But with her Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord a Pulitzer drama finalist, and Everything Everywhere racking up awards and box office receipts, “I think we’re ready” for new stories, she said.
“We’ve been seeing the same tired old stories about … this white guy action hero, going ‘I’m going to fix this with a gun.'”
“It’s made me excited, thinking maybe there’s an audience ready to be challenged.”
“PULL THE LADDER”
Still, Asian success at the Oscars has remained limited to a tiny group.
Just 23 Asian actors’ performances have ever been nominated, representing a mere 1.2 per cent of all nominations, according to a New York Times study.
Only Ben Kingsley, whose father was Indian, has been nominated more than once. And there has never been a year in which more than one Asian actor won.
Could this be the year representation goes beyond a few, specific individuals?
South Korea-born Joel Kim Booster, who wrote and starred in gay rom-com Fire Island, said having his work championed by two Asian executives at Disney-owned Searchlight had “really pushed this project through and made sure that it was going to get made”.
“For a long time, there was this pull-the-ladder-up-behind-me mentality” among many minorities who found success in Hollywood, he told AFP.
“There was a scarcity … a mentality of ‘there’s only room for one of us at the table and that’s going to be me.’
“I think that has dissipated in a big way.”