The crimes against Asians have been on the rise since COVID-19 began. In recent months, incidents against elderly Asians have become more frequent as evident by recent videos surfacing. As a result, Asian celebrities have begun increasingly speaking out against those hate crimes. The latest celebrity to speak up about anti-Asian discrimination is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu.
Simu Liu, who's also well-known for his time on Kim's Convenience, has been very outspoken on various issues even before joining the MCU. As anti-Asian discrimination increases, the actor chose to raise his voice to help his community. The MCU star wrote a guest column for Variety, where he aired out his worries and concerns over his parents’ safety. In the column, he equated the violence against Asians, saying:
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. According to Stop AAPI Hate, a website that tracks the violence, against Asian Americans, there were over 2,800 reported cases of racism and discrimination between March 19 and Dec. 31 of last year.
In his column, Simu Liu reinforced that the pandemic has affected many before he told his parents’ immigration story. He delved into a well-known series of incidents involving elderly Asian Americans who were targeted for their race. He requested that people raise their voices against anti-Asian discrimination instead of being bystanders. As a son of two immigrants, Liu spoke from the heart as he expressed concern over his parents’ safety considering attacks on elderly Asian Americans. He also used statistics to back up his stance on the relevant matter, which made his story more concrete.
Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu was just the latest Asian celebrity to speak up on or offer aid against Asian American hate crimes. In February, Hawaii 5-0 actor Daniel Dae Kim and Into the Badlands' Daniel Wu offered a reward for the arrest in an attack against an elderly Asian man in Oakland. Celebrities within the Asian community are using their voices to raises public awareness against hate crimes. As Liu pointed out, the hate crimes have not stopped as more people associate the COVID-19 with their community no matter the ethnicity. Activism within the Asian American community has never been higher than at this moment. The actor’s guest column is just a small part of this movement.
Playing a superhero is one thing, but speaking up for his community makes Simu Liu more of a real-life superhero. Using his Marvel pull can only help shine a spotlight on rampant anti-Asian discrimination. Hopefully Liu and other Asian celebrities will be able to use their voices even more to raise public awareness.