Celebrities are speaking out about the latest tragedy in the Asian community.
Seven women and one man, most of them of Asian descent, were killed Tuesday night in three Atlanta-area spa shootings. Two shootings were in northeast Atlanta and the third in Cherokee County. Police arrested 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long as the suspected gunman. Police said Long told authorities his actions were motivated by a sex addiction, not race, and he may have frequented some of the spas where the shootings happened.
While police said Long told authorities his actions were motivated by sex addiction, many experts and top Asian American lawmakers say it’s hard not to see racism inextricably tied to the killings due to a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.
Trevor Noah agrees. The “Daily Show” host slammed claims that the shootings weren’t racially-charged on his Wednesday segment.
“Your murders speak louder than your words,” Noah said.
“Don’t tell me that this thing had nothing to do with race, even if the shooter said that. He thinks it had to do with his sex addiction.” he added. “This guy blamed a specific race of people for his problems and then murdered them because of it. If that’s not racism then the word has no meaning.”
Trevor also criticized Cherokee County sheriff spokesperson Capt. Jay Baker who said the shooter had a “bad day” in a press conference Wednesday.
“No, yesterday was a ‘bad day’ for the people who lost their lives. It’s always interesting who police try and find the humanity in,” Noah said.
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Olivia Munn, more stars call to #StopAsianHate
Olivia Munn, who recently called out new Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Alexi McCammond for her past racist tweets against Asians, said she’s “struggling” with the latest act of violence.
“We are being targeted, we are living in a country that is attacking us simply just for being us,” Munn said Wednesday during an interview with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”
Munn said the Asian-American community needs “more people to care about us” and “amplify” opposition to such attacks. She added, “We need people on social media to denounce this kind of stuff that is happening against us. It’s so important that we are heard because we have been so invisible for so long.”
She also shared the #StopAsianHate hashtag on Twitter.
Actor Daniel Dae Kim said: “The race of the person committing the crime matters less than the simple fact that if you act with hate in your heart, you are part of the problem. And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity. #StopAsianHate.”
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Lana Condor calls for Asian community allies
Some took to social media to spread awareness about the event, with “To All the Boys I Loved Before” actress Lana Condor urging her followers to “wake up” and encouraging people to be allies to the Asian community.
“Your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. Please please please check in on us, please please please stand with us. Please. Your Asian friend needs you, even if they aren’t publicly grieving on social media.”
Comedian Mindy Kaling urged people to fight against the normalization of anti-Asian rhetoric.
“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!”
“Asians are not a monolith,” Padma Lakshmi tweeted, adding that “the continent includes around 48 countries and 3 territories, all with unique cultures, food customs and traditions.” But she declared, “A racist attack against one of us is an attack against all of us.”
George Takei, Jamie Chung call on leadership for changes
George Takei called the shooting “a hate crime.”
Takei also urged GOP leaders to “stop fanning violence with anti-Asian rhetoric.” On March 9, House of Representatives minority leader Kevin McCarthy shared online COVID-19 resources, but used the term “Chinese coronavirus.”
“Words have consequences, especially those from our leaders,” Takei continued. “Reporters: Ask politicians who trade in racism if they feel responsible or remorseful for violence committed in the wake of their words.”
Actress Jamie Chung said “using (Asian Americans) as a scapegoat for a global pandemic” needs to “end now.
“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,” she wrote on Instagram. “Historically Asian immigrants have been the scapegoat for others misfortunes.”
She continued: “It starts by calling it what it is. MEDIA YOU NEED TO DO BETTER, CALL IT WHAT IT IS, DOMESTIC TERRORISM HATE CRIMES AGAINST ASIANS.”
“Crazy Rich Asians” star Gemma Chan asked her Instagram followers to “please pay attention to what is happening, adding “don’t be silent.”
“We need to stop the (dehumanization) of Asians. We need to stop the scapegoating of Asians for Covid. We need to unite against all forms of hate,” she wrote. “Please spread awareness, check in on your Asian friends because we are not ok.”
“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,” he said.
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Kahmora Hall, a Season 13 contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” wrote, “Every day I worry about if it were my parents, sisters, cousins & friends in that heartbreaking situation. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. #STOPAsianHate.”
Celebrities ‘stand in solidarity’ with the Asian community
Pharrell Williams tweeted a post writing, “Enough is enough. Last night was another instance of innocent lives being lost to domestic terrorism. We must protect our Asian brothers and sisters.”
Singer Rihanna posted a tweet calling the Atlanta shooting “brutal, tragic” and “disgusting.” “AAPI hate has been rampantly perpetuated & it’s disgusting! I’m heartbroken for the Asian community & my heart is with the loved ones of those we lost,” she wrote.
“There is no place for racism, violence, prejudice, or misogyny of any kind, towards any one,” Jimmy Fallon tweeted.
Camilla Cabello, who had been accused in 2019 of using racial remarks and has since apologized, tweeted: “We need to do everything in our power to stand up against hate. Listen to the AAPI community, take their direction, share resources if you can.”
Kim Kardashian West said “Asians are human and deserve to be treated as such.”
Her mother, Kris Jenner, added: “I stand in solidarity with the Asian community, and with any individuals who feel attacked or marginalized because of the color of their skin. We are one world, one humanity, and one community.”
John Legend said he is “sending love to all the loved ones of those whose lives were taken.
“Absolutely horrible,” the “All of Me” singer wrote in response to Tuesday night’s shooting. “Our nation needs to reckon with the increased threats being directed at our Asian-American brothers and sisters.”
“This escalation of attacks on Asian Americans is horrifying. STOP IT. Stop this sickness America. Stop this brutality,” Patricia Arquette tweeted.
Alyssa Milano showed her support by writing that she stands with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and singer Sara Bareilles described hate toward Asian Americans as “loud,” “exhausting” and “destructive.”
“The Asian hate crime tonight in Atlanta-Buckhead and Cherokee County is just so (expletive) appalling and so sad,” Florence Pugh wrote on her Instagram story.
“Everytime (sic) there’s a mass shooting it’s so heartbreaking and so destructive and yet America just shakes it’s (sic) head as if that’s just part of being in America and carries on. It doesn’t have to be. This was targeted. This is white supremacy. This was targeted Asian murder.”
Contributing: Cydney Henderson, Jordan Culver, Elise Brisco