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Playing the blame game in the entertainment industry: Who’s really at fault?

Merritt Sellers
Golden Globe and Barbie

Jo Koy recently made history by being the first Filipino comedian to host the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, 2024. Unfortunately, that historical and game-changing moment was soured due to Koy’s distasteful and inappropriate choice of jokes. The reactions of director Greta Gerwig and multiple other celebrities gained traction on social media, leaving Koy in the metaphorical doghouse. But was he solely at fault? 

Or do we need to scrutinize those we hold accountable (cough, cough… The Academy) for systemically sexist actions and comments? 

This unacceptable sexism has come to the public’s view due to the Barbie movie’s release. The Barbie movie was extremely influential across the country, grossing $1.38 billion at the box office and dominating social media both before and after its June 2023 release. Videos using Billie Eilish’s single, “What Was I Made For,” took TikTok by storm for months after the movie’s release in June 2023. Despite the movie’s focus on female empowerment and women’s experiences, neither Gerwig nor lead actor, Margot Robbie, received awards in their respective categories. Surprisingly, actor Ryan Gosling, who played Ken, received the “Best Song” title at the Choice Critics Awards. Thankfully, the film secured the debut “Cinematic and Box Office Achievement” award at the Golden Globes. 

During the Golden Globes, Koy spoke of Oppenheimer highly and described it as a movie “based on a 721 page pull — a Pulitzer Prize winning book about the Manhattan project”. Koy then referred to the excellent piece of artistry that is the Barbie movie as a story “about a plastic doll with big boobies.” He even went as far as to say that “it was kind of weird being attracted to a plastic doll.” Koy blatantly highlights one movie’s importance over the other.

And yes, that is completely unacceptable; however, I am going to use everyone’s least favorite saying: let me play devil’s advocate. 

Jo Koy, under normal circumstances, is completely qualified to host the Golden Globes. He has been No. 1 on the Billboard charts for one of his stand up comedy albums, “Live from Seattle,” and even has his own day on Nov. 24 in Honolulu coined as “Jo Koy Day” by the mayor. Even though the content of his comedy might be unfitting at the Golden Globes, Koy is not the sole person to hold accountable, the academy is.

The academy is known for its controversial past concerning diversity. According to a Los Angeles Times article written in 2021, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) did not even have any Black members. In addition, voters were allegedly making sexist and racist remarks. Due to this scandal, NBC originally refused to broadcast the Golden Globes. However, after changes in policies implemented by the HFPA, the network brought it back. So, are we really all that surprised that Koy’s inappropriate jokes were allowed, and this abomination of an introduction to the Golden Globes occurred? 

While Koy’s remarks were undoubtedly unacceptable, a closer examination reveals broader issues in the entertainment industry. The success of the Barbie movie in the box office and the oversight in recognizing its female-driven narrative at awards shows, highlights a need for a more inclusive and thoughtful approach in honoring cinematic achievements. 

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About the Contributors
Sarah Robinson-Williams
Sarah Robinson-Williams, Opinion Editor
Sarah is a Senior at San Domenico and a contributor for The Panther Press. She enjoys playing badminton and hanging out with friends.
Merritt Sellers
Merritt Sellers, Head Illustrator/Social Media Manager/Reporter
Merritt Sellers is a sophomore at San Domenico and a contributor of The Panther Press. She enjoys sailing, sewing, and art.

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