Updated Article: 18/03/2021: Since news of the Atlanta Spa shootings became public earlier this week, several celebrities have spoken out to condemn the actions of the assailant.
The BBC reports that a 21-year-old man named Robert Aaron Long, has been charged with murder over the killing of eight people at massage parlours in Atlanta, six of whom were women, which took place on Tuesday.
The news outlet identified four of the victims as Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; and Daoyou Feng, 44 and Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was identified as having been injured.
According to the BBC, the police cannot yet confirm if the attack was racially motivated. The shooting comes amid rise in crimes against Asian-Americans in recent months.
Since attack, several celebrities have since taken to social media to voice their condolences and to bring awareness to the injustice of the incident on social media:
'Please pay attention to what is happening,' wrote Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan on Instagram on Tuesday, sharing a photograph of an article about the shooting on the New York Times.
'Racism and misogyny are not mutually exclusive. In fact, sexualised racial harassment and violence is something that many of us face regularly.'
The Marvel alum also added a plea for the end of dehumanisation of people of Asian descent.
'We need to stop the dehumanisation of Asians. We need to stop the scapegoating of Asians for Covid. We need to unite against all forms of hate. Please spread awareness, check in on your Asian friends because we are not ok.. educate yourself and others on the model minority myth and the long history of anti-Asian racism. ... Please don’t be silent. [sic]'
The 24-year-old model took to her Instagram Stories to repost statements about anti-Asian rhetoric. One tweet she reposted, which was originally shared by American comic and writer Jenny Yang, called out the media coverage of the shooting.
'To All The Media: Say What It Is. 8 Asian Women Slain In Mass Shooting Hate Crime By A White Terrorist, [sic]' read the reposted tweet.
To All The Boys star Lana Condor took to Twitter to voice her sadness and to implore her followers to reach out to any of their friends in the Asian community.
'Wake up... your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry,' she tweeted.
'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. x [sic] '
Emily in Paris actor Ashley Park tearfully addressed the addressed the three deadly shootings via an Instagram video.
'These things happen when people have rage and entitlement, and when they prey on the weak. I really don’t want to cry right now, because I do not want to perpetuate the idea that Asian women are weak, because we’re not,' Park said in the video.
Park added that she wants a way to 'move forward in a country run by white supremacy.'
Original article published: 17/03/2021: John Legend, Florence Pugh, Olivia Munn and several famous celebrities from Hollywood have shared their messages of support and condolences following a shooting that has taken place in Georgia, US.
The BBC reports that eight people, many of them women of Asian descent, were killed in a series of shootings that took place at spas in Acworth, Cherokee County in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday March 16.
According to the publication, local police officials stated that a 21-year-old man has been arrested and is suspected of being involved in the attacks.
Although, the assailant's motive is yet to be established, there are concerns that they may have intentionally targeted people of Asian descent, amid the spike in hate crimes against them following a narrative that has put the blame on them for the spread of Covid-19 over the last year.
Following the tragic events, a number of celebrities expressed their condolences and sadness on social media:
The actor posted her response to the tragedy to her Instagram Story, writing:
'The Asian hate crime tonight in Atlanta-Buckhead and Cherokee County is just so f*cking appalling and so sad. He drove to a new destination. To target Asian women. [Every time] there's a mass shooting it's so heartbreaking and so destructive and yet America just shakes [its] 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. [sic]'
Celebrity chef and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi, reiterated Pugh's sentiments on the increase of hate crimes towards Asian people in recent months.
'This is deeply, deeply sad. Trump on Fox *tonight* referred to COVID using the racist slur 'China virus, [sic]' she tweeted. 'He previously called it the "Kung Flu". While he continues to spread hatred against Asian Americans, people like this shooter are listening.'
Feminist author and activist Roxane Gay took to Twitter to express her frustration at the tragedy and at increased violence towards Asian communities.
'This is horrible. And completely out of control. It has been since this anti-Asian violence began. I am so sorry for these lives lost and so many communities living in fear, [sic]' she tweeted.
In response to the feminist author's tweet, Grammy award-winning singer John Legend posted a message of support and love on his Twitter account.
'Absolutely horrible,' he noted. 'Sending love to all the loved ones of those whose lives were taken. Our nation needs to reckon with the increased threats being directed at our Asian-American brothers and sisters. [sic]'
X- Men alum Olivia Munn, who has consistently spoken out about the recent spike against people of Asian descent, wrote a solemn plea for the violence to end and shared a news article about the shootings from the New York Times.
'The violent attacks and murders against Asians are still happening. Please help us. We need help to be safe in our country. #StopAsianHate. Please, [sic]' the actor wrote.
Bernice King, the anti-racism activist and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., posted an equally touching message of support and condolence.
'My heart goes out to the families and communities of the eight people murdered at metro-Atlanta spas. I am deeply saddened that we live in a nation and world permeated by hate and violence. I stand with Asian members of our World House, who are a part of our global human family, [sic]' King wrote on Twitter.
The Game of Thrones actor took to Instagram to share a photo of a black square with the words 'Stop AAPI Hate' in yellow paint.
'I’m just fkin angry. I’m angry about greed and guns #stopgunviolencenow I’m angry and fkin sad when we live such privileged lives and still fall so short of simple humanity, of empathy, of compassion, of equality, of love... Simple fkin love for our brothers and sisters in this world, [sic]' she captioned the post.
In an address last week, President Joe Biden condemned 'vicious hate crimes against Asian-Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated.' In January, the US President signed a memorandum denouncing the discrimination directed at the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community that has risen during the pandemic.
In February, Biden also called on Congress to enact 'common sense' gun laws, in honour of the three-year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting. The laws - if enacted - will aim to ban assault weapons and make background checks a requirement for all gun sales.
How can I help?
Many organizations are working to decrease violence and provide resources to the AAPI community’s most vulnerable members, including Heart of Dinner, Stop AAPI Hate, the Asian Pacific Fund’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund, Welcome to Chinatown, and the Asian Mental Health Collectivel. To help sex workers exist safely in increasingly vulnerable times, consider donating to the Sex Worker Outreach Project or read up on the work of Asian-led sex-work grassroots collective Red Canary Song.
If you or anyone you know has witnessed or experienced a hate crime you can report it to the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
In an emergency, always dial 999
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