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Jo Koy’s Golden Globes monologue receives criticism

In January, comedian Jo Koy hosted the 2023 Golden Globes. During his monologue, he made many comments about current hot topics such as Taylor Swift, the NFL, and most controversially, the Barbie movie. In the weeks since the event, Koy has received a lot of criticism from the press and social media saying that the jokes in his monologue were sexist and misogynistic.  

The Golden Globes are an annual, televised award show that awards both American and International film and TV. This year, the award-winning films and TV included Barbie, The Bear, The Crown, and Oppenheimer.  

A lot of the criticism has been about Koy’s opening monologue. He targeted Taylor Swift’s relationship with Travis Kelce by saying “The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? At the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift.” The crowd didn’t find it funny. The rest of the night was filled with jokes directed towards many different actors and actresses. 

But the joke that has received the most attention online has been Koy’s joke about Barbie. While discussing Barbie and Oppenheimer’s rivalry this past summer, both having been released on the same day, he said, “Oppenheimer is based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Manhattan Project, and Barbie is on a plastic doll with big boobies. … The key moment in Barbie is when she goes from perfect beauty to bad breath, cellulite, and flat feet. Or what casting directors call ‘character actor’!” This joke received unimpressed looks from the crowd, including Barbie’s director Greta Gerwig and actor Ryan Gosling, who played Ken in the film.

Barbie, which premiered July 2023, was a viral sensation. Women and girls all around the world donned their pink attire to watch actors Margot Robbie, Gosling, America Ferrera, and Will Ferrell in Barbieland. While the movie may seem lighthearted at first, it is explicitly feminist, including a speech by Gloria, played by Ferrera, about how hard it is to be a woman in society, and that being a woman is so much more complex than just being pretty.

According to Rolling Stone, Gerwig took the high road in response to Koy’s joke, saying, “Well, he’s not wrong. She’s the first doll that was mass-produced with breasts, so he was right on. … And you know, I think that so much of the project of the movie was unlikely because it is about a plastic doll.” Taylor Swift has yet to respond to his joke targeted towards her, but during the Golden Globes she seemed unimpressed. Following his joke she made a face and took a sip of her champagne.

As for the people watching at home, Koy’s speech was a topic of conversation for several days following the show. Clips from his monologue and celebrities’ reactions circulated through the internet. “To have that conversation around Barbie all year, … and what the movie’s about …  America Ferrera’s big monologue, the whole thing. And to make a big boobies joke is just the worst. It’s just the worst joke you should make,” said podcast host Francesca Mariano. The internet’s reactions and responses have varied from shock, to disdain, to feeling bad for Koy. 

During his performance at the Golden Globes, Koy became defensive when the crowd did not enjoy some of his jokes. He yelled at the audience, “Yo, I got the gig ten days ago, you want a perfect monologue? Shut up.” This comment made him receive even more criticism online. Many people said that ten days was plenty of time for a comedian to write a ten minute monologue. He continued to fall back on this excuse and blame his writers when his jokes were met with minimal applause and laughter from the crowd.   

Following the Globes, Koy spoke with the ABC program “GMA3” saying that “he had fun” despite the backlash. He also spoke on the night itself saying that “it was a tough room and a hard job.” He did acknowledge that his joke about Swift “fell flat.” He also blamed his writers, claiming that “he didn’t write all of these.” 

Koy’s rise to comedy success started by doing open mic shows in Las Vegas and starring on two seasons of Comic View, a stand up comedy series, which has starred many other famous comedians such as Kevin Hart and Sheryl Underwood. Over the course of his career, Koy has released a total of six comedy specials on both Netflix and Comedy Central. 

Image Source: New York Daily News 

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