Awkwafina Wins Best Actress at 2020 Golden Globes

History has been made at the 77th Golden Globe Awards!

In a groundbreaking moment, Asian American actress Awkwafina came out victorious with her historic win, taking home the Golden Globe award for Best Actress in Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. As the first performer of Asian American descent to have won in that category, the 31-year-old is making headlines for achieving such a tremendous feat with her dramatic role in The Farewell.

In her acceptance speech, Awkwafina said, “I’d like to dedicate this to my dad, Wally. I told you I’d get a job, Dad.”

She continued, “And to my grandma – my best friend, the woman who raised me. And to my mother, Tia, who I always hoped was watching from somewhere above, and I hope that she’s watching now. Thank you all, thank you.”

Born to Chinese and South Korean immigrant parents, Awkwafina showed interest and talent in arts and music at a young age. She started rapping when she was 13 and participated in stage shows at 16. The turning point in her performance career was in 2012 when the music video of her song “My Vag” garnered over four million views.

Gaining public attention and growing in popularity online, she entered the entertainment industry as a rapper a year later and soon branched out into acting. Awkwafina participated in highly-anticipated Hollywood films – Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians. Both were commercial blockbusters, to say the least, and her comedic performances in the movies undoubtedly left a deep impression among viewers.

Her work in The Farewell was also another comedic role, but it differed from her previous comedies in that the film takes upon more personal and solemn themes, and comedic scenes are seen to create effective dramedy.

Having lost her mother at the young age of four and having a close relationship with her grandmother, Awkwafina highly related to The Farewell, which was based on the real-life experiences of director Lulu Wang. In addition to winning the golden statue, the movie was a meaningful project for the actress.

Source: EtToday

This article is written by Minna for

Asians in Hollywood: “The Farewell”

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  1. If this isn’t Hollywood politically motivated to be ‘inclusive’, catering to the Asian-American audience I don’t know what is.

    1. @anon – So I guess same with blacks then right? When a bunch of black actors/actresses won (Golden Globes, Oscars) for the past few years, it was politically motivated?

      1. @pocky

        I can only speak for what I’ve seen from within the Asian community.

        I don’t think she was deserving. I think just about anyone with DECENT acting could’ve won that award. She won because she’s Asian and that’s the demographic that Hollywood is catering to now and into the foreseeable future.

      2. @anon Agree, i don’t think she deserves to win. Not even sure why she wins but hey, that’s Hollywood!!! I really dislike her, and she’s not one bit funny. She’s not a good representation of Asian in Hollywood

  2. She’s quite a competent actress and the movie is rather good even if frankly not difficult to perform. Her win is momentous. She might get a nod at the oscars but not win of course. That being said you know hollywood. Once they like you, you get the roles and awards and she is the Asian IT girl right now.

    I’m quite excited Parasite won best foreign film. I have a feeling it will win for oscars and lead actor may get a nod as well. I don’t personally like parasite a lot, it is typical OTT korean movie, but hollywood will remake it probably with mexican family.

    1. @funnlim

      It is a sad day if Awkwafina is the Asian IT girl. Awkwafina is an embarrassment if she’s our representation.

      Just check out her rap videos.

    2. @funnlim i much prefer gemma chan. hope she gets recognition from crazy rich asians 2. although i think it’s fab that awkwafina won as well… a step in the right direction, though it’s mostly an overrated win.

      parasite was a good film, though the ending leaves room to be desired and yes it was OTT, but it draws you in and leaves you thinking. i didn’t think it was oscar-worthy, but hollywood hasn’t had any mental hits since…a long time ago. when the day asian dramas and movies hit mainstream, is the day none of this stuff will phase people anymore. right now it still has the mint of novelty.

  3. if she wasn’t asian, i don’t know if she’d really win…. i much rather gemma chen winning. in the eyes o f foreigners, that’s awafina is what an asian girl should look like while most of us don’t exactly have the same facial feature as her.

    1. @m0m0 same! gemma chan is a much better actress. but i dont know if i agree with hollywood thinking asian girls look like awkwafina. they accept gemma chan after all.

      maybe what hollywood wants to say is that awkwafina looks unique, whereas gemma is nothing special. not that awkwafina represents all asians.

      1. @pocky
        i bet that w/o being asian she’d probably won’t win. i am not saying that her looks helped her win. her race.

    2. @m0m0 Awkwafina won for The farewell, not for Asian Crazy Rich. Awkwafina did really well in The farewell and it is a good movie. So she won with a reason, not just because she is Asian.

    3. @m0m0 yea, however, sadly awafina has the distinctive asian features: the idk how to describe it asian eyes? Big protruding teeth/jaw line (my grandparents have them). Basically a look that a racist white would think we all look like >_> awafina represents the asian in the racist white’s mind, so I’m not sure it’s something I like, because it really highlights just how racist Hollywood still is >_>

  4. Minorities can never catch a break. If no Asians win, then you say we weren’t good enough to merit the award. Now an Asian wins, and you say it was won only because she is Asian.

    This is the catch-22 that minorities keep running into, and it is definitely a micro-aggression if not outward racism. Stop the cycle.

  5. I don’t have a problem with Awkwafina winning….I liked the movie and felt she did a pretty decent job in it. And to be honest, I don’t think her win was based on her race or completely out of left field, as there was already plenty of buzz about the movie and she was already being recognized for her performance way prior to her even getting a Golden Globe nomination. With that said, I do agree that it’s not really that “momentous” of an occasion seeing that Sandra Oh won for Killing Eve last year (though hers was in the dramatic lead actress category rather than comedy). I think it was a bigger deal last year when Sandra won, as she was truly the first Asian-American to win in the Acting categories….though I guess that’s less buzz-worthy because she won for a TV show rather than a movie, which meant she would’ve had no shot at an Oscar nomination, whereas Awkwafina might (not ruling it out completely for Awkwafina, but I highly doubt she will get nominated given Oscars is completely different environment and also different group of organizers/voters).

    Speaking of the Golden Globes in general – not much comment on the rest of the winners, since I didn’t watch most of the movies / shows or performances nominated, but speeches-wise, my favorite has got to be Brad Pitt’s acceptance speech for BSA (loved the Titantic reference he threw in there for Leonardo DiCaprio – or shall we say, LDC, haha — and also all the camera shots of Jennifer Aniston, lol). I also loved Ellen Degeneres’s speech and of course, Tom Hanks (I almost lost it seeing him cry when he was talking about his family)….

    1. @llwy12 LOL…I never watched Oscars or GG ever but I heard bits here and there after of course. haha LOL.. “Still, I would have shared the raft.” lol hahah I am sure every heart share that thought after watching the movie. ahahah lol..I didn’t care for the ‘he’s hitting 50’ joke that host did thou even thou it’s true he never dates older women. haha….

      1. @wm2017 Lol…exactly…I’m sure everyone who saw the movie had the same sentiment! 🙂

        I personally was more interested in the “bromance” moments between Brad and Leo than all the hype over Brad being at the same ceremony as Jen (especially since 2 of his other exes were also in attendance so it was more awkward than anything else)….

        And I hated Ricky Gervais’s monologue…it was rude, raunchy, and a lot of what he said was uncalled for…definitely should have been scripted better…even so, not sure why they even asked him to host in the first place, since he looked like he didn’t give a crap about the ceremony…

      2. @llwy12 Yes, they love hiring stupid people hosting those shows and it’s always annoying. I bet when he’s 45 he already looked 55 lol…Some just didn’t like the fact that he’s 45 and should be having a wife and kids and still single and young women still flock to him. haha lol..Jealous much? If you have money and fame why would it be shocking? Look at Eddie Murphy look at his face and the current wife wasn’t he welcoming his what 10 or 11th child last I saw the news somewhere and the wife is pretty, young and also almost 20 years younger. Shocking much? haha lol..At least LD is not popping out kids w/every woman he dated. ahhaha lol… but I always feel most of these like singing or award shows they just do anything to pull ratings and this year they picked LD.

      3. @llwy12 I liked his monologue. You hired Gervais, you got Gervais. Maybe a tad rude and crass but he’s got a point and he is that sort of comedian. His best jokes were the diversity for the inmemoriam and leo di caprio joke which was seriously funny.He adopted that attitude so he can say whatever he wants. hopefully he hosts the oscars but oscars won’t ask him. And his point is he doesn’t give a crap about the ceremony because he views it as overprivileged people patting themselves over their back for a job of pretending to be people as a job well done. I thought he was kinder this year than the last few times he hosted.

  6. I didn’t like the movie CRA but I never like those type of movies anyway but I thought she was funny in there. Regardless of race or whatever just be glad minorities GET to win. Go girl!!!!!!

    1. @wm2017 @cherie I share your sentiments and think it’s sad that Asians are the ones dissing on Awkwafina’s win and bringing race into it when it’s not warranted….Awkwafina has had it particularly hard because of her looks (the above is pretty mild compared to some of the comments about her on Chinese social media sites). Looks aren’t everything and most definitely they are not a gauge of whether someone “deserves” to win an acting award (or whether they even “deserve” to be an actor/actress in the first place).

      I personally don’t care whether Awkawafina “deserved” to win the award or not. I look at her win the same way I look at Parasite’s win in the foreign language category, Sandra Oh’s win last year (and in previous years), the movie Crazy Rich Asian’s success, TV show Fresh Off the Boat’s success, etc. (the list goes on and on)….I’m just happy that Asians are getting more positive, non-stereotypical recognition / representation and more opportunities in the mainstream arena now, which definitely was not something that could be said 10 years ago….it’s progress – slow progress yes, maybe even baby steps, but it’s progress nonetheless. As Asians, I think we should applaud these efforts to be inclusive rather than put down every little thing as “they only got what they got because of their race”….but hey, just my personal opinion….

      1. @llwy12 You are always on point!! Yes, to attack them due to their physical appearance is unreal. Look at Hollywood! Tons get famous w/o the looks. Like you, I am also just happy for Asians to be getting more love/recognition for their work period. Who cares if she’s getting it due to race just be glad it’s given to them even if it’s at a snail’s pace.

      2. @dramas4me Don’t know….some people just like to politicize everything it seems (or they just hate Awkwafina to the point that they let it get to their heads). What I find interesting is that now some of those same netizens from other forums who were bashing Awkwafina earlier for being “ugly” are now suddenly changing their tune, saying they are “proud” to have a Best Actress winner represent them…hmmmph….

        Anyway, just wanted to share an opinion piece written by the producer of Joy Luck Club, Janet Yang, about Awkwafina’s win and also Asian representation in Hollywood. Her beautifully written piece sums up my sentiments perfectly!

      3. @llwy12 Thanks for sharing that article.

        It’s hard enough for us Asians to break into Hollywood – it’s even harder to get recognized for the work. How many movies that made in Hollywood with total Asian casts? We probably can count the fingers on that. I just wish that WE, our own people will support and cheer on our own Asian artists – those who deserve the recognition instead of bashing them.

      4. @llwy12 totally agree with “Asians are getting more positive, non-stereotypical recognition, representation and more opportunities.” There are stereotypes associated with minority groups. I’ve heard stories of actors being casted based on their race because they need someone who fits a certain stereotype.

      5. @luye Yes, exactly. Awkwafina herself has said in interviews that despite being born and raised in the U.S. and speaking fluent English, because of her Asian looks, she was often asked to audition for stereotypical roles. One time, several years ago, a director offered her a hefty role in a movie playing an Asian woman who speaks broken English — she turned it down because she didn’t want to promote that stereotype. Crazy Rich Asians was a turning point for her, as once people saw that she was capable of playing non-stereotypical roles, finally she would be offered “regular” roles. Of course, many Asians in Hollywood have encountered similar struggles, but Awkwafina had the added pressure of being bashed in the Asian countries (mostly in China) for her looks. For minority artists, the worse possible situation to be in is to be doing all the right things (refusing to promote racial stereotypes in your work for example), yet your own people (in this case, Asians) don’t support you because they are too caught up in superficialities (looks)…yet, this is the position Awkwafina has been in most of her career. This is one reason why I am particularly happy to see her finally succeed in Hollywood and finally get taken seriously as an actress.

      6. @llwy12 What is being said about her on Chinese social media sites? Can you give some examples?

        I am also really happy that she won. She’s a great comedian, and more deserving than a lot of the mediocre people who have gotten the same award in the past.

      7. @llwy12 I don’t blame you! I just read the auto-translation of some of the comments and I’m flabbergasted. Why are people so horrible to women? It’s like they’re angry that anyone likes her, and they are trying to punish her for daring to walk proudly out the door without a sack on her head. I just… 0_0

      8. @llwy12

        Weren’t there many hateful comments (by non-mainland Chinese) dissing her looks on this website not long ago? Some of the most judgmental people seem to be Koreans, HK’ers, and Chinese who deem facial perfection as the most valued asset. Of course, who doesn’t like seeing pretty women and handsome guys. But there are also other important inner qualities that make up a person’s worth.

      9. @llwy12 :/ apparently it is hard to ask for a deserving win :/ I watched the first season of killing eve, and villainere was a much more compelling character to watch, and her acting was so much better than Sandra Oh. Couldn’t get past 2 eps of season 2 when I kinda sense where they are going with Villianere.

        As much as I want asian to win, I want it to be a good win and not because it’s because of their race, because it tainted the award and how they got the award. Also the way you said it “ I look at her win the same way I look at Parasite’s win in the foreign language category, Sandra Oh’s win last year (and in previous years), the movie Crazy Rich Asian’s success, TV show Fresh Off the Boat’s success, etc. (the list goes on and on)…” very much implying these successes are because it’s asian, not because it’s good :/

        Crazy rich asian was fine but not good, nor award worthy. I haven’t watched the farewell, but I’ve seen all seasons of Humans and Gemma was mesmerising in it. Here is a shining example of how an asian should win an award! Included to be the flavour of the month leaves a sour note in the mouth.

        Also saw Knives Out, while it’s not boring, it’s not that great either :/ and the main actress’s performance isn’t bad, But I don’t think it’s worthy of GG either, but she’s possibly getting an Oscar, asian won the GG and a Hispanic actress will win the Oscar. Sad that this is the current state of hollywood. Though I think this year was pretty sad, so why not make a political statement!

  7. If you listened to her music before she made a career out of acting you would then understand why there is a group of people out there that despise her despite her recent onscreen ‘success’. As for her looks that’s another topic for another day.

    As for her character and the way she carries herself (at least prior to her becoming an actress), Ill never like a ‘rapper’ that devotes an entire song talking about her vag. It’s shameful and distasteful.

    1. @anon Not really….most rappers have explicit, offensive lyrics in their songs…doesn’t seem to me to be a legitimate reason to hate/despise someone for it, especially when we have the choice to not listen to the music if we don’t like it. And bashing the way she looks because they don’t like her music doesn’t make any sense either…

      But whatever…to each their own. I personally don’t care about her music….she can sing about her body parts all she wants….in my book, that doesn’t negate her accomplishments in the area of acting, nor should it be the reason why she is “undeserving” of an acting award for a good performance in a movie that had nothing to do with her music or her singing….

    2. @anon Awkwafina is smart. Even though the lyrics of My Vag may be vulgar to some, but it was very witty and you have to give her credit for composing such colorful comparisons. It was not meant to be taken seriously, but just fun, silly entertainment. It isn’t that much different than other rap songs so it’s strange to me that anyone would spend energy despising her for it.

  8. Here’s what I think on this award debate in regards to whether it’s related to her race…

    I think a lot of other races tend to stand together when one of their own accomplishes something. Whether that win is worthwhile or not, doesn’t matter to them. Because they do not reflect on its merits when judged with similar contributions by other races. They stand in solidarity with what they can claim, in part to show support and also because they want more promotion.

    I don’t agree with that form of biased reasoning, but I understand the desire to support a piece of work for the sake of encouragement.

    It just depends on which side of the coin you’re standing on and whether you understand the complexity of what that means.

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