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After the Golden Globes hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg delivered a mostly safe opening, going out of their way to praise the work of Hollywood, Oh ended the first segment on an emotional note about improvements in diversity in the film and television industry.
Several films in the spotlight this awards season feature women and people of color. Oh’s hosting gig is itself a barrier breaker: she is the first Asian woman to front a major awards show in the United States.
Oh told the crowd, “I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change. And I’m not fooling myself. I’m not fooling myself. Next year could be different. It probably will be. But right now, this moment is real.”
Before Oh’s remarks turned earnest, she and Samberg started off with a bit in which he “read” Oh’s lines off the teleprompter. That evolved into Samberg’s newfound understanding about “whitewashing” in Hollywood, a term that usually refers to white actors being given a part initially written for a person of color.
SAMBERG: Now, I know we are up here joking. But on a serious note, this year, we saw incredible work like “Black Panther,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Roma,” “Pose,” “BlacKkKlansman,” and many more. And they are not just here tonight because they resonated with audiences Hollywood often ignores, they are here because they told stories that resonated with everyone. And that is truly a beautiful thing.
OH: Wow, Andy, can I just say that you just read all of my lines off the teleprompter?
SAMBERG: What? No, those were mine. Here, let me keep going. “When I was growing up in Canada, the daughter of Korean immigrants,” O.K. You know what? You are right. That was totally your stuff. Oh, my God. I just totally whitewashed your speech. That’s how it happens.
OH: That’s not how it happens.
SAMBERG: What an amazing learning experience for me.
OH: O.K. would you stop talking?
SAMBERG: You got it.
OH: But if I could take a moment here, in all honesty: I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because — because I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change. And I’m not fooling myself. I’m not fooling myself. Next year could be different. It probably will be. But right now, this moment is real. Trust me, it is real. Because I see you. And I see you. All of these faces of change. And now so will everyone else.
[Here’s the list of winners so far.]