Duchess of Sussex attacks 'toxic stereotyping' of Asian women in film

Duchess of Sussex has called out Asian stereotypes in films. Credit: PA

The Duchess of Sussex has been praised for her “eloquent” discussion of the negative depiction of women of Asian descent in Hollywood films.

Meghan explored the “Dragon Lady” stereotype with journalist Lisa Ling and comedian Margaret Cho in episode four of her Archetypes series.

She also called out films such as Austin Powers and Kill Bill for presenting caricatures of women of Asian descent as over-sexualised or aggressive.

In the Archetypes episode, Meghan said: “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.”

Meghan Markle called out the Austin Powers films for stereotyping Asian woman as over-sexualised. Credit: New Line Cinema

Asian American theatre organisation East West Players said such depiction “poses very real and harmful consequences” and “often exoticised or othered” the Asian community.

"I hadn't known all the sigma and archetypes that so many Asian women specifically have faced until many many years later," Meghan continued.

Podcast Archetypes and their foundation Archewell, are named for the couple's son, Archie. Credit: Spotify/ PA

In a statement Snehal Desai, producing artistic director at East West Players, said: “The stereotyping of Asians, particularly women of Asian descent, is not new.

“These portrayals have had an outsized impact on our community because, for a long time, there weren’t opportunities for our community to be genuinely portrayed.

“Through these stereotypes, the Asian community was and is often exoticised or othered.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know

“Organisations like East West Players have fought these negative portrayals by elevating Asian representation onstage with the hope that audiences will learn to see our community’s talent and ability before defining us by just our heritage or the colour of our skin.

“We aspire to combat the ‘othering’ that Margaret Cho and Lisa Ling so eloquently discussed with the Duchess, as it poses very real and harmful consequences, especially to our community.”

Lucy Liu played the role of yakuza leader O-Ren Ishii in the 2003 film Kill Bill Credit: IMDb

East West Players was the first professional Asian American theatre organisation set up in the US to help provide opportunities and education about Asian culture.

Veteran actor James Hong, 93, was one of its founding members.

Meghan’s Spotify series resumed on Tuesday, after a four-week break following the death of the Queen.