Barbie's new Anna Could Wong doll is a tribute to an Asian American icon

  • Barbie introduced a brand new Anna Could Wong doll in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.
  • Wong fought to interrupt stereotypical roles provided to Asian American actors in Hollywood.
  • In 1935, MGM turned Wong down for a number one function in a movie, as an alternative casting an actress in yellowface.

Mattel is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with its new Anna Could Wong doll, paying tribute to the enduring actress who broke stereotypes in Hollywood.

Wong is broadly regarded to be the primary Chinese language American movie star in Hollywood. In the course of the silent movie period, she acted in one of many first movies made in shade, “The Toll of the Sea,” and in Douglas Fairbanks’ “The Thief of Bagdad.” By 1924, she had grow to be a vogue icon — identified for her arched, pencil-thin brows, signature blunt brows, and flapper type — in addition to a global star.

Annoyed by the stereotypical supporting roles provided to Asian American actors, Wong fought to develop illustration in Hollywood. In 1935, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer refused to think about Wong for the main function of O-Lan, a Chinese language slave within the movie adaptation of “The Good Earth.” MGM as an alternative forged Luise Rainer because the lead in yellowface.

However Wong persevered, and made historical past as the primary Asian American actress to steer a US tv present, “The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong,” in 1951.

Wong additionally grew to become the primary Asian American featured on the US quarter.

Mattel labored with Wong’s niece, Anna Wong, to design the doll, which is a part of Mattel’s ongoing efforts to make its line of dolls extra inclusive.

“I’ve all the time been pleased with my aunt’s affect on Hollywood and her energy to interrupt down roadblocks in the best way of her targets,” Anna Wong stated in an announcement. “She helped extra Asian American[s] see themselves on display, resulting in different unimaginable feats for the AAPI neighborhood.”

Anna May Wong Barbie doll

The Anna Could Wong doll from Barbie.


The doll wears a wealthy pink robe embellished with a golden dragon and sheer cape, and options her trademark bangs and smoky eyeshadow. It is a part of Barbie’s “Inspiring Ladies” collection, which pays tribute to historic and present-day function fashions like Madam C.J. Walker, Ida B. Wells, and Frida Kahlo.

As a part of its celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, Barbie can be donating $25,000 to Asian American LEAD, a non-profit group that helps low-income AAPI youth, in Wong’s identify.

“We’re thrilled to share the journey of an unimaginable icon who was on the forefront of inclusive progress in Hollywood. In commemorating her legacy with an Inspiring Ladies doll in her honor, we’re proud to proceed to extend illustration within the toy aisle,” Lisa McKnight, govt vp and international head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, stated in an announcement.