Celebrities Welcome AAPI Heritage Month At Gold House Gala

The event honored 100 Asian Pacific figures who have significantly impacted American culture.

Founded in 2018, Gold House is “the leading cultural ecosystem that unites, invests in, and champions Asian Pacific creators and companies.” 

To honor the impact and achievements made by the Asian Pacific community, the organization established the Gold Gala. The second annual celebration was held at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles last Saturday.

READ ALSO: Asian Representation: The Oscars Nominate Three Asian Actresses In One Year For The First Time

Special guests included the 2023 A100 or the 100 Asian and Pacific Islanders who have most significantly impacted culture and society in the last year. This list is voted on by the top Asian Pacific nonprofit, business, and creative leaders.

With over 700 attendees, here are some of the most talked about honorees and guests of the evening.

Key Honorees

That night, Oscar-winning actor Ke Huy Quan added another win to his list with the Gold Gala’s Leading Man award.

Image via Twitter @GoldHouseCo

“When I think of a leading man, I think of someone who is six feet tall with big muscles, good-looking, and a ladies’ man,” he said during his acceptance speech. “When you imagine a winner, I don’t fit the mold. I finally realized that winners don’t always have to look the same. You can also win too, if you just believe in yourself.”

Sandra Oh, a name that’s been around Hollywood for years now, was also honored with the SeeHer award. Known for her roles in Grey’s Anatomy, Killing Eve, The Chair, and Turning Red, the actress has often portrayed characters that break away from stereotypes.

Image via Twitter @GoldHouseCo

“I think the search for what it is to be seen is a deeply personal journey and cannot be satisfied or found by simply seeing ourselves on screen,” she said. 

“I think true change and transformation must be initiated from that person or place because truly being seen is not limited to our eyes.”

Other on-stage honorees include Ms. Marvel’s Iman Vellani with the New Gold award and Eva Longoria with the Gold Ally award. During her acceptance speech, Longoria mentioned the many similarities between Asian and Latin American cultures.

“As I look at this room I can’t help but think about our ancestors. They must be so proud,” said Longoria.

Groundbreaking Media

The cast and crew of the Oscar-winning Everything, Everywhere, All at Once were honored with the Gold Icon award. The film’s producer, Jonathan Wang, paid tribute to the many actors and filmmakers who came before them, paving the way for more diverse stories to be told.

Image via Instagram @china_chow

The Joy Luck Club team won the Gold Generation award as the gala also served as a 30th anniversary tribute to the drama. For many attendees, it was the first film where they felt seen and represented on screen.

The film’s stars, Ming-Na Wen, Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, Kieu Chinh, and Lisa Lu, as well as producer Janet Yang were met with a standing ovation.

Filipinos Represent

The multiple award-winning actress and singer Lea Salonga also received an on-stage award for Gold Legend. The all-Filipino Broadway cast of Here Lies Love were also present, including G Tongi, Clint Ramos, Jose Vargas, and Arielle Jacobs.

Image via Instagram @gtongi

Filipino-American star Bella Poarch, who rose to fame on TikTok, wore a Terno ensemble designed by the 2022 Ternocon winner Hannah Adrias. She also worked with Filipino fashion stylist Nikko Panti.

Image via Instagram @hannah.adrias

Other Filipino attendees include Liza Soberano, Patrick Starr, Geena Roceros, and Michelle Phan. Part Filipino and Chinese rapper Saweetie was also one of this year’s A100 honorees.

K-pop Stars Light Up The Night

No talk of Asian culture is complete without mentioning the industry giant that is K-pop. Monster rookies NewJeans and GOT7’s Jackson Wang (who is currently pursuing his own solo career) made it to the A100 list.

Image via Twitter @ericnamofficial

Though they weren’t present at the event, other Korean stars such as 2PM’s Taecyeon, soloist Eric Nam, NCT’s Johnny Suh, and rock band The Rose made an appearance.

Salonga even gave Nam a shoutout during her acceptance speech, saying that meeting him was “one of the biggest thrills of my life.” 

Image via Twitter @NCTsmtown

Meanwhile, Suh presented Quan with his Leading Man award, talking about how a leader is someone who acts with a sense of responsibility and has a positive influence on many people. He also mentioned how grateful he is to be able to play that role in K-pop, bringing people together through the world’s common language of music.

Banner image via Instagram @goldhouseco.

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