Michelle Yeoh’s Golden Globes speech highlights the challenges of aging in Hollywood

Michelle Yeoh’s Golden Globes speech highlights the challenges of aging in Hollywood

‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ stormed cinemas worldwide in 2022 with its genre-bending approach and chaotic style behind a profound yet simple, philosophical message. 

Over six months after its release, viewers still comment on its tear-jerking power and praise it as a turning point in Asian American cinema.

Its impact is being recognized not only by its viewers but also by industry accolades. One of its most significant accomplishments came at the 80th Golden Globes, with both lead actors receiving an award. 

Following the night, lead actress Michelle Yeoh’s speech took over Twitter. Opening with ‘I’m just gonna here and take this all in,’ her emotions are palpable as she recalls the journey that brought her to this moment. Coming to Hollywood as an established actress in Hong Kong, her journey to success in the Western cinematic landscape came with challenges. Yeoh expressed, ‘I turned 60 last year, and I think all of you women understand this, as the days, the years, and the numbers get bigger, it seems like opportunities start to get smaller as well.’

In a climate that encourages us to celebrate success in our youth, with lists that promote achievements under the age 30, she reminds the audience of the importance of celebrating and pushing for recognition at any age. 

In recent years more East Asian actresses, from Gemma Chan to Lana Condor, have been receiving career-enhancing opportunities; however, such much of these opportunities remain scarce for most women in this industry. Therefore, marking Michelle Yeoh’s story as an older East Asian woman who did not start her career in Hollywood until age 35 is a massive deal in the southeast Asian film culture.

Michelle reminds us of the battle it took to get to where we are and the journey still to come. She ended her speech with ‘this is for all the shoulders I stand on, all who came before me who look like me, and all who are going on this journey with me forward. So thank you for believing in us.’ 

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June Bellebono