Thomas Jang/ Beckman HS 10th
This year’s Golden Globes was an uplifting one for cultural representation. Sandra Oh became the first Asian woman to host the Golden Globes, taking home the award of “Best Actress in a Drama TV Series” for her show Killing Eve. In an emotional speech, the actress thanked her parents in Korean saying, “엄마, 아빠, 사랑해! Mom, Dad, I love you!” Her win marks the struggle of many other Asian actors in the film industry through many decades to win only supporting roles. However, Asian representation in recent years should be seen as a positive sign.
Last year in August, Crazy Rich Asians became the second film to exceed box office expectations to earn $238.5 million worldwide, according to USA Today. It was the first film in twenty years since The Joy Luck Club to have an all-Asian cast. Talking about stereotypes put on Asians In an interview with Isabel Han, a fellow classmate, she says, “It is easy for Asians to be portrayed as nerdy. I noticed that many actors are always sidelined from the main parts of films. But I think this year, many of those Asian stereotypes were shattered.” Others say “Asian stereotypes are sad because I feel like in movies, when a stereotype is put on an Asian person, people usually laugh at them and not with them,” says Alan Liu, another classmate of mine. It was a film that was culturally important and highlighted the ability of Asian actors to play more complex characters, rather than those who were sidelined as the doctor or the computer nerd.
Although the film didn’t win any awards, it was able to signify respectful and more beautiful stories of Asians across the film industry. It was also a film in a powerful movement for Asians. According to the Daily Bruin, Nora Lum a.ka. Awkwafina, who starred in Crazy Rich Asians, became the second Asian woman to host Saturday Night Live, as the Korean boy band BTS gained popularity in the U.S. Also, Darren Criss, who played Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace, became the first Filipino-American to win a Golden Globe. In his heartfelt speech, he emphasized how culturally important it was for underrepresented people to win these kind of honors.
On a final note, it was very powerful to see Asians be more represented in film and be portrayed as actual human beings with complex personalities. It is also very comforting to see and hear nowadays that the issue of Asian representation in the film industry is finally looked upon as a problem that must be solved.
<Thomas Jang/ Beckman HS 10th