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Awkwafina Just Made History as the First Asian Woman to Win in Her Golden Globe Category

If you’ve seen The Farewell, then you’re not surprised that Awkwafina took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) tonight. (And if you haven’t, well, what are you waiting for?!) But you might be surprised to learn that she was the first Asian woman to win a Golden Globe in this category — ever. Awkwafina herself reacted to being the first Asian woman to win this Golden Globe in the press room, and it turns out the 31-year-old star was pretty surprised herself.

Asked how she felt about being the first Asian woman to win this award, Awkwafina said this: “I actually just heard that fact and it was pretty mind-blowing. It feels incredible — but I think there’s also this other feeling that you want there to be more. I hope this is just the beginning.”

Well put! This is the 77th annual Golden Globes, and it is absolutely and totally mind-blowing that no other Asian woman has been honored for a leading role in a Musical or Comedy in over three-quarters of a century. Then again, the Golden Globes are hardly known for being progressive, earning blowback this year when their nominations revealed that — for the fourth year in a row — no female directors had been nominated for their films.

While we’re over the moon for Awkwafina and her well-deserved win, her reaction to this question was on the nose: this should only be the beginning for the Golden Globes, and award shows at large, to start giving nonwhite people in Hollywood the respect and accolades they deserve.

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