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Sandra Oh & Andy Samberg Won’t Talk Trump at the Golden Globes, but That Doesn’t Mean the Show Won’t Get Political


andy samberg sandra oh golden globes politics trump

In recent years, for obvious reasons, awards shows have grown more and more political, and usually, they’re better for it. In fact, when a host now says they want to remain deliberately unpolitical, it’s usually a sign that the show is going to be a bland one.

But in a recent conversation at The Hollywood Reporter, Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg—the co-hosts for this weekend’s Golden Globe Awards—talk about politics and Trump and why they aren’t necessarily interested in bringing that into their hosting duties. And really, they make a lot of sense.

“It’s going to be great. I think people are ready and could use a little smile,” Samberg says, talking about the tone they want to set for the show. “Everyone is depressed, and maybe that’s as good a reason as any that everyone could use a little time to laugh and celebrate. Not to ignore anything, but we spend so much time every day wallowing in a lot of things that are happening in our world that are really depressing, and with good reason—that stuff needs to be paid attention to—but there’s also power to being positive and celebratory in the tougher times as well.”

Oh adds that “the job of being a host, it’s really to be there to support all the nominees and those who take that platform to say whatever they want. I don’t really think that [getting political] is for the hosts necessarily. You make it an open and safe place for whoever wants to use that platform to speak.”

And that’s the difference between the hosts not directly addressing politics (though, honestly, I don’t believe they’re not going to make any political jokes) and past hosts who have said they don’t think awards shows should be political at all, or that they’d be better served by ignoring certain subjects. Oh and Samberg’s angle of honoring the guests’ desire for an open space for politics is an important one, and they make it clear that they’re excited for people to use that platform, specifically praising the recent ultra-political Golden Globes speeches of Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey.

“Those two women really understand the power of that platform and took it and opened up a lot,” Oh says, emphasizing that even if it won’t be their main focus as hosts, politics does have a place at a show like this and in the entertainment industry in general. “That’s who deserves that kind of award, not only for the work that they’ve done but how they display themselves and their character.”

But Samberg agrees that he himself doesn’t plan to “go hard into detailed politics stuff.” Oh’s response is perfect. (Emphasis mine.)

“No, I don’t think I could do that. I don’t think it’s shallow to 1) have fun and 2) be honestly celebratory. Just the fact that I’m fucking up there is crazy-pants in a great way. And I’m not interested in [talking about Trump] at all. What I’m interested in is pointing to actual real change. I want to focus on that ’cause people can pooh-pooh Hollywood all they want—and there is a lot to pooh-pooh, sure—but we also make culture. How many gazillions of people have seen Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians? That changes things. Just speaking for my own community, people cried a lot in [Crazy Rich Asians], and it’s not only because it’s a great story and a classic romantic comedy—it is because seeing yourself reflected onscreen is really emotional when you don’t even know that you’re carrying so much grief of never being seen.”

There are bound to be some strong political moments and speeches at this weekend’s show. Usually, when hosts say they aren’t going to get political, it’s because they don’t respect the role of politics in entertainment. Oh and Samberg have a different view, and I’m excited to see what their show looks like. Also, they’ve got a great banter. Here’s the rest of their exchange on this subject:

“SAMBERG: It’s become so fucking undeniable that it’s this wonderful wave. It does feel like it’s crashing forward, hopefully in this way where you’re like, ‘Oh, man, this actually feels different in a really good way.’

“OH: And it’s OK for it to wax and wane. Change is really, really slow. Time will tell. But if the writers and the helmers are interested in moving the cultural story along, the audience will come with you. So, in the spirit of change, Andy, what’s a trend you can’t wait to be over?

“SAMBERG: Racism. (Laughs.) That would be a nice trend to get rid of.

“OH: I second that. That is a fucking loooong-ass trend, and I sure can’t wait for that to be over.

“SAMBERG: I can’t wait for somebody to be like, ‘Racism is out for fall.’

“OH: ‘It was sooo ugly. So ugly and very heavy. It’s out.'”

What do you all think? Will you be watching the Golden Globes on Sunday?

(via THR, image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.