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Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg’s Golden Globes roast ended with a heartfelt speech

Oh paid tribute to the “faces of change” in the crowd, in a year in which Hollywood made small strides toward greater diversity.

Sandra Oh gave a heartfelt tribute to the “faces of change” in the audience at the Golden Globes on Sunday night.
Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh kicked off the 2019 Golden Globe Awards with a lighthearted “roast” of some of the people in the room at the Beverly Hilton — and a heartfelt tribute to the slow but steady moves toward greater diversity in Hollywood over the past year.

Samberg and Oh showed they had chemistry as a comedic pair at the 2018 Emmys, which most likely landed them the Globes’ hosting gig. They showed up at the Globes with that rapport intact, opening the ceremony by poking fun at the Oscars’ ongoing struggle to find a host and saying they got the job because “we are the only two people left in Hollywood who haven’t gotten in trouble for saying something.”

Then they commenced singling out people around the room to “get ripped.” To Spike Lee, whose film BlacKkKlansman is up for Best Feature Film, Samberg said, “If it isn’t Mr. Spike Lee, Mr. Do the Right Thing. Well, I’ll tell you who does the right thing. You as the director. Lifetime fan. Can’t wait to see what you do next. Bam!”

The pair then “roasted” A Star Is Born director and star Bradley Cooper for being “hot”; Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez for “residing in heaven”; Black Panther and Creed II star Michael B. Jordan for being “more like Michael B. Buff” (and, according to Samberg, a “snack”); and Amy Adams — who’s nominated for Golden Globes for her performances in both HBO’s Sharp Objects and Adam McKay’s film Vice — for being a “mega-talented piece of dog crap.”

Later, Oh and Samberg lauded the success of Crazy Rich Asians, joked about Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody, and joined with Jim Carrey, who’s nominated for his acting on Showtime’s Kidding, to poke fun at the divide between the worlds of film and TV, insisting he leave the movie tables to return to the tables for TV nominees.

But while Samberg and Oh’s set largely steered away from the political commentary that has often been in evidence at awards shows in the last few years, they weren’t afraid to get serious for a moment in order to discuss increased diversity in their industry. After a short bit about reading Oh’s lines on the teleprompter and “whitewashing” her speech, Samberg stepped aside while Oh made a heartfelt statement about the growing number of women and people of color among the nominees:

If I could take a moment here: In all honesty, 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.

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.

A study released last week by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative entitled “Inclusion in the Director’s Chair” found that a historically high number of the top 100 movies in 2018 were made by black directors: 16 directors total, three times greater than in 2017.

Meanwhile, the number of women who directed 2018’s top films had decreased from the previous year: Only four of the year’s top 100 movies were directed by women. And women of color were almost entirely unrepresented in top positions in Hollywood.

As Oh pointed out in her speech, this kind of inconsistency means that representation at awards shows can change greatly from year to year. Oh herself represents a new milestone: She’s the first person of Asian descent to host a major televised American entertainment awards show. Oh was also the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for an Emmy in the Lead Actress category, in 2018, for her work on BBC America’s Killing Eve; she’s nominated for a Golden Globe for the role as well.

For Samberg and Oh to end their monologue this way continues to draw attention to the need for increased diversity in Hollywood, both in film and on TV — something that’s sure to be a recurring theme throughout 2019’s awards season.