The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Taylor Swift Column: A Golden Fiasco and a swift response

Olivia Moon

Who the hell even is Jo Koy? Short answer: He’s one of the reasons Taylor Swift released “The Man.”

Swift, once again decorated in sequins, made an appearance at the 81st Golden Globes on Sunday, January 7. The event celebrated the outstanding year we had in American television; having been criticized in the past for a lack of diversity, this year saw both the nominees and winners better represent the faces of actors and actresses we see on the screen. However, the remarkable achievements of artists in the film industry were overshadowed by a disappointing night of crude, unfunny and sexist jokes — some of which Swift found herself on the receiving end of.   

Jo Koy, stand-up comedian and last-minute host, was relatively unknown. That is, until he went on live television making remarks degrading the movie “Barbie” and Swift herself. In his opening monologue, Koy attempted to make a lighthearted jab at Swift’s media coverage when attending National Football League games to watch the Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end, Travis Kelce.  

“What’s the big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL?” Koy asked the audience. “On the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift.”

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Oh, but it didn’t stop there. While discussing the cultural phenomenon that was “Barbenheimer,” a reference to the simultaneous release of two widely successful movies, Barbie and Oppenheimer, Koy decided to once again make a distasteful joke. 

 “Oppenheimer is based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book on the Manhattan Project, and Barbie is on a plastic doll with big boobies,” Koy said.

AIRRRBALL! Again, the camera panned to a sea of chirping crickets. Award-winning Barbie director Greta Gerwig sat amongst the crowd stone-faced, clearly unamused. It was apparent Koy had not watched her movie about the daily oppression women face in our patriarchy. 

Surprisingly, the rest of the night continued without any more sexist jokes. “Barbie” went on to win two awards, and Swift did not get up on stage to slap Koy for making a joke about her, unlike actor Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars. In fact, the only reaction she had was taking a sip of her champagne, like many other audience members.

However this seemingly unimportant sip of champagne soon became a point of scrutiny in the days after the awards show. People compared Swift’s reaction to that of Ryan Gosling, the famous Ken actor, who sat with an unamused expression after Koy’s Barbie joke. The same people who praised Gosling for not giving Koy a pity laugh, criticized Swift for being petty and unable to take a joke.

It was quite an ironic parallel — Swift herself is a big advocate for bringing light to double standards of women in the music industry. She once famously said in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning that “a man is allowed to react. A woman can only overreact.” I don’t think I could have explained it better. 

No matter how hard Swift fights against the status quo, it seems the media will always find new ways to use her as a punching bag, representative of what it’s like to be a woman living in our current patriarchy.    

Overall, the disappointment for me doesn’t come not from Koy’s sexist comments, but from the fact that multiple executive producers didn’t mind them being read on live television at one of the most prestigious film awards. The Golden Globes were meant to be a culmination of everything the women of the industry had done in 2023. It was meant to show how far we had come, yet, it felt like no one had been listening to us; three steps in the wrong direction.

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Matilda Haney Foulds
Matilda Haney Foulds, Staff Writer

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