Lucy Liu Reflects on Her Charlies Angels Role & Normalizing Asian Identities On-Screen

Lucy Liu is looking back at one of her most iconic roles.

The 52-year-old actress described how the Charlie’s Angels franchise impacted her and helped to “move the needle” for the Asian community in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

See what she wrote…

“Hollywood frequently imagines a more progressive world than our reality; it’s one of the reasons Charlie’s Angels was so important to me,” Lucy wrote. “As part of something so iconic, my character Alex Munday normalized Asian identity for a mainstream audience and made a piece of Americana a little more inclusive.”

“Asians in America have made incredible contributions, yet we’re still thought of as Other. We are still categorized and viewed as dragon ladies or new iterations of delicate, domestic geishas—modern toile. These stereotypes can be not only constricting but also deadly,” she continued.

Lucy recounted being referred to as a “dragon lady” by the media after being cast as O-Ren Ishii in Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill, a label that was not applied to any of her castmates.

“Why not call Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox or Daryl Hannah a dragon lady?” she says. “I can only conclude that it’s because they are not Asian. I could have been wearing a tuxedo and a blond wig, but I still would have been labeled a dragon lady because of my ethnicity.”

Lucy added that while she’s proud of her work on Charlie’s Angels and the strides that are being made in making media more inclusive to AAPI people, she feels “there is still much further to go.”

Lucy recently reunited with her castmates Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. Check out the video!

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