During The Racist Virus, presented by NBC News NOW and NBC Asian America on Wednesday, March 10, Olivia told host Vicky Nguyen about deciding to use her voice to help stop the attacks.
"I don't think that you ever think that you're going to be part of something like this," the 40-year-old X-Men: Apocalypse actress shared. "But I'm extremely grateful that the people have really responded."
Olivia has tapped into her social media platform, including posting several Instagram messages over the past month with "Stop Asian Hate" in capital letters. According to tracking center Stop AAPI Hate, more than 2,800 hate incidents towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were reported between March and December 2020.
The Magic Mike star also expressed her disappointment that the violence has not been condemned publicly and on social media as frequently as she would like.
"It has been really disappointing to see how quiet everyone has been. There's a lot of beauty brands, big companies, celebrities, everybody that was denouncing hate crimes against Black people in our country, and they were saying that they were anti-racist," she said. "If you are anti-racist, you have to be against what's happening to Asian Americans right now."
In a previously released clip from the special, Olivia discussed the controversy surrounding newly appointed Teen Vogue editor in chief Alexi McCammond and her resurfaced tweets from 2011 and 2012 that include offensive remarks about Asians. Alexi apologized on March 8 for the tweets, per the New York Times.
"I think it's important for people to hear her say that these were racist comments, and there's nothing excusable about," Olivia said.
Also taking part in the special was Chicago Med star Brian Tee, who explained that he hadn't realized "how Asian I was" until he started breaking into Hollywood.
"It wasn't until I got into the industry that I realized how Asian I was, and I needed to fit into this box of these particular characters, tropes or stereotypes that only I should and could play," he said. "So that was my first inclination of my true identity or how people actually saw me."
Basketball player Jeremy Lin told Vicky it's vital for minority groups to connect with other minority groups, adding, "We need the minority and the majority to start to converse more, to hear more, to talk more."
During comedian Margaret Cho's segment, she emphasized the need for Asian Americans to not just be portrayed in one specific way in entertainment projects.
"We're not all crazy rich, it's not all Bling Empire!" she said, referring to the recent Netflix unscripted series. "That implies we're all untouchable and invisible, which is a volatile combination when it comes to violence."
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