Ever since the start of the pandemic, the Asian American community has seen an increase in hate crimes towards their community. From white people such as Aaron Long killing 6 Asian women in a beauty parlor to Americans blaming China for the spread of the virus, it was reported that over 4,000 anti-Asian incidents have occurred between 2020 and 2021. Celebrities of Asian descent have had enough and are speaking out. Here are a few examples:
Sandra Oh: This Grey’s Anatomy star spoke out against the Atlanta murders and the attacks of Asian American Community members at a protest in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania: “For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and anger, and I really am so grateful to everyone willing to listen. I know many of us in our community are scared, and I understand that. One way to get through our fear is to reach out to our communities and be proud to be Asian”.
Olivia Munn: In addition to the Atlanta shootings, this actress, known for appearance in The Predator and X-Men Apocalypse, appeared on the The Wrap podcast to weigh in on the events occurring in American society: “Attacks against the Asian community have been going on for a very long time because we are seen as the invisible race in our country. It has gotten worse when the pandemic was weaponized against Asian Americans because it put a target on our backs and it can’t be open season on Asian Americans, and that’s what it has been”.
Daniel Dae Kim: Known for his roles in Lost and Hawaii Five, this Asian actress has been vocal about these issues even prior to 2020. Recently, however, he had testified before the House Judiciary Sub commissions to discuss the violence against their community: “We are statistically insignificant in polling models. Now all of you listening to me here, by virtue of your elections, are more familiar with the intricacies of polling than I am, so undoubtedly, you already know what this means. Statistically insignificant means we don’t matter”.
Charles Melton: This Riverdale star spoke about his experiences as an Asian American on Variety: “As an Asian American men, I have willfully ignored racism and microaggressions. Not anymore. The hare crimes that have swept the country have forced me to realize how important the platform I have is and the responsibility that comes with it. Domestic terrorism and hate driver violence has plagued our nation and continues to do so. What’s clear in all of us is the violence against Asian people”.
Mindy Kaling: This actress from The Mindy Project has admitted that, while the Atlanta shootings were a gruesome event, it didn’t surprise her. Still, she took to Twitter stating: “The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year”. She also included the hashtag StopAsianHate in her post and added “Enough is enough”.
Ashley Park: Star of Emily in Paris, Park had also spoke out against the Atlanta shootings on Instagram: “This racism starts out at a very small level. It starts when you call a virus that shuts down the whole world the ‘kung flu virus’. It also starts when you make fun of waiters or Chinese food delivery people and the nail artist. I’m guilty of that too. This is social programming that we must change”.
George Takei: This Star Trek star has also been a strong activist on Asian violence. Recently, he took to Twitter saying “Three years ago, the leader of the house GOP called it the ‘China virus’ again. Words have consequences, especially those emitted from our leaders.” He then calls on reporters to “Ask politicians who trade in racism if they feel responsible or remorseful for violence committed in the wake of their words. Call a hate crime what it is. And GOP Leaders, stop fanning violence with Anti-Asian rhetoric. You should be ashamed at what you unleashed.”
While the current administration plans to take action to end Asian violence, these Asian celebrities are providing encouragement through their activism and peaceful protest. Spreading further awareness of the hate against Asian and other minority groups is key to creating a more peaceful and equal America.