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20 Jan 2019 0:17
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  •   Home > News > International

    Sandra Oh's emotional Golden Globes speech highlights a 'moment of change' in Hollywood

    Sandra Oh makes a powerful statement about racial representation in the film industry during the opening minutes of this year's awards ceremony, paying homage to films such as Crazy Rich Asians, BlacKkKlansman and Black Panther.

    Sandra Oh made a powerful statement about racial representation in the film industry during the opening minutes of the 2019 Golden Globe Awards.

    The Killing Eve star hosted the ceremony with Andy Samberg, admitting she had some trepidation about taking on the role.

    In what is often five minutes of pure celebrity roasting, Samberg and Oh went for a friendlier approach from the start, disguising compliments as "sick burns".

    But while the warm-spirited laughs took up much of her speech, Oh ended the opening of the awards ceremony "on a serious note", paying homage to productions such as Crazy Rich Asians, BlacKkKlansman and Black Panther.

    "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, eyes welling up 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."

    Oh went on to win the Best Performance By An Actress in a Television Series — Drama award, thanking her parents from the stage.

    Time's Up times two

    Twelve months on from the debut of the Time's Up movement at last year's awards, where many stars wore black in a protest against harassment in Hollywood, the spotlight this year was on addressing gender inequality in the film industry.

    While accepting her award for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk, Regina King called for quotas to address the issue.

    "I'm going to make sure that everything I produce [includes a staff of] 50 per cent women," King said.

    "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."

    Another nod to the movement came from Patricia Clarkson, while accepting her award for her role in Sharp Objects.

    "You demanded everything from me but sex, which is exactly how it should be in this industry," she said, thanking director Jean-Marc Vallee.

    Glenn Close was given a standing ovation after dedicating her Golden Globe to her mother, calling for women to demand their personal fulfilment.

    Close won Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her role in The Wife, a film about a talented writer married to a celebrated author.

    "Women, we're nurturers, that's what's expected of us," she said.

    "But we have to find personal fulfilment, we have to follow our dreams.

    "We have to say 'I can do that and I should be allowed to do that'."

    Aloha apology

    While most of the opening jokes were benign, a dig at the whitewashing of Asian-American roles did not go unnoticed.

    "Crazy Rich Asians is nominated tonight," Oh said.

    "It is the first studio film with an Asian lead since Ghost In The Shell and Aloha."

    This was in reference to the Caucasian actors, Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone, who were cast in the films as characters of Asian descent.

    An "I'm sorry" was heard from the crowd, with viewers on social media picking up Stone's voice.

    Stone played Allison Ng, a character of Hawaiian and Asian heritage, and faced criticism for it when Aloha premiered in 2015.

    "The character was not supposed to look like her background which was a quarter Hawaiian and a quarter Chinese," she told in July 2015.

    But she said the role was indicative of the problem of racial representation in the movie industry.

    "I've learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is," she said.

    "It's ignited a conversation that's very important."

    This is for you, gorgeous

    Rami Malek paid tribute to his on-screen persona Freddie Mercury after winning the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama award for Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

    "Thank you to Freddie Mercury, for giving me the joy of a lifetime," Malek said.

    "I love you, you beautiful man.

    "This is for and because of you, gorgeous."

    Accepting the award was a "a euphoric feeling", he later told journalists.

    "My heart is filled with joy and love and thanks to that man, who I think about every day now."

    Melak also thanked Queen, with Brian May and Roger Taylor joining the cast on the night.

    You can watch Killing Eve on iview.

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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