hate crimes directed toward the Asian-American community

LiFTED | Zita Chan | 18 Mar 2021

As Justin Bieber twists and turns through the roads on his street bike causing a whole cavalry of police cruisers to tail him, an officer finally pulls out a gun and shoots him. Even with a gunshot injury, Bieber eludes police and heads for the hospital to get one last hug from his girlfriend who seems to be undergoing treatment for cancer.

In the flashbacks in the video, we see Bieber in love with his girlfriend and willing to do anything for her. Once she’s diagnosed as sick, he has a garage sale to help with bills and even spray paints a squirt gun black, which then leads to a bank robbery and the police chase.

While Bieber’s video could have come from the writing room of Unsolved Mysteries or any other B-grade action series trying to fill up the bottom rows of Netflix, the role of Christine Ko, a Taiwanese-American who plays his girlfriend, has been lauded by local and international media alike. Ko is a 32-year-old actress who is the daughter of legendary Taiwanese entertainer, Frankie Kao. She’s been cast in shows like The Great Indoors and Ballers but found it was difficult to get her footing in Hollywood as an Asian actress.

After getting many small stereotypical parts like a hacker or kung fu girl, Ko was really pleased Bieber picked her for the role in his video. In a time-lapse Instagram video, Ko showed how they made her bald for the role of a cancer patient, something she was very familiar with. “Unfortunately this is a world I understand closely. My father battled liver and pancreatic cancer for 14 years before he passed. Cherish the moments you have together.”

The role as a leading lady in a high profile video with over 25 million views right before a Justin Bieber album release couldn’t come at a more perfect time. It’s great for younger people to see Asians in starring roles on big screens and small, especially with the amount of violence and hatred that is being spread across the world against Asians in the wake of Covid-19.

Watch Justin Bieber ‘Hold On’ here.