Margaret Cho Responds to Critics of Her 'Racist' Golden Globes Bit

by 4:38 PM PST, January 12, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Margaret Cho isn’t one to shy away from controversy, and she saw her fair share of it after playing a North Korean soldier during Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony.

The comedian joined hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for a running bit in which she played Cho Young-ja, a fake member of the Hollywood Foreign Press and North Korean general. In multiple bits during the show, Cho’s character posed for a photo with Meryl Streep, promoted her fictitious "Movies Wow!" magazine, and offered commentary on Orange is the New Black.

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Cho drew massive amounts of criticism for the character, for which she donned pale face makeup, a North Korean military uniform, and spoke in a gruff accent reminiscent of her recurring Kim Jong Il character from Fey’s sitcom 30 Rock. However, the comedian was quick to respond to her haters on social media.

"I'm of mixed North/South Korean descent," the comedian fired back on Twitter. "You imprison, starve and brainwash my people you get made fun of by me."

Cho added the hashtag "#FreeSpeech" to her responses, especially meaningful given the number of celebrities who mentioned the Charlie Hebdo shootings during this year’s ceremony.

"I'm not playing the race card," the comedian added on Twitter, joking, "I'm playing the rice card."

Cho was also thrilled to be photobombed by Benedict Cumberbatch as Michael Keaton snapped a photo of her character and Streep.

"I’m a total #cumberbitch so this was living the dream," she wrote on an Instagram photo.

Also I'm a total #cumberbitch so this was living the dream #goldenglobes #benedict4eva

A photo posted by Margaret Cho (@margaret_cho) on

Despite the controversy, Sunday’s Golden Globes show went off without a hitch, impressive given that Tina and Amy didn’t even start writing the show until the Wednesday before! See more on the hosts’ show prep in the video below.