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Last night's Golden Globes ceremony was full of memorable moments, but one of the best came at the very start of the evening. Co-host Sandra Oh was praising the diversity of the evening nominees, especially the Best Picture nomination of Crazy Rich Asians. She then made a joke about Hollywood's tendency to cast white actresses in supposedly Asian roles, which resulted in an on the spot apology from one of those actresses. Check out the clip below.
Sandra Oh picks out Ghost in the Shell and Aloha to be the target of her joke. The former was a film based on a Japanese manga and anime that starred Scarlett Johansson, while the latter starred Emma Stone in the role of a woman who was supposed to be one-quarter Chinese and one-quarter native Hawaiian descent. After the laughter dies down, you can hear Stone herself, who was nominated last night for a Golden Globe for her role in The Favourite, shout out "I'm sorry."
The best part might actually be that Sandra Oh clearly hears Stone and visibly reacts to the response. That joke clearly landed just the way she wanted it to. As one would expect, social media was all over the exchange. Sandra Oh's calling out of these casting decisions was funny enough on its own, but Emma Stone publicly apologizing was the icing on the cake.
Aloha is a movie that, if you remember it at all, that's likely because of the controversy that Emma Stone's casting caused when it was announced. The movie itself didn't make much of an impact, whether or not the controversy itself was part of the reason for that is hard to tell. However, Emma Stone clearly now admits that her taking the role was a mistake. Stone is getting points for both admitting fault and being funny at the same time, while Sandra Oh is just getting universal love for standing on the Golden Globes stage and bringing attention to the problem.
On the plus side, the success of Crazy Rich Asians, both at the box office and as a potential award winner may go a long way to helping to make sure that these sorts of bizarre casting decisions don't happen again. At the end of the day, that's what many people want the focus here to be on, as some on social media are afraid the message is being lost on the laugh line.