Ever since comedian John Mulaney and actor Olivia Munn shared photos of their newborn baby, the internet hasn’t been able to stop talking about how adorable their new little family is — or how gorgeous their child’s name is. Everyone knows names are important, and having a name with an inspiring meaning just makes it that much more special. Mulaney and Munn's son has a unique name that honors his Vietnamese culture, and the meaning behind the name Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney is actually so beautiful.
If you’re a fan of Munn, you probably already know she proudly identifies as an Asian-American woman. While her father is of German, English, and Irish ancestry, Munn’s mother — who is of Sino-Vietnamese ancestry — arrived to the United States as a Vietnamese refugee after the Vietnam War ended in 1975. Now, in 2021, Mulaney and Munn’s son, Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney, carries his cultural legacy through his name. In Vietnamese, “Hiệp” most commonly means either “warrior,” “to unite,” or “to come together.” While the Hollywood couple hasn’t directly explained which meaning they intended for Malcolm, it’s clear his name is a powerful signifier of how proud they are of his heritage as an Asian American.
As a high-profile actor in Hollywood, Munn has used her platform to speak out against anti-Asian discrimination in the film industry. “I think that we're all well aware of the fetishization of Asian women in Hollywood and in media,” she told CBS News in a March 31 interview. “For so long, white people have been able to tell our stories and as all minorities, we are just allowed to support them in telling those stories,” she added, noting how community support was critical in overcoming the issue.
Ever since the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic began to tear through America in early 2020, there’s been a sharp increase in anti-Asian hate across the country — an issue than Munn also addressed in her interview with CBS. “People speaking up on social media is such a huge source of strength for a lot of us, because we have gone for so long feeling invisible,” Munn said to CBS, explaining how social media can be used as a powerful tool in combating racial hostility. “Just having that and especially other people in our community, but in other communities and other minority communities speaking up, that has meant so much.”
It’s clear Munn is passing along her pride in her Vietnamese culture along to her son with his middle name, and it’s such a beautiful way to do it.