Hollywood stars praised Joe Biden after the president condemned hate crimes against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
Several high-profile incidents – including a video showing a fatal attack on an 84-year-old Thai immigrant in San Francisco – have brought the issue to the forefront in the US.
The advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate said it received more than 2,800 reports of hate incidents involving Asians in America last year, with activists saying the attacks are often linked to rhetoric blaming victims for the spread of Covid-19.
Donald Trump was criticised for repeatedly referring to the “Chinese virus”.
In a primetime address to the nation to mark a year since the health crisis was declared a pandemic, Mr Biden said Asian Americans have been subjected to “vicious hate crimes” and have been “attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated”.
He added: “They are forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It’s wrong, it’s un-American and it must stop.”
Hollywood stars of Asian descent welcomed the president’s intervention.
The Predator star Olivia Munn, whose mother fled to the US as a Vietnamese refugee, was one of the celebrities to share a clip of Mr Biden’s speech.
She said: “THANK YOU @potus for denouncing the violent attacks and hate crimes against Asians. We need help right now and your words tonight make us feel a little safer in our country.”
Munn, who also played Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, added the hashtags #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate and #ProtectOurElders.
Daniel Dae Kim, the South Korea-born, American star of Hawaii Five-0, thanked Mr Biden for being a president who “sees us as Americans instead of scapegoats”.
Malaysian-British actor Henry Golding, who starred in Crazy Rich Asians, tweeted a clip of the president’s speech and said “This right here”.
Korean-American actor Steven Yeun, who is earning critical acclaim for his role in poignant family drama Minari, also shared a video of Mr Biden, as did The Hangover star Ken Jeong.
Basketball player Jeremy Lin has also spoken out against the attacks on Asian Americans. He tweeted: “We are TIRED of our pain being overlooked #StopAsianHate.”