Meghan Markle Calls Out “Toxic” Stereotypes Against Asian Women

Also during her podcast, Meghan discusses the stereotype of the “Dragon Lady” on screen. “The East Asian temptress, whose mysterious foreign allure is scripted as both tantalizing and deadly,” the duchess says on the episode. “This is 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.”

The episode also features a clip from the 2003 film Kill Bill: Vol. 1, which stars Lucy Liu as antagonist O-Ren Ishii. A 2021 Teen Vogue essay titled “Hollywood Played a Role in Hypersexualizing Asian Women” alleges that the character constitutes a “contemporary example” of the “Dragon Lady” trope, one who is “cunning and deceitful” and “uses her sexuality as a powerful tool of manipulation, but often is emotionally and sexually cold and threatens masculinity.”

But Liu challenged this notion in a Washington Post op-ed. “Kill Bill features three other female professional killers in addition to Ishii,” she wrote. “Why not call Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox or Daryl Hannah a dragon lady? I can only conclude that it’s because they are not Asian.”

The actress continued, “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.”

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