The annual Golden Globe Awards have come and gone and were a success with guests celebrating the collective achievements of the international film industry. Organised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), award presenters ranged from this year’s nominees to past Golden Globe winners, while Tina Fey and Amy Poehler provided the opening and closing entertainment. As The Independent UK reported, the recent alleged North Korean hack into Sony Pictures’ film, The Interview, was made light of, with Amy Poehler introducing the night as a celebration of ”all the movies that North Korea was ok with”. Actress Margaret Cho played the part of “the newest HFPA member” as a representative of the North Korean regime, donning military wear and adopting a strong Asian accent to deliver a series of jokes as an Army General.
As reported in The Huffington Post, poking fun at a regime considered oppressive and impinging on residents’ human rights sparked reactions from onlookers across the globe. Reception of the skit was divided, with Twitter users accusing the act of racist stereotyping and insensitivity, while others viewed it as par for the course at a night where controversial humour is a tradition. In response to the uproar on social media, Mrs Cho’s tweet made reference to her entitlement to poke fun at the North Korean regime owing to her Korean descent.
The Washington Times acknowledged that Mrs Cho was the sole Asian performer present at the event; Twitter users took note of the fact that the one representative of the Asian-American community made fun of a serious issue for the sake of entertaining “white folk”. Humour is subjective, and entertaining a crowd of celebrities heavily credited with the production of pop culture is surely no easy feat. However sensitivity to how socio-political issues affect the varying contexts of the audience when planning for comic relief should always be considered. Time will tell whether Mrs Cho will indeed appear at the 2016 ceremony, as her statement “Show over. I host next year” marked the end of the night.