‘KPOP’ Broadway actor experiences racist incident at Starbucks in NYC

‘KPOP’ Broadway actor experiences racist incident at Starbucks in NYC‘KPOP’ Broadway actor experiences racist incident at Starbucks in NYC
via Lina Rose Lee
Lina Rose Lee, an actor who recently starred in the Broadway musical “KPOP,” took to social media to share a racist incident she experienced while at a coffee shop in Times Square, New York. 
Lee, who was recording a dance cover of Blackpink member Jisoo’s song “Flower” in Times Square, went inside the Starbucks by 43rd Street and Broadway along with her videographer to take a short break at around 9 a.m. on April 7.
As there were no tables in the crowded shop, the two stood on either side of a man and a woman, whom they believed to be a couple.

My videographer and I split up and stood alongside the couple on either end since they were in the middle. My videographer wanted to check our dance recordings so asked me to unlock my phone. When I was typing my password, all of sudden the man started staring at my phone and reading my password out loud and laughed about it with his wife in a mocking tone. 

“It’s not that difficult,” the man said, referring to Lee’s password, according to the actor.
Although Lee ignored him, he allegedly continued to stare at her phone as the actor and her videographer reviewed footage of the dance cover.
“It looks OK,” he allegedly said, to which Lee turned around and asked him, “Could you stop looking at my phone, please?”
The man then allegedly said, “This is my city. I can do whatever I want. Get the f*ck out of my city.” 
A video of the incident posted by Lee on Instagram shows the man giving the middle finger, telling Lee to leave the store and calling her an “ugly dog b*tch.”
Lee admitted to resorting to cursing during the incident, noting that English is her second language and that she “couldn’t respond to him in a more refined manner.”
Lee, who currently resides in New York City, tells NextShark that the incident has changed the way she views the city. 

Sometimes, I perform dance covers in Times Square for work, and usually I feel OK since there are lots of bystanders and police, but this incident has made me feel unsafe. I am shocked that this continues to happen in NYC and want to help raise awareness so that this doesn’t happen again. I felt scared, hurt and disrespected.

Although the actor does not intend to seek civil action at the moment, she is considering hiring a private security guard or escort to accompany her and her videographer on future dance covers in Times Square.

I never thought I would be the target of a racist verbal attack in public, especially somewhere like a busy Starbucks in the middle of Times Square. I saw many stories in the media over the past couple years since COVID-19 about anti-Asian hate crimes but didn’t think it would happen to me. I also realized that even though someone looks completely normal on the outside, they may have such a terrible side of them. I was so surprised because the incident was unprovoked, and he just looked like a normal man getting coffee at a Starbucks.

Lee moved to New York City from South Korea in 2011. She is known for her viral K-pop dance covers around Times Square.
“Just because we are minorities, we don’t need to be silent. Anti-Asian hate is still widespread in NYC. No one deserves this type of treatment. I hope people have the courage to stand up for others when they witness racism,” Lee tells NextShark.
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