Actress Michelle Yeoh among BBC’s 100 ‘most inspiring and influential women’ of 2020

Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh speaks during a forum on sustainability and renewable energy in Kuching December 10, 2019. ― Bernama pic
Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh speaks during a forum on sustainability and renewable energy in Kuching December 10, 2019. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — Hollywood star from Malaysia, Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh has been named as one of the most inspiring and influential women of 2020 by British broadcaster, BBC.

This year, the media giant’s “100 Women” list highlights those who are leading change and making a difference during these trying times amid the Covid-19 pandemic and calls for racial justice.

In their report, BBC described Yeoh as one of the very few actresses from Asia to enjoy a long, successful career in the US.

It also praised Yeoh for speaking about the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood, and for her role as a United Nations’ goodwill ambassador working towards eradicating poverty by 2030.

The 58-year-old Ipoh-born actress broke into acting by performing her own stunt in the typically male-dominated world of Hong Kong martial arts films.

She then moved to Hollywood as a “Bond girl” opposite Pierce Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies, which was released in 1997.

Yeoh is set to appear in the upcoming blockbuster sequels in James Cameron’s Avatar franchise as well as in Marvel’s first Asian-led superhero movie, Shang-Chi.

Commenting about the effects of the pandemic on people’s wellbeing, Yeoh told BBC: “Covid-19 affects us all, but women are bearing the brunt.

“Remember, we are not alone. If we are feeling isolated, we must reach out for support.

“Having a support network is more important than ever.”

Other notable figures in the list include Hollywood legend and climate activist Jane Fonda, Black Lives Matter co-founders Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, and Alicia Garza, and Sarah Gilbert, who heads the Oxford University research into a Covid-19 vaccine.