CultureHead Magazine

Image Courtesy of CBS Pittsburg/YouTube
Image Courtesy of CBS Pittsburg/YouTube

In the past few weeks, a number of celebrities have spoken out against the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes happening all over the country and specifically about the Atlanta Spa shootings that occurred on March 16 and left 8 people dead. 

On March 20, Hollywood actress Sandra Oh gave an impassioned speech at the “Stop Asian Hate” protest in Pittsburgh. In her speech, Oh stated, “I know many of us in our community are very scared, and I understand that. And one way to get through our fear is to reach out to our communities. I will challenge everyone here, if you see something will you help me?”. Her words “I’m proud to be Asian” were chanted across the group of protesters. 

The sentiment is echoed in the Variety essay by the Riverdale star Charles Melton who shared the ways the recent anti-Asian crimes have forced him to interrogate his biracial identity and appreciate his Korean heritage. 

Actress Olivia Munn spoke with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House when she called attention to the “mental health crisis with Asian-Americans” following the Atlanta shootings

Netflix’s star Lana Condor took to Twitter to urge her followers to check up on the Asian members of their community in the time of the crisis. “Your Asian friend needs you, even if they aren’t publicly grieving on social media,” the actress wrote.

Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan shared a heartfelt Instagram post following the Atlanta attack along with ways to support the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community in Georgia. 

This year’s Oscars Best Director nominee, Chloé Zhao also spoke to the reporters about the issue. “I sometimes feel like people with so much hate, maybe they just hate themselves and I think an understanding and try to see the world from the other person’s perspective is the only way we can survive as a species,” said the Golden Globes award winner

Actress Jamie Chung wrote in her Instagram post, “These murders and countless acts of violence and the destruction of businesses and white terrorism in our communities are the direct cause of politicians and leaders fanning the flames of anti-Asian rhetoric and using us as a scapegoat for a global pandemic.”

Rihanna, John Legend, Pharell Williams, and others are among the celebrities who stood in solidarity with the Asian-American community. In her tweet, the singer from Barbados wrote that she is “heartbroken for the Asian community”.

Actress Jessica Chastain tweeted “It’s a hate crime. Not ‘a bad day’” in response to the police officer describing the Atlanta terrorist attacker as “having a bad day”

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah also criticized the officer’s words in the show’s segment. “You cannot disconnect this violence from the racial stereotypes that people attach to Asian women,” Noah stated. 

Ways to Help

The Atlanta shooting is a culmination of the stark increase of anti-Asian violence that could have been observed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Since then, the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center has received 3,795 reports about hate crimes against the AAPI community. The organization is one of many social justice organizations aimed at supporting the Asian-American community that accepts donations, along with The Asian Pacific Fund, Asian Mental Health Collective, 18 Million Rising, and many others. Red Canary Song is a grassroots collective of Asian and migrant sex workers and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance focuses on the LGBT rights of the APPI community.

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