Greta Gerwig Responds to Jo Koy’s Golden Globes Barbie Digs; “Well, He’s Not Wrong”



  • Golden Globes host Jo Koy faced backlash for his jokes and sideswipes at famous faces, including Barbie.
  • Barbie director Greta Gerwig agreed with Koy’s comments about the lack of substance in Barbie..
  • Koy admitted that hosting the Golden Globes was a tough gig and expressed reluctance to do it again in the future.

Hosting any awards ceremony requires nerves of steel, the skin of a rhino and the understanding that you will face some tough online reactions in the days that follow. This is something that Golden Globes host Jo Koy has discovered following his opening monolog at this year’s event, as his jokes and sideswipes at some of the famous faces in the room did not hit the mark for many critics and viewers.

One of the subjects Koy took aim at with his opening monolog of put-downs and jibes was 2023’s cinema-savior Barbie. When comparing the strange bedfellows of Barbie and Oppenheimer, Koy said that one “is based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Manhattan Project, and Barbie is on a plastic doll with big boobies.”

Barbie director Greta Gerwig was asked how she felt about Koy’s comments when she appeared on the U.K.’s BBC Radio 5 Live (via Deadline), and she couldn’t help but kind of agree with Koy’s notes on Barbie’s lack of substance – at least prior to her movie. She said:

“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… Barbie by her very construction has no character, no story, she’s there to be projected upon. The insight that [Barbie creator] Ruth Handler had when she was watching her daughter play with baby dolls, is she realised, ‘My daughter doesn’t want to pretend to be a mother. She wants to pretend to be a grown woman.’ Barbie has been around since 1959… she’s been a villain and she’s been a hero, but it felt like in a way even though it’s so seemingly superficial that it was such a rich place to start.”


Release Date
July 21, 2023

Jo Koy’s Golden Globes Gig Did Not Go Down Well

Jo Koy presents the 81st Golden Globes

Following in the footsteps of Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Tina Fey and five-times host Ricky Gervais, Koy didn’t have to wait very long for the backlash to start, as he took aim at Taylor Swift with a quip noting how the Golden Globes were airing just after a football game featuring the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that Swift has become linked with due to her relationship with Travis Kelce. Koy said in the show:

As you know, we came on after a football doubleheader. The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? On the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift, I swear.

Cue a quick cut to Swift, sipping her drink and looking not too impressed. Which in turn led to Swift’s fans airing their grievances online, providing the first wave of attacks on Koy’s hosting abilities.

Koy did have his chance to respond to the harsh reactions he had suffered as a result of hosting the show, appearing on GMA3: What You Need to Know and admitting that he was perhaps not quite prepared for how tough presenting the awards would be. He said:

“I had fun. You know, it was a moment that I’ll always remember. It’s a tough room. It was a hard job, I’m not going to lie…I’d be lying if [I said] it doesn’t hurt. I hit a moment there where I was like, ‘Ah.’ Hosting is just a tough gig. Yes, I’m a stand-up comic but that hosting position it’s a different style. I kind of went in and did the writer’s thing. We had 10 days to write this monologue. It was a crash course. I feel bad, but I got to still say I loved what I did.”

Related: Golden Globes Snubs Barbie, Bradley Cooper Leaves Empty-Handed & More Surprising Moments

Jo Koy Doesn’t Seem Keen on Hosting The Golden Globes Again

Jo Koy's Easter Sunday
Universal Pictures

What comes across clearly from Koy’s post-event analysis of his performance is his reluctance to potentially return for more next year. When asked whether he would consider stepping back into the role again, Koy said:

“That’s a tough gig, I’m not going to lie. I love the art of standup. It was cool the opportunity came to me, but hosting is just a beast. That’s about it.”

Returning to that Taylor Swift moment, Koy singled out that one joke as a moment he wasn’t particularly happy with, commenting that the whole thing was “a little flat” and “weird.” His intention had been to make fun of the NFL’s constant use of cutaways, which is something he didn’t feel the Golden Globes needed to do, but cutting straight to Swift changed the way the joke was received.

In defense of his performance, Koy did go to great lengths to point out that he had only been given the hosting job 10 days ago, and that meant some of the material was his and some was written by others. During the telecast, Koy followed up one dud line by saying:

“Some [jokes] I wrote, some other people wrote. Yes, I got the gig 10 days ago! You want a perfect monologue? Yo, shut up. You’re kidding me, right? Slow down, I wrote some of these and they are the ones you are laughing at.”

You can check out the full opening monolog below.

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