Comedian Jo Koy, who hosted the 2024 Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night, is facing backlash for several jokes he made during his opening monologue that fell flat with the celebrity-filled audience and viewers at home.
Opening Monologue Draws Cringes from Audience
Koy kicked off the show with a standup comedy-style monologue packed with one-liners roasting various stars in attendance. However, several of his attempted jokes—including ones involving Taylor Swift, the NFL, and the Barbie movie—were met with uncomfortable silence or audible groans from the crowd.
In one especially controversial moment, Koy tried to poke fun at Swift’s dating history and love of attending awards shows by joking that she was hoping to meet eligible football players at the event:
“Taylor is nominated tonight and trying really hard to be here, she’s aiming her Instagram hard at any NFL players in the room right now,” Koy quipped.
He then referenced Swift’s recent acting role as Bombalurina in the film adaptation of the musical Cats, saying:
“Whether you’re Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce—it doesn’t matter, you need to run some plays with her, if you know what I mean. She’s single and ready to get mingling like a cat in heat.”
The camera cut to Swift, who frowned and shook her head disapprovingly at the joke. The audience also audibly groaned, and Koy’s joke was quickly criticized on social media as sexist.
Other Attempted Jokes Also Bombed
Koy also targeted the new Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in one of his bits:
“Critics are saying that Margot Robbie’s Barbie is ‘confused about her place in the world.’ Well no wonder, Barbie—the world is really messed up!”
Again, the joke fell completely flat, receiving only a few pity chuckles from the crowd.
Additional one-liners aimed at celebrities like Bradley Cooper, Ana de Armas, Austin Butler, and Angela Bassett similarly failed to land or drew criticism on social media for being mean-spirited.
Swift Reportedly Leaves Ceremony Early After Joke Backlash
According to multiple reports, Swift was so offended by Koy’s NFL joke that she ended up leaving the ceremony early after losing the Best Original Song award later in the night.
Sources claim Swift seemed “upset and over the whole night” after losing, and was also still annoyed about the joke. After briefly attending an afterparty, she reportedly went home before 9 pm.
Her early departure spurred another wave of fan outrage over Koy’s monologue jokes targeting the pop star.
Mixed Reactions to Koy’s Hosting Performance
In the wake of the controversial monologue, reactions to Koy’s Golden Globes hosting gig have been resoundingly negative from critics and many viewers.
The Guardian called his opening “a comedy disaster” filled with “groanworthy gags,” while Vulture said he “[bombed] hard” with “cringeworthy” jokes that were “insensitive” and “unfunny.”
However, some celebrities have come to Koy’s defense, arguing that hosting awards shows is a notoriously “tough gig.”
Comedian and actor Steve Martin tweeted words of encouragement, telling Koy, “You were very funny and kept things moving and interesting. Much respect.” Kevin Hart also reassured him, “Simply say ‘f**k them’ and continue to be one of the greatest to ever do it.”
Still, most agree Koy’s hosting stint fell short, potentially hurting his chances of landing other high-profile Hollywood hosting jobs in the future without some improvement.
What Happens Next?
In the aftermath of the controversial performance, Koy has gone on an “apology tour” to try to smooth things over. He explained and defended his jokes in multiple interviews, stating he never intended to seriously offend anyone.
However, Swift has yet to comment on or acknowledge Koy’s apologies. With animosity still lingering from some fans, it remains to be seen whether Koy will face any long term career repercussions for his poorly-received Golden Globes jokes.
Other comedians have expressed concerns that the backlash could set a troubling precedent. SNL star Michael Che warned that between sensitive celebrity egos and “woke” fans waiting to take offense, “we might have to stop doing these gigs before they just stop us.”
Still, awards show bookers may be more wary of tapping Koy to host major events again soon without signs he has learned from the Experience and can avoid similar controversies. For now, only time will tell if his reputation will recover or if this damaging hosting stint will haunt him going forward.
Koy’s Previous Awards Hosting Experience
|Netflix Is a Joke Fest
|People’s Choice Awards
Timeline of Key Events
- January 2023: Koy announced as host of 2024 Golden Globes
- January 7, 2024:
- Koy receives mixed reviews for opening monologue
- Controversial jokes targeting Swift, Barbie movie bomb
- Swift reportedly offended and leaves ceremony early
- January 8-10, 2024:
- Koy faces widespread criticism online
- Some celebrities come to his defense
- Koy apologizes, defends intent behind jokes
- January 11, 2024:
- Concerns raised about precedent for other comedians
- Koy’s reputation/future hosting chances uncertain
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