ASIAN VOICES
07/13/2018 12:20 pm ET

Sandra Oh Says Emmy Nod Shows People In Power — 'White Men’ — Are Trying To Change

The "Killing Eve" actress is the first Asian woman nominated for a lead actress in a drama.

Sandra Oh knows her recent Emmy nomination is about more than just her. 

Oh made history on Thursday when she was nominated for for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her role in “Killing Eve.” The former “Grey’s Anatomy” star sat down with The New York Times to reflect on her landmark nomination and what it could mean for representation in Hollywood. 

“Let’s try to celebrate it,” Oh, 46, said of her nomination. “And to be patient. Maybe that’s it ― to be patient and to be relentless about making the change happen.” 

She said that she’s “cautiously optimistic” that her nomination will help bring change to the often whitewashed industry. 

“The change is slow, but let’s just continue pressing on with the change. I’m not going to say that the tide has changed, no. But what I do feel is that people are more open,” Oh said. “And what I mean by people ― I think people who have been in power, who have mostly been white men, and people who are white, they listen now. They not only listen and are open, they make the effort for change. I do feel that has changed. I can feel it now because of the way I can push: ‘Hey, what about this? Hey, what about that?’ Trust me, I’m relentless.” 

When asked what her reaction was like when she realized, in 2018, she’s the first Asian woman to be nominated in the category, Oh said she just wants to celebrate. 

“You want to know what? Let’s celebrate it, man. I’m serious, just [expletive] celebrate it,” she said. “It’s like, we’ve got to start somewhere.”

Oh added that she hopes more people of color, not just Asian Americans, will be nominated in the years to come. 

“I’m happy to get that ball rolling, because what I hope happens is that next year and the next year and the next year, we will have presence,” she said. “And the presence will grow not only to Asian-Americans, you know, from yellow to brown, but to all our other sisters and brothers. Our First Nations sisters and brothers. Our sisters and brothers of different sizes and different shapes. If I can be a part of that change, like [expletive], yeah, let’s celebrate it.”

After hearing the news of her nomination — her sixth Emmy nod in total — Oh celebrated with a photo on Twitter.

Oh will face Claire Foy of “The Crown,” Tatiana Maslany of “Orphan Black,” Elisabeth Moss of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Keri Russell of “The Americans” and Evan Rachel Wood of “Westworld” at the Sept. 17 award ceremony. 

Head over to The New York Times to read Oh’s full interview. 

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