By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Tacoma native Jo Koy on Sunday in Beverly Hills, California, turned into a celebration of notable victories for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Ali Wong and Steven Yeun won golden statuettes in the Best Actress and Actor categories in a Limited Series for their performances in Netflix’s road rage drama “Beef.” This marked the first win and nomination for both Wong and Yeun, establishing them as the first actors of Asian descent to win in these categories.
In her speech, Wong thanked co-star Yeun, the cast, and the crew of “Beef,” and also her ex-husband, Justin Hakuta, with whom she shares two children, for enabling her to balance the demands of being a working mother.
Yeun, in his acceptance speech, said, “I’m just so thankful. I am just the recipient of a long line of compassionate love and protection and goodwill, so I appreciate this.”
“Beef” creator Lee Sung Jin joked when he accepted the Golden Globe, “Our show is actually based on a real road rage incident that actually happened to me, so I’d be remiss not to thank that driver,”
Michelle Yeoh, who was one of the presenters at the annual event, hailed the recognition as a big win for Asian representation.
Adding to the historic triumphs, Lily Gladstone made history by winning Best Actress in a Dramatic Film for her role in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon”—becoming the first Indigenous winner in the category. Gladstone began her acceptance speech in the language of her native tribe, Blackfeet Nation.
“This is a historic win,” proclaimed Gladstone. “It doesn’t just belong to me.”
Host Koy, a Filipino American stand-up comedian, had a slight monologue hiccup in the beginning. Koy, who stepped in as host after some prominent names reportedly declined, candidly acknowledged the whirlwind nature of his new role.
“Yo, I got the gig 10 days ago. You want a perfect monologue?” quipped Koy. “I wrote some of these, and they’re the ones you’re laughing at.”
His televised presence on the Globes stage marks the second Asian host in Globes history, following Sandra Oh.
The surprises of the evening included Hayao Miyazaki’s”The Boy and the Heron” securing the title of Best Animated Film, edging out the favored “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” Produced by Studio Ghibli, the win is a first for an animated feature in a language other than English.