Stars of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) descent came together for a night of celebration at the 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala in Los Angeles on Dec. 11.
A night for API stars: The award show, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, was hosted by actor and comedian Sherry Cola and attended by a number of API celebrities including Sandra Oh, Daniel Dae Kim and John Cho, among others.
- According to its website, the ceremony recognizes “Asian and Pacific Islander leaders who have fought for API presence in the arts, entertainment and culture.”
- Among the night’s biggest winners include Sandra Oh (Actor/Actress in TV) for “The Chair,” Justin Chon (Actor/Actress on Film) for “Blue Bayou,” Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Breakout Actor/Actress on Television) for “Never Have I Ever” and Simu Liu (Breakout Actor/Actress on Film) for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
- Liu also shared a sweet moment with Oh, who gave the Marvel actor a hug on the red carpet.
- In addition to the big winners, other API stars who attended include “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” actors Benedict Wong and Fala Chen, “Love Hard” lead stars Darren Barnet and Jimmy O. Yang, “The Good Place” actor Manny Jacinto, “Home Sweet Home Alone” actor Ally Maki, “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Alex Landi, “Orange is the New Black” star Lori Tan Chinn, “Andi Mack” actor Peyton Elizabeth Lee and “Riverdale” actor Charles Melton.
“Unapologetically Asian”: Liu and Cho gave acceptance speeches that emphasized the impact of Asians in the entertainment industry.
- During his speech, Liu highlighted the individuals who paved the way for better Asian representation in the media.
- “There are so many people here tonight fighting the good fight, making content, reaching back and creating opportunities for others and showing me what it means to be unapologetically Asian,” said the 32-year-old actor. “The more I think about it, the more it feels like a superpower, and today I’m where I am because of all who came before me.”
- Cho, who was presented with the gala’s Lexus Legacy Award, reflected on how much has changed in the entertainment industry in the last few years.
- “A couple of years in I remember thinking they were going to run out of Koreans to write articles about,” he said. “They didn’t, and now it seems they can’t keep up.”