Michelle Yeoh has deleted an Instagram post spotlighting a Vogue article titled “It’s Been Over Two Decades Since We’ve Had a Non-White Best Actress Winner. Will That Change in 2023?” after a bit of controversy broke out online.
While most of the article shines a light on the lack of representation at the Academy Awards, one paragraph—included in Yeoh’s initial Instagram carousel—targets Cate Blanchett. Blanchett and Yeoh are in a tight race for Best Actress heading into the Oscars this Sunday, competing for their performances in Tár and Everything Everywhere All at Once, respectively.
“Detractors would say that Blanchett’s is the stronger performance—the acting veteran is, indisputably, incredible as the prolific conductor Lydia Tár—but it should be noted that she already has two Oscars,” says the Vogue piece, reshared in a now-deleted post on Yeoh’s Instagram. “A third would perhaps confirm her status as an industry titan but, considering her expansive and unparalleled body of work, are we still in need of yet more confirmation?”
The article continues: “Meanwhile, for Yeoh, an Oscar would be life-changing: her name would forever be preceded by the phrase ‘Academy Award winner,’ and it should result in her getting meatier parts, after a decade of being criminally underused in Hollywood.”
This share on Yeoh’s Instagram came just hours before Oscars voting was set to close at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The actress deleted the carousel just as folks were starting to react online were starting to call her out for being “messy”—or, in certain cases, defend her actions.
The post may have been deleted because it’s a potential violation of the Academy’s campaign rules. In no. 11, “References to Other Nominees,” Part B reads: “any tactic that singles out ‘the competition’ by name or titles is expressly forbidden.” While Yeoh didn’t write these words, it’s unclear if “any tactic” means sharing criticism from other publications.
This rule came into play earlier this year when To Leslie got a nomination for Andrea Riseborough, another Best Actress nominee. The Academy “conducted a review of campaign procedures” after the surprise nom, discovering “social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern.”
Though the Academy didn’t comment on what exactly raised eyebrows, they may be referencing a since-deleted Instagram post from the official To Leslie account which, once again, blasts Blanchett’s performance in Tár.
“As much as I admired Blanchett’s work in ‘Tár,’ my favorite performance by a woman this year was delivered by the chameleon-like Andrea Riseborough in director Michael Morris’ searing drama about a mom at the final crossroads in her life after she’s lost everything due to her drinking,” the caption read, citing a blurb from the Chicago Sun-Times.
Michelle Yeoh and The Academy did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on this story.