This past weekend saw thousands protest the staggering rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across the U.S.—most recently committed by a 21-year-old white man, who shot six Asian women at three Atlanta, Georgia spas last Tuesday.
Among those calling for action and expressing their support for the AAPI community was Sandra Oh, who grabbed a megaphone at a rally near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and delivered an impassioned speech to hundreds of attendees. “For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger,” the actor began. “I really am so grateful for everyone willing to listen.”
“One thing that I know is that many in our community are very scared, and I understand that," Oh continued. “One way to get through our fear is to reach out to our community.” She went on to challenge the crowd to help anyone they see in need.
In perhaps the most powerful moment, Oh raised her fist and repeated two declarations: “I am proud to be Asian. I belong here.” Many, Oh explained, “don’t get the chance to be able to say that, so I just wanted to give us an opportunity to be able to shout that.”
According to an organizer, Oh has been in Pennsylvania filming a TV series that he couldn’t name “because of NDAs and stuff.” He was possibly referring to The Chair, a Netflix dramedy that Amanda Peet co-created with Game of Thrones’s D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, as filming of Killing Eve’s final season won’t begin until spring.