George Takei, Lana Condor and Other Asian-American Celebrities React to Atlanta Shootings

Eight people were killed in a shooting at three massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday night in what is thought to be a targeted attack against Asians amid an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes nationwide.

Police have arrested suspect Robert Aaron Long in connection with all three shootings. According to authorities, all of the shootings took place in businesses that are predominantly staffed by Asian employees. Six of the people who died were Asian, two were white and all but one were women.

The attacks have taken place during a spike in anti-Asian-American hate crimes happening in the U.S. Nonprofit organization Stop AAPI Hate has reported that nearly 3,800 incidents were reported over the last year during the pandemic.

Spa shooting
A police officer stands outside a massage parlor where three people were shot and killed on March 16, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia. - Eight people were killed in shootings at three different spas in the US state of Georgia on March 16, police and local media reported. It is "extremely likely" that the same suspect was involved in all three deadly shootings at spas in the US state of Georgia, police told AFP Tuesday. The suspect, named as 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, is in police custody in the violence that reportedly killed eight people. ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP via Getty Images

Following the shooting, the group tweeted: "The reported shootings of Asian American women on Tuesday in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy—for the families of the victims first and foremost, but also for the AAPI community—which has been reeling from high levels of racial discrimination."

The reported shootings of Asian American women on Tuesday in Atlanta is an unspeakable tragedy – for the families of the victims first and foremost, but also for the AAPI community — which has been reeling from high levels of racial discrimination. https://t.co/rBVPnrEBps

— Stop AAPI Hate (@StopAAPIHate) March 17, 2021

The shooting has prompted a number of Asian American celebrities to condemn the killings and speak out against targeted hate crimes in the community, with the hashtag Stop Asian Hate going viral.

"Call a hate crime what it is," tweeted actor George Takei. "And GOP leaders, stop fanning violence with anti-Asian rhetoric. You should be ashamed at what you have unleashed."

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.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 17, 2021

He added: "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."

Comedian Mindy Kaling urged against the normalization of Asian hate speech, tweeting: "The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year. We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!"

Actor Daniel Dae Kim said: "The race of the person committing the crime matters less than the simple fact that if you act with hate in your heart, you are part of the problem. And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity. #StopAsianHate."

Lana Condor of To All the Boys I've Loved Before explained how horrifying it is to be Asian in the U.S. right now. She tweeted: "Wake up... your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. 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."

Wake up... your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. 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. x

— Lana Condor (@lanacondor) March 17, 2021

Podcaster Kat Chow shared an emotional tribute to those who lost their lives. "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," she tweeted.

"News is still unfolding, but it's striking that wanting coverage of these women that extends beyond how they made money or their racial or ethnic identities feels like a demand rather than a given."

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.

— kat chow (@katchow) March 17, 2021

TV host Padma Lakshmi added: "This is deeply, deeply sad. Trump on Fox *tonight* referred to COVID using the racist slur 'China virus.' He previously called it the 'Kung Flu.' While he continues to spread hatred against Asian Americans, people like this shooter are listening."

Chloe Bennett from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tweeted: "I'm actually so upset I don't have much to say because, of course this happens. How could we expect anything else considering the racist rhetoric that has been enabled and f***ing celebrated over the past year."