At the Oscars this year, Hollywood’s gold dust poured over historic wins, comeback victories and breakthrough successes. Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian actress to take home the award for Best Actress while fellow Everything Everywhere All At Once co-star Ke Huy Quan, who is Vietnamese-American, became the second performer of Asian descent to take home an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Even before the ceremony began, this year’s Academy Awards had already marked a watershed moment, with a historic number of nominations for Asian actors, which also included Stephanie Hsu and The Whale’s Hong Chau.
In the week leading up to the Oscars ceremony, Gold House, a non-profit organization dedicated to bolstering AAPI representation in entertainment and business, held a Gold Toast in West Hollywood. The event honored multicultural achievements across filmmaking, including this year’s record-breaking number of Oscar nominations for the Asian Pacific community. In the past year, Gold House has provided research, cultural consultation, investments, and marketing on over 100 films and television shows, including the eventual Best Picture Oscar-winner, Everything Everywhere All At Once.
“Five years ago, we demanded that our voices be heard by demonstrating how critical our community is through Gold Open that broke box office history for Crazy Rich Asians,” said Bing Chen, president and executive chairman of Gold House. “And this year, our community leads in nearly every major Oscar category while our own Gold House co-founder is President of The Academy. We got here because we did this together—and we can’t wait to take it further.”
Over 200 prominent Asian-Pacific and multicultural celebrities, creatives and business leaders attended the event. Among them were actor Daniel Dae Kim, musician Eric Nam, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president and Gold House vice-chairwoman Janet Yang, as well as Blumhouse president Abhijay Prakash and Westworld executive producer Lisa Joy.
The event received support from William Morris Endeavor and several leading Asian-Pacific cultural change organizations, including CAAM, CAPE, KALH, PEAK, Prism Entertainment and South Asian House.
Milestones marked in this year’s Oscars race—from the nominations stage to the final roster of winners—may signal renewed hope in Hollywood’s openness to invest, cast talent and elevate stories from a wider community. Another key multicultural organization in the entertainment industry looking towards this brighter future is M88, a management firm representing a diverse slate of talent, including Idris Elba, Gemma Chan and Michael B. Jordan. “With M88, the initial goal was: once you get one person in a C-suite, they’ll start making changes for everyone. Two years in, we have a critical mass in one place and we have proof of concept,” said Phillip Sun, president and co-founder of M88. “Our foot is constantly on the gas because we can’t let up for one minute. As any minority knows, the stakes are just different.”