By Frances Lin
The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, are bestowed annually to actors for their outstanding performances in the film industry. They are distributed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and are regarded by many as one of the most prestigious honors in Hollywood. In prior years, the Oscars have faced criticism for underrepresenting marginalized groups in Hollywood. However, recent wins for Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh have highlighted what many East Asians believe to be the contributions they have made in the film industry.
Artwork by Guneet Hanjra
Many fans consider the 2023 Academy Awards to be a historic year for Asian representation.
Actors Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Kwan were both recognized by the Academy for their performances in "Everything Everywhere All at Once.” The awards earned by Yeoh and Kwan are viewed by many as a significant turning point in the journey of Asian representation in Hollywood. At NHP, the reactions to Yeoh's and Kwan’s Academy Awards were mostly positive.
“Increased diversity from the Oscars would promote inclusivity in areas that were once orientated around a certain population, so I’m excited for those types of actors to gain more [of a] reputation,” junior Isabella Chu said.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” is a film that has been praised for its diverse casting and representation by many moviegoers. The film features a predominantly East Asian cast, with actors such as Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Kwan in leading roles. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the directing duo collectively known as “The Daniels,” have been vocal about their commitment to creating more opportunities for actors of color in Hollywood.
Some believe that the success of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has ushered in a golden age of representation in Hollywood. Fans also believe that greater representation of East Asian cultures and experiences in Hollywood may result in the casting of more diverse actors in feature films.
“It’s definitely a good thing for representation,” social studies teacher Mr. Chuba said. “It shows that there is way more diversity in Hollywood. It demonstrates that, culturally speaking, there is a new trend coming through that is much more accepting to different groups of people.”
Additionally, some movie-goers believe that the success experienced by directors Kwan and Scheinert could create opportunities for East Asian filmmakers to tell their own stories in feature films.
“I’m excited for what the future holds for Hollywood as more people of color are getting the recognition they deserve,” junior Pari Shah said.
“In prior years, the Oscars have faced criticism for underrepresenting marginalized groups in Hollywood.”
“I think the whole point of the awards is merit,” junior Safiya Hamdani said. “I think instead ‘people are only looking at race rather than merit,’ I believe in the past, they were looking at race and ignoring that and undermining that and not awarding people who had the merit. Yes there’s a lot of East Asian people represented, and part of that is because now they are not undermining that anymore. '[Everything] Everywhere All at Once' is an amazing movie with amazing actors, and I think they were still awarded because of merit.”
Fans believe that Michelle Yeoh’s and Ke Huy Kwan’s Oscar wins combined with the popularity of movies like "Everything Everywhere All at Once" demonstrate that Hollywood is starting to recognize representation from all aspects in the film industry. Many fans advocate for greater representation in the film industry and demand accountability for representation in Hollywood.