Watch CBS News

Asian woman hit with racism while at concert at Irvine Amphitheater

Orange County woman target of Asian hate at concert in Irvine
Orange County woman target of Asian hate at concert in Irvine 02:07

An Orange County woman told CBS News Los Angeles Reporter Rina Nakano that she was the victim of hate-filled speech at a concert.

Catt Phan was attending a Halsey concert at the Irvine Fivepoint Amphitheater with her friend when a group of people of bumped into them.

Phan said the concert was what she expected until the group of drunk people directly behind her started stepping and bumping into them. 

After the group spilled alcohol on Phan and her friend, she confronted the group. 

Phan said she was expecting a simple "sorry" but instead received hate-filled speech.

"I hear her say, '(expletive) these Asian (expletives). Don't let them ruin our night. They don't belong here anyway,'" Phan said.

As a Vietnamese immigrant, Phan admits this wasn't the first time hearing this. But she wasn't expecting to encounter this hatred at a concert.

What made the situation more delating for Phan is that no one stepped in to help even though there's been a rise in Asian hate incidents across the nation since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

"I don't think it's acceptable that we have to be shot at," Phan said. "l be pushed (and) disrespected and what do I have to be dead for anyone to care?"   

After the concert, Phan immediately contacted Irvine officials, police, and concert promoters, Live Nation.  

City Councilwoman Tammy Kim, who helped launch the Irvine hate crime reporting portal last year, came to Phan's support.   

"Asian Americans we need to find our voice," Kim said. "And when we have experienced something, we need to say something."   

Phan said she can't even listen to her favorite artist anymore, because it brings her back to the horrible experience at the concert. 

"In Irvine, literally the safest city in America," Phan said. "At a Halsey concert where she is incredibly progressive. Irvine is home to almost 50% (Asian America Pacific Islander) folks. If that place isn't safe, how can we protect anybody else?"   

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.