On January 7, comedian Jo Koy hosted the Golden Globes — the second entertainer of Asian descent to host the award show. His opening monologue, panned for its reductive and sexist jokes interspersed with “fanboy” comments for some of the actors in the crowd, fell flat for its live audience and the 9.4 million viewers at home.

As Jana Monji wrote for URL Media partner AsAmNews, “In the past, the best of Jo Koy’s routines have unified disparate ethnic communities. …Sunday night, Jo Koy may have inadvertently unified the Golden Globe attendees and audience in their negative reaction to his hosting skills and their anxiety about Golden Globes in its new era.”

While the punchlines were bad, the coverage following the award show was even more disheartening. Instead of talking about the historic wins from the night, news outlets focused on Koy’s lackluster opening monologue — taking away coverage that should have gone to actresses Ali Wong and Lily Gladstone.

Wong became the first Asian winner for best actress in a limited series, anthology series or motion picture made for television for her work on Netflix’s Beef. Her co-star, Steven Yeun, won for best actor in the same category. The series also won for best limited series, anthology series or motion picture made for television.

I really need to thank Sunny (Lee Sung Jin) for creating such a beautiful show and inviting me to be a part of it,” Wong said in her acceptance speech. “The friendship I made with you and Steven (Yeun), Jake (Schreier, director) and the rest of the cast and crew is really the best thing that came out of Beef.”

Also making history Sunday night was Lily Gladstone (Blackfeet and Nimíipuu), who became the first Native woman to win a Golden Globe as URL Media partner Native News Online reported. In accepting her award for best actress in Martin Scorcese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, she began her speech speaking in Blackfeet.

“This is for every little rez kid, every little urban kid, every little Native kid who has a dream, who is seeing themselves represented and our stories told by ourselves in our own words with tremendous allies and tremendous trust with and from each other,” she said. “Thank you all so much.”

Gladstone portrays Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman who survived the Osage Indian murders that claimed the lives of her three sisters and cousin. The Western crime drama delves into a string of murders on the Osage reservation in Oklahoma during the 1920s and the impact they had on the Osage people.

“I had nerves, as a Native actor, walking into this level of a project,” Gladstone said at an industry event the Friday before the award ceremony. “Hollywood doesn’t have the greatest history.”

But when she arrived in Oklahoma to start filming, she found that the production crew had already done the deeply important work of building relationships with the Osage people, listening to their stories and consulting with them to ensure the film’s accuracy.

“In this case, I got to just be an actor, because [the] Osage were carrying this,” she said.

One more moment I think we should be talking more about is Ayo Edebiri’s speech after winning best actress in a television series for her work on Hulu’s The Bear.

“There’s so many people who I probably forgot to thank,” she said. “Oh my God, all of my agents’ and managers’ assistants. The people who answer my emails, y’all are real ones.”

As awards season continues, I hope we see more representation, more gratitude for the labor of everyone behind the scenes, and fewer cringeworthy punchlines. — Alicia Ramirez

Uplift. Respect. Love.

Alicia Ramirez authors URL Media's Friday newsletter and pens our Saturday newsletter, The Intersection. She is also founder of The Riverside Record, a community-first, nonprofit digital newsroom serving people living and working in Riverside County, California.