Michelle Yeoh's moment is long overdue
The Malaysian actress has been kicking ass on and off screen for decades, and is now sweeping the awards season for her starring role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
After picking up a Screen Actors Guild award on Sunday (and dropping a well-timed F-bomb in her acceptance speech), the Oscars are one of her last stops on this impressive run.
This video contains profanity.
Who is she? You may know her most recently as Evelyn Wang from EEAO, the overwhelmed mother and laundromat owner who is grappling with her complicated relationship with her daughter.
What's the big deal?
Want more profiles on actors redefining the narrative? Listen to the Consider This episode on Pamela Anderson
What are people saying?
In accepting her SAG award, Yeoh said this moment wasn't just about her:
F***! Thank you! This is not just for me, this is for every little girl that looks like me ... Thank you for giving me a seat at the table, because so many of us need this. We want to be seen. We want to be heard. And tonight, you have shown us it is possible.
Yeoh told NPR's Ailsa Chang last year that she was going to fight for change:
We just have to rock the boat and say, 'Look at us. Give us a chance.' Because guess what? We exist in your society. We are part of the society and very, very much an intricate part of this whole community. This is the only way we will get more opportunities — if we fight for it and no longer be able to say, 'OK, I'll turn the other cheek.' Dang — no more turning the other cheek.
And here's the speech from her EEAO costar James Hong at the SAG awards on Sunday that succinctly addresses the situation:
If it wasn’t certain before, James Hong locked in Everything Everywhere All At Once’s Best Picture win at the Oscars with this part of his speech pic.twitter.com/qsaSPjEVyk— Karl Delossantos (@karl_delo) February 27, 2023
Author and cultural critic Jeff Yang told NPR that Yeoh's achievements are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
Those of us who've known her and watched her from the very beginning of her career realize that this is not new for her, either, the sort of belated acknowledgement of her achievements, her talent, her skills. In a world where men, and white men in particular, are just naturally seen as kind of the center of the universe, there's something really lovely about the fact she's getting her due now ... But also something a little bit — again, why did it take so long?
So, what now?
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