Sandra Oh took aim at Hollywood’s whitewashing problem while hosting the Golden Globes with a very sick burn.
“Crazy Rich Asians is the first film with an Asian-American lead since Ghost in the Shell and Aloha.”
The joke is of course, that those Asian lead characters were inevitably played by white actors, as is the habit of Hollywood. The culprits taking on those roles Sandra Oh referenced were Scarlett Johansson starring in the live-action version of the iconic Japanese movie, Ghost in the Shell, and Emma Stone playing a character intended to be of Hawaiian and Chinese heritage in Aloha.
So at the tail-end of the applause for Sandra’s joke, Emma Stone shouted an apology from the crowd.
“I’m sorry!” you can hear her shout over the cheering.
It’s a shame that we didn’t get to actually see Emma Stone’s reaction to the burn, but the audio of the apology is cringe enough to suffice. Besides, I imagine that the looks on the faces of the people around her might have killed us all from second-second-hand embarrassment.
Back in 2015 when Aloha came out (and flopped), Stone received a lot of backlash for taking the role. She admitted that the whole thing was a mistake and a learning experience for her about Hollywood’s problem with whitewashing.
“I’ve learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is. It’s ignited a conversation that’s very important,” She said in 2015.
While the shouted apology is almost as cringe as the scripted comedy of the Golden Globes, it does at least represent a situation where someone has successfully been criticised without being condemned or ‘cancelled’. Call out culture tends to leave no space for people to make mistakes and learn, which can be important if the mistakes are salvageable enough.
So here’s to a year of more cringe-worthy “I’m sorry’s”, because 2019 is the year to have your tail between your legs and own your sh*t.