Image source: Variety
The Asian American community faces great turmoil today, especially amid the pandemic. Asian American stars have used their voices to ease the tension and raise awareness to spread peace with the ongoing hate and attacks. Elementary star Lucy Liu is among those who have bravely used whatever platform they can to stop Asian hate.
Lucy Liu was born to immigrant parents from Queens, New York. Her mother was a biochemist, while her father was a civil engineer from China. The Chinese American actress has strived to balance her career, diversifying her roles not to be limited to characters which Hollywood thinks she should play. Lucy has defied boundaries and aimed for inclusion. She is best known for her role in Charlie’s Angels, released in 2000.
As an actress, artist, and advocate, she is using her success to shed light on important issues such as the racism experienced by her fellow Asian Americans. Despite being born to Chinese immigrants, Lucy Liu considers the United States her home. When she first entered Hollywood, Lucy Liu was unaware of the cultural barriers that existed in the industry. She has been labeled as the “dragon lady” or “geisha” by some colleagues, and the actress recently shared that she had to look up what those words meant.
Labels carry a strong sense of power over those who bear them. Recently, with COVID-19 being significantly tied with Asia, the Asian American community has suffered under many labels. In a statement, Lucy Liu said, “This proves, without a doubt, that words matter. It clarifies that when violence happens, it’s because the seed has been planted through thoughts and words that give people permission to act out their frustrations and anger. People who use racist words, or who don’t use their words to protect other people, are complicit—regardless of what side or color you represent in the political atmosphere.”
Between March 2020 and February 2021, a report revealed that there had been over 3,795 incidents related to Asian American attacks. The number continues to rise today. Just last month, a group of people in Atlanta, six of whom are Asian, found themselves in a string of shootings. With the attacks carried on in broad daylight, Lucy Liu finds an even greater responsibility to stand up for the community. She has been an ambassador for UNICEF since 2004, and she is using her influence today to spread the message of peace.
“Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to go there,” Lucy Liu told Yahoo! Entertainment. “I’m willing to do that because I don’t want other people to feel unsafe. I want some of the people who think this is okay to know that this is not okay.”
Besides Lucy Liu, other Hollywood actors and actresses have also stook against Asian hate. Sandra Oh has spoken to encourage her neighbors to support the Asian community at the Stop Asian Hate rally in Pittsburgh. Olivia Liang, Lana Condor, and Daniel Dae have also expressed their sentiments about the issue. Other celebrities like Rihanna, Pharell Williams, Ariana Grande, Joe Jonas, LeBron James, and Mindy Kaling have also used their social media platforms to raise awareness on the issue.
“We don’t think our voices matter, and they do.” To learn more about Lucy Liu, visit her website.