Karen Fukuhara, who stars on the hit Amazon Prime Video show The Boys, went to social media to report she had been attacked on the street by an unknown assailant. Fukuhara posted on Instagram in a three-part slide that details the incident as it happened. Apparently, the Suicide Squad actor was walking to an unnamed cafe for coffee, when a man passing her struck her in the back of her head without warning or provocation. The alleged assailant kept walking and then turned to face Fukuhara again; after several moments of staring (by the actor) and yelling (by the unidentified man), he left. Fukuhara also said that she feared for her continued safety by confronting the man in any more direct manner. The actor said that she felt it necessary to mention the incident publically, even though she avoided revealing much of her private life on social media. Read the Instagram post here:
This very sad, but sadly not shocking incident is just the latest (as of right now) account of violence against Asian and Asian-American peoples. Karen Fukuhara was born in Los Angeles to Japanese parents, with Japanese being her first language. And while Fukuhara starring on The Boys (as well as a voice actor on Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) gives this incident more bandwidth to spread across media, anti-Asian violence has grown increasingly common in recent years. NBC News reports that in the United States alone, anti-Asian attacks rose a staggering 339% in 2021 alone, and terrifying incidents like the 67-year old New York City woman who was punched over a hundred times and stomped on in what police described as an anti-Asian motivated attack are a near-daily occurrence. Fukuhara continued in her Instagram post to question what motivated people to attack the elderly, women, and the seemingly defenseless in this rising trend of hate crime.
The Boys features Karen Fukuhara as a character called The Female, later revealed to be named Kimiko Miyashiro. She is characterized as a fierce combatant and a nearly silent enforcer of the central team of individuals pursuing vendettas against the corrupt “superheroes” of that world. The show (based on a comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson) premiered on Amazon Prime Video in 2019, and was an immediate hit. It filled a niche of darkly comic ultra-violence between the comparatively optimistic and sunny Marvel Cinematic Universe and the (at the time) stilted seriousness of the Zack Snyder-led DC Extended Universe. The show is releasing a third season on June 3, and has begun to develop spin-off programs like the animated The Boys Presents: Diabolical.
Anti-Asian hate crimes are only on the rise, with The Boys’ Karen Fukuhara being just one of many celebrities to experience and speak up on the subject. While Fukuhara received swift support from the public and her fellow actors, many people who experience violence against them do not have the same signal-boosting capabilities as her. We can only hope that the wave of violence does not continue.