Sandra Oh delivered a passionate speech this weekend in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings, in which a gunman went on a rampage across area massage parlors staffed primarily by Asian women, leaving eight people dead.
“I am proud to be Asian,” the award-winning Canadian-American actress, 49, declared during a surprise appearance at a “Stop Asian Hate” protest in Oakland, Pennsylvania this Saturday.
“Pittsburgh, I am so happy and proud to be here with you, and thank you to all the organizers for organizing this just to give us an opportunity to be together and to stand together and to feel each other,” the “Killing Eve” and “Grey’s Anatomy” actress said in her approximately two-minute speech, according to a recording published by CBS Pittsburgh.
“For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful to everyone willing to listen.”
The eight-time Emmy nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner also encouraged those living in fear to seek support from friends and family and their wider community.
“One thing that I know is that many in our community are very scared, and I understand that. And one way to go through our fear is to reach out to our community,” she said.
She then challenged all those present to help those they see in need.
“If you see something, will you help me?” she asked. “We must understand, as Asian-Americans, we just need to reach out our hand to our sisters and brothers and say, ‘Help me and I’m here.’”
After finishing her speech, Oh led the crowd in a chant of “I am proud to be Asian! I belong here!”
The horrific shooting spree in Atlanta has brought renewed attention to anti-Asian racism and hate crimes, with the NYPD ramping up its presence in Asian communities in response.