Meghan Markle has criticised the way Asian stereotypes were portrayed in Austin Powers and Bill.
The Duchess of Sussex, 41, hit out at certain corners of Hollywood for promoting the “toxic” stereotypes in the latest episode of her podcast Archetypes. And she also slammed the industry for the ‘”caricaturing” of women as “over or aggressive”.
The new chat, featuring journalist Lisa Ling and comedian Margaret Cho explored the “Dragon Lady” stereotype. And former actress Meghan called out popular movies such as Austin Powers and Bill for how they cast their Asian characters.
In 2002’s comedy spy film Goldmember, Diane Mizota played Japanese character Fook Mi, while Carrie Ann Inaba took on the role as Fook Yu. The characters were criticised for tokenising Asia women.
In Quentin Tarantino ‘s Bill, Lucy Liu plays Yakuza leader O-Ren Ishii – a character described as stereotypically portraying a Dragon Lady who uses as a tool for manipulation.
Speaking about the movies, Meghan complained: “Movies like Austin Powers and Bill presented these characters of Asian women as oftentimes over or aggressive. And it’s not just those two examples, there’s so many more.”
She later added: “The Dragon Lady, the East Asian temptress whose mysterious foreign allure is scripted as both tantalising and deadly.
“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.”
The trio continued to open up on moments in which they’d faced racism. Lisa revealed she was named hot reporter in the Rolling Stone’s Hot List when she was a broadcaster at Channel One. However, she faced a barrage of racist abuse in the aftermath.
She said: “Someone at my place of work cut out that article, drew slanted eyes over the eyes and wrote ‘yeah, right’ and then put it back in my mailbox.”
As Meghan gasped, Lisa added: “It was like every kernel of excitement that I possessed just withered away. It was so devastating that someone that I would see every day in my place of work, where we’re supposed to feel comfortable, just harboured those feelings about me and had the nerve to make it racial.”