Killing Eve's Sandra Oh reveals why she thinks UK is behind on diversity

killing eve sandra oh diversity television uk
(Image credit: Getty)

Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh has opened up on why she thinks the UK is behind on diversity.

The actress, who plays Eve Polastri in the Jodie Comer thriller series (opens in new tab), opened up to Little Fires Everywhere star Kerry Washington as the pair chatted for a segment of Variety magazine’s Actors on Actors series.

"I'm so used to being the only Asian person, it's a very familiar place for me," she explained to the Scandal star.

"The UK, I'm not afraid to say, is behind,” continued the former Grey’s Anatomy actress. “I am not only the only Asian person on set - sometimes it changes, [it's] very exciting when someone comes on set - but the development of people behind the camera is very slow in the UK."

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"I don't know about the rest of Europe,” she went on. “Sometimes it would be me and 75 white people and I have not come from that in my film career which has been much more independent and mostly working with women and women of colour.

"And my relationship with television - and in the United States - hasn't necessarily been all white... Being the sole Asian person is a very familiar place for me."

Sandra has previously opened up on how she couldn’t imagine herself playing the leading Killing Eve role because her agent had warned her that her Korean heritage could be an obstacle when it comes to getting work.

killing eve sandra oh diversity television uk

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"She [my agent] said, 'Listen, I'm not going to lie' – and that was, I think, what was so painful – 'I'm going to tell you the truth'," she told Marie Claire.

"It was basically, 'Go back home and get famous, and then try and make a transition because I already have an Asian actress on my roster, and she hasn't auditioned in three months. I don't know what I could do for you.'"

MORE: How to be anti-racist and recognise your own white privilege (opens in new tab)

The star admitted that it devastated her, revealing, "It's like a shard in my heart because we work really hard, love what we do and understand how important it is to be visible and to see ourselves, right?

“But to catch myself in a moment where I'm not [doubting myself] is still really difficult."

Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.