A powerful red carpet moment.
Ahead of the pre-taped, hour-long 2021 SAG Awards, Jamie Chung showed up and showed out wearing a bright and bold red gown by Oscar de la Renta. The vibrant number featured a plunging neckline, body-hugging silhouette and an explosion of floral petals that delicately draped over her shoulders. She paired her design with matching strappy sandal heels.
But it was the “Sucker Punch” star’s crimson-colored handbag that captured everyone’s attention. The 37-year-old actress, who was nominated for a SAG Award, proudly held up her clutch, which included a powerful message emblazoned on the front: “Stop Asian Hate.”
Taking to Instagram on Sunday, just hours before the star-studded ceremony kicked off, Chung shared more details about her fashion statement.
“In Asian culture the color red symbolizes luck, joy and happiness,” she began her caption. “Thank you Sarah Kim and Fernando Garcia for letting me wear this gorgeous dress @oscardelarenta for the @sagawards.”
Just last month, the “Lovecraft Country” star opened up about fighting for representation in Hollywood and why it’s important for her to speak up.
“I think it comes with confidence,” she told Popsugar in March. “A lot of Asian Americans experience imposter syndrome, always feeling like, ‘You don’t really belong here. This isn’t your country. You’re lucky to be here, you should work really hard and bite the bullet.’ It’s really unfortunate, but that’s the way I was raised, to just keep my head down, do the work, and carry on. That carried into my film and television career when I was just starting out. I was just so grateful to be here and was not going to stir the pot. I was really appreciative, but not really standing my ground on what I think.”
Chung explained that, in entertainment, sometimes being heard means writing your own stories.
“So now we are the storytellers in the writers’ room. There’s a huge difference in being able to write our own stories and be involved in the process of storytelling, before it even reaches a studio or a script or before we shoot anything. Before it was just – I hate to say it but it’s true – a non-minority, male perspective of what it’s like to be Asian American in America.”
She added, “I was so scared to say anything, but now, once you’re given a microphone or when anyone is interested to hear your perspective, it’s such a powerful moment because it’s like, ‘Oh wow, you really care what it’s like,’ or ‘You do want this story to be more authentic.'”
The actress was recently announced as an ambassador for HBO’s APA Visionaries Short Film Competition.
Additionally, Chung shared an empowering message following the rise of crimes against the Asian community.
“I think what’s most important, especially with our community, is speaking up about it,” she said. “We’re so conditioned to, like I said earlier, keep our heads down, not complain, not say anything or make waves. But you need to speak up. If someone has experienced violence plainly because they are Asian American, which is f—— terrifying, say something. Report it, make noise, tell other people.
How to Help
“I don’t think it’s a time to be quiet anymore,” she added. “And I’m not saying that we’ve always been quiet. Our activists have certainly been vocal and active, but these stories need to be heard. Heard, but also not questioned or glazed over. Because this occurred when the SARS pandemic happened. Hate against Asian Americans, there’s nothing new certainly, but it’s time that it f—— stops. And how we do that is sharing these stories and we validate them, don’t question them. Let’s start the process of change and education.”
She concluded, “I think that what’s happening is disgusting, but that’s the only way that we move forward because we can’t let this continue, it needs to stop. I’ve never seen anything like this, but it’s a time that we do come together. What’s great is that our communities come together, and we have a lot of support from other communities as well.”