Greta Gerwig responds to Jo Koy’s ‘disgusting’ Barbie joke after Golden Globes backlash

Greta Gerwig has shared her take on a polarising joke about Barbie made by comedian Jo Koy at this year’s Golden Globes.

The comic led proceedings at Sunday’s ceremony (7 January), which saw TV shows such as Succession and The Bear triumph, while Oppenheimer was the most awarded film.

Unfortunately for 52-year-old Koy, his night was less of a resounding success, with many of his jokes going over poorly with their celebrity targets. One notable moment included Taylor Swift reacting frostily to a joke about her regular attendance at NFL games.

Another of Koy’s gags drew particular criticism for referring to Gerwig’s blockbuster starring Margot Robbie as a film adaptation of “a plastic doll with big boobs”.

Though several online commentators criticised his remark as “sexist” and “disgusting”, adding that Koy missed the entire point of the film, Gerwig, 40, offered a more sympathetic view.

“Well, you know, he’s not wrong,” she told the Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday (10 January).

With a laugh, the writer-director continued: “She’s the first doll that was mass-produced with breasts so he was right on.”

Barbie was one of the most nominated projects at the Golden Globes, but took home only two of a possible nine awards: Best Original Song (”What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish) and the inaugural Golden Globe for cinematic and box office achievement.

Gerwig called it “very wonderful and emotional” to “take the stage with the group that made it” after the film won the latter award.

Greta Gerwig (Getty Images)
Greta Gerwig (Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the programme, the actor and filmmaker expressed that much of the movie was “unlikely” because it is about a plastic doll who has “no character, no story” and is “there to be projected upon”.

“Barbie has been around since 1959,” she continued. “And 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.”

Following his chequered night of hosting, Koy reflected on the experience during an interview on GMA3 on Monday morning (8 January).

“I had fun. You know, it was a moment that I’ll always remember,” he said. “It’s a tough room. It was a hard job, I’m not going to lie... I had an off night!”

The GMA3 presenter then suggested that Koy seemed “deflated”, to which he responded: “Yeah, I wanted to give more a little bit more of me and I [fell] short, that’s all.”

Jo Koy (Getty Images)
Jo Koy (Getty Images)

He added: “I’d be lying if [I said] it doesn’t hurt… Hosting is just a tough gig. Yes, I’m a stand-up comic but that hosting position it’s a different style.”

You can find a full list of Golden Globes winners here.