John Cho to Receive Lexus Legacy Award at 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala Presented by Lexus

Simu Liu, Sandra Oh, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, More Join Asian American A-Listers at Preeminent Awards Show for API Community on December 11 at Beverly Hilton
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 12:35 PM CST

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Adding to the illustrious list of award winners for the 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala presented by Lexus, Character Media announced today that actor, producer and writer John Cho will receive the Lexus Legacy Award. Unforgettable is the biggest awards show in the U.S. to recognize API icons and changemakers who represent the community through their creativity and excellence.

The 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala, taking place Dec. 11 at the Beverly Hilton, announces...
The 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala, taking place Dec. 11 at the Beverly Hilton, announces headlining performances by NIKI, MC Jin, Audrey Nuna, and Korean Soul. Photo Credit: Natt Lin, MC Jin, Khufu Najee, and Derek Blanks.

Also earning top honors is actor Simu Liu, star of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," who will receive the Breakout in Film Award recognizing a rising talent who has impacted audiences around the world. Liu, who starred in the award-winning Canadian series "Kim's Convenience," has been noted as the first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" will be recognized with the Vanguard Award, celebrating a seminal work of film or TV that reshapes the entertainment landscape, while the 88rising collective and its founder Sean Miyashiro will be honored with the Changemaker Award.

"Asian Americans have made tremendous strides in the arts, entertainment and culture, with more representation than ever before, which the Unforgettable Awards is proud to celebrate," said James Ryu, publisher at Character Media and founder of the Unforgettable Gala. "At the same time, given the increase in anti-Asian sentiment and violence during the past two years, we hope this night will remind us of our strength and pride, while also inspiring our community to continue to rise above."

The gala, themed "Rise," will be hosted by "Good Trouble" star and comedian Sherry Cola. Other confirmed award winners include Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Breakout in TV), Sandra Oh (Actor in TV), Justin Chon (Actor in Film), Destin Daniel Cretton (Director), Jason Y. Lee (Digital Influencer), Jimmy O. Yang (Comedy), Adele Lim (Writer), Shohei Ohtani (Pechanga Athlete on Another Level), and Andrew and Peggy Cherng of Panda Restaurant Group (Community Impact).

Led by selection committee chairperson Daniel Dae Kim, award winners were determined and voted on by leading experts who represent various fields and creative disciplines, including film, television, music, sports, digital content and philanthropy. Kim will be joined by Ashley Park as this year's keynote speakers. Also presenting awards are Benedict Wong, Fala Chen, Leonardo Nam, Elodie Yung, Kelly Mi Li, Bobby Hundreds, Janet Yang, Alan Yang, Amanda Nguyen, Bao Nguyen and Alex and Maia Shibutani.

The 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala will take place at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on December 11, 2021. This year's performers include NIKI, MC Jin, Audrey Nuna, AJ Rafael, and Korean Soul.

This year's event is made possible thanks to the generosity of Lexus, the gala's returning presenting sponsor.

"Lexus is thrilled to support the Unforgettable Gala," said Vinay Shahani, Lexus VP of Marketing. "We are proud to join the API community in honoring the amazing individuals who are leading the way in API representation and visibility."

Additional event sponsors include Joseon Empire, Panda Restaurant Group, J&K Gouw Foundation, M&L Hong Foundation, Pechanga Resort Casino, Le Mieux, The Coca-Cola Company, and Remy Martin. Guests will enjoy curated Cognac cocktails courtesy of Remy Martin during the reception and after-party, and an exclusive tasting menu, curated by Panda Inn, at the after-party.

Character Media is committed to providing an experience that puts guest and staff safety first. All attendees must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to attend the Unforgettable Gala. Staff will be collecting each guest's (a) proof of vaccination AND (b) negative COVID-19 test result (taken 72 hours prior or less). Masks will be required when not actively eating or drinking. More details on the event's COVID-19 safety protocol are available online at For the latest news about Unforgettable, visit the official website at

Follow Character Media and tag #UNFO on Facebook (@CharacterMediaCom), Twitter (@Character_Media), Instagram (@Character.Media), and TikTok (@charactermedia). Highlights from previous years of the Unforgettable Gala may be seen at the Character Media YouTube channel (

About The Unforgettable Gala:
The Unforgettable Gala was created by James Ryu, founder and publisher of the award-winning magazines KoreAm Journal, Audrey Magazine, and Kore Asian Media (now a subsidiary of Imperial Family Companies) that highlight Asian American changemakers who are making their mark. Founded in 2002, the black-tie affair celebrates Asian Pacific Islander celebrities, influencers and leaders who have contributed to arts, entertainment and culture. For more information on the Unforgettable Gala and how to be a sponsor, please visit

About Character Media:
Character Media has been the premier source of news and events for the Asian American entertainment community for more than 30 years (through its predecessors Kore Asian Media, KoreAm Journal and Audrey Magazine). Character Media traces its roots back to 1990, when it was founded by Jung Shig Ryu and his son, current publisher James Ryu, under the name KoreAm Journal.

About Lexus:
Lexus' passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 243 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models, one F SPORT Performance model and one F model. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.

To interview Unforgettable Gala founder James Ryu, please connect with the media contacts below.

Media Contact:
Jessica del Mundo

Kevin Broderick

John Cho to receive the Lexus Legacy Award at the 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala, taking place...
John Cho to receive the Lexus Legacy Award at the 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala, taking place Dec. 11 at the Beverly Hilton.

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