Jo Koy made history as the first Asian American to host the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night. However, his debut received mixed reviews as the resurrected show attempted to rebuild its reputation after past diversity issues.
The 81st Golden Globes returned to NBC after being canceled last year amid backlash over ethical lapses and lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which runs the event. New diversity rules prohibited members from receiving gifts and now require regular anti-racism training .
Comedian Jo Koy, a Filipino American stand-up comic, was selected to host the ceremony and bring his signature humor to open the show. As the Globes attempted this comeback, anticipation around Koy’s performance was high.
Uneven Hosting Marks Ceremony’s Return
Koy received a standing ovation as he took the stage, recognizing the historic nature of an Asian American emceeing Hollywood’s party of the year for the first time . However, his subsequent monologue garnered mixed reactions.
The comic opened with edgy jokes targeting controversial figures like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Noting the ex-royals signed an $88 million Netflix deal after stepping back from official duties, Koy quipped, “I don’t understand why these Brits get paid millions of dollars for doing absolutely nothing. You don’t hear the Kardashians complaining about that!” .
Table 1: Highs and Lows of Jo Koy’s Hosting
|First Asian American host
|Uneven, sometimes awkward delivery
|Edgy jokes on royals, celebrities
|Jokes criticized as mean-spirited
|Winning speech for Abbott Elementary
|Targeting Swift, Johansson, others
Koy also mocked numerous celebrities in attendance like Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Swift and others. Jokes centered on De Niro’s advanced age, a crude Swift reference and an explicit aside on Irish actor Barry Keoghan .
While some jokes landed well, others fell flat in what critics deemed an inconsistent hosting performance. The biggest laughs came during Koy’s later appearance accepting the Globe for Best Comedy Series on behalf of Abbott Elementary.
Ceremony Attempts to Restore Reputation
NBC decided to broadcast the 2024 Globes after the HFPA instituted reforms. The night featured traditional glitz like celebrity presenters and recognition of the year’s top film and TV achievements.
Winners included Cate Blanchett for Tár and Austin Butler for his Elvis portrayal in Elvis. The Fabelmans and The Banshees of Inisherin took home top film awards .
However, the reforms did not shield the HFPA from ongoing criticism. Attendance from major Hollywood figures like Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg was noticeably lacking. Viewership also sharply declined from 18 million during the pre-pandemic 2020 Globes to just over 6 million for Koy’s 2024 hosting stint .
What’s Next for Globes and Koy?
While far from smooth, the 2024 Globes did represent incremental progress for the embattled HFPA. Key views from critics and audiences will factor into whether NBC renews the broadcast rights deal for 2025 and beyond.
As for first-time host Jo Koy, reviews recognize his barrier-breaking hosting selection but critique an uneven delivery. Koy showed glimpses of the comedic timing that make him a top stand-up draw. However, the edgy material missed the mark throughout his monologue and interactions.
Koy himself recognizes the Globes gig as the opportunity of a lifetime. In interviews leading up to the show, he emphasized his goal was to honor fellow Filipino trailblazers while making people laugh . Though reviews were mixed, Koy did succeed in bringing visibility to the Asian American community.
Critics debate whether Koy deserves a second shot at the hosting duties. Given the importance the HFPA placed on diversity, it remains possible he will have another opportunity. Koy has shown a penchant for learning from past performances. So there is hope that in a more stable, less pressured hosting scenario, he could better translate his talents to Hollywood’s biggest stage.
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