James Hong has congratulated Asian-American creatives for “carrying through” work to promote themselves within the industry, which he started almost six decades ago.
The screen veteran said his main goal was to “stop hatred” and “boost the whole level of Asian-Americans”.
Hong, 93, made the comments while speaking at the Critics Choice Association (CCA)’s inaugural Celebration of Asian Pacific Cinema & Television.
Known for his energy despite his age, Hong grinned and showed off a selection of martial arts moves for photographers on the event’s red carpet.
The star-studded event featured other big names from the Asian cinema industry, and aims to showcase both emerging and established talent.
“This organisation features all the Asia-Pacific people and that’s probably one of the first organisations to promote culture, from here to China, east to west – it’s great to be here,” Hong told the PA news agency.
“To see an organisation collect all these people together and work together and stop this hatred for Asians is our main goal I think, and just boost the whole level of Asian-Americans.”
Hong was one of the founders of the East West Players in 1965, the nation’s first professional Asian American theatre organisation, that helps provide opportunities and education about Asian culture.
Throughout his 68-year career he has amassed over 600 acting credits including 469 for television, 148 films, 32 short films and 22 video games.
He was honoured with the Icon award at the CCA event, held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on Friday.
Playing with a prop hand, which featured in his recent film Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, he joked: “What icon, what are you talking about?”
Asked what he would say in his acceptance speech he said: “When I see the crowd I will know how to react… I will just speak from my heart.
“I will congratulate all the people for coming here, taking the time and devotion to do something like this.
“I started it going and now they are carrying it through.”
Congratulations to Auli'i Cravalho 👏🏼 This year’s honoree of the #RisingStar Award presented by @IMDbPro at our #CriticsChoice Asian Pacific Celebration. Stay tuned for a special portrait gallery from the gala event brought to you by @IMDbPro @auliicravalho #auliicravalho pic.twitter.com/Py0tY2fANr
— Critics Choice Awards (@CriticsChoice) November 3, 2022
The CCA inaugural Celebration of Asian Pacific Cinema & Television comes following a spate of successful Asian films and television series including Decision to Leave, Ms Marvel, Turning Red, Squid Game and Pachinko.
Among others receiving honours were Park Chan-wook (director award for film), Zoe Chao (actress award for television), John Cho (actor award for film), and Auli’i Cravalho (rising star award for film).
Cravalho told PA she was “honoured to be honoured” and humbled to be recognised in a space alongside her “mentors”.
Comedian Hasan Minhaj was honoured with the comedy award and British actor Nick Mohammed was given the actor award for television.