The much-anticipated Golden Globe Awards have come and gone, leaving a trail of glittering memories,
prestigious accolades... and, unfortunately, a wave of criticism aimed at comedian Jo Koy's hosting
performance. Prior to the big night, the excitement was palpable, especially among Jo Koy's dedicated fans,
many of whom hail from the Filipino community, a demographic that has long supported his career and
celebrated his representation of Filipino culture in mainstream media. As a fan of his earlier Neflix specials, I
shared in the collective hope for a night to remember.
However, the aftermath of the awards has painted a starkly different picture. Instead of basking in the afterglow
of a successful evening, Jo Koy has found himself at the center of a critical maelstrom. His monologue, which
didn't quite hit the mark for some, has been dissected and scrutinized, with some individuals questioning his
ability to entertain on such a grand stage.
But here's the thing: not every swing results in a home run, not every joke lands perfectly, and not every
performance can be the best. It's an undeniable truth that extends across all professions and all walks of life.
As a broadcaster with over a decade's experience, I've had my share of bad days. I've stumbled over words,
faced technical difficulties, and had moments I wish I could redo. Writers, like myself, aren't immune to the
occasional typo or narrative misstep, despite our best efforts.
It's also worth noting the reactions of those directly involved. When Jo Koy made a lighthearted jest about
Taylor Swift, the camera turned to the singer, revealing her apparent displeasure at the quip. This moment,
captured for all to see, only served to intensify the scrutiny around Jo Koy's performance. In stark contrast, the
legendary Robert De Niro, the subject of another of Jo Koy's jokes, graciously responded with a chuckle,
demonstrating the ability to take a joke in stride, even in the midst of a high-profile event. These differing
reactions highlight the subjective nature of humor and the varying ways individuals handle comedic
The reality is that we are all human, and imperfection is part of our nature. Yet, it seems that when someone
steps into the limelight, we collectively raise our expectations to an unattainable level, forgetting that even the
brightest stars can flicker. Take Michael Jordan, for instance, often cited as the greatest basketball player of all
time. Despite his legendary status, Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots in his career, including crucial game-
winners. Did these misses define his legacy? Absolutely not. They were simply part of his journey, moments
that, no doubt, fueled his drive to succeed.
So why are we so quick to pounce on Jo Koy's less-than-perfect performance? Is it fair to diminish his entire
career to a few minutes on stage? The man has spent years honing his craft, bringing laughter to countless
fans, and breaking barriers for Asian-American entertainers. One off night shouldn't overshadow the strides he
has made in his industry, nor should it invite the kind of vitriol that's been spewed in his direction.
The ease with which people criticize, often from behind the anonymity of a screen, is disheartening. It reflects a
broader culture that thrives on pointing out flaws and revels in the missteps of others. But it doesn't have to be
this way. We can choose to be supportive, to lift each other up, to recognize that even in moments of failure,
there's courage in having tried.
Let's not forget that laughter, the very thing Jo Koy brings to the world, is a gift. It's a light in the darkness, a
momentary reprieve from our troubles. For years, Jo Koy has delivered this gift with authenticity and heart. So,
instead of joining the chorus of critics, let's applaud him for stepping onto that stage, for representing a
community, for being unapologetically himself in a high-pressure situation. Let’s remember the countless times
he made us laugh and the barriers he has broken down for Asian-American entertainers.
It's easy to get caught up in the echo chamber of negativity, especially in the age of social media, where hot
takes and harsh judgments spread like wildfire. But it’s much harder, and far more noble, to stand against the
tide and offer empathy and encouragement. In doing so, we not only support the individual but also foster an
environment where taking risks and braving the spotlight is not met with undue hostility.
We must remind ourselves that entertainers, like all of us, are embarking on a journey filled with ups and
downs. Their path is laden with the pressure to constantly perform at their peak and the scrutiny that comes
with public life. It’s a path that requires resilience, and a thick skin, but it shouldn’t have to be one where a
single misstep can negate a career’s worth of achievements.
In the spirit of kindness, let’s extend grace to Jo Koy. Let’s celebrate his willingness to put himself out there, to
represent his heritage, and to contribute to the diverse tapestry that is entertainment. To Jo Koy and to all who
dare to step into the arena, your courage does not go unnoticed, and your efforts are appreciated, even when
the execution isn’t flawless.
So before we rush to judgment or add to the noise of criticism, let’s pause and reflect on the times we’ve fallen
short and the grace we hoped to receive. Let’s be better than the knee-jerk reactions and remember that at the
end of the day, it’s not about a perfect performance—it’s about the human endeavor to connect, to entertain,
and to make our mark on the world, even if sometimes we miss the mark.
In a world eager to highlight failure, let’s be the voice of compassion and understanding. After all, the true
measure of a person’s character isn’t found in a singular moment of imperfection, but in their continued effort to
rise, to improve, and to share their gifts with the world. Jo Koy has done just that, and for that, he deserves our
respect and applause.
Kuya J Pelayo IV is a Kapampangan broadcast journalist. For comments and suggestions, e-mail at