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Olivia Munn, Daniel Dae Kim and more condemn anti-Asian violence after shootings

A host of celebrities have denounced rising anti-Asian violence after shootings in the Atlanta area left eight people dead, six of them Asian women.
/ Source: TODAY

Celebrities, sports figures and advocates are speaking out against anti-Asian violence in the wake of shootings at three Atlanta-area spas on Tuesday night that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.

Actors Olivia Munn, Mindy Kaling and Daniel Dae Kim, plus NBA superstar LeBron James and more luminaries, condemned the attacks as well as the recent increase in hate crimes and bias incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, with many using the hashtag #StopAsianHate.

Mindy Kaling, Daniel Dae Kim and Olivia Munn are among those speaking out against the increase in anti-Asian violence, including shootings in the Atlanta area that left six Asian women dead. Getty Images

Authorities arrested a suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 21, Cherokee County sheriff's Capt. Jay Baker said Tuesday.

Long told investigators he had a sexual addiction and saw the spas as a temptation he needed to eliminate, officials said at a news conference Wednesday. It's unclear if the businesses that were attacked had any ties to sex work.

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The suspect told investigators the attacks were not motivated by race, but Atlanta police Chief Rodney Bryant added that it's "still early in this investigation so we cannot make that determination at this moment."

South Korea’s foreign ministry told NBC News that four of the women who died were of Korean origin, but their nationalities have yet to be verified.

"The violent attacks and murders against Asians are still happening," Munn tweeted. "Please help us. We need help to be safe in our country. #StopAsianHate. Please."

Munn has been imploring the public to speak out against the rising anti-Asian violence. Last month, she put the spotlight on the issue, which led to an arrest after a violent attack in New York City on the parent of one of her friends.

She was joined by many others in condemning the latest attacks on Wednesday.

"The targeting of our Asian brothers and sisters is sickening, but not surprising given the normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year," Kaling tweeted. "We have to #StopAsianHate, enough is enough!"

"The race of the person committing the crime matters less than the simple fact that if you act with hate in your heart, you are part of the problem," Kim tweeted. "And to those with the power to help and yet sit idly by, your silence is complicity. #StopAsianHate."

"Feeling overwhelming grief at the senseless murder of 8 people in Atlanta," actor Simu Liu tweeted. "Still much we don't know, but it's clear to me that the shooter specifically targeted Asian women. Praying for the victims' families, and for my Asian sisters. Action to follow."

"3 deadly shootings targeting Asian Women in Atlanta yesterday," actor Ashley Park wrote on Instagram. "I couldn’t sleep. Some of these 5am ramblings are very personal, but I decided to share because ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I hope this helps someone feel not so alone in all this muck. Allies, thank you and please watch til end, this is societal programming that we can change."

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Actor George Takei of "Star Trek" fame, whose family was forced to live in an Asian internment camp in Arkansas in World War II, expressed his condolences as well.

"These women were people, with loved ones," he tweeted. "They were struggling and marginalized. And if an eyewitnesses account is correct, they were targeted because they were Asian. Hold them in your hearts. Think of their families. And #StopAAPIHate."

NBC News investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen, who has been reporting on the escalation in violence against the AAPI community, called the shooting "triggering and traumatic."

"#StopAsianHate whether or not what happened in Atlanta was a hate crime doesn’t make it less triggering or traumatic," she tweeted. "Give yourself permission to feel, grieve, scream, be angry. Unplug and seek support, use music as medicine, lean on friends. Find love."

"This escalation of attacks on Asian Americans is horrifying," actor Patricia Arquette tweeted. "STOP IT. Stop this sickness America. Stop this brutality."

"Absolutely horrible," singer John Legend tweeted. "Sending love to all the loved ones of those whose lives were taken. Our nation needs to reckon with the increased threats being directed at our Asian-American brothers and sisters."

"The hashtag #StopAsianHate is rightly trending," filmmaker Ava DuVernay tweeted. "How do we do that beyond just tweeting? Some ideas. Examine stereotypes you hold about Asian people. Work to dismantle that within yourself. Raise your voice anywhere that anti-Asian sentiment is present. Normalize calling it out."

"My heart goes out to the families and communities of the eight people murdered at metro-Atlanta spas," Bernice King, a minister and the youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr., tweeted. "I am deeply saddened that we live in a nation and world permeated by hate and violence. I stand with Asian members of our World House, who are a part of our global human family."

"My condolences goes out to the families of all the victims and the entire Asian community tonight on what transpired in Atlanta at the Aromatherapy Spa," LeBron James tweeted. "Coward a** young man!! Just senseless and tragic!"

James' former teammate, retired NBA star Dwyane Wade, also spoke out against the attacks.

"The physical assaults and recent killings are rooted in racism," he wrote on Twitter. "It needs to stop. We cannot be silent."