Sofia Vergara’s awkward mispronunciation gag at Monday’s Golden Globe Awards divided audiences, with some crediting Vergara for her daring sense of humour, while others questioned its propriety.
The Modern Family star was introducing Sylvester Stallone’s three daughters as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s picks for this year’s Miss Golden Globes, when she made the uncomfortable joke.
In an attempt to pronounce the word “annual”, Vergara – who is Colombian – pretended to accidentally say “anal”, before attempting to correct herself and saying “anus”.
“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has an anal tradition,” Vergara said, prompting audiences giggles.
“I didn’t mean anal, I mean they have an anus tradition,” Vergara faux-stumbled. “They have a tradition that they do every year.”
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 9, 2017
While some questioned whether the stuff-up was real, Vergara confirmed it was a pre-planned joke in an Instagram post from the ceremony.
“I look lonely backstage but I was just trying to come up with my anus joke!” she captioned a photo of herself waiting in the wings.
A photo posted by Sofia Vergara (@sofiavergara) on
While Vergara got some nervous giggles from the crowd, viewers at home were less than impressed with the stunt.
Interestingly, they were more annoyed by the joke’s racial undertones than its crude subject matter, with many complaining Vergara was the “punchline” of a stale theme of racism in Hollywood.
“I wish we could live in a world where Sofia Vergara doesn’t have to constantly mock herself in order to exist,” one Twitter user wrote.
“My impatience with the ‘Tee hee, Sofia Vergara is not from here’ jokes has now snapped,” another said.
Every comedy writer who pitches a joke about Sofia Vergara's accent should try being a wildly successful entertainer in a second language.
— Jonathan Bogart (@jonathanbogart) January 9, 2017
Meryl Streep silences the room
Thankfully, Cecil B. Demille Award winner Meryl Streep was on hand to distract from Vergara’s awkward moment with her powerful, rousing speech criticising United States President-elect Donald Trump and highlighting the importance of “outsiders” in the media.
“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts,” Streep said.
Streep said there was one performance last year that “stunned” her, but it wasn’t from an actor. Rather, Streep tore strips off Trump for mocking disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski.
“It sank its hooks in my heart. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled New York Times reporter – someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back,” Streep said.
“Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 9, 2017
Streep’s speech earned a stirring reaction from everyone in the audience, with many in the room tearing up.
Not everyone was pleased, however, with some on Twitter accusing Streep of talking down to Trump’s voters and not considering alternate perspectives.
find someone who looks at you the way literally everyone looks at meryl streep pic.twitter.com/ClnOwFsX02
— keely flaherty (@flahertykeely) January 9, 2017
And the winners were…
The night was all about one movie: Damien Chazelle’s original musical, La La Land.
The film took home trophies in five categories, including Best Actor and Best Actress for its stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
In a shock upset, French actress Isabelle Huppert unseated favourites like Natalie Portman to win Best Actress in a Drama for Elle, a psychological thriller.
In the television world, comedian/rapper/writer/actor Donald Glover took home two awards for his critically acclaimed series Atlanta, while Netflix’s The Crown scored two awards, beating out other favourites like Game of Thrones.
BEST DRAMA: Moonlight
BEST COMEDY OR MUSICAL: La La Land
BEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Isabelle Huppert, Elle
BEST ACTOR, COMEDY OR MUSICAL: Ryan Gosling, La La Land
BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY OR MUSICAL: Emma Stone, La La Land
BEST DIRECTOR: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Viola Davis, Fences
BEST ANIMATED FILM: Zootopia
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: City of Stars – La La Land
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Elle – France
BEST TV DRAMA SERIES: The Crown
BEST TV COMEDY/MUSICAL SERIES: Atlanta
BEST ACTOR, TV DRAMA: Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath
BEST ACTRESS, TV DRAMA: Claire Foy, The Crown
BEST ACTOR, TV COMEDY: Donald Glover, Atlanta
BEST ACTRESS, TV COMEDY: Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
BEST TV MOVIE OR LIMITED SERIES: The People v. O.J Simpson: American Crime Story