Hollywood Celebrities Rush to Blame Asian Hate as Motive in Atlanta Killings While Police Indicate Race Not Motive

Nicholas Hunt; Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/ Getty Images
Nicholas Hunt; Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images

Hollywood celebrities are rushing to blame the shooting deaths of eight people in the Atlanta area on anti-Asian racism, despite the police indicating that race wasn’t the motive. According to a law enforcement official, the suspect has claimed the shootings at three massage parlors were related to an apparent sex addiction and his desire to eliminate his sexual temptations.

President Joe Biden refrained from rushing to judgement when reporters asked him about the shooting. “I am making no connection at this moment on the motivation of the killer,” he told reporters Wednesday in the Oval Office. “I’m waiting for an answer as the investigation proceeds from the FBI and the Justice Department.”

Stars including Chelsea Handler, George Takei, and Rob Reiner joined the stampede to blame the shootings on racism, with many using the hashtags #StopAAPIHate and #StopAsianHate. Some celebrities even blamed Republicans and Donald Trump.

“I’m sorry, but the deaths of over  half a million Americans, the deadly seditious insurrection, the murders of Asian-Americans all lay at the feet of Donald J. Trump,” Reiner tweeted.

“It would be a good time for Republicans to stand up and recognize the terrible impact Trump has had when people are murdered as a result of the words of Donald Trump,” Chelsea Handler tweeted.

Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been arrested on suspicion of killing eight people at three massage parlors late Tuesday in the Atlanta area. Six of the eight victims were Asian, according to reports.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Frank Reynolds of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect has claimed the shootings weren’t racially motivated and that he targeted the parlors because of an apparent sex addiction. “He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction,” Reynolds said, adding that the parlors represented “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.”

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City of Atlanta Police Department / Facebook

The suspect was reportedly arrested en route to Florida, with the intention of targeting porn companies.

Despite these statements, Hollywood celebrities are aggressively pushing unsubstantiated claims that the shooter acted out of racism against Asians. Some stars used the shootings to score political points against conservatives.

Richard Jewell star Olivia Wilde said Asian Americans “are living in fear” and are “being brutalized and murdered.”

The Mindy Project star Mindy Kaling claimed the violence was a result of the “normalizing of anti-Asian hate speech in the past year.”

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay urged people to “examine stereotypes you hold about Asian people” and “work to dismantle that within yourself.”

Star Trek actor George Takei blamed House GOP members, saying that the use of the term “China Virus” has led to physical violence.

Comedian Chelsea Handler also blamed Republicans as well as Donald Trump.

Rob Reiner singled out Donald Trump to blame for the shootings.

One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush appeared to blame the shootings on “the intersection of white supremacy and misogyny.”

Bravo’s Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi also used the shootings to attack Trump, claiming the alleged shooter was influenced by the former president.

Actor-director and Disney’s Pinocchio writer Chris Weitz claimed without evidence that “it was clearly a hate crime.”

Ellen Barkin used the hashtag #StopAsianHate while expressing disbelief about the suspect’s alleged claims. Actor Seth Green also expressed disbelief, claiming that the suspect “intentionally” sought out “women of a particular race.”

My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos claimed that the shooting was a hate crime targeting Asian people.

HBO’s The Newsroom and X-Men actress Olivia Munn tweeted that “violent attacks and murders against Asians are still happening. Please help us.”

Other stars who labelled the shootings as manifestation of anti-Asian racism include Debra Messing, Susan Sarandon, Alyssa Milano, Amber Tamblyn, Waand Viola Davis.

Actor Michael Ian Black blamed the shootings on “gun violence, racism, and white male privilege.”

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