Reality check

‘I see you, all these faces of change’: Sandra Oh’s powerful presence at the Golden Globes

As she wrapped up her opening remarks at Sunday night’s 2019 Golden Globe Awards, actress Sandra Oh suddenly opened up about why she had taken on the nerve-wracking gig.

The Killing Eve star, who’d kept the banter with co-host Andy Samberg light up to that point, pivoted to “a serious note.” Praising a range of productions that included Crazy Rich AsiansBlacKkKlansman and Black Panther, Oh explained why she had agreed to take on  a hosting role.

“I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change,” she said, her voice full of emotion as her eyes filled with tears. “Next year could be different … but right now, this moment is real. Trust me, it is real.

“Because I see you, and I see you, all these faces of change. And now, so will everyone else.”

And there was possibly no one there who more strongly exemplified the realness of that moment than Oh herself, who made history three times during the night, Vox reports: As the first person of Asian descent to host the event; the first woman of Asian descent to win multiple Golden Globes, and the first woman of Asian descent in 39 years to win a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama.

Oh thanked her parents in Korean while accepting her award, before bowing to them.

Her father had leapt to a standing ovation when her win was announced, prompting her to delightedly call out ‘Oh, Daddy!’ when she reached the microphone.

A pointed joke earlier in Oh’s opening remarks also drew an unexpected apology from the audience.

Crazy Rich Asians is nominated tonight,” Oh said, adding “It is the first studio film with an Asian lead since Ghost In The Shell and Aloha.”

Those films stirred controversy after white actors, Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone, were cast in the films as characters of Asian descent.

“I’m sorry!” was heard from the crowd, with viewers on social media identifying the voice as being Stone’s.

At the time of Aloha‘s release, in 2015, Stone defended her casting, but also said she had  “learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is.”

They were just the first of several powerful moments during the Awards night, as the Hollywood film and TV industry once again stepped up to demonstrate progressive values, and call on its members to meet their potential as thought leaders and change makers.

While accepting her award for her role If Beale Street Could Talk, Regina King called for quotas to address gender inequality. “I’m going to make sure that everything I produce [includes a staff of] 50 per cent women,” King vowed.

“I challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry in all industries, I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

Glenn Close, who won Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her role in The Wife, drew a standing ovation after she dedicated her award to her mother, calling for women to demand their personal fulfillment. “Women, we’re nurturers, that’s what’s expected of us,” she said. “But we have to find personal fulfillment, we have to follow our dreams.

“We have to say ‘I can do that and I should be allowed to do that’.”

Patricia Clarkson, while accepting her award for her role in Sharp Objects, thanked director Jean-Marc Vallee for “[demanding] everything from me but sex, which is exactly how it should be in this industry.”

Read the full story at the ABC and Vox.

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