Speed Reads

one last best actress scandal for the road

Michelle Yeoh draws scrutiny after sharing article suggesting Cate Blanchett doesn't need to win another Oscar

The 2023 Oscar season is nearly over, but there's still time for one final controversy. 

Michelle Yeoh has deleted an Instagram post amid questions about whether it might have violated the Academy's rules about referencing the competition. 

The Everything Everywhere All at Once star shared screenshots of an article from Vogue headlined "It's Been Over Two Decades Since We've Had a Non-White Best Actress Winner. Will That Change in 2023?" The article notes that Cate Blanchett, whom Yeoh is competing against for the Best Actress Academy Award in a tight race, "already has two Oscars," but a win for Yeoh would be "life-changing." 

The Academy has a rule about "references to other nominees," which states that "any tactic that singles out 'the competition' by name or title is expressly forbidden," and casting a "negative or derogatory light on a competing film or achievement will not be tolerated." So Yeoh's post drew immediate scrutiny, though the Blanchett reference was only one part of the article she shared. "This is not just for me, this is for every little girl that looks like me," Yeoh wrote. "... We want to be seen. We want to be heard." 

This Academy rule about references to the competition previously came up during the Andrea Riseborough Best Actress Oscar nomination controversy, as the Instagram page for her film To Leslie shared a quote from a critic who declared her performance superior to Blanchett's. This post was later deleted. The Academy did not rescind Riseborough's nomination but said it would address "social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern." 

Yeoh's Instagram post was made on the final day of Oscar voting. But some defended the actress, with  We Live Entertainment's Zoë Rose Bryant tweeting, "I don't think there's anything wrong with Michelle Yeoh sharing how historic her Best Actress win would be or making clear how much she wants this. White actors have done the same for decades when much less was at stake. Why should minority nominees then stay silent?"