Margaret Cho, who portrayed the divisive Cho Young Ja during the 2015 Golden Globes last night, is responding to critics who called the portrayal racially insensitive.
“I’m of North and South Korean descent, and I do impressions of my family and my work all the time, and this is just another example of that. I am from this culture. I am from this tribe. And so I’m able to comment on it,” the 46-year-old comedian told Buzzfeed. “I can do whatever I want when it comes to Koreans — North Koreans, South Korean. I’m not playing the race card, I’m playing the rice card. I’m the only person in the world, probably, that can make these jokes and not be placed in a labor camp.”
“When we have British people playing American icons, and there’s no backlash. But for Asian Americans, it’s a very particular set of expectations that we are set to maintain, and that in itself is racist,” Margaret added. “If it’s Asian Americans making fun of Asians, we’re claiming our own voice, we’re claiming our heritage. We’re claiming all of the aspects of our own culture, and we’re allowed to. Even though it may get us put in a labor camp. If that happens you have to send Bill Clinton to come and get me,” she joked.