Various Asian American actors express outrage at hate crimes & share condolences for the victims of the deadly shooting of eight people in Atlanta.
Content Warning: the following article contains discussions of violence against Asian Americans.
Chloe Bennet, Simu Liu, and other Asian American actors share their outrage and sadness after a shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, left eight people dead – 6 of whom were Asian and Asian American women. The shooting took place on Tuesday across three different Asian massage parlors. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department currently has a man named Robert Aaron Long in custody for his connection to the crimes.
This event in Georgia is just one of many Asian American hate crimes that have surged drastically over the past year in correlation with the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China. Along with this increase in anti-Asian violence, there has also been an uptick in anti-Asian rhetoric, with phrases like “Kung-flu” reaching American vernacular. This racist behavior has persisted in America over the past year, even as China’s number of COVID-19 cases plummeted below that of the United States.
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In response, people have started the #StopAsianHate on Twitter. The hashtag has been circling for a while now, but it started trending again after the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia. Many have used #StopAsianHate to decry this spike in crime and express their support for the Asian American community. Furthermore, Asian American actors have been using it to share their disappointment, stating their solidarity for Asian people around the country whom they may not know yet who are intrinsically a part of their community because of their racial connection. Liu, a Chinese-Canadian actor who will play the first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said he was feeling “overwhelming grief” and that he was praying for both the victims’ families and his “Asian sisters.”
Feeling overwhelming grief at the senseless murder of 8 people in Atlanta. Still much we don’t know, but it’s clear to me that the shooter specifically targeted Asian women.
Praying for the victims’ families, and for my Asian sisters. Action to follow.https://t.co/DjMcG0sBbv
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) March 17, 2021
Other actors such as Bennet, Eugene Lee Yang, and Jeremy Lin spoke out while specifically referencing the racist rhetoric against Asian people. Further, Never Have I Ever showrunner and The Office veteran Mindy Kaling wrote that the events on Tuesday night were “not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate.” Many of the actors who spoke out also encouraged people to keep standing up against this type of behavior to stop it from continuing.
I’m actually so upset I don’t have much to say because, of course this happens. How could we expect anything else considering the racist rhetoric that has been enabled and fucking celebrated over the past year.
— Chloe Bennet (@chloebennet) March 17, 2021
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. We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) March 17, 2021
This is sooo heartbreaking…praying for our world. To my Asian American family, please take time to grieve but know youre loved, seen and IMPORTANT. We have to keep standing up, speaking out, rallying together and fighting for change. We cannot lose hope!! ❤️#StopAsianHate #NOW https://t.co/Xm4ojbJALw
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) March 17, 2021
The fucking gall of a white male mass murderer to confidently tell on himself to police.
The piece of shit said, “I’m not racist because I have a sex addiction that made me eliminate people and places I’m tempted by, which are Asian women at Asian spas.”
THAT’S A HATE CRIME. https://t.co/dwHE0goTSZ
— Eugene Lee Yang (@EugeneLeeYang) March 17, 2021
As this case progresses, there will likely be more people coming forward about these events. There have also been several protests and vigils throughout the country, and these could become more common depending on what is to come. Just as many Black actors came to protests in support of #BlackLivesMatter, it could be possible that Asian actors attend these protests, too. To see more info about crimes and find resources to support the Asian American community, you can scroll through #StopAsianHate on Twitter.
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