Lucy Liu, Padma Lakshmi, Saweetie and More Celebrate Asian Excellence at 2024 Gold House Gala

More than 600 guests converged at Los Angeles’ Music Center Saturday for Gold House’s third annual Gold Gala, one of the most extraordinary celebrations for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Hollywood, with those in attendance representing the 22 million Asian Americans with roots in more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and India.

The event recognized the A100 list, which features trailblazers who have impacted American culture and society throughout the past year. Saweetie, Padma Lakshmi, Lucy Liu, Steven Yeun and Lee Sung Jin from Netflix’s Emmy-winning Beef, were among the 2024 honorees. 

Creative directed by Nepalese–American designer Prabal Gurung, many guests proudly interpreted the black tie memo to represent their heritages, with linen barongs and ternos, elaborate silk qipao, and glittering saris gracing the gold carpet. A custom cocktail reception hosted by Martell Blue Swift, featuring cognac aged in bourbon barrels, unfolded into an outdoor dinner orchestrated by Lakshmi and executive chef Vijay Kumar, with attendees taking their seats as the downtown skyline faded from sunset into a cool blue. 

Padma Lakshmi and Roni Mazumdar, CEO, Unapologetic Foods

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Gold House

Honorees were introduced by their colleagues throughout the evening and heartfelt stories of perseverance and triumphing over the challenges of Hollywood were shared. When taking the stage to accept the Gold Legend Honor, Lakshmi echoed what many in the room were feeling: “I feel so good to be here.” She shared her experience going to high school in the San Gabriel Valley and how at times she “felt like I had to translate who I was and explain my culture to everyone I met.” 

“I don’t feel lonely anymore, because of all of you here tonight, I am so happy to be claimed by all of you,” she continued, saying that the “young girl who went to high school” would not believe her eyes today.

Liu, who was also recognized with the Gold Legend honor for her achieving historic precedents throughout her career, recalled navigating the industry at a time when diversity was not nearly as celebrated or sought after in film. “It’s hard when you’re the first person in the room, when you’re the only person that is different, and we are here now and we are collectively special because of that,” said Lu. “I love that we are all here tonight because there is no ceiling, and I’ve never seen that for myself and I want you all collectively to understand how special this moment is that we are as a community.”

Honoree Cynthia Erivo accepts an award from Jon M. Chu and Michelle Yeoh

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Gold House

Academy award-winning actress Michelle Yeoh and Jon M. Chu, director of the upcoming film adaptation of Broadway’s Wicked, presented Cynthia Erivo, who stars as Elphaba, with the Gold Ally honor. “As a black woman of African heritage and a child of an immigrant, I find that there is this innate connection to my golden siblings,” the actress said. “We have a kinship that is unspoken when it simmers nonetheless, which is why it never surprises me that when magic occurs is when we join forces.”

Gold Fashioned featuring Martell Blue Swift

Chris Schmitt

Saweetie closed out the ceremony with special performances and the night slipped into a headlining set by Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki. Martell Blue Swift fueled the celebrations past midnight, as those gathered on the dance floor sipped on “gold” fashioneds garnished with gilt paper cranes and the atmosphere brimmed with joy.


As the annual Gold Gala wrapped, and cultural creatives and leaders in the Asian American industry toasted to what they had collectively conquered and the long road ahead, Lakshmi words from earlier rang truer than ever:

“I wouldn’t have the career I do, I wouldn’t have made the impact that I’ve been lucky enough to be able to make, if I didn’t have my Asian culture to rely on for a broader view of the world. My heritage, our heritage is our strength.”


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