Lea Salonga honored as TIME100 Impact awardee for being ‘lifelong role model for kids of color’

Filipino Broadway actress and theater legend Lea Salonga has been honored as one of the recipients for the 2022 TIME100 Impact Awards for being a role model for kids of color.

The TIME100 Impact Awards recognizes “global leaders who have gone above and beyond to move their industries—and the world—forward.”

The TIME writeup, penned by Sanya Mansoor, highlighted Salonga’s four-decades long award-winning career as an actress and a singer during which she “has emerged as not only a Disney and Broadway icon, but a role model for children of color.”

Salonga has been the singing voice for two Disney princesses, Jasmine and Mulan. She’s talked about how her Filipino heritage added greater meaning to playing the latter role.

“All of a sudden, the people that look like me had a princess,” she told TIME, adding that Mulan “… brings honor to herself and to her family… and she does it with grace.”

The article notes that the Filipino theater star takes pride in promoting representation in Hollywood and on Broadway, and showing underrepresented groups that their stories matter.

The Manila-born and raised star made international waves for her turn as Kim in Miss Saigon, for which she became the first Asian woman to win a Tony Award in 1989.

Salonga’s latest role is Elodie Honrada, the queer mom of Minnie (played by Malia Pyles) in HBO Max’s Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.