Skip to main content

Lucy Liu Reflects On Her Career As An Asian-American Actress

Actress, director, and visual artist Lucy Liu wrote a piece for the Washington Post reflecting on the highlights of her career as an Asian-American actress, the characters she played, and discusses some of the struggles that Asian-Americans have faced historically. In summary:

- Growing up the only Asian faces she saw on TV were Jack Soo from “Barney Miller,” George Takei in “Star Trek”, and actress Anne Miyamoto from the Calgon fabric softener commercial

- Says when she was a kid she and her friends would play and pretend they were Charlie's Angels and that she never dreamed she'd eventually be an Angel in a film

- Regarding her role as Alex Munday in Charlie's Angels, she says, “I feel fortunate to have “moved the needle” a little with some mainstream success, but it is circumscribed, and there is still much further to go. Progress in advancing perceptions on race in this country is not linear; it’s not easy to shake off nearly 200 years of reductive images and condescension.”

- Talks about how the first Chinese woman to have immigrated to the United States, Afong Moy, was a one-person traveling sideshow, showing off her traditional Chinese dress and tiny feet the size of an infant's (because they had been bound), and would sing traditional Chinese songs for American audiences. In France, chinoiserie and toile fabrics “literally turned Chinese people into decorative objects,” and Liu says that today the AAPI community are constrained by a more figurative box than the one Moy performed in but that our box is every bit as real and confining

- Expresses unhappiness at the way her character O-Ren Ishii was labelled a “dragon lady” by a recent Teen Vogue article on Hollywood's perpetuation of Asian-American stereotypes. “Why not call Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox or Daryl Hannah a dragon lady?” Liu asks, further stating that she believes the only reason the other three female protagonists, who are also assassins, are not deemed “dragon ladies” is because they aren't Asian and therefore seen as Other.

- Talks about how Anna May Wong lost roles to white actors in yellowface and was also banned from performing with white actors because of anti-miscengenation laws

- “Hollywood frequently imagines a more progressive world than our reality; it’s one of the reasons “Charlie’s Angels” was so important to me. As part of something so iconic, my character Alex Munday normalized Asian identity for a mainstream audience and made a piece of Americana a little more inclusive.”

- States that Asian-Americans and Asians face stereotypes that are not only constraining but also deadly, as “The man who killed eight spa workers in Atlanta, six of them Asian, claimed he is not racist. Yet he targeted venues staffed predominantly by Asian workers and said he wanted to eliminate a source of sexual temptation he felt he could not control. This warped justification both relies on and perpetuates tropes of Asian women as sexual objects.”

- Ends with “How can we grow as a society unless we take a brutal and honest look at our collective history of discrimination in America? It’s time to Exit the Dragon.”


from Oh No They Didn't!


Popular posts from this blog

Dolly Parton (+9 {4} Others) Named One of NME's People Who Defined 2020, Also Saved a Child's Life

Not content with being an icon of music and film, @DollyParton went the extra mile during this pandemic year — NME (@NME) December 13, 2020 The big news for Dolly Parton this year was, of course, her role as a financial backer of research into a COVID vaccine. Her $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University has contributed to the development of Moderna's vaccine - you can't save 2020 much more than that. Oh, but in case you needed another reason to love Dolly this year, she also spoke up in support of Black Lives Matter, saying, “Of course Black lives matter. Do you think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” How to even sum up John Boyega's 2020? He's spoken out very publicly about his thoughts on how his role in Star Wars dwindled over the course of the trilogy, but more importantly, he spoke up even louder at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in London, making waves with his passionate speech. Being so outspo

Blind Item reveals Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page is Marvel Studios choice to be the new BLACK PANTHER

Regé-Jean Page Rumored As Black Panther - Cosmic Book News #RegéJeanPage #BlackPanther #Marvel #Bridgerton #Netflix — URBANTIAN™ (@URBANTIAN) February 5, 2021 - That gossip blog we’re not allowed to name (but you can see at the source) recently revealed a Blind Item about Marvel Studios considering Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page as the frontrunner to be the new Black Panther. - As Kevin Feige mentioned in the investor’s day, he wont be playing T’challa, but another character who later takes the Black Panther suit. - ...and none for the antivaxxer. Source ONTD, i haven’t seen Bridgerton, but do you think he’d be a good Black Panther? (I had my hopes up for multiverse Killmonger tbh). from Oh No They Didn't!

ONTD Original: Monthly Movie Challenge – January

Another 10-task challenge. You obviously don’t need to do all 10 tasks, choose as many as you want, but I figured it gives you some variety and allows you to pick and choose movies that fit your taste but also maybe lead you to watch something you wouldn’t normally seek out. For each task, you can pick whatever movie fits within the guidelines, I've added links to help you out. I tried to add tasks that would allow you to get movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or Hulu – but there’s also Kanopy and Hoopla (both of which you can get free access through your library or university). Have a different movie for each task – that is, don’t have the same movie for task 2 and task 6. Tasks: 1. The man who will say yes to anything (except paying his taxes), Nicolas Cage , has a birthday on January 7th. Watch any one of his movies. 2. Watch any movie that has been referenced in Parks and Recreation . 3. I've been invited to a worrying number of house parties the last few weeks (t