Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wing? is a revealing look at stereotyping, sexism and ageism on the stage and silver screen through the life and career of Chinese American actress and Mississippi native, Virginia Wing. This documentary film will examine the history of limited roles for not only actresses of Asian descent in film, TV and theater but other performers of color. It will also shed light on the history of Chinese families navigating the challenges of a Jim Crow South and show how many generations of Chinese have been an integral part of the American South.

Now in her 80s, the film will follow Virginia present-day as she reconnects with her Southern roots visiting her hometown of Marks, MS and give a glimpse into her life as a working actress in New York City. The film explores the many ways she broke barriers such as being the first person of color to compete in the Miss Mississippi beauty pageant and receiving an NAACP Image Award nomination. She was also an early contributor at The Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the first minority owned multi-racial performing arts institution that became a breeding ground for future Oscar and Tony award winners. Despite some successes, Virginia continually faced the harsh reality of the lack of quality roles for Asian women on the biggest stages and screens. Though some progress has been made, that reality still exists today.

In a time where the “perpetual foreigner” stereotype and anti-Asian sentiment persists, Virginia wonders how she can help change perceptions of Asian Americans. What role has she played in the past in perpetuating stereotypes that still exist today? Through this journey of looking at the past, Virginia will discover who she is today as a Chinese American Southern woman and what legacy she wants to leave for future generations.

Make A Donation