Resident Evil’s Ada Wong actor hits back at ‘racist’ bullies

Resident Evil’s Ada Wong actor hits back at ‘racist’ bullies
Capcom | Sony Pictures

Written by 

Tom Chapman


12th Apr 2023 15:55

While you might think we've moved past racism and sexism in video games in 2023, it seems that things haven't come as far as you'd think since Resident Evil 4 first released on the GameCube in 2005.

Capcom has scrubbed the blood and rust off its chainsaw to carve a new legacy for what many think is the best Resident Evil game ever. The new-gen Resident Evil 4 is a near-perfect representation of how to move with the times, but if only the same could be said about the franchise's fandom.

Lily Gao claps back at racist and sexist Resident Evil fans

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A post shared by Lily Gao (@lilygao1)

We were promised more scares and more Ada Wong this time around, and while both are true, it seems some have taken umbrage with Lily Gao's modernised version of the shady spy. After playing Wong in live-action for 2021's Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City movie, Gao reprised her role in the video games.

For whatever reason, a vocal minority said Wong "ruined" the Resident Evil 4 remake, and as things turned nasty, Gao deactivated her social media. Given that so many have had a problem with Ashley Graham as Leon's annoying companion, few expected Gao to get the rough end of the fandom. 

Coming back to address her critics head-on, Gao posted a lengthy response where she called her Ada a "survivor." As the first Asian actor outside of Japan to play Ada Wong since she arrived in 1998's Resident Evil 2, Gao is proud of her work.

"I will forever be grateful to our producer and director, for making the decision on authentic representation," added Gao. "It's unfortunate that with the game's release, also came the all too familiar feeling of 'I don't belong'."

"While criticism is expected, it's not the first time an actor of colour faces racist and sexist harassment, for simply participating. Inauthentic casting perpetuates an unhealthy image that further dehumanises the community they seek to reflect."

She slammed Asian stereotypes and said, "It is time we stop only capitalising on the sexualised, eroticised, and mysterious Asian woman, and make space to honour every kind of Asian woman...My Ada is a survivor. She is kind, just, intelligent, and funny. She is unpredictable, resilient, and absolutely not a stereotype."

Get ready for more Ada Wong

If you were one of those few who had a problem with Ada, you should probably try and return or trade in your copy of RE4 now. Like the original release, an Ada-centric DLC looks like it's just over the horizon.

When it comes to the 2023's game, we're looking forward to a reimagined Separate Ways DLC that could also tie into the title's brand-new post-credit scene. As this cued a Resident Evil 5 remake, we'll have to wait and see whether Separate Ways does the same. 

Although Ada sits out Resident Evil 5 and returns for the underwhelming Resident Evil 6, here's hoping Gao's survivor Ada can have a more prominent role in the franchise. She might've ditched that iconic red dress, but that hasn't stopped her from being one of the Resiverse's most interesting additions. 

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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