On the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ virtual red carpet, Lovecraft Country star Jamie Chung not only stunned in an off-the-shoulder fire engine red dress by Oscar de la Renta—she paired the gown with a handbag by Edie Parker emblazoned with the phrase “Stop Asian Hate,” a rallying cry to condemn racism against the AAPI community. Celebrities are well aware that their outfits at big-ticket nights like the SAGs are seen from coast to coast, making Chung’s deliberate choice to highlight the horrific rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans a powerful one.
Chung took to Instagram on Sunday to share more details about the dress and the pride she feels for her Korean heritage. The actress, who is nominated for a SAG Award tonight, does not make a reference to her crimson handbag in her statement, ostensibly letting the message speak for itself. “In some Asian cultures, the color red symbolizes joy, luck and happiness. In Korean culture it symbolizes creation, passion and power. I’m so proud of my history and heritage,” the actress wrote.
She ended her note by thanking her Lovecraft Country castmates and her stylists. “So very grateful to be a part of LOVECRAFT! THANK YOU Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia for letting me wear this gorgeous @oscardelarenta dress for the @sagawards Sending virtual hugs to my beautiful and soulful cast mates @lovecrafthbo I can’t wait to be reunited with you all.”
Chung’s SAG Awards red carpet appearance wasn’t the first time she spoke up about the alarming rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans. Last month, a white man went to three Atlanta area massage parlors and killed eight people, six of them Asian women. Following the racist attack, the actress shared her horror at the events that unfolded on the evening of March 16 and shared an Instagram post of a Tweet that read, “Targeted, hunted down, 8 murdered. We do not feel safe. #StopAsianHate.”
In the caption of the post, Chung shared condolences to the victims and their families while holding unnamed politiicans accountable for their role in enflaming racist and xenophobic perceptions of the AAPI community. She wrote, “My heart goes out to the victims and their families. These murders and countless acts of violence and the destruction of businesses and white terrorism in our communities are the direct cause of politicians and leaders fanning the flames of anti Asian rhetoric and using us as a scapegoat for a global pandemic.”
The actress also highlights that anti-Asian sentiment in the United States is nothing new. “Historically Asian immigrants have been the scapegoat for others misfortunes. This ends now. It starts by calling it what it is. MEDIA YOU NEED TO DO BETTER, CALL IT WHAT IT IS, DOMESTIC WHITE TERRORISM HATE CRIMES AGAINST ASIANS. #stopasianhate.”