"I grew up never seeing myself on-screen, and it's really important to me to give people who look like me a chance to see themselves." Sandra Oh
Golden Globe and SAG Award recipient Sandra Oh is known for portraying Dr Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy. In the show, her character is labelled as a "cardio god", keeping millions of viewers intrigued on what Dr Yang would do next.
Behind the scrubs is a Korean-Canadian actress who gained her breakthrough role as the title character in the 1993 drama, The Diary of Evelyn Wu. Though her most memorable role is of Cristina Yang, she uses her career as a platform to raise awareness of the minimal roles available for actors of Asians descent in Hollywood.
In 2011, Sandra headlined SAG's The New Asia America: Transforming Perceptions alongside James Hong, Lodi Long, and Ken Mok, where she spoke about being trailblazers in the entertainment industry as an Asian Pacific Islander.
"I recognize that there's not many of us, so I take my position very seriously. It is a circumstance that I continually find challenging, both personally and professionally, but overall, I am grateful and honored." [when asked about her thoughts on being a high status Hollywood actress]
"Hollywood likes to put actors in boxes, and it likes to put Asian actors in really small boxes."
Although Sandra Oh departed Grey's Anatomy, her portrayal of Cristina Yang remains an iconic character in prime time television as well as a role model for young Asian American actors. Sandra Oh sheds light on Asian Americans being underrepresented in Hollywood and takes on roles breaking their stereotypes. Because of this, Gladeo is proud to honor Sandra Oh during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Tiffany Gonzales, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Content Curator