Bow down, because Queen Sandra Oh has just been crowned.
The actress and Golden Globes co-host’s night became even more major as she took home the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series ― Drama.
“There are two people here tonight that I’m so grateful that they’re here with me. I’d like to thank my mother and my father,” Oh said during her acceptance speech before addressing her parents in Korean.
Oh portrays the title character in “Killing Eve,” a series about an MI6 agent who’s wrapped up in her obsession with a notorious assassin.
When the news of Oh’s nomination in the category broke, she took time to reflect on the potential of a trailblazing win. She told The New York Times she hoped her nomination could help bring change to an industry still dominated by white men.
“The change is slow, but let’s just continue pressing on with the change. I’m not going to say that the tide has changed, no. But what I do feel is that people are more open,” Oh told the Times.
“And what I mean by people ― I think people who have been in power, who have mostly been white men, and people who are white, they listen now,” she added. “They not only listen and are open, they make the effort for change. I do feel that has changed. I can feel it now because of the way I can push: ‘Hey, what about this? Hey, what about that?’ Trust me, I’m relentless.”
While Oh, who is Korean-Canadian, has been a successful force in the industry for some time, she hasn’t been exempt from the racism that still plagues Hollywood. She told Vulture that when she first spoke with her agent, Nancy, about “Killing Eve,” she realized how much she had internalized the discrimination in the entertainment industry.
“I was quickly scrolling down the script, and I can’t really tell you what I was looking for. So I’m like, ‘So, Nancy, I don’t understand, what’s the part?’” Oh recalled. “And Nancy goes, ‘Sweetheart, it’s Eve, it’s Eve.’ In that moment, I did not assume the offer was for Eve. I think about that moment a lot. Of just going, how deep have I internalized this? [So] many years of being seen [a certain way], it deeply, deeply, deeply affects us. It’s like, how does racism define your work?”
“I didn’t even assume when being offered something that I would be one of the central storytellers. Why?” she added. “After being told to see things a certain way for decades, you realize, ‘Oh my God! They brainwashed me!’ I was brainwashed!”
Sunday’s win marks Oh’s second Golden Globe award. In 2006, she won Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her role in “Grey’s Anatomy.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Oh was the first Asian woman to win the category. Yoko Shimada won in 1981 for her role in “Shogun.”