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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

Editorial | Jo Koy did not watch the Barbie movie

Host+Jo+Koy+during+the+81st+Annual+Golden+Globe+Awards+in+Beverly+Hills%2C+Calif.%2C+on+Sunday%2C+Jan.+7.
Sonja Flemming/CBS via AP
Host Jo Koy during the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 7.

The 81st Golden Globes award ceremony took place on Jan. 7. Celebrities all across the world and disciplines started the new year strong in dazzling dresses and polished suits to celebrate cinema and TV’s biggest stars. 

There were many solid winners and many upsets to discuss. Emma Stone’s “Poor Things” beat “Barbie” in multiple categories, winning the awards for both Best Picture of a Comedy or Musical and Best Performance of a Female Actress in a Comedy or Musical Motion Picture. Cillian Murphy took home the award for the Best Performance of a Male Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” one of the more awarded films of the night. Robert Downey Jr. won best Supporting Actor for “Oppenheimer” as well, beating out the highly beloved performance of Charles Melton in “May December.”

There was a lot of buzz during this year’s Golden Globes, and there is more to come as the awards season amps up. There is much we can discuss, such as Pedro Pascal’s loss to Kiernan Culkin for Best Actor in a TV Drama or dissecting what exactly Selena Gomez was gossiping about with Taylor Swift and Keleigh Teller. But there was one common belief of the night we’d like to touch on here, and that is the fact that Jo Koy did not do a great job as host.

Jo Koy is a stand-up comedian that has had a long career in the industry. Despite many never having heard his name before last week, he has multiple stand-up specials on Netflix and has appeared on multiple different late night shows. He was announced as the host back in late December, giving him about two weeks to prepare. You would think a seasoned comedian would have many zingers to hash out, and that two weeks is enough time, but apparently not. He has received copious amounts of backlash over the last few days for two jokes in particular.

The most talked about jokes of the night, the two that fell the most flat, were about Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” movie and Taylor Swift’s relationship with football star Travis Kelce. And unsurprisingly, given the subject matter, the two jokes were laced with sexism that left many viewers uncomfortable and angered. 

During his ten-minute opening monologue, Koy calls out Taylor Swift saying, “The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? At the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift.”

The camera cut to Swift’s apathetic reaction, clearly not appreciating Koy’s jab. The internet went up in arms in her defense, wondering why Koy decided to attack one of the most famous and successful women in the room. Taylor Swift is a white woman billionaire, so it’s hard to “punch down” to her, yet Koy was successful in doing so. He belittled her success and only spoke about her love life, a legacy that has followed her throughout her record-breaking career. 

Not only that, Ryan Gosling — who played Ken in “Barbie” — had a very similar reaction to Swift. While the internet praised him for not laughing at Koy’s sexist jokes, Swift has received criticism for her more dramatic reaction. In the words of Taylor Swift herself, “a man is allowed to react, a woman can only overreact.”

While Koy’s joke about Swift fell flat, which even he admits, the other joke he made was at the expense of the universally beloved “Barbie” movie. He said, “‘Oppenheimer’ is based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Manhattan Project, and ‘Barbie’ is based on a plastic doll with big boobies.”

The director of “Barbie,” Greta Gerwig, spoke out and said that Koy’s joke didn’t necessarily get it wrong, but many women felt otherwise. Many women felt that the joke was sexist and missed the entire point of the movie, which is about women’s empowerment and that women can be anything they want to be. While it’s a common theme in many feminist movies, it is still clearly a message that many women, and men, need to hear. 

For those who haven’t seen “Barbie,” when Barbie goes into the real world, she is met with sexualization by men and is disgusted by their behavior after having come from the matriarchal world of Barbie Land. We can only hope Koy didn’t watch “Barbie,” and therefore had no idea he was making a joke that Barbie herself would be upset with. Boiling down a movie beloved by women across the world to being about “boobies” is harmful and further works to tear down women.

Hopefully the hosts of the next few award shows will learn from Koy’s mistakes. We’ve come a long way from shock comedy and making jokes at other people’s expense. There is a huge difference between poking fun at someone and insulting a whole group of people. Here’s hoping that we move into a more respectful form of comedy, because while it is easy to poke fun at the uber-rich celebrities, insulting entire communities in the process is not the way to go.

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