Karen Fukuhara, who stars on the TV show “The Boys,” said she is “physically fine” after a man attacked her on the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings.
On Wednesday, Fukuhara wrote on Instagram that a stranger struck her in the head “out of nowhere” earlier that day while she was walking to a cafe. Though the actor rarely discusses her personal life on public platforms, she said she thought it important to share what happened to her in light of surging anti-Asian hate crimes.
It’s unclear where the incident occurred, though Fukuhara appeared to be attending the ongoing SXSW Music and Film Festival in Austin, Texas, as of Monday, according to her Instagram page.
“Today I was struck in the head by a man (I’m physically fine) & this s— needs to stop,” Fukuhara wrote. “Us women, Asians, the elderly need your help …
“It came out of nowhere. We made no eye contact before, I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. It came to my surprise and my hat flew off. By the time I looked back, he was a few feet away from me (he must have kept walking after hitting me).”
Fukuhara was targeted exactly one year after eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were shot and killed at three Atlanta-area spas. The tragedy led to increased awareness for the #StopAsianHate movement condemning anti-Asian violence, which has skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thought about confronting him at first but he started coming towards me and I didn’t think it was worth the risk,” Fukuhara continued. “After a few seconds of staring at each other, and him yelling at me, he eventually walked away.
“This is the first time I’ve been harmed physically, although racial slurs and hurtful actions have been directed to me in the past. I write this, because I’ve had conversations with multiracial friends of mine that had no idea these hate crimes happen to everyday, regular people — people that they share meals with. I felt it was important to raise awareness.”
Earlier this week, a survey found that two-thirds of Asian Americans in Los Angeles County fear becoming the victim of a racist attack. Of the 1,500 Asian American and Pacific Islander residents who were polled, 80% said they viewed anti-Asian racism as a serious issue during the pandemic.
On Monday, the New York Times reported that a man was charged with attempted murder after striking a 67-year-old woman of Asian descent more than 125 times and calling her an anti-Asian, misogynistic slur in Yonkers.
“Ultimately I know I got lucky,” Fukuhara wrote on Wednesday. “He could have come back to hit me again. He could have carried a weapon. The shock of this experience has me thinking about taking self-defence classes.
“But why is this something we as ‘victims’ have to think about? What satisfaction are these perpetrators getting from hitting women, Asians, the ELDERLY. They need to be held accountable. What can we do as a community to prevent these horrible crimes?”
Fukuhara is one of many entertainment luminaries who have spoken out against anti-Asian racism. Other actors who have used their platforms to denounce the rise in hate crimes include Ken Jeong, Simu Liu, Olivia Munn and Daniel Dae Kim.
“I’m so grateful you’re safe,” “The Gateway” star Munn commented on Fukuhara’s post.
“Thank you for sharing your story and I’m glad you’re safe,” “The Hot Zone: Anthrax” star Kim replied.
Several cast members of “The Boys” also sent messages of love and support to their co-star via Instagram. On the Amazon series about the superhero industrial complex, Fukuhara plays powerful superhuman Kimiko Miyashiro.
“F this person!!” said Chace Crawford, who plays the Deep on the show. “Hope you’re OK this is awful.”
“Karen thank you for sharing your experience,” wrote Jack Quaid, who plays Hughie Campbell. “I’m so sorry that happened to you. Love you. Here if you need anything.”
Jessie T. Usher, who plays A-Train on the gritty action series, called on anyone who “knows who’s out here committing these crimes” to “point them out,” while Karl Urban, who plays Billy Butcher, was “deeply saddened to hear” about Fukuhara’s ordeal.
“Glad you’re OK,” Urban added. “Seriously WTF!! This anti Asian xenophobic bulls— has got to … stop !!!”