Sandra Oh’s Emmy Nomination is a Major Milestone for Asian Women

Sandra Oh made history yesterday when she became the first Asian woman ever nominated for an Emmy in the category of best leading actress in a drama series.

Oh, who was previously nominated for five Best Supporting Actress Emmys for her role as Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy, was nominated this year for her role as the titular character in the BBC drama series Killing Eve. In the series, she plays an MI5 agent who is tasked with finding an assassin, Villanelle—whom she later becomes mutually obsessed with over the course of eight episodes.

The show, hailed as a feminist thriller, is also a powerful source of queer representation. “What breaks through is the time and the focus of the show on these two characters,”Oh told The Hollywood Reporter. “It is focusing on female psychology and the female psyche and is doing that unabashedly in a thriller. I don’t think that we’ve seen that before.”

Although earning an Emmy nomination for a groundbreaking feminist role should be cause for celebration, Oh also sees it as motivation to keep fighting for better representation. “It cannot rest,” she said. “I don’t want to rest on the fact that a handful of us have had the opportunity and that it stops there. I want the movement to keep on going. I want the ripple to turn into a wave.”


Amy DePoy is a student at Yale University and a former editorial intern at Ms. She loves feminism, reading and writing. She also loves all fruits, but especially strawberries.