Michelle Yeoh deletes post some saw as a slam on fellow Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett

Two women smile at each other and embrace on an awards show's red-carpet
Michelle Yeoh, left, and Cate Blanchett are considered frontrunners in the 2023 Oscars race for lead actress.
(Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images)

Michelle Yeoh posted an article about diversity in the 2023 Oscars race for lead actress on Tuesday but quickly took it down after some commenters declared it a slight against her main competitor for the award, Cate Blanchett.

Per the Daily Beast, on her Instagram Yeoh posted nine screengrabs from a Vogue article titled “It’s Been Over Two Decades Since We’ve Had a Non-White Best Actress Winner. Will That Change in 2023?” The writer compared the likely effects of a win on frontrunners Blanchett and Yeoh, saying that the honor for Yeoh’s performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would be “life-changing.”

The rub? One of Yeoh’s screengrabs included a section of the article that suggested Blanchett, a two-time Oscar winner who’s nominated for her work in “Tár,” doesn’t exactly need another Academy Award.


In her since-deleted post, Yeoh quoted from her own 2023 SAG Awards acceptance speech in her caption, according to the A.V. Club, writing, “This is not just for me, this is for every little girl that looks like me” and “We want to be seen, we want to be heard.”

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” star Michelle Yeoh discusses tokenism, aging, her dangerous early-career stunts and why she prays every night for an Oscar.

Feb. 7, 2023

That posed a theoretical problem. The film academy‘s Oscar campaign regulations forbid “attempting to cast a negative or derogatory light” by anyone associated with an eligible film. “In particular, any tactic that singles out ‘the competition’” — i.e., another nominee — “by name or title is expressly forbidden.” A violation carries with it a one-year membership suspension for first-time offenders and the threat of permanent expulsion from the academy for repeat offenders.

The Oscars voting period, which opened March 2, closed Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. Pacific, just hours after Yeoh’s post went up, the Daily Beast said. It is unclear whether the academy’s regulations apply once voting closes.

It is also unclear whether Yeoh drawing attention to an article about diversity “cast a negative or derogatory light” on anyone other than academy voters, even though it argued that a Yeoh win would be “more meaningful” than another one for Blanchett.

Blanchett plays a renowned classical conductor whose world gradually comes apart in this virtuoso return to filmmaking from writer-director Todd Field (“In the Bedroom,” “Little Children”).

Oct. 6, 2022

Representatives for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars, did not respond Wednesday to The Times’ request for comment. Representatives for Yeoh declined to comment.

The Vogue article, written by Radhika Seth, addressed what it called the “baffling” fact that every lead actress Oscar winner since Halle Berry’s barrier-breaking victory in 2002 has been white.


“Yeoh and Blanchett are now neck and neck as they approach the Oscars, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who will soar ahead in the final days of voting,” Vogue said, citing Blanchett’s wins at the Critics Choice and BAFTA awards and Yeoh’s wins at the SAG and Golden Globe awards. “However, it’s undeniable that a victory for Yeoh would be both supremely well deserved and infinitely more meaningful.”

Daniels, the directors of ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once,’ reveal the inspirations behind the wildest ideas in their maximalist action movie.

April 14, 2022

For what it’s worth, the two veteran actors seem to be mutual admirers. Talking to Variety for its “Actors on Actors” series in December, they had no shortage of praise for each other.

“There’s something about your presence,” Blanchett told Yeoh. “You just have this aura.”

To which Yeoh responded, “Oh, my God. I have loved you from your first film and followed you all the way across — all with deep respect and, OK, envy.”

As for Yeoh’s deleted post, a rules infraction just days before the Academy Awards is highly unlikely after no foul was called around Andrea Riseborough’s celebrity-fueled nomination in the same category.

This year’s race was always going to be fiercely contested. Has the inclusion of Andrea Riseborough changed that?

Feb. 6, 2023

Riseborough’s surprise lead actress nomination, which came after a controversial campaign that raised eyebrows, had Oscar watchers concerned that rules had been broken. The academy did not agree.

“The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded,” academy CEO Bill Kramer wrote in a statement. “However, we did discover social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern. These tactics are being addressed with the responsible parties directly.”


Kramer said the organization would work to clarify its regulations ahead of the 2024 competition.

A new USC Annenberg study shows change at the Academy Awards since the 2015 controversy, but nominees are still disproportionately white and male.

March 1, 2023

Shortly after that statement went wide, an unnamed academy member told The Times’ Glenn Whipp that Riseborough and her team “did nothing wrong, other than run an unconventional campaign that circumvented the Oscar machinery.”

The academy member continued: “She absolutely deserved the nomination, and I’ve heard from a lot of friends who have watched the movie since this whole stupid thing erupted, and they all agree. And you know what? I think she could win!”

The 2023 Oscars will be handed out in Hollywood on Sunday starting at 5 p.m. Pacific. The ceremony will be televised on ABC.