Chinese-American Writer Wins 2018 Emmy Award

 October 25, 2018

Chinese-American writer Jessica Gao won an Emmy for outstanding animated program for Rick and Morty this week.

Gao beat off four other nominees to scoop the U.S. prize which honors achievements in broadcasting.

As the lead writer for Season 3 of Rick and Morty, Gao stands out on the podium as the only woman writer of Chinese origins.

"I really want to thank my parents," said Gao, 34, in a black dress at the awards ceremony, honored among a group of all-male colleagues.

She says her father had a free attitude towards her growth and development.

Her mother had her own way, but whenever Gao made up her mind, her mother gave her full support, albeit with some advice.

"This is rare in Chinese families. I'm glad that my parents gave me a free development space," Gao said.

The relaxed family education environment contributed toward her unrestrained character as a person and free style as a writer.

The sci-fi sitcom Rick and Morty went viral among young viewers in recent years, and entered its third season in 2017.

As the only Chinese-American among the show's writers, Gao wrote three episodes of the third season and made the show shine with round characters and witty dialogues.

Unlike its previous scripts, Gao added a Chinese character called Dr Huang to the show.

Dr. Huang's distinctive personality, which is vastly different from that of the Chinese images created on screen in the past, impressed audiences deeply.

"When I was in primary school and junior high, I felt kind of deeply stirred to see movies and TW shows that were in one way or another associated with Asian culture ," Gao recalled.

As a Chinese-American born and raised in the States, Gao is full of contradictions in many people's eyes.

"On the one hand, many of my parents' friends were surprised I could speak Chinese so well. On the other hand, many Chinese friends were surprised that my English did not have a Chinese accent," Gao explained.

Gao said she identified herself as Asian-American. "Since I grew up in the United States, I'm more American. But Asian culture has had an impact on me and the impact would last all my life."

Many North Americans tend to view her as Asian on top of everything.

"This is also a fact that I have to face, and it makes me feel more obliged to maintain a sense of mission for my Asian heritage," Gao said.

"I hope Americans can know more about Chinese people, and I also wish Chinese people would have more opportunities to act in Hollywood."

(Source: and edited by Women of China)


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