Sandra Oh gives passionate speech at Stop Asian Hate rallyon March 22, 2021 at 2:12 pm

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The actress speaks at a Stop Asian Hate rally following last week’s Atlanta spa shootings in the US.

Sandra Oh

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Killing Eve actress Sandra Oh has given a passionate speech at a Stop Asian Hate rally following last week’s Atlanta spa shootings in the US.

Oh said she was “proud to be Asian” and also discussed the “fear… and anger” within the community at the event near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday.

Asian women were among eight killed at three spas in Georgia on Tuesday.

“One thing that I know is that many in our community are very scared, and I understand that,” she said.

She continued: “One way to go through our fear is to reach out to our community.”

In a video shared on CBSN Pittsburgh, the actress, who was born in Canada to parents who emigrated from South Korea, expressed her gratitude to organisers and those in attendance for the “opportunity to stand together and feel each other”.

“For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful for everyone willing to listen,” Oh told the crowd.

The actress and producer, who plays Eve Polastri in the BBC drama series Killing Eve, also urged people to help protect against violence and support “sisters and brothers” in need.

“We must understand, as Asian Americans, we just need to reach out our hand to our sisters and brothers and say, ‘Help me and I’m here,'” she said.

Oh then led the crowd in a chant saying: “I am proud to be Asian. I belong here.”

The demonstration follows Robert Aaron Long being charged with multiple counts of murder and one of aggravated assault in connection with attacks on Atlanta-area spas.

Police said Long admitted to the shooting spree, which saw six women of Asian descent killed among eight victims, but believe the attack to have been sexually rather than racially motivated.

However, the case has sparked an outpouring of anger, and highlighted the rise in crime against Asian Americans, partially in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate said it received more than 2,800 reports of hate incidents directed at Asian Americans nationwide last year. The group set up its online self-reporting tool at the start of the pandemic.

In response, the hashtag #StopAsianHate spread across social media, with celebrities and public figures lending their support.

“Please pay attention to what is happening,” wrote Crazy Rich Asians and Marvel actress Gemma Chan on Instagram. “Racism and misogyny are not mutually exclusive. In fact, sexualised racial harassment and violence is something that many of us face regularly.”

On Wednesday, Shannon Lee, daughter of the late actor Bruce Lee, said baseless rhetoric from former President Donald Trump and his supporters about the pandemic had heightened tensions against Asian Americans.

“This is where ‘kung flu’ leads,” Lee began in her Wednesday afternoon message that spanned several tweets.

A “heartbroken” Rihanna similarly said the incident was “brutal, tragic and… certainty not an isolated incident”.

Actresses Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Katie Holmes also posted in support, alongside South Korean DJ Peggy Gou.

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