James Hong has praised Asian American creatives for “successfully completing” their advocacy work within the industry, which he started nearly six decades ago.
The screen veteran said his main goal was to “stop the hate” and “raise the whole level of Asian Americans.”
Hong, 93, made the comments at the Critics Choice Association’s (CCA’s) first Asia-Pacific Film and TV Celebration.
Known for his energy despite his age, Hong smiled and showed off a selection of martial arts moves for photographers on the event’s red carpet.
The star-studded event brought together other big names in the Asian film industry and aims to showcase emerging and established talent.
“This organization is all people in Asia-Pacific and it’s probably one of the first organizations to promote culture, from here to China, from east to west – it’s great to be here “Hong told the PA news agency.
“To see an organization bring all of these people together and work together and end this hatred towards Asians is our main goal, I think, and just raise the overall level of Asian Americans.”
Hong was one of the founders of the East West Players in 1965, the nation’s first professional Asian American theater organization, which helps provide opportunities and education about Asian culture.
Over his 68-year career, he has racked up over 600 acting credits, including 469 for television, 148 movies, 32 shorts, and 22 video games.
He received the Icon award at the CCA event, held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on Friday.
Playing with a supporting hand, which featured in his recent film Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, he joked, “What icon, what are you talking about?”
When asked what he would say in his acceptance speech, he replied, “When I see the crowd, I’ll know how to react… I’ll just speak from my heart.
“I will commend everyone for coming here, for taking the time and the dedication to do something like this.
“I started and now they are carrying it out.”
CCA’s inaugural celebration of Asia-Pacific Film and TV follows a string of successful Asian films and TV series, including Decision to Leave, Ms Marvel, Turning Red, Squid Game and Pachinko.
Other winners include Park Chan-wook (Director’s Award for Film), Zoe Chao (Actress Award for Television), John Cho (Actor Award for Film) and Auli’i Cravalho ( rising star award for cinema).
Cravalho told PA she was “honored to be honoured” and honored to be recognized in a space alongside her “mentors.”
Comedian Hasan Minhaj received the comedy award and British actor Nick Mohammed received the actor award for television.