Contact Information:
East by Southeast

Release Date: 22 January 2021

Download a PDF version of the press release.


We applaud the initiative taken by BEATS and the creation of the BEATS test to increase positive representation of British East and Southeast Asians (BESEAs) in British filmmaking. We are excited for a framework to allow filmmakers to gauge their depiction of East Asians, and would like to build onto this BEATS test.

While we acknowledge that having a “British” accent is an important aspect of representing 2nd-, 3rd-, 4th-generation BESEAs on screen, we also want to celebrate the multiplicity of British accents (native and non-native), and through that, the multiplicity that is “British-ness”. With the current accent criterion, the test cannot claim to address the representation of all BESEAs, only those who are 2nd-generation and beyond. We are especially concerned about the xenophobic and exclusionary consequences for our talented and much-deserving immigrant actor peers. In this light, we offer the EAST BY SOUTHEAST addendum to the BEATS Test:

If a BESEA character speaks with a non-native British accent, is this in the actor’s natural accent?  Or is it true to the character or plot, without being exaggerated, exoticised, or otherwise “othered”?

We absolutely agree that BESEAs are underrepresented on British screens.  However, we want to show future generations of BESEAs that success is achievable and to encourage the growth of our community in the entertainment industry.  Much progress still needs to be made in terms of positive representation, but by celebrating our achievements, we also ignite our hopefulness for the future. 

Highlights in 2020 include Andrew Koji’s nomination for a Critics Choice Super Award for Best Actor in a TV Series (Warrior, HBO), Orion Lee’s nomination for a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor (First Cow, A24),  Love and Monsters’ (starring Jessica Henwick) nomination for a Critics Choice Super Award for Best Fantasy Film, Will Sharpe’s BAFTA win for Giri/Haji, while The Personal History of David Copperfield (with Benedict Wong) was nominated for a BAFTA and won awards from the British Independent Film Awards, the European Film Awards, London Film Week etc. Over the next year we’ll be seeing BESEA actors in huge franchises like Jurassic World 3, The Matrix 4, Marvel’s Eternals, No Time to Die, Snake Eyes, Shadow & Bone, The Walking Dead, alongside British productions like Boiling Point, Fortune Cookies, The Bay, The Fantastic Flitcrofts and more.

EAST BY SOUTHEAST is an open alliance of East and Southeast Asian creatives in British theatre, television, and film.


Andrea A Walter
Haruka Abe
Kae Alexander
Jeremy Ang Jones
Leo Ashizawa
Betty Bachz
Jessie Baek
Oliver Biles
Thomas Chaanhing
Gemma Chan
Bonnie Chan
Paul Chan
Alex Chang
Yennis Cheung
Tina Chiang
Ng Choon Ping
Christopher Chung
Tuyen Do
Lourdes Faberes
Pui Fan Lee
Nicholas Goh
Jessica Henwick
Alice Hewkin
Susan Hingley
Jo Ho

Stephen Hoo
Chi-san Howard
Aewia Huillet
Siu Hun Li
Haruka Kuroda
Wendy Kweh
Heather Lai
Ronnie Lee
Orion Lee
Brenda Lee
David Lee-Jones
Jennifer Leong
Isabella Leung
Andrew Leung
Kok-Hwa Lie
Dadiow Lin
Windson Liong
Kwong Loke
Mei Mac
Eric Mok
Ryo Murakawa
Yuriri Naka
Amy Ng
Zhui Ning Chang
Johnny Ong

Mark Ota
Richard P. Peralta
Angelo Paragoso
James Phoon
Colin Ryan
Kevin Shen
Jasmine Shen
Victoria Shepherd
Jung Sun den Hollander
Liz Sutherland-Lim
Jen Tan
Elizabeth Tan
Adrian Tang
Jeremy Tiang
Francis Turnly
Leo Wan
Benedict Wong
Millicent Wong
Jason Wong
Tom Wu
Minhee Yeo
Rebecca Yeo
Crystal Yu
Paris Zarcilla
Jamie Zubairi

If you would like to add your name to this open letter, please submit your name here. We will be updating this list once a week.

BESEA Actors on Screen in 2020

(by no means an exhaustive list)

This list is a mix of major roles for BESEA actors and more minor roles, in projects that may or may not pass the BEATS test.  We very much want the proportion of central, leading roles to increase, and we need to challenge the systemic racism in casting.  In light of the odds stacked against BESEA actors, however, we will fiercely celebrate everyone’s work.

Haruka Abe – Cruella for Disney, Song Machine for YouTube, Avenue 5 for HBO

Kim Adis – Get Even for Netflix

Kae Alexander – Unprecedented for Century Films, The Wheel of Time for Sony Pictures

Leo Ashizawa – Silent Witness for BBC, The Accident for Ch4, Safeguard

Jessie Baek – Secret Life of Boys for CBBC

Carmina Bernhardt – Isle of Red for Yellow Earth, The Audition for BBC Arts

James Bradwell – The Split for BBC

Anna Leong Brophy – Last Tango in Halifax for BBC, Code 404 for Sky, Traces for Alibi, #Sketchpack for Wolfpack Productions

Chike Chan – The Stranger for Netflix, Bulletproof for Sky

Gemma Chan – Let Them All Talk for HBOMax

Lobo Chan – Gangs of London for Sky, Spitting Image for ITV

Nicole Chan – Outside the Box for David Skynner, Empty Spaces for Jaime Weston

Paul Chan – Leave to Remain for SweetDoh! Productions

Thomas Chaanhing – The Wheel of Time for Sony Pictures, Agatha and the Midnight Murders for Channel 5

Shin-Fei Chen – Bulletproof for Sky

Aiden Cheng – Harlots for Hulu

Andy Cheung – Wonder Woman 1984 for Warner Brothers

David Cheung – The Host for Vertical Entertainment, Undercover for Real Target Productions, Break for 7&7

Yennis Cheung – Call the Midwife for BBC

Tina Chiang – Silent Witness for BBC

Yao Chin – Get Even for Netflix, GoldenOldies for Nickelodean

Vera Chok – Cobra for Sky, Sulphur & White for AMG

Christina Chong – Heirs of the Night for Amazon, Transference: A Love Story for Contro Vento Films

Danny Darwin – The Wonders of the Looking Glass for Reece Manigan

Karen David – Fear the Walking Dead for AMC

Tuyen Do – Enola Holmes for Netflix

Linda Louise Duan – Dune Drifter for Dead Pixel Productions

Vanessa Emme – Doctors for BBC

Rose Escoda – Line of Duty for BBC, Holby City for BBC

Chloe Ewart – Coronation Street for ITV

Lourdes Faberes – Good Omens for Amazon Studio and BBC Studios

Mia Foo – Doctors for BBC One

Hanako Footman – Dead Pixels for Channel 4, Defending the Guilty for Big Talk Productions, Absentia for Masha Productions

Kirsten Foster – Gear Tactics for Microsoft, The Show Must Go Online, M.O.T.H.E.R Knows Best for Kingsnorth/Mayo

Tommy Franzen – Strictly Come Dancing for BBC

Masashi Fujimoto – Mandy for BBC

Gregory Fung – Hot Guy Has Issues for Aurelia Pictures, You Got A Sock? for Midnight Films

Nicholas Goh – Devils for The CW

Henry Golding – The Gentlemen for STX Films

Georgina Goodchild – A Doll’s House, Women Beware Women

Rachel Grant – Snatchers for John Kingman

Tao Guo – London Confidential for Jar Pictures

Gaumaya Gurung – Black Narcissus for BBC, Chukul for Passe Pictures

Fiona Hampton – Summer Lane Drive for Brandon TV

Mark Hampton – The Sands of Time for Sunset Aperture

Ling Whye Hang – The Host for Vertical Entertainment

Sarah Sayuri Hare – Lockdown for Academy Films

Molly Harris – I Hate Suzie for Sky Atlantic

Jamie Hayden – Bulletproof for Sky

Jessica Henwick – On the Rocks for A24, Love and Monsters for Paramount, Underwater for Fox, Blood of Zeus for Netflix

Alice Hewkin – Emily in Paris for Netflix

Aoife Hinds – Anne Boleyn for Channel 5, Normal People for Hulu

Susan Hingley – Years and Years for Red Production Company and HBO

Stephen Hoo – Bruised Sky for Stephen Sobal and Jessica Murrain

Aewia Huillet – Casualty for BBC

Siu-See Hung – Cursed for Netflix, #SketchPack for Wolfpack Productions, Thomas & Friends for Netflix

Jun Hwang – Cursed for Netflix, Ivory Rise for NTD Productions

Togo Igawa – The Host for Vertical Entertainment, Thomas & Friends for Netflix

David Lee Jones – The Complex for Little Jade Productions
Jeremy Ang Jones – The Outpost for Millennium Media

Akira Koieyama – Good Omens for Amazon Studio and BBC Studios, Little Birds for Warp Films

Andrew Koji – Warrior for HBO (Critics Super Choice Award for Best Actor)

Matthew Koon – Dracula for Channel 4

Akie Kotabe – Cyberpunk 2077 for Warner Bros, Clay’s Redemption for Tin Cowboys, Safeguard for GVN, The Complex: Lockdown for Little Jade Productions

Haruka Kuroda – Hotshot Racing for Lucky Mountain Games, Heart to Heart for Ardimages

Aimee Kwan – 12 for Kanpai Productions 

Suni La – Between You and Me for Open Hatch

Menyee Lai – Morbid Curiosity for Bark FIlms

Brian Law – Doctor Who for BBC, For English Press Two for MET Films

Jan Le – British People for Lab Ky Mo, Queens of Mystery

J Sebastian Lee – Kamikaze for HBO Nordic

Orion Lee – First Cow for A24 (Gotham Award nomination for Best Actor)

Pui Fan Lee – Sentient for Screen South, The CBeebies House Show for BBC

Jennifer Leong – Doctors for BBC One, Kat and the Band for 101 Films

Andrew Leung – Quiz for AMC, Flack for PopTV, Arden: An Actor’s Life, Red for Kai Films

Katie Leung – Roadkill for BBC, The Nest for IFC Films, The Promise for Last Conker

Isabella Leung – Haunted for LFA

Chris Lew Kum Hoi – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga for Netflix, Thomas & Friends for Netflix

Dan Li – Thomas & Friends for Netflix

Jessie Mei Li – Shadow & Bone for Netflix

Kunjue Li – Tigertail for Netflix

Siu Hun Li – British People for Verve Pictures, Anthony for LA Productions

Kok-Hwa Lie – All Stars & Zonen for M&B Film3

Jennifer Lim – British People for Verve Pictures

Pik Sen Lim – British People for Verve Pictures

Windson Liong – Lock-In for Spring Theatre, Thomas & Friends for Netflix

Stacy Liu – The Dumping Ground for CBBC (she is in 132 episodes!)

Kwong Loke – Gangs of London for Sky, The Feed for Amazon

Su Lin Looi – Thomas & Friends for Netflix

Eugenia Low – Goodbye Mary for Miss Scarlett Films

Jing Lusi – Gangs of London for Sky

Waylon Luke Ma – The Feed for Amazon

Samuel Mak – Gangs of London for Sky

Eleanor Matsuura – The One & Only Ivan for Disney, The Walking Dead for AMC

Frances Mayli McCann – A Tale to Tell for Amazon

Matt McCooey – The Salisbury Poisonings for BBC, Thomas & Friends for Netflix, Agatha Raisin for Acorn TV

Natalie Mendoza – McDonald & Dodds for iTV

Masaya Mimura – Nazi Mega Weapons for PBS, Giri/Haji for BBC Two

Max Minghella – The Handmaids Tale for Hulu

Sonoya Mizuno – Devs for FX/Hulu

Evelyn Mok – I Hate Suzie for Sky

Naoko Mori – Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist for NBC, Big Hero 6: The Series for Disney

Yuriri Naka – Safeguard for GVN, Doctors for BBC

Louise Mai Newberry – Screentime for Roguerunner Productions

Tom Nguyen – The Lie Behind the Truth for TJ Productions, Unmei for SWU

Naomi Ogawa – Skylines for Amazon Prime and Google TV

Angelo Paragoso – Summer Lane Drive for Brandon TV

Michael Phong Le – Normal People for Hulu

Yuyu Rai – Estranged for Jolliffe Productions, Seafruit for Lowkey Films

Kirsty Rider – Industry for HBO/Sky

Helen Russell-Clark – Shoes for Blue SiReine Productions

Colin Ryan – Death in Paradise for BBC1

Rui Shang – Bleachers for Bad Nun TV

Will Sharpe – Giri/Haji for BBC Two

Lucy Sheen – Babel for ArtsEd, In for Robert Firth

Kevin Shen – We Are Who We Are for HBO Sky Atlantic

Anthony Shin – Killing Eve for BBC America

Zak Shukor – Warrior for HBO, Save Me for Sky Atlantic

Marli Siu – Alex Rider for IMDB

Liz Sutherland – The Adventures of Paddington for Nickelodeon

Yuki Sutton – Satanic Panic ’87 for Bryan Ferguson

Dai Tabuchi – Good Omens for Amazon Studio and BBC Studios, Giri/Haji for BBC Two, The Crown for Netflix
Rina Takasaki – The Jewish Enquire for Magnet Films

Christina Tam – Life for BBC, The Host for Vertical Entertainment

Elaine Tan – Get Even for BBC

Elizabeth Tan – Agatha and the Midnight Murders for Channel 5, The Singapore Grip for ITV, Emily in Paris for Netflix

Hon Ping Tang – Truth Seekers for Amazon

Jason Tobin – Warrior for HBO

Lucia Tong – On-Off License for AMN Collective

David Tse – Devs for FX/Hulu, Exit for Sommerhaus Filmproduktion

Sadao Ueda – Nazi Mega Weapons for PBS, People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan for  Roughcut Films (PJDN) Limited

Earl Wan – Coronation Street for iTV

Zandria White – Kids for Nakiah Varcianna

Naomi Willow – Sacrilege for BadBlood Films

Shaofan Wilson – Steal Suffering for James Hattam

Benedict Wong – What We Do In The Shadows for FX/Hulu, Nine Days for Sony, The Personal History of David Copperfield for Film4

Gabby Wong – #SketchPack and Barista for Wolfpack Productions, Stay for Dutch Courage Productions, Unprecedented for Century Films

Jason Wong – Silent Witness for BBC

Leila Wong – On the Edge for Channel 4

Millicent Wong – Dracula for Netflix

Wai Wong – Wonder Woman 1984 for Warner Bros

Tom Wu – The Host for Vertical Entertainment

Ethan Yandall – The Deceived for Channel 5

Naomi Yang – The Salisbury Poisonings for BBC, Endeavour for ITV, Brave New World for Peacock

Minhee Yeo – Out of Her Mind for BBC 2

Angela Yeo – I May Destroy You for HBO

Rebecca Yeo – Stan and Ollie for Fable Pictures, Strangers for ITV, Cyberpunk2077 for CD Projekt Red, Six Feet Apart for Pollution

Kristina Young – Warrior Nun for Netflix, A Gift from Bob for Amazon Prime

Momo Yeung – Jingle Jangle for Netflix.

David Yip – Break for 7&7

Jay Oliver Yip – #SketchPark for Wolfpack Productions, Appetite for Katrin Larissa Kasper and Xuemeng Li, Adulting for Shardow & Terzoli

George Young – Malignant for New Line Cinema

Crystal Yu – Soulmates for AMC, Industry for HBO/Sky, Dancing Through the Shadow of Mao for Leif Films

Jon Xue Zhang – At the End of the Road for Viatorem Productions