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July 18, 2024

Steven Yeun and Ali Wong Make History with Wins at Golden Globes

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Jan 9, 2024

Steven Yeun and Ali Wong both took home Golden Globe awards on Sunday night, marking historic firsts for Asian American actors. Yeun won Best Actor in a Limited Series for his performance in the Netflix show “Beef,” while Wong won Best Actress for the same series.

Yeun Becomes First Asian Actor to Win Lead Actor Globe

Yeun was recognized for his emotional performance as Ben Kim, a father grappling with road rage in the aftermath of a car accident. His win makes him the first Asian actor ever to take home the Golden Globe for lead actor in a limited series.

The 39-year-old Korean-American actor seemed stunned when his name was announced by presenter Janelle Monáe. As he took the stage, Yeun thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and gave a shoutout to “all my Asian brothers and sisters” for their support.

“I’m very grateful for the chance to do the work that hopefully leads to moments like this where more people who look like me can be up here too,” Yeun said.  

Yeun got his breakout role on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and has recently starred in acclaimed films like “Minari” and “Nope.” But his layered performance in “Beef” left critics praising his talent and range. During his acceptance speech, Yeun made sure to also thank the series creator for taking a chance on him.

Wong Makes History for Asian American Women

Meanwhile, Ali Wong’s win for actress makes her the first Asian American woman ever to take home that Golden Globe. Wong starred as Rhonda Li in the show, giving a sharp yet emotional performance as Ben Kim’s lawyer.

| Category | Winner |
|-|-|  
| Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series | Steven Yeun for "Beef" |
| Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series | Ali Wong for "Beef  |
| Best Limited Series | "Beef" |

During her speech, a tearful Wong thanked her ex-husband Justin Hakuta for his support. The mention raised some eyebrows as Wong was later spotted passionately kissing her rumored boyfriend Bill Hader in the audience.

But the moment didn’t detract from Wong’s huge accomplishment. The 41-year-old has long been praised for breakout standup specials like “Baby Cobra.” But her starring turn in “Beef” represents a new high point in her rising career.

“Beef” Dominates TV Categories

In addition to the acting wins, the hit show “Beef” also took home the Golden Globe for Best Limited Series. The show’s creator Lee Sung Jin accepted the award, using the moment to thank the driver who inspired the story. He recounted nearly getting in a car accident due to road rage, later recognizing it could make for powerful social commentary.

The acclaimed Netflix show tells the story of two men grappling with the fallout from a fatal car collision. Over six episodes, it provides an intimate look at grief and vengeance through the eyes of a Korean American family. Since its release last November, the show has earned rave reviews from critics and viewers alike.

Asian American Wins Seen as Major Milestone

The recognition for Yeun, Wong, and “Beef” arrives as Asian Americans remain extremely underrepresented across film and television. Studies have shown Asian characters get only 6% of screen time in top box office films.

So tonight’s historic wins are being celebrated by advocacy groups like CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment). On Twitter, CAPE praised the progress while emphasizing more work needs to be done for representation. Other Asian American celebrities like John Cho and Mindy Kaling also chimed in to congratulate the winners.

But regardless of the larger social implications, tonight remains a career highlight for Yeun, Wong, and Jin. The usually reserved Yeun told reporters backstage he plans to celebrate by dancing with his wife until the early morning. Wong said the win left her “speechless,” while Jin wiped back tears as he thanked the cast and crew who brought his deeply personal story to life.

What Comes Next for the Winners?

While the Golden Globes represent the height of awards season, key ceremonies like the SAG Awards and Oscars still lie ahead. For Yeun and Wong, their wins tonight establish them as major forces during the rest of the race.

Yeun seems poised to become the first Asian actor ever nominated for the Oscar’s Lead Actor category. However, he faces stiff competition from Brendan Fraser’s comeback performance in “The Whale.” Meanwhile, Wong could make history again with an Oscar nod, but she’ll have to overcome Angela Bassett’s acclaimed role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

As for “Beef,” the show seems destined to earn Limited Series nominations from SAG and the Emmys later this year. And its creator Lee Sung Jin told reporters he’s open to a second season if the story and timing feels right.

Tonight’s wins cap off a breakout year for Yeun, Wong, and “Beef” as a whole. And regardless of what happens next, their historic victories help pave the way for more Asian American stories to be told on screen.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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