After the controversy that consumed Hollywood in the wake of "The Interview" movie release and Sony hack, jokes about North Korea at last night's Golden Globes should have come as no surprise. Few, however, expected those jokes to spark their own controversy.
Co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler enlisted comedian Margaret Cho to play the role of Chu Yung Ja - a stern North Korean soldier obsessed with Hollywood. Meryl Streep gamely played along as Cho's character presented her with a North Korean movie magazine, prompting Benedict Cumberbatch to jump in and snap a photo.
"In North Korea we know how to put on a show," Cho deadpanned in heavily-accented English. "This is not a show. You no have thousands of babies playing guitars...You no have Dennis Rodman or any basketball at all."
But reaction the performance was mixed. On its liveblog of the ceremony, The Guardian noted "some discomfort" about Cho's bit. Others accused Cho of racism. Many Globes viewers took to Twitter, calling the impersonation stereotypical and offensive.
Cho previously played the late Kim Jong-Il during her 2012 Emmy-nominated guest appearance on "30 Rock." In an interview with Zap2It that year, Cho noted her own North Korean descent. "So it's something that has affected my family - certainly that regime and the insanity of it, she told the site. "So it is a great thing to be able to come back and do something that is so outrageous and funny."
Cho's character signed off from last night's Golden Globes by declaring, "Show over. I host next year."