Chinese netizens are cheering Awkwafina’s Best Actress award at the Golden Globes, which makes her the first Asian woman ever to win that category for a film. The New York-born actor is of Korean and Chinese-American descent. 

She won best actress in a musical or comedy for her performance in The Farewell, as a Chinese-American writer who travels back to China to spend time with her terminally ill grandmother. But her award win is getting a very different reception to the film itself: When The Farewell received a limited release in China late last year, Awkwafina became the target of online vitriol over her appearance. 

Awkwafina poses backstage with her Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy award for The Farewell. (Picture: Frederic J. Brown/AFP)

On Monday, some Weibo users came to her defense. One wrote, “[The award is] a slap on the face for those sour grapes who discriminate based on looks.” 

Another comment, liked by more than 300 people, said, “For those who keep attacking her appearance, open your eyes and look clearly. This is the best actress who will forever be out of your league!”

Others took the chance to note that Awkwafina has been cast in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel’s first Asian-led superhero film, slated for release during Lunar New Year in 2021. Before that, The Farewell is set for a wide release in China’s theaters this Friday after a weeks-long delay.