Sandra Oh Becomes the First Asian Woman Nominated For Best Lead Actress in a Drama at the Emmy Awards

Fans of Dr. Cristina Yang have been waiting for this day for years.

Hollywood actress Sandra Oh has made history as the first Asian woman to be nominated an Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Drama.


Her headlining role in BBC America‘s TV drama Killing Eve earned her the nomination, making her the first person of Asian descent to be nominated in the category since the award show began 70 years ago!


Sandra Oh is not a newcomer to Emmy nominations. She was nominated five times during her 10-year run as Dr. Cristina Yang in ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. But her latest nomination as a leading role is continuing a run of recognition for minority groups in entertainment.


Viola Davis was the first African American to win in the category for her role in How to Get Away With Murder in 2015, and last year Donald Glover made history as the first black person to win an Emmy for directing his comedy series Atlanta.


In Killing Eve, Sandra Oh plays Eve Polastri, a British intelligence agent who becomes fixated with the young female assassin she’s tracking. Her quirky character and the thrilling storyline captivated more than a million viewers during its first season run and has been renewed for a second season.


Sandra Oh has been a spokesperson for diversity in Hollywood for years and has opened up about her own experience of being an Korean-Canadian actor.

“If you can be who you are, and be doing what you love, just being true to yourself – hopefully people can see themselves in you. They can see themselves reflected, and see the possibility that is hopefully there for them.

I’m glad that we’re talking about [diversity and inclusion], but over the past … 30 years, I realize that change is very slow.”

— Sandra Oh


And speaking about her nomination, she says she “wants the ripple to turn into a wave“.

“I’m struggling to find the right words for it. I feel quite serious about it. What’s a blend of the words ‘seriousness’ and ‘joyous’? I’m absolutely thrilled.

I feel my community at all times; I am my community at all times. I have joy not only for the show and myself and family, but also for my community. Hopefully my community can feel like they have representation as well.

I wait for everyone else who will also have the opportunity. It cannot rest. 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.”

— Sandra Oh


Her many fans have taken to social media to congratulate not only her nomination, but the step forward in Asian representation in TV.

  • “Sandra Oh is a hero who created the legendary Cristina Yang. After Grey’s Anatomy she didn’t receive any decent offers for four years. They only wanted QUEEN SANDRA OH for sidekick roles with a couple of lines. She’s never won an Emmy. No Asian actress has. She’s deserves it.”


She really is unstoppable!

Source: CBC, Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter