While co-hosting Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, actress Sandra Oh plans to avoid bringing up President Donald Trump and will leave politics to the nominees and winners, arguing that it’s more important to focus on “actual real change.”
“I’m not interested in [talking about Trump] at all,” she said in a conversation with co-host Andy Samberg that was published Wednesday in The Hollywood Reporter. “What I’m interested in is pointing to actual real change. I want to focus on that ’cause people can pooh-pooh Hollywood all they want — and there is a lot to pooh-pooh, sure — but we also make culture.”
“How many gazillions of people have seen ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’?” she continued, referring to the massive box office success of the two movies, both featuring ensemble casts consisting primarily of actors of color. “That changes things. Just speaking for my own community, people cried a lot in [‘Crazy Rich Asians’], and it’s not only because it’s a great story and a classic romantic comedy — it is because seeing yourself reflected onscreen is really emotional when you don’t even know that you’re carrying so much grief of never being seen.”
The “Killing Eve” star, who made history last year as the first Asian woman nominated for the Emmy award for best actress in a drama series, has long spoken out about the importance of diversity and representation in Hollywood, and the paucity of roles for Asian actors.
The duo agreed that as hosts, they don’t plan to “go hard into detailed politics stuff,” as Samberg said.
Oh sees the role as “really to be there to support all the nominees and those who take that platform to say whatever they want,” she said. “I don’t really think that [getting political] is for the hosts necessarily. You make it an open and safe place for whoever wants to use that platform to speak.”
Samberg went on to note that several of the show’s most memorable moments in recent years involved winners using rousing acceptance speeches to make powerful calls to action, like Meryl Streep in 2017 and Oprah Winfrey last year.
In the Trump era in particular, award show hosts have had to toe the line in deciding whether to delve into politics.
Last year’s Golden Globes host, Seth Meyers, made brief references to Trump in his opening monologue. The president largely went unmentioned throughout the rest of the show, though much of the night’s focus was on the Me Too movement.
Samberg and Oh also defended award shows against the perennial criticisms that they can be vapid and shallow.
“I think people are ready and could use a little smile. Everyone is depressed, and maybe that’s as good a reason as any that everyone could use a little time to laugh and celebrate,” said Samberg, a “Saturday Night Live” alum and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star. “Not to ignore anything, but we spend so much time every day wallowing in a lot of things that are happening in our world that are really depressing, and with good reason — that stuff needs to be paid attention to — but there’s also power to being positive and celebratory in the tougher times as well.”
“I don’t think it’s shallow to 1) have fun and 2) be honestly celebratory,” Oh said. “Just the fact that I’m fucking up there is crazy-pants in a great way.”
Read the full interview at The Hollywood Reporter.