Los Angeles, Mar 17 (PTI) Several Hollywood celebrities, including Steven Yeun, Mindy Kaling, Simu Liu, and Lulu Wang, have condemned the shootings in two massage parlours in Atlanta and one in the suburbs, left eight people dead, many of them women of Asian descent.
A 21-year-old man suspected in the shootings was taken into custody in southwest Georgia hours later after a manhunt, the police said.
The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the US.
Yeun, who this week became the first Asian American to be nominated for a best actor Oscar for his performance in 'Minari', shared a message from Asians for Mental Health collective on his Instagram Stories.
The post appealed to fellow community members to 'turn off your phones and turn inward toward those you love'.
'Please give your weary breath time to breathe and catch up... Please grieve, cry, wail, and exhale. Give your body the space to acknowledge the pain that you have been carrying for so long,' it read.
Kaling, who is one of the most prominent Asian-American names in Hollywood, termed the shooting incidents as 'sickening'.
Using the hashtag #StopAsianHate, the actor-writer tweeted, 'The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalising of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year... Enough is enough!' Liu said he felt 'overwhelming grief' over the shootings, which were clearly targeted at the Asian-American community in the US.
'Still much we don't know, but it's clear to me that the shooter specifically targeted Asian women,' the 'Shang Chi' actor wrote.
Wang, the director behind critically-acclaimed movie 'The Farewell', responded to a tweet by former NPR reporter Kat Chow that said: 'I want to know their names, who and what they loved, the people they had waiting for them at home, everything they hoped for. I want to know the fabric of their days and the contexts of their lives.' In her reply, the director said, 'I know these women. The ones working themselves to the bone to send their kids to school, to send money back home. In too much pain to know what else to say so I'll just leave this here.' Condor, known for starring in Netflix's 'To All the Boys' trilogy', said Asian people are 'deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry' after the shootings.
'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,' she added.
Veteran actor George Takei and 'Top Chef' host Padma Lakshmi criticised former US president Donald Trump and the Republican Party members for their role in spreading hate against the Asian-Americans following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
'Call a hate crime what it is. And GOP leaders, stop fanning violence with anti-Asian rhetoric. You should be ashamed at what you have unleashed,' the 'Star Trek' veteran tweeted.
'Three days ago, the leader of the House GOP called it the 'China Virus' again. Words have consequences, especially those from our leaders. Reporters: Ask politicians who trade in racism if they feel responsible or remorseful for violence committed in the wake of their words,' he said in another post.
Terming the shootings as 'deeply saddening', Lakshmi criticised Trump for calling coronavirus as 'China Virus' and 'Kung Flu' in his previous press appearances.
'While he continues to spread hatred against Asian Americans, people like this shooter are listening,' she added.
Others from Hollywood who offered their condolences and criticised the hateful rhetoric against the Asian-American community, included actors Olivia Munn, Ike Barinholtz, comedian Dewayne Perkins and director Jay Duplass.
'The violent attacks and murders against Asians are still happening.
Please help us. We need help to be safe in our country. #StopAsianHate. Please,' Munn tweeted. Barinholtz said: 'My heart goes out to the families of these people. What's happening to our Asian brothers and sisters is disgusting and appalling and it needs to end #StopAsianHate.' Perkins said the anti-Asian hate must stop.
'I know what anxiety and fear murders like this bring to a community. Please protect yourself and each other. I'm so sorry. Sending love and strength to the Asian community,' he added.
Duplass tweeted, 'Sending out love to my Asian American countrymen tonight - I'm so sorry, I appreciate you and I want you here.' PTI RB RB RDS RDS