Asian Americans became increasingly visible at the 2021 Academy awards, with Chloe Zhao getting Best Director and winning Best Picture for Nomadland. Youn Yuh-jung won best supporting actress for her role in Minari. H.E.R. won an award for best song “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah. Steven Yeun was a presenter and was nominated for best actor. Zhao is the first woman of color to win the Best Director award.
This was significant progress from the 2015 Academy Awards low of Chris Rock making Asian math jokes with Asian children as props, but as Dino Ray Ramos points out, let’s celebrate the wins but realize that there is still room for improvement.