Meghan Markle Calls Out Kill Bill for Toxic Stereotyping of Asian Women, but Lucy Liu Has Often Fought Back Against the Claim

Meghan Markle returned to her “Archetypes” podcast on Spotify for the first time since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and devoted the new episode to Hollywood’s long persistent Asian stereotype of the “Dragon Lady.” Markle called out two films, “Austin Powers” and “Kill Bill,” for being harmful in how they depicted Asian women as over-sexualized and/or over-agressive.

“Movies like ‘Austin Powers’ and ‘Kill Bill’ presented these characters of Asian women as oftentimes over sexualized or aggressive,” Markle said. “And it’s not just those two examples, there’s so many more…This has seeped into a lot of our entertainment. But this toxic stereotyping of women of Asian descent, it doesn’t just end once the credits roll.”

Markle’s guest on the podcast was Nancy Wang Yuen, who previously tackled the “Dragon Lady” stereotype in her book “Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism.” Yeun recounted being catcalled by a man who used the offensive “me so horny” line as heard in “Full Metal Jacket.”

“I myself have been propositioned in an airport in Atlanta of all places by a stranger who said, ‘Me so horny,’ just yelled it out to me,” Yeun said. “I knew why because I looked around and I thought and I saw that I was the only Asian woman in that area. I knew he was talking to me, even though I don’t even know if he’d [ever] seen Full Metal Jacket.”

When Markle cited “Austin Powers” and “Kill Bill,” she was addressing controversial characters like the hyper-sexualized twins Fook Yu and Fook Mi and the violent Yakuza leader O-Ren Ishii. The latter character was played in “Kill Bill” by Lucy Liu, who has long rejected the claim that O-Ren is a harmful Asian stereotype.

In 2021, Teen Vogue published an an essay titled “Hollywood Played a Role in Hypersexualizing Asian Women” in which writer India Roby defined the Dragon Lady as “cunning and deceitful” and a character who “uses her sexuality as a powerful tool of manipulation, but often is emotionally and sexually cold and threatens masculinity.” Roby cited Liu’s O-Ren as a contemporary example. Liu pushed back against the claim in her own Washington Post op-ed, where she claimed the accusation makes no sense as “Kill Bill” writer-director Quentin Tarantino crafted other similarly-minded and similarly-acting female characters for the movie.

“‘Kill Bill’ features three other female professional killers in addition to Ishii. Why not call Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox or Daryl Hannah a dragon lady?” Liu asked.

“I can only conclude that it’s because they are not Asian,” Liu wrote. “I could have been wearing a tuxedo and a blond wig, but I still would have been labeled a dragon lady because of my ethnicity. If I can’t play certain roles because mainstream Americans still see me as Other, 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 we AAPI women stand in.”

Listen to the full episode of Markle’s latest “Archetypes” podcast here.

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article