Multiple Actors Decry Surge In Asian American Hate Crimes After Shooting

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.”

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.

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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