Why Michelle Yeoh’s ‘Shut Up’ at the Golden Globes was profound for Asian women

Caroline John said Tuesday that Michelle Yeoh golden globe awards For best actress, I ordered the ending music to stop playing after interrupting her speech.

“Shut up. I can beat you, okay? And I’m serious,” Yo laughed before continuing.

Jeong, a 26-year-old Korean-American based in New York City, said he’s used to seeing “older white male actors” defiantly run out of watches on stage. was new to Jeon, an assertive Asian-American woman.

“Having her be confident but also playful about it…it’s reassuring and encouraging and what I see is mostly positive,” John said.

Host Jerrod Carmichael said at the ceremony that exit music is coming from a pre-recorded track rather than live pianist Chloe Flowers, who played TV and film theme songs as the show transitioned into commercials. made it clear that

The moment quickly went viral. And for an Asian woman struggling with historical pressures from within and outside her community to shrink herself, her yaw cynicism took on a deeper meaning.

Katherine Ceniza Choi, author of “A History of Asian Americans in the United States,” said, “I saw Michelle Yeoh take up space and insist on using her voice. “We have to live with the stereotypes and expectations of being modest and petite on a daily basis. It was very emotional.”

In her speech, Yeo spoke of the racism she witnessed in her early days in Hollywood and the dwindling opportunities for actresses as they got older, representing Asian women of all personalities. said Nadia Kim, professor of sociology and Asia and Asia. She studied America at Loyola Marymount University. According to her Kim, she appealed to the low-key by using humor and reflecting her elegance, while she also appealed to other Asians who were compelled to speak their minds. represented women.

For example, John said he was often reminded by loved ones to tone down his personality in spaces within the Asian American community. , she said she’s conscious of the judgment she might take as a “picky Asian girl.”

“She has the fierce … side that you see in movies and examples like this, but still has a quiet, stately elegance,” Chong said. “She navigates her two sides of a persona that are appropriate for the situation.”

Kim added that the humorous applause also makes sense in the context that women of color are often told to be happy and grateful for what they have. Yeoh knew what he deserved and didn’t let her take it away for a moment.

“Especially in a predominantly white realm, there’s the ‘you should be in the appreciative minority’ trope that people expect. Ultimately, most roles go to predominantly white actors,” says Kim. said. “She’s kept her dignity through a career that didn’t give her the chance. And indeed, her career has exploded in mainstream Hollywood lately,” she admitted. Thing.”

Experts believe that Yeo’s “I could beat you” statement was an unrestrained recognition of her own martial arts skills, not a physical threat. Taught to underestimate one’s strengths in front of men, Yeoh thrived with these five words.

Yeoh’s refusal to step off stage wasn’t just about making a personal statement of her own. She wanted her message on behalf of her community to be heard. Asked if she spoke English, Yeo gave audiences a glimpse into the realities of people from racial groups by sharing a heartbreaking story about racism in Hollywood.

“It was a rare moment when they were playing exit music. I think he acknowledged that,” said Kim, who called Yeo’s speech “very political.” Have you seen it in

Indeed, Yeo’s last words on stage were a tribute to people of Asian descent.

“This is also for everyone I stand for, everyone who has come before me, everyone who looks like me, and everyone who is on this journey with me. “So thank you for believing in us, thank you so much.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com