Actress Olivia Munn said it “means so much” to the Asian American community that President Biden this week ordered flags outside the White House and other public buildings to be flown at half-staff to honor the victims of the Atlanta-area shooting.
Munn, whose mother is a refugee from Vietnam, said Thursday during an interview on SiriusXM’s “Gayle KingGayle KingNate Burleson makes leap from football to news with 'CBS Mornings' Witness says R. Kelly kept watch over girlfriends during Gayle King interview Hillicon Valley: Feds lay down marker in Facebook fight MORE in the House” show that the move by Biden “was just so powerful.”
The actress referenced a message shared by journalist Lisa Ling in a private group chat, with Munn saying that Ling perfectly described how members of the Asian American community were feeling following Biden’s action.
"Lisa's like, 'It just means so much to us to have someone at that level say that … these [six] Asian women, that they matter and that all of the flags across our country will go at half-staff for them,” referring to the six Asian women who were among the eight people killed in Tuesday’s shooting spree.
"It was an emotional moment for all of us, and we all took a moment and just cried together,” Munn added.
While investigators have not yet named a motive for the series of attacks on the Atlanta massage parlors, the shootings have prompted increased conversations on anti-Asian violence during the pandemic.
A recent analysis of police data by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that in 2020, anti-Asian violence in the U.S. surged by 150 percent.
On Friday, Biden, along with Vice President Harris, visited the Atlanta area to meet with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance BottomsKeisha Lance BottomsEverytown recruiting gun violence survivors to run for office An exhausting year takes toll on nation's mayors Why won't the national media cover the story Americans care about most? MORE (D) and local Asian American leaders.
Biden in remarks delivered from Emory University urged Americans to unite “against hate, against racism,” which he called “the ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued our nation.”
The president went on to say that regardless of the motivation for Tuesday’s attacks, “Too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake.”
The White House and others have argued that the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes over the past year has been influenced by former President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE’s rhetoric surrounding COVID-19, which he commonly referred to as the “China virus” and “Wuhan virus.”
Late last month, Munn during an appearance on “The View” described an incident in which her friend’s mother was attacked outside a New York City bakery.
"We can't ignore the fact that there has been an astronomical rise in attacks in the Asian community since the pandemic was weaponized against us," she said at the time.