Meghan Markle has a platform with her Archetypes podcast. The topics are usually newsworthy from her opinions, but the latest takes aim at iconic films.

Markle returned to her podcast for the first time since the death of Queen Elizabeth II and devoted the latest episode to Hollywood’s Asian stereotype of the “Dragon Lady.” Markle called out two films, “Austin Powers” and “Kill Bill,” for being harmful in how they depicted Asian women as either over-sexualized or overaggressive.

“Movies like ‘Austin Powers’ and ‘Kill Bill’ presented these characters of Asian women as oftentimes over sexualized or aggressive,” Markle said. “And it’s not just those two examples, there’s so many more. … 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.”

Nancy Wang Yuen was Markle’s guest on the podcast, who previously tackled the “Dragon Lady” stereotype in her book “Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism.” Yeun recalled being catcalled by a man who used the offensive “me so horny” line as heard in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket.”

“I myself have been propositioned in an airport in Atlanta of all places by a stranger who said, ‘Me so horny,’ just yelled it out to me,” Yeun said. “I knew why because I looked around and I thought and I saw that I was the only Asian woman in that area. I knew he was talking to me, even though I don’t even know if he’d [ever] seen ‘Full Metal Jacket.’”

Markle used “Austin Powers” and “Kill Bill,” as examples when addressing controversial characters such as the twins Fook Yu and Fook Mi who are hyper-sexualized, and Yakuza leader O-Ren Ishii, who’s violent. The latter character was played by Lucy Liu in Kill Bill, who has long rejected the claim that O-Ren is a harmful Asian stereotype.

Teen Vogue published an essay titled “Hollywood Played a Role in Hypersexualizing Asian Women” in 2021. Writer India Roby defined the Dragon Lady as “cunning and deceitful,” and a character who “uses her sexuality as a powerful tool of manipulation, but often is emotionally and sexually cold and threatens masculinity.” Roby cited Liu’s O-Ren as a contemporary example.

In her own Washington Post op-ed, Liu denied claims that the accusation makes no sense as “Kill Bill” writer-director Quentin Tarantino crafted other similarly minded and similarly acting female characters for the movie.

“‘Kill Bill’ features three other female professional killers in addition to Ishii. Why not call Uma Thurman, Vivica A. Fox or Daryl Hannah a dragon lady?” Liu asked.

“I can only conclude that it’s because they are not Asian,” Liu wrote. “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. If I can’t play certain roles because mainstream Americans still see me as Other, and I don’t want to be cast only in ‘typically Asian’ roles because they reinforce stereotypes, I start to feel the walls of the metaphorical box we AAPI women stand in.”

There are a lot of opinions about how Asians in American media are portrayed Some would say it’s better, while others feel the treatment is about the same. It is possible that, in time, we wouldn’t have debates like this.

What do you think of this? Sound off in the comments!

Andre Porter

Andre is a news writer at Ringside News and its sister site Thirsty For News. He has been an avid fan of professional wrestling since 1999. He has been to plenty of Raw and Smackdown television tapings and various WWE PPVs including Wrestlemania. Andre is a graduate of The University of Arts back in 2009 with a BFA in Multimedia. His earliest memories of pro wrestling involved Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker and Triple H. Outside of his writing for the two sites Andre is a fan of film, traveling, comics, and all Philadelphia sports. *** John Cena follow him on Twitter***

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