For the first time in its 95-year existence, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded an Asian woman the Oscar for best actress in a leading role. The Oscar was accepted by Michelle Yeoh for her performance in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. She plays Evelyn Wang, a first-generation Chinese immigrant who runs a laundromat and serves as the focal point of the ridiculous universe in the film.
Yeoh received a standing ovation as she approached the platform to accept her medal.
“This is a sign of hope and possibility for all the little boys and girls who look like me and are watching tonight,” she added, holding up the Oscar statue.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you are past your prime, girls.
She credited her mother, whom she referred to as a “superhero,” for helping her win.
Born in Malaysia Before becoming a household name due to his roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Crazy Rich Asians, Yeoh rose to fame in Hong Kong cinema. She had never before been nominated for an Oscar.
Yeoh expressed her belief that Asians would eventually gain a stronger voice in Hollywood and society to Alisa Chang of All Things Considered in April of last year.
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All we have to do, she added, is make a scene and demand attention. “Give Us A Chance—For Guess What? We exist in your universe. We are a significant component of this community and a part of society. Only if we fight for them and stop saying, “Alright, I’ll turn the other cheek,” will we be given additional opportunities. Never again will I turn the other cheek!
Before tonight’s event, Yeoh’s performance in Everything, Everywhere, All at Once had garnered her a number of honours, including a Critics’ Choice Award nomination, a Critics’ Choice Award, an Independent Spirit Award, various local film critics awards, a Sag Award, and a Golden Globe nomination.
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