‘My Ada Is a Survivor’: RE4 Voice Actress Lily Gao Posts Instagram Response To Racist Abuse
Lily Gao is an icon and I can't think of a better actress to be playing Ada Wong.
Lily Gao, the voice actress playing Ada Wong in the Resident Evil 4 remake, was forced off of Instagram last week due to racist abuse. The only post that remained on her public page was a post from June 3rd, 2020, about the role of privilege and recognizing it.
However, Gao has now returned with an Instagram post defending herself against the racist abuse she has received.
“Being the first Asian actor to portray Ada in the Resident Evil video games is an honour and I will forever be grateful to our producer and director, for making the decision on authentic representation,” she stated. “It is time we stop only capitalizing on the sexualized, erotisized, and mysterious Asian woman, and make space for every kind of Asian woman. My Ada is a survivor… kind, just, intelligent, and funny… unpredictable, resilient, and absolutely not a stereotype.”
I actually had to look this up because I couldn’t believe that Ada Wong had never been voiced by a woman of Asian/Chinese descent. But it’s true; English actress Sally Cahill voiced Ada during RE2, RE4, and RE: The Darkside chronicles. Megan Hollingshead, Courtney Taylor, and Jolene Andersen voiced her in all the games up to and including the RE2 remake from 2019. Even when Ada was played by Chinese actress, Li Bingbing, in live-action, her lines were dubbed with Cahill’s voice.
Gao is right that it should not have taken this long for an Asian actress to voice the character. But she’s also taken it a step further by showing her work and highlighting the Asian actresses/characters on whom she based her performance. These include Shu Qi as Nie Yinniang from The Assassin (2015), Faye Wong from Chungking Express (1994), and Maggie Cheung in Irma Vep (1996). It’s also not the first time Gao has played Ada Wong, with her having previously played the role in live-action in the Welcome to Raccoon City movie.
All this shows that Gao clearly cares about the role—not only giving a great performance but making Ada a well-rounded character. I applaud her for that and the work she’s doing.
I also desperately hope that Capcom will step up and protect her from more abuse so that she will stay with the franchise. I would like for her and the writers of the RE remakes to fix the many flaws of Resident Evil 6, specifically in regard to how the game treats Ada Wong.
In any case, Ada’s character is in good hands.
(Featured Image: Sony Pictures/Capcom)
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