Michelle Yeoh Makes History With ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ SAG Awards Win
Michelle Yeoh made history at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday when she became the first Asian woman to win Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor Leading Role.
“I think if I speak my heart will explode,” Yeoh said during her emotional acceptance speech. “SAG-AFTRA, to get this from you who understand what it is to get here,” she added, acknowledging the award is from her actor peers who know the struggle. “Every one of you know the journey, the roller coaster ride, the ups and downs. But most importantly, we never give up.”
“This is not just for me,” she continued. “This is for every little girl that looks like me… Thank you for giving me a seat at the table because so many of us need this. We want to be seen, we want to be heard. And tonight you have shown us that it is possible, and I am grateful.”
She was not the only one to make history for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Her fellow costar Ke Huy Quan became the first Asian male film winner at SAG Awards after his win for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
Everything Everywhere All at Once received five nods at the SAG Awards (it was tied with The Banshees of Inisherin for the most nominations this year) and won four: In addition to Yeoh and Quan’s wins, Jamie Lee Curtis also won for her supporting role, and the film took home the prestigious Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award.
During the ensemble’s acceptance speech, 94-year-old Everything Everywhere All at Once costar James Hong reflected on his seven decades working as an actor. Back in the day, he recalled, that producers would use other actors who portrayed Asians in stereotypical ways, with their eyes taped up and talking with exaggerated accents “because the producers said Asians were not good enough and they are not box office,” he said. “But look at us now!”