Meghan Markle has taken on Hollywood caricatures of women from Asian cultures as she resumed her podcast series after her hiatus following the Queen’s death.
The Duchess of Sussex discussed their portrayal in films like Austin Powers and Kill Bill, as well as her own experience of Korean culture in the United States, with her guests: journalist Lisa Ling and comedian Margaret Cho.
“The Dragon Lady, the East Asian temptress whose mysterious alien allure is described as both enticing and deadly; it has seeped into much of our entertainment,” she said.
“But this toxic stereotype of Asian women doesn’t stop once the credits roll.” She said many American films were guilty of portraying caricatures of Asian women as over-sexualized or aggressive.
Ling told Meghan that when she was a Channel One host, she was named a Hot Reporter on Rolling Stone’s Hot List but faced racist abuse afterwards. “Someone at my workplace cut up this article, drew slanted eyes over the eyes and wrote ‘Yeah, okay,’ then put it back in my mailbox,” she wrote. declared.
“It was like every core of excitement I possessed had just withered away. It was so devastating that someone I saw every day at my workplace, where we’re supposed to feel comfortable , harbored those feelings about me and had the nerve to make it racial.
Lucy Liu, who starred as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill, previously addressed claims that the character was an example of the “Dragon Lady” trope, which she defined as a “cunning and deceitful Asian woman. … [who] uses his sexuality as a powerful tool of manipulation, but is often emotionally and sexually cold and threatens masculinity”.
Writing for The Washington Post, she said, “Kill Bill features three other female professional killers besides Ishii. Why not call Uma Thurman, Vivica A Fox or Daryl Hannah a dragon lady? I can only conclude that it is because they are not Asian. I could have worn a tuxedo and a blonde wig, but I would still have been called a dragon woman because of my ethnicity.
“If I can’t play certain roles because traditional Americans still see me as someone else, and I don’t want to be cast only in ‘typically Asian’ roles because they reinforce stereotypes, I start to feel the walls of the metaphorical box that we AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) women speak.
She referenced the experience of Anna May Wong; the Hollywood actor who she says lost roles to white actors in yellowface. And Liu said she thought her own mainstream success had helped “move the needle,” but added, “It’s circumscribed, and there’s still a lot to do.”
Discussing her own experience of Korean-American culture, Meghan said she and her mother, Doria Ragland, would visit the spa, known as jjimjilbang, which focuses on relaxation and spending quality time with her friends and family. She said she didn’t realize the stigma faced by Asian women until many years later.