As if being the first Southeast Asian actress to star in a major network’s drama series wasn’t enough, Quantico’s Priyanka Chopra claimed yet another title to add to her already-growing list: becoming the first Southeast Asian woman to win a People’s Choice Award.
According to Mic, Chopra expressed her gratitude for the award this way: “It’s my first year in America … and to come to another country, and actually to get this kind of acceptance, I guess [is] what America is all about. Thank you all for accepting me.”
Although Chopra is seen as a trailblazer for women and people of color, the actress sees herself a bit differently. When an interview with the Los Angeles Times in October if she sees herself as “‘breaking some boundary,'” Chopra said, “I believe we’ve created borders with too many colors … Entertainment is entertainment, cast the right person for the job. Let’s get beyond looking at each other for where we come from.”
Explaining the importance Chopra’s People’s Choice Award win, Julie Zeilinger of Mic says that her victory is especially meaningful given the dominance of the film and television industry by white males:
“Hollywood studio senior management is 92% white and 83% male, according to a 2015 Women’s Media Center report. On screen, women still only accounted for 12% of protagonists and 30% of speaking parts in 2014, according to the same report, and actresses of color fared even worse: White people fill lead roles more than twice as often as people of color, and 17% of films failed to include speaking black characters at all.”
While Chopra may think otherwise, her win solidifies her a dominant female figure in the television industry, and hopefully signifies a shift toward more diversity in Hollywood.
Congratulations, Priyanka Chopra!