#WCW: Sandra Oh

Sandra Oh stole the hearts of many Grey’s Anatomy viewers for her role as Dr. Christina Yang in the series, but her career started long before she landed the part in 2005. Oh is the daughter of Korean immigrants, and at a young age she began performing and attended the National Theatre School of Canada. Her first role was in The Diary of Evelyn Lau (1993), and she was awarded the 1994 Cannes FIPA d'Or for Best Actress. She went on to star in smaller roles, but starring in Grey’s Anatomy was the turning point in her career. In 2018, Oh became the lead in BBC America’s Killing Eve, which was renewed for a second season before the first season had even aired on television.

Among a long list of awards and nominations Oh has received for her roles on the small screen, Oh won two Golden Globes. She won the first one in 2006, only a year after Grey’s Anatomy premiered, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. She was awarded the second Golden Globe in 2019, the same year she hosted the award show. Oh was the first Asian woman to host the Golden Globes, and she took home the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series for her role in Killing Eve. She also became the first woman of Asian descent to win an award in that category. She has been nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy Awards for both Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve collectively.

Oh has also been outspoken about the recent attacks on the Asian American community, and on March 18, she took to Instagram to remind her followers to join together to stop Asian hate. Her post reads: “Friends and fellow AAs, I send loving kindness and support to the families of the eight souls murdered in Georgia on March 16th. And to all victims of racist violence. I am devastated and profoundly angry. I know many of you are scared, but let us not be afraid. Remember #itsanhonortobeasian. Let us ALL join together to #stopasainhate.” Oh also directed her followers to a list of community funds and GoFundMes in support of Asian organizations linked on her Instagram page.

On March 20, 2021, Oh also attended a Stop Asian Hate rally near Pittsburgh and gave a heartfelt speech regarding violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals. In her speech, she continued to express the need for the community to come together and put a stop to racism and discrimination against Asians.

"For many of us in our community, this is the first time we are even able to voice our fear and our anger, and I really am so grateful for everyone willing to listen," Oh said in her speech. “I’m going to be very, very brief, but one thing, I know many of us in our community are very scared, and I understand that. And one way to go through, to get through, our fear is to reach out to our community.”

Oh was surrounded by a crowd of over 200 protesters, holding signs and cheering in support. She told the group: “"We must understand, as Asian Americans, we just need to reach out our hand to our sisters and brothers and say, 'Help me and I'm here.’”

To conclude her speech, she led a chant that said: “I am proud to be Asian. I belong here.” The crowd repeated the words back to her, and Oh said she wanted to give fellow Asians the opportunity to speak those words out loud because often, they are not given the chance to.