Awkwafina Makes History at Golden Globes

Awkwafina Makes History at Golden Globes
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The Golden Globes had its share of water cooler moments, but perhaps the one of the most buzzed about was when Akwafina made history.

The 77th annual Golden Globes ceremony had its share of water cooler moments, but perhaps the one of the most buzzed about was when Awkwafina made history.

She is reportedly the first actor of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy.

Awkwafina won it for her role in “The Farewell.” Dedicating the award to her father, the actress joked in her acceptance speech, “I'd like to dedicate this to my dad, Wally. I told you I'd get a job, Dad. I had to."

Many pointed out the show's lack of diversity in the winner's circle. Host Ricky Gervais even joked about it, saying in part, "Many talented people of color were snubbed in major categories. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about that. Hollywood Foreign press are all very racist. Fifth time."

Other moments that got tongues wagging—not a single nominee for Best Director was a woman.

The category for Best Director was all male— Martin Scorcese was nominated for “The Irishman,” Todd Phillips was nominated for “Joker,” Bong Joon Ho was nominated for “Parasite,” Sam Mendes was nominated for “1917,” and Quentin Tarantino was nominated for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

During the ceremony, host Ricky Gervais addressed the issue in a joke saying, “No female directors were nominated this year. That’s bad. I’ve had a word with the HFPA [Hollywood Foreign Press Association] and they have guaranteed this will never happen again,”Gervais started

“Working with all the major studios, the HFPA  has agreed to go back to the way things were when they didn’t hire women directors. That will solve the problem. You’re welcome,” he quipped.

Not everyone found it funny. 

“A shame to follow Tom Hanks' beautiful, moving speech with that lame, unfunny joke about lack of female directors,” one user wrote.

Melissa Silverstein of Women in Hollywood seemed to echo that sentiment, when she responded to Gervais’ joke  on Twitter with statistics.

"The top 100 films of 2019 were helmed by a total of 113 directors, 89.4 percent of whom were male and 10.6 percent of whom were female," she wrote.

Some award winners, including Michelle Williams and Joaquin Phoenix used their acceptance speeches to highlight political issues including women’s rights and climate change.

“I'm grateful for the acknowledgment of the choices I've made, and I'm also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exists. Because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice,” Williams started while accepting the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie.

“And I wouldn't have been able to this without employing a woman's right to choose, to choose when to have my children and with whom,” she continued.

Citing the ravaging wildfire fires in Australia, Joaquin Phoenix addressed climate change during a profanity-laden speech while accepting the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture- Drama, for his role in “Joker.”

“It’s great to vote but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives. I hope that we can do that,” he said. “We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs sometimes or back, please. I’ll try to do better and I hope you will too,” Phoenix said.

Other highlights include Tom Hanks' emotional response to winning the 2020 Cecil B. deMille Award, and Ellen DeGeneres taking her time accepting the Carol Burnett Award.

For a list of winners, click here.