Lucy Liu says she doesn’t want to be cast in roles that ‘reinforce stereotypes’

Lucy Liu talks about stereotyping in Hollywood. (Photo: Getty Images)

Lucy Liu is opening up about her function in Hollywood and reflecting on how ridding the stereotypes of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States will take much more than restricted on-screen illustration.

The 52-year-old Chinese American actress, who is thought for main roles in a handful of movies and tv reveals, wrote an op-ed for Washington Post the place she spoke to the sparse illustration of AAPI actors and actresses on-screen that she was uncovered to whereas rising up. She even famous that her “kid hero” was Anne Miyamoto from the Calgon material softener industrial who “only popped up on TV for 30 seconds at random times.” But whilst Liu acquired alternatives that seemingly broke the mildew for Asian American actresses, she stated that it is merely not sufficient.

Most notably, Liu spoke to her function in Charlie’s Angels – a TV present that she admitted to being a fan of since she was younger, though she by no means would have imagined being part of it. When she was cast as Alex Munday in the 2000 movie, Liu knew that it was a giant deal. Still, the progress that the second appeared to characterize hasn’t been maintained.

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

Other roles that she’s taken on, together with her character in Kill Bill, O-Ren Ishii, nevertheless, present examples of simply how pervasive Asian stereotypes are, regardless of being makes an attempt to transfer past them. Here, Liu referenced an op-ed in Teen Vogue the place her character was described as a perpetuation of the dragon woman archetype. Liu identified that the evaluation itself appeared unfair because it excluded the movie’s different feminine leads from the stereotype.

“Why not call Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox or Daryl Hannah a dragon lady? I can only conclude that it’s because they are not Asian. I could have been wearing a tuxedo and a blond wig, but I still would have been labeled a dragon lady because of my ethnicity,” Liu defined. “If I can’t play certain roles because mainstream Americans still see me as Other, and I don’t want to be cast only in ‘typically Asian’ roles because they reinforce stereotypes, I start to feel the walls of the metaphorical box we AAPI women stand in.” 

Liu has beforehand spoken out concerning the improve in violence towards the AAPI group, telling Women’s Health concerning the energy of phrases, particularly as they cater to harmful stereotypes. “People are going to see you however they’re going to see you,” she finally instructed the publication. In her Washington Post op-ed, she echoed an identical sentiment, writing, “Asians in America have made incredible contributions, yet we’re still thought of as Other.”

She continued, “We are still categorized and viewed as dragon ladies or new iterations of delicate, domestic geishas — modern toile. These stereotypes can be not only constricting but also deadly.”

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