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Asian Representation At The Golden Globes And Emma Stone Apologizes For Whitewashing 'Aloha' Role

By Kristy Puchko | Film | January 7, 2019 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | January 7, 2019 |


Last night at the 76th Golden Globe Awards was a big night for Asian-Americans. Sandra Oh made history as the first host of Asian descent this awards show has ever had. Then her well-deserved win for Killing Eve made her the first woman of Asian descent to win multiple Golden Globes, as she previously won in 2006 for Grey’s Anatomy.

When Oh took to the stage to accept her award, her father, who was in attendance, gave her a standing ovation. At the end of her speech, Oh told her parents she loved them in Korean.

Crazy Rich Asians was nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. Constance Wu was up for Best Actress, making her the first Asian woman nominated in that Golden Globes category in 44 years. The killer cast was out in force on the red carpet bringing all kinds of glamour. And Michelle Yeoh wore THE ring from the movie’s heartwarming climax!

Sadly, Crazy Rich Asians didn’t take home any honors last night, because somehow Green Book was deemed best comedy/musical. But Crazy Rich Asians still has a lot to celebrate. The rom-com keenly adapted from Kevin Kwan’s novel was adored by critics and audiences alike, winning rave reviews and pulling in nearly eight times its budget at the box office. Beyond that, the movie, which boasted a majority Asian-American cast, pushed back against decades of white supremacy in Hollywood that’s pushed people of color to the sidelines in stereotypical roles that are often offensive. The charming array of characters were a huge hit on social media, and the film’s success may spark a change in representation for Asian people in American movies moving forward. Despite all the lipservice Hollywood likes to give to “diversity,” casting often boils down to box office. (Unless you’re a white male director.) Happily, Crazy Rich Asians made enough bank that two sequels are coming our way!

During her opening monologue with co-host Andy Samberg, Oh took a moment to shout out Crazy Rich Asians, declaring it “the first studio film with an Asian-American lead since Ghost In The Shell and Aloha.” Oh, Aloha. Pajiba has got history with that Cameron Crowe misfire, which starred Emma Stone as an Asian-American. Three years later, Stone took the opportunity of Oh’s well-pointed joke to publicly apologize. Check out the clip below, and you’ll hear the actress—who was nominated for The Favourite—yell out “I’m sorry!”

This isn’t the first time Stone has shown regret about taking the role, but it is the first public apology. Several months after Aloha’s release in 2015, she said “I’ve become the butt of many jokes. I’ve learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is. It’s ignited a conversation that’s very important.”

Less than great, she said this while in production on one of her Woody Allen movies. Still, apologizing! Celebs have blind spots like we all do. They make mistakes and can express growth and regret. Apologizing can and should be repeated as needed, because sincere remorse doesn’t go away and regaining trust is a process. But a genuine “I’m sorry” is a good start. (Looking at you, Kevin Hart.)

In a year where Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, If Beale Street Could Talk, Sorry To Bother You, Blindspotting and Blackkklansman won praise, representation was guaranteed to be a theme at last night’s ceremony. At the close of the opening monologue, Oh put the jokes aside and spoke earnestly about the historic mark she was making on stage as host.

“I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out onto 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 these faces of change. And now so will everyone else.”

Source: NBC News, NowThis,

Header Image Source: Getty