Olivia Munn Says 'We Need to Help Feel Safe in Our Country' Amid Rise in Anti-Asian Attacks

Asian-American actress Olivia Munn spoke out on Saturday regarding the rise of anti-Asian attacks in the U.S.

"I hope that people hear what is happening to our community," Munn said during an MSNBC interview on Saturday. "I hope that they understand that. Right now there is an astronomical rise in hate crimes against the Asian community and that we need help to feel safe in our country we need help to be safe in our country and we need people to to amplify, what's happening to us. What do you hope people learn from listening to this."

"We need help to feel safe in our country." Actress @oliviamunn and Sam Cheng join @kendisgibson and @lindseyreiser to discuss the rise in Asian-American crimes after Cheng's mom was attacked this week in Queens. pic.twitter.com/Pg3o0RpMzI

— MSNBC Live: Weekends (@MSNBCweekends) February 20, 2021

Munn advocated against the attacks on social media after she said her friend's 52-year-old mother, an Asian woman, was brutally shoved to the ground while waiting in a bakery line in Queens, New York. A suspect, identified as Patrick Mateo, was arrested and charged with assault and harassment, according to officials, ABC News reported.

After news of the arrest, Munn later tweeted: 'The internet is undefeated. Thank you thank you thank you."

Violent assaults, robberies and other discriminatory acts against Asian Americans has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of organizations that monitors attacks against Asian Americans, reported it received 2,808 reports of racist and discriminatory acts nationwide between March and December 2020. About 7 percent of the attacks involved Asian Americans over 60 years old. Time reported most of the crimes have been concentrated in San Francisco and Oakland's Chinatowns.

Celebrities like Munn have taken to social media to demand justice and spread awareness about the rise in violence. According to KPIX5, actors Daniel Dad Kim and Daniel Wu offered $25,000 to anyone who could provide information about a suspect who attacked three people in Oakland's Chinatown earlier this month.

Black and Asian-American communities have joined together to address the issue at the national level. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Asian-American lawmakers and other Democrats on Friday—the Day of Remembrance for the Japanese-American community. The Tri-Caucus, which includes Asian Pacific American, Black and Hispanic lawmakers, denounced the rise of attacks against Asian Americans.

"It is a profound and unacceptable injustice that the AAPI community faces not only the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis right now, but also the growing threat of bigoted attacks against their community," Pelosi said. "This epidemic of violence is a challenge to the conscience of our country, which our Democratic Congress is committed to combating, confronting and ending."

Today, I was honored to join members of @CAPAC & others to shine a light on the surge of violent crimes targeting the AAPI community. This epidemic of violence is a challenge to the conscience of our country, which our Dem Congress is committed to combating, confronting, & ending pic.twitter.com/CEG1et8MTP

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 19, 2021

"Violence doesn't just happen out of the blue," Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Ca) said in a press statement. "It takes months and months of inflaming prejudices and passions, and that's what the former president did. He spent months and months and months of inflaming prejudices and passions against the Asian American community through racist terms like Kung Flu. And when that happens, it does turn parts of the American population against the Asian American community. The former president showed that words can kill. His already have."

Anti-Asian rhetoric by elected officials has given "impetus" for the spike in discrimination against Asian Americans, Stop AAPI Hate said in a report. The group cited former President Donald Trump's repeated use of language describing COVID-19 as the "China virus" or "the China Flu."

Trump's supporters perpetuated that type of messaging, according to Stop AAPI Hate. In one such case, former Republican Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler tweeted "Remember: "Remember: China gave this virus to our President @realDonaldTrump and First Lady @FLOTUS. WE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE."

President Joe Biden issued a memo on January 26 condemning the "inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric" against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people.

"[Biden] is concerned about the discrimination against, the actions against the Asian American community, which is why he signed the executive order and why he's been outspoken in making clear that attacks, verbal attacks, any attacks of any form, are unacceptable," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said to reporters on February 8

Olivia Munn
Actress Olivia Munn is the latest celebrity to speak out on behalf of justice for Asian Americans experiencing increasing violence in the U.S.. Munn attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic