After Mother’s Death from Covid-19, Emmy-Winning Writer Launches Social Media Campaign to Mask Up
Celebrity Videos Include Beau Bridges, Amy Brenneman, Alan Cumming, Broadway's Kelli O’Hara and Betty Buckley, Two Olympians and Billie Eilish's Mom; During Biden's First 100 Days “Who Am I? Mask Challenge” Features A Different Video Each Day On Its Website
LOS ANGELES, CA – When his 93-year-old mother died from Covid-19 in South Carolina after an infected healthcare worker didn't wear a mask while treating her, Los Angeles-based TV writer William Lucas Walker turned grief into action. His Who Am I? Mask Challenge, a grass-roots PSA campaign, features both celebrities and ordinary Americans posting short videos to social media answering the question: "Why do you wear a mask?"
Says Walker, "We're all sick of masks. I get it. We're fatigued, they're not comfortable, nobody likes them. But they save lives. And until we're all vaccinated, these short Challenge videos are a unique, quick action anybody can take to remind people of that. So far, videos have been shot by everybody from preschoolers to a 95-year-old grandfather. They take less than three minutes to shoot and post from your phone. Then, to keep it going, you challenge friends, teammates, your faith community, work colleagues, whatever. Easy and fun."
Walker’s campaign is going viral on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, featuring ordinary Americans of all ages, races and walks of life, as well as famous faces like actors Beau Bridges, Amy Brenneman and Alan Cumming, Broadway’s Kelli O’Hara and Betty Buckley, Grammy/Emmy/Tony-winning composer Marc Shaiman and two Olympic champions, Greg Louganis and John Naber — all tagging their videos #WhoAmIMaskChallenge.
Like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the #WhoAmIMaskChallenge uses social media to spread. Best example: after the mother of singer Billie Eilish posted her video on Instagram, Eilish fans from around the world responded by posting videos of their own, talking about the pandemic in their communities and why they wear masks. "That blew me away," says Walker, "and demonstrated the global reach a grassroots social media campaign can have. Since then our website has been viewed by people in 47 states and nearly 50 countries around the world.
To witness the power and diversity of Americans coming together and raising their voices to save lives, visit our website and activate the "talking mosaic" at WhoAmIMaskChallenge.com.
An Emmy-winning TV writer best known for his work on comedies like Will & Grace, Frasier and Roseanne, Walker began working on what became the Who Am I? Mask Challenge last fall.
"But I never saw my mother's death coming," says Walker. "I have to say it's been the cruelest irony that, while working to raise awareness about the life-saving power of masks against Covid, my own mom would end up infected as a result of someone's choice not to wear a mask while treating her. She died two weeks later, on January 4. This Challenge is for her now."
To honor his mother's life, and in response to President Biden’s call for all Americans to “mask up for my first 100 days,” Walker is currently running a new video on his website for each of the new administration's first 100 days in office.
To join the Who Am I? Mask Challenge and learn how you or your organization can start shooting and posting videos to help slow the spread of Covid-19, visit www.WhoAmIMaskChallenge.com. Your voice could be the one that saves a life.