"We are recognized to be in a position of power."
Michelle Yeoh has said that her role in Star Trek: Discovery “means so much” to Asian women around the world.
Yeoh, who plays Captain Georgiou of the starship Shenzhou in Star Trek: Discovery, has spoken up about the importance her role has on Asian women.
Speaking to NY Daily News, the Malaysian-born actress said, “I understand when I’m sitting in that chair and I’m coming across as an Asian woman captain, it means so much to women of Asian descent everywhere around the world.”
“Because it just tells them that we are recognized to be in a position of power. It is very empowering and it is very inspirational.”
“In the past I didn’t used to think about it, but now I can understand how powerful a motivator it is, especially for (young girls). They’ll think, ‘If she can do this, I can do this.’”
The 55-year-old acting veteran stars alongside Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead). As women of colour, many have supported the progressive casting of the Star Trek team. However, Ny Daily News adds that some internet trolls dubbed the show StarTrek: Feminist Lesbian Edition.
“That really stunned us,” co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg says of the online backlash. “If you don’t understand that diversity and everyone being included is part of Starfleet and the Federation and ‘Star Trek,’ then you just don’t get (the franchise). Especially in the future, we just feel that everybody would be represented on a starship — from our planet and beyond.”
Nonetheless, Yeoh is proud of Star Trek, which she regards as a show about hope.
“Star Trek has always been about hope and this show is no different. Because we all need to have hope, especially [with] the climate and the tension and the craziness when you turn on the TV.”
“When I’m in that [captain’s] chair (in between takes), I’m spinning around, I’m barking orders, ‘Don’t any of you come near me!’ But every time I get up to leave the bridge, everyone is scrambling to sit in that chair. It’s a powerful seat.”