In 2021, a study from USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative revealed that Asian and Pacific Islanders made up less than 4 percent(Opens in a new tab) of leads and co-leads across Hollywood. Representation, in this regard, has been contentious and increasingly criticized(Opens in a new tab).
Michelle Yeoh, one of the many forces behind the critically-acclaimed Everything Everywhere All At Once, touched upon this significant issue on The Late Show last night. Yeoh has become the first Asian woman(Opens in a new tab) to be nominated for the Academy Award for best actress, telling host Stephen Colbert that while she fluctuates from shock and joy, she also reflects on the milestone.
“How can I be the first?” she says. Yeoh goes on to say it’s time such nominations to become “the norm, where you see faces like ours up there being being nominated and being given equal opportunity to play those roles, so that we can have a seat at the table.”
The Malaysian actress also spoke about the significance of EEAAO sweeping the SAG Awards, and about winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress, and giving her speech despite the rising play-off music.
“It was my first time winning,” she said. “You’re not getting me off that stage!”