‘It’s been very lonely’: Lucy Liu reflects on journey as an Asian trailblazer


Lucy Liu looked back on her journey as one of the few Asian leads at the start of her Hollywood career as she accepted the Gold Legend award at the 2024 Gold Gala on Saturday.

Key points:

  • Liu, 55, was honored as a Hollywood trailblazer at the Gold Gala, which was organized by Gold House to celebrate Asian/Pacific Islander excellence in entertainment, sports, business and other areas.

  • Actress and director Regina King presented Liu the Gold Legend award, which honors APIs who have had a significant impact on culture and society.

  • Liu emphasized the importance of representation and inclusivity in her acceptance speech.

The details:

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  • King introduced Liu as “an actress, artist, director and advocate.” Liu shared her award with the community in her speech:

“I love that we are all here tonight because there is no ceiling. And I've never seen that for myself and I want to all collectively to understand how special this moment is that we are as a community. I share this award with you because you have lifted me up, given me strength. You have made me so proud.”

  • Liu’s breakout role came in the 1997 drama series “Ally McBeal.” This was followed by 2000’s “Charlie’s Angels,” where she became the first Asian American woman to lead a major Hollywood film.

  • Reflecting on the lack of diversity in Hollywood at the time, she said “I feel like it’s been very lonely and I wish so much that there was more encouragement from my family, because just a little bit goes so long in where you’re going, in your journey.”

  • “It’s hard when you’re the first person in the room; when you’re the only person that is different. And we are here now and we are collectively special because of that,” she added.

  • Liu then joked that she originally said no to the award. “It was probably childhood trauma, like you don't deserve it [or] you didn't earn it. But I'm here because of this community.”

  • Other honorees at the gala included “Top Chef” host and author Padma Lakshmi and HYBE founder and chairman Bang Si-Hyuk.

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