Sandra Oh made television history yesterday (July 12) when she became the first woman of Asian descent to earn an Emmy nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The Korean-Canadian actress acknowledged the honor’s significance during an interview that The New York Times published shortly after the Television Academy announced 2018 nominees.
"Let’s celebrate it, man," she said. "I’m serious, just [expletive] celebrate it. It’s like, we’ve got to start somewhere."
Oh said that she hopes the nomination opens more doors for not just Asian actors, but all performers of color:
I’m happy to get that ball rolling, because what I hope happens is that next year and the next year and the next year, we will have presence. And the presence will grow not only to Asian-Americans, you know, from yellow to brown, but to all our other sisters and brothers. Our First Nations sisters and brothers. Our sisters and brothers of different sizes and different shapes. If I can be a part of that change, like [expletive], yeah, let’s celebrate it.
The veteran actress, who earned the nod for her performance in BBC America’s "Killing Eve," added that the recent attention on Hollywood diversity goes further than just allowing people of color at the proverbial table. She instead said that the industry changes must go far enough to change what society allows communities of color to think is attainable:
What I’m waiting for us to see, in a much more significant way, is the difference between [the industry] being open and its actually growing. Let’s say, something for the Asian-American community: It’s not that there’s just suddenly jobs available, right? We’re talking from the beginning, where people are being trained—that people are able to let go of being a doctor and a lawyer and feel free to want to be an artist. It’s not only in Hollywood, it’s within our own community, to be able to see that there is a place for us, and for us to step into that place. It’s difficult if we don’t feel that there is a place for us. So the opening of opportunity has to not only be there, but be there in a much more muscular way.
Read more at NYTimes.com.