Humans actress Gemma Chan on Hollywood sexism: 'You're more likely to see an alien than an Asian woman'

'Growing up, I never saw any Asian faces on TV'

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The Independent Culture

Hollywood may have come some way in tackling its diversity problem over last 100 years but there's still a long way to go.

Up-and-coming actress Gemma Chan, best known for her role in Channel 4’s Humans, has now given her thoughts on the situation, saying both sexism and racism are still problems within the film industry.

In an interview with the Telegraph, she claimed she would often be declined an audition as they were “only going to see white people.”

Speaking of on-screen gender balance, Chan said: "The statistics are really depressing. I remember reading some that made me think, ‘Oh, you are more likely to see an alien in a Hollywood film than an Asian woman.’”

Gemma Chan plays Anita, the renegade Synth in Humans (Channel 4)

The Fresh Meat actress, whose mother is Chinese and father grew up in Hong Kong, spoke about growing up in England and the TV she would watch, saying: “growing up, I never saw any Asian faces on TV, so it didn’t feel [being an actress] like a viable option.”

She also praised Humans for its diversity, even though the majority of non-white actors play synths/robots in the show.


Humans stars Chan as Anita/Mia, Colin Morgan as Leo Elster and Emily Berrington as Niska. The show has already been renewed for a second series, with the final episode of season one airing 2 August.