Michelle Yeoh is the second Asian to be nominated for Best Actress in 88 years.
On Tuesday morning, the Academy Awards announced the complete list of Oscar nominations, including a Best Actress nomination for Yeoh for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. According to The Washington Post, she is the second Asian to be nominated for Best Actress since Merle Oberon in 1936.
The Hollywood Reporter called Yeoh the first actress who “identifies as Asian” to receive a nomination because they said that Oberon hid her Asian identity and passed as white. The phrasing received some backlash but others said that the awkward word choice pointed to a sad reality for actresses like Oberon, who felt that they needed to hide their identities to be successful.
“asian actors have long felt the need to conceal or white-wash their asian identity to have a chance at success in Hollywood,” Tanya Chen, a digital culture editor for Insider tweeted.
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