"Lost" Star Daniel Dae Kim Says His Sister Was the Victim of a Hate Crime

The actor told the story for the first time in light of recent violence against Asian Americans.

Following the murder of eight individuals in Atlanta, Georgia, six of whom were Asian women, people around the world are speaking up against the violence toward Asians that has increased dramatically as of late. One prominent figure who has been leading the charge in raising awareness—starting long before the latest tragedy in Georgia—is Daniel Dae Kim. For the past year, the Lost actor has been heavily involved in the fight to stop hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, which have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. And on Wednesday, he shared a very personal story about his family's experience with racism.

Appearing on Cuomo Prime Time on Mar. 17, Kim revealed that his sister was the victim of a hate crime six years ago. He noted that he hadn't shared the story publicly before, but chose to now because of its connection to the recent mass shooting. Kim's sister tried to fight for justice for herself, but was denied by those in power, according to Kim.

Read on to see what Kim shared about his sister and to find out more about his work in supporting the AAPI community. And for more on the outcry, here are 11 Powerful Photos From Vigils After the Atlanta Shootings.

Kim said his sister was attacked by a driver in 2015.

Daniel Dae Kim at the "Always Be My Maybe" premiere in 2019
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

"My sister was the victim of a hate crime in 2015," Kim said on Cuomo Prime Time. He explained that she was running in her own neighborhood on the shoulder of the road when a man in a car yelled at her to get on the sidewalk. "She said she would do that, and the man then backed up and hit her with the car," Kim continued. "And when my sister turned around and was shocked and told him that you just hit me, he backed up the car and as my sister was walking away, hit her again, knocking her to the ground."

She tried to have the attack classified as a hate crime.

Daniel Dae Kim on "Cuomo Prime Time"
Cuomo Prime Time/Twitter

Kim said he and his sister later found out that the man had a history of violence toward Asian women, but the district attorney told his sister, "We'll never get a hate crime. You should just hope for whatever you can get."

Kim said that his sister's attacker "ended up getting convicted of reckless driving when he used his car as a weapon to kill my sister." He continued, "And there was no one in the system who was willing to help her shepherd this case to the appropriate justice."

The part that most strikes Kim as being similar to the recent shootings is the reaction he says his sister got from a judge. Speaking to the press about the murders in Georgia, the Cherokee County sheriff's spokesperson, Jay Baker, said that the suspect had "a really bad day." (Several outlets have now reported that, in a formerly public Facebook from last year, Baker shared a photo of t-shirts bearing a racist slogan blaming China for the COVID pandemic.) Kim told host Chris Cuomo that a judge told his sister of the man who hit her, "I can understand why this guy was frustrated, I get frustrated, too."

Kim will be speaking to a House Judiciary panel about hate crimes legislation.

Daniel Dae Kim on the "Today" show

On Thursday, Mar. 18, Kim will testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. In a Wednesday interview on Today, Kim shared that he would talk about his experience and what has been going on in the country regarding increased anti-Asian racism, as well as two bills in particular, "the Hate Crimes Act … in conjunction with the No Hate Bill."

"These bills empower our community organizations to help victims of this kid of abuse," the actor said. "It also regulates and streamlines the process for reporting hate crimes."

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He also shared what allies can do to help.

Daniel Dae Kim on the "Today" show

"If you have a platform, I ask that you use it," Kim said on Today. "If you have money, I ask that you donate. There is a fund called the Stop Asian Hate Fund. It's the AAPI community fund." The New Amsterdam actor pointed out that donors can choose from a list of organizations they want their donation to go to or simply contribute to a general fund. He also continues to share reflections and resources on his Twitter page.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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