Over the last year or so, a heap of noughties interviews have resurfaced and when you look at them through a 2021 lens, it’s clear that some (read: a lot) of the old school interviewers were incredibly problematic in their interviewing tactics and questioning. From Oprah to Ellen DeGeneres to David Letterman, so many noughties interviewers are guilty, including local ones. In this 2003 Rove Live interview, while the cast of Charlie’s Angels, were Down Under to promote the film, Rove McManus racially profiles Lucy Liu and she handles it like a queen.
The Aussie talkshow host automatically assumes that Lucy Liu is an expert in martial arts and Lucy points out that everyone has been asking this “because I’m Asian.”
The thing is, Lucy says she literally doesn’t have any more martial arts training than her co-stars, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore, so why would people make that assumption, if not from racial bias?
Again, she handles herself very well here and makes it clear that it’s not cool to make assumptions based on her ethnicity.
“Lucy, you’ve had martial arts training before, did you teach the girls some things?” she asked, prompting immediate laughter from the ladies.
“Her favourite question,” Cameron said. “I really think she’s the aficionado on Kung Fu,” Drew sarcastically said.
“Maybe it’s because I’m Asian?” Lucy then said with sass.
The Lucy Liu interview was resurfaced by Asian Ambition, who wrote:
As the new Charlie’s Angels movie is releasing, we’d like to go back to an important, yet cringey interview back in 2003.
Rove McManus, an Australian comedian and television presenter interviews the Charlie’s Angels cast Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz.
Rove makes the assumption that Chinese-American actress Lucy Liu, has had previous martial arts training prior to the film. Not only was Lucy expecting this question being aimed towards her, Lucy had been asked this numerous times. This is very embarrassing, especially as thousands of Australians would have been viewing back in 2003.
Have a watch below for a masterclass in how to handle yourself when you’re being singled out over your race on national TV, via our queen Lucy Liu: