Crazy Rich Asians and Star Trek: Discovery star Michelle Yeoh made it very clear in a recent interview that movies and actors should not be nominated for awards just because of their gender, race, or identity. Instead they should be nominated because of the quality of the film and the quality of the characters.
While walking the red carpet at the 2019 Oscars, Yeoh spoke with E!’s Red Carpet & Award Shows. They took some time to speak with the star of both Star Trek: Discovery and Crazy Rich Asians about the issue of diversity in awards.
“I think this year there were a few women roles that were really outstanding. And we need more and more of them. I was just disappointed that there were no women directors nominated. But it’s hard. Because it is so competitive. I think a lot of the time, let’s not nominate because we need to make up the numbers for the gender or for the diversity, we have to do it because the movie and all the characters speak for what it is.
She would add, “And I think it is getting more and more diversified because there are more opportunities created. That’s where it begins.”
You can see the full interview below:
Yeoh’s comments are in direct contrast to similar comments we’ve seen in the past, especially the #OscarsSoWhite controversy which was started because all 20 actors nominated in the lead and supporting actor categories were white in 2016. The hashtag would see director Spike Lee and actors Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith boycott the Oscars.
Fellow writer, Ed McCray would point out that the awards show is less about the actual movies and their quality and more akin to participation trophies in recent years.
What do you think of Michelle Yeoh’s comments? Do you agree with her that films should be nominated based on the “movie and all the characters?”