Marvel's first Asian superhero says anti-Asian racism won't be solved by 'an opulent rom-com or Marvel superhero'
- The "Shang-Chi" star penned a heartfelt op-ed on Variety, speaking out about anti-Asian racism.
- Liu highlighted as well the violent racist attacks against Asian Americans that happened in 2020.
- Other Hollywood stars like Daniel Dae Kim and Gemma Chan have also made a stand against anti-Asian hate crimes.
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Simu Liu, who is slated to play Marvel's first Asian superhero Shang-Chi, has penned a heartfelt op-ed on Variety speaking out about anti-Asian racism.
Titled "Anti-Asian Racism Is Very Real," the 31-year-old actor star of the upcoming "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," wrote that he "(worried) a lot about (his) parents these days," due to the troubling spate of hate crimes against Asian-Americans that have surfaced in 2020.
"I fear for my parents' safety because of a virus, although perhaps not the one you're thinking of. I'm talking about the hate crimes being committed against Asian people at an alarming rate over the past year," Liu wrote.
Liu highlighted the violent racist attacks against Asian Americans in 2020, noting a statistic on "Stop Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate," a website that tracks anti-Asian violence, which indicated that there were 2,800 reported cases of racism and discrimination between March 19 and December 31 last year across 47 states and Washington DC.
The AAPI released a report which noted that a majority of these incidents were cases of verbal harassment. Around 9% of the incidents involved physical violence, and 6% included being coughed or spit on.
"Racism doesn't always come in the form of a white hood and a pitchfork; it's just not that simple," Liu said.
"Anti-Asian racism is very real, and it will not be solved with an opulent rom-com or Marvel superhero, but with you - the bystanders - acknowledging the validity of our pain," he added.
Liu referenced significant attacks on Asian Americans, primarily targeting women and elderly people, that have happened in major US cities in the last few weeks.
Slate reported that Vicha Ratanapakdee, 84, died after he was shoved to the ground in January when he was out taking a walk in San Francisco. Separately, Noel Quintana, a 61-year-old Filipino man, was slashed from cheek to cheek with a box cutter on the subway in Manhattan in February.
The Guardian also reported on an assault on a 91-year-old Asian man in northern California in January, where he was violently shoved to the ground when walking through Oakland's Chinatown.
According to an article by The Hill, there has been a significant correlation between the start of the COVID pandemic and a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
Insider's Charles Davis wrote about a UN Report which said former president Trump was "seemingly legitimizing" the rise in racist and xenophobic attacks against Asian Americans by using terms such as the "China virus" to refer to COVID-19.
Other Hollywood stars like Daniel Dae Kim, Daniel Wu, and Gemma Chan have joined Liu in speaking out against anti-Asian hate crimes.
"The number of hate crimes against Asian Americans continues to skyrocket, despite our repeated pleas for help," Kim wrote in an Instagram post. "The crimes are too often ignored and even excused... #EnoughisEnough."
Chan, who has had roles in "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Captain Marvel," also posted a video of the Oakland attack on Instagram to raise awareness around anti-Asian hate crimes.
"The community is in pain from these completely unprovoked attacks but the crimes are too often ignored and underreported. Imagine if this was your father or grandfather?" she wrote. "The violence will only end when the silence ends."
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