- From the start of the episode, Chan’s character Soo Lin Yao is seen wearing a qipao (a Chinese dress), while “Asian-sounding” flute music plays in the background. Even though Chan speaks in fluent English, she had to use a strong Chinese accent for the role.
- The episode progresses to reveal that Soo Lin was a former member of a gang called the Black Lotus Tong, which smuggles valuable artifacts from China to London. Unfortunately, she dies in the hands of her own brother — who remains a member of the gang — before being able to decode an important message.
- Over the years, the episode has received criticism for leaning into racial tropes. “Gemma Chan in ‘Sherlock’ [could have] been so great. They did her dirty,” one Twitter user wrote. “Why are Asians always victims?”
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- “Would I necessarily make the same choices now, if given the choice? Maybe not,” Chan told the magazine. “I think I would speak up more if I felt that a role was leaning into an orientalist trope of some sort.”
- The MCU “Eternals” star added that she’s “much more aware” now. “I think I’m in more of a position where I could say something,” she said.
- Chan pointed out that she is not throwing “shade” or looking down at “anyone doing any position or in any job on set.” She acknowledged that while the industry has shifted, that “changing the actual culture – changing in practice – takes longer.”