Sandra Oh calls out lack of diversity on Killing Eve

Naomi Gordon
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Red Online

Sandra Oh has said that the UK is very much 'behind' the US when it comes to diversity in TV.

The Golden Globe-winning actress told Little Fires Everywhere star Kerry Washington that she is used to being the only Asian woman on set, and that it would 'sometimes be me and 75 white people' while filming her hit series Killing Eve.

'I'm so used to being the only Asian person, it's a very familiar place for me,' she explained to Washington during as part of Variety magazine's Actors on Actors series.

'The UK, I'm not afraid to say, is behind. Behind. I am not only the only Asian person on set - sometimes it changes, [it's] very exciting when someone comes on set - but the development of people behind the camera is very slow in the UK.'

The star continued: 'I don't know about the rest of Europe. It was a little... Sometimes it would be me and 75 white people and I have not come from that in my film career which has been much more independent and mostly working with women and women of colour.

'And my relationship with television - and in the United States - hasn't necessarily been all white... Being the sole Asian person is a very familiar place for me.'

Photo credit: BBC

The actress previously explained that she couldn't see herself in the leading role as secret agent Eve Polastri in the hit BBC series because her agent had told her that she may not be able to get any work due to her Korean heritage.

'She [my agent] said, "Listen, I'm not going to lie" – and that was, I think, what was so painful – "I'm going to tell you the truth",' she recalled to Marie Claire.

'It was basically, "Go back home and get famous, and then try and make a transition because I already have an Asian actress on my roster, and she hasn't auditioned in three months. I don't know what I could do for you".'

Oh revealed that it devastated her, adding: 'It's like a fucking shard in my heart because we work really hard, love what we do and understand how important it is to be visible and to see ourselves, right? But to catch myself in a moment where I'm not [doubting myself] is still really difficult.'


However, she also says that overcoming it all has made her all the more appreciative for her huge success.

'I'm grateful that it's happened at 47, because I've done enough work on myself to really experience it. And then, too, it just has deeper meaning for me.'

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