- Stars like Olivia Munn are calling for change and justice as anti-Asian hate crimes continue to rise.
- “The racist, verbal, and physical assaults have left my community fearful to step outside,” she wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “These hate crimes have spiked since Covid and continue to increase even though we ask for help, even though we ask our fellow Americans to be outraged for us, even though we ask for more mainstream media coverage.”
- Fellow actors Daniel Dae Kim, Daniel Wu, and Gemma Chan have also been vocal about the rise in attacks against Asian Americans.
- Kim and Wu previously offered a $25,000 reward for information on a suspect who attacked a 91-year-old man in Oakland, Ca. A suspect in the case was arrested Monday.
Anti-Asian Hate Crimes On The Rise
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a startling rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, prompting many celebrities to increase their calls for change and justice.
The uptick in attacks started back in March of 2020 when the pandemic became the focus of national attention. In just the three month span between March and June, more than 2,100 hate incidents were reported to The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. In September, the Queens Chronicle reported anti-Asian hate crimes were up 1,900% in New York City. In October, a study found that four out of 10 young Asian Americans said anti-Asian hate had personally impacted them “tremendously.” One in four said they have been scared for themselves and their families.
Many cite the blame the public has placed on China for the pandemic as the reason for the ongoing hate. Former president Donald Trump and other high profile people played into that narrative by calling COVID-19 the “China virus.”
Olivia Munn Speaks Out
Olivia Munn is one of many actors drawing attention to the troubling trend.
“Over the past few days I’ve found myself at a loss for words at the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes,” she wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.
“The racist, verbal, and physical assaults have left my community fearful to step outside. These hate crimes have spiked since Covid and continue to increase even though we ask for help, even though we ask our fellow Americans to be outraged for us, even though we ask for more mainstream media coverage,” she continued.
She brought up a handful of disturbing incidents, including an attack on a 91-year-old man in Oakland, the recent murder of an 84-year-old man in San Francisco, and the assaults a woman in San Jose and a man who had his face slashed in Manhattan.
“To simply exist as a minority in this country is seen as a protest to some,” Munn continued. “We need help amplifying the outrage. We need help to feel safe in our country. We need help to be safe in our country.”
Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu Offer Reward
Actors Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu have been vocal about these attacks as well. On Friday, the two offered a $25,000 reward for information on the attack against the 91-year-old man in Oakland.
“The number of hate crimes against Asian Americans continues to skyrocket, despite our repeated pleas for help,” Kim wrote on Instagram. “The crimes are too often ignored and even excused.”
“We must do more to help the literally thousands of Americans who have suffered at the hands of this absolutely senseless violence,” Wu added in a similar post. “We must take a stand and say, ‘no more.’ Please help us bring this criminal to justice.”
Actress Gemma Chan also shared footage of the attack and called for people to pay attention to the surge of hate both in the U.S. and in the U.K.
“The community is in pain from these completely unprovoked attacks but the crimes are too often ignored and underreported,” she wrote.
A suspect was arrested and charged for allegedly attacking the man in Oakland. He was also charged for attacks against two other people in the area.
See what others are saying: (HuffPost) (Glamour) (Washington Post)
Upcoming “Karen” Movie Slammed as Rip-Off of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”
The horror film follows a Black couple that moves into a house next door to a white woman named Karen.
“Karen” Trailer Goes Viral
The viral “Karen” trope is getting the Hollywood treatment, and people on Twitter would like a word with the film industry’s manager.
“Karen” has become a term used to describe entitled, and often racist, white women who are quick to call the cops or complain about customer service when things don’t go exactly their way. The upcoming movie, called “Karen,” is a horror picture that follows a Black couple that moves into a new house next door to a pearl necklace-wearing and Pinot Grigio-drinking white woman. Any guesses on what her name is?
The film, a BET Original, was written and directed by Coke Daniels and stars Taryn Manning as the titular “Karen.” Cory Hardrict and Jasmine Burke play the couple that’s new in town. The trailer was released on Thursday but started gaining traction online this week.
Throughout the trailer, Manning’s character is seen threatening to call the manager at a restaurant, setting up security cameras that look at her new neighbors’ house, and calling the cops on a group of teenagers while they record her in that now-familiar viral format.
She also says that Burke’s character is “slaving away in the kitchen” upon entering her home and tells a group of Black people, “you people are very angry.” It also appears that she owns a soap dispenser with the Confederate flag on it.
In case people watching were unable to put the glaringly obvious puzzle pieces together, a small child eventually says, “She doesn’t like Black people,” in the trailer.
Because the hammer is perhaps hitting the nail a little too harshly on the head, many wondered if it was even a real movie or some kind of “Saturday Night Live” parody.
Twitter Compares Film to “Get Out”
Others thought it looked like the film was ripping off Jordan Peele’s hit horror movie “Get Out,” which is about a Black man meeting his white girlfriend’s family.
“Get Out” was praised for using the horror genre to provide nuanced commentary and observations on racism in America. Peele won an Academy Award for the film’s original screenplay, and it was also nominated for Best Picture. “Karen,” on the other hand, is not likely to wind up part of the awards conversation come 2021.
Daniels ended up sharing an article comparing his upcoming project to “Get Out” on his Instagram story, also apologizing for bringing Peele into the online discourse.
Daniels previously told Deadline that he wrote this film in 2020 as discussions about race relations in the United States were reaching a boiling point.
“Last year during the global pandemic and civil unrest, I — like many of us — felt anger, despair and hopelessness,” he said. “The overwhelming amount of support from people around the globe, who want to see change, has been such an inspiration.”
“Karen” does not yet have a release date.
See what others are saying: (Esquire) (CNN) (Independent)
Carl Nassib Becomes First Active NFL Player To Come Out as Gay
While making his announcement, the athlete also pledged a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project.
Nassib Comes Out
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, made history on Monday as the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in an Instagram video, along with a longer written statement.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for,” he said in the post.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” he continued.
“I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project.”
He also noted that he was thankful for the support from his NFL coaches and fellow players. “From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance,” he wrote.
Praise From Sports Community
Nassib’s announcement was met with praise from his team on social media, as well as other athletes and the NFL itself.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on behalf of the league, saying that it “is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth.”
Several football fans and commentators, including sports reporter Jemele Hill, also pointed to the potential impact his bravery could have.
“Carl Nassib likely isn’t the only active gay player in the NFL, but him coming forward will be huge for those who haven’t gotten there yet,” HIll tweeted. “Very courageous decision that will not only help other players but so many young people in this country.”
See what others are saying:(ESPN)(The New York Times)(NBC News)
Billie Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Racist Slur in Old Clip
Eilish said she is “appalled and embarrassed” to have mouthed along to a song containing the term, which she did not know was a slur at the time.
Video Shows Billie Eilish Using Slur
Singer Billie Eilish apologized Monday night for mouthing an anti-Asian racial slur in an old video that recently resurfaced on social media.
The clip was featured in a compilation that went viral on TikTok. In it, she was mouthing along to the song “Fish” by Tyler the Creator, which contains the slur. The compilation also showed her speaking in a voice that many interpreted as her mocking foreign accents or languages.
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this,” Eilish wrote on her Instagram story. “And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.”
Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Term
The “Bad Guy” singer said she was 13 or 14 at the time the video was taken, and claimed she had no idea the word was a derogatory term at the time.
“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” Eilish wrote. “This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”
Regarding accusations that she mocked foreign accents and languages, the singer said she was speaking a “silly gibberish” that she made up as a child and uses around her pets, family, and friends in a joking manner.
“It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the SLIGHTEST,” she added. “Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”
“Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it,” she continued.
The Grammy Award-winner said that she wants to use her platform to promote “inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity, and equality.” She closed her statement by telling her followers that it is important for people to listen and learn when it comes to conversations about these subjects.
Read her full apology below.