Aziz Ansari's Golden Globe win a breakthrough for South Asian representation

Aziz Ansari made history Sunday night for South Asian representation at the Golden Globes.

During the 75th annual ceremony hosted by Seth Meyers on Sunday, the Master of None co-creator and star won Best Actor, Television – Comedy, marking the second time an actor of South Asian descent has won a Golden Globe in 35 years. Ben Kingsley, who is of Indian descent, won for Best Actor – Motion Picture, Drama in 1982.

Both Ansari and Hong Chau (Downsizing) were the only two Asian actors nominated at the Golden Globes, representing roughly three percent of the actors recognized across all the film and TV categories. The last actor of Asian descent to be nominated was Riz Ahmed in 2017, for the HBO miniseries, The Night Of. The only other actors of Asian descent to win Globes in the awards' 75-year history include Haing S. Ngor, Peg Tilly, Sandra Oh and Vic Tayback.

Asian representation onscreen and at awards show has long been a problem in Hollywood, only to be further exasperated at the 2016 Oscars, which was already under scrutiny after the Academy failed to nominate any people of color in the acting categories, when host Chris Rock brought out three Asian-American children for a stereotype-laden sight gag.

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Inside the 2018 Golden Globes
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Inside the 2018 Golden Globes
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Carol Burnett and Jennifer Aniston onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Stedman Graham (L) and Oprah Winfrey celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actors Nicole Kidman (L) and Jessica Chastain celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actors/filmmakers James Franco (L) and Seth Rogen celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Singer Ricky Martin and artist Jwan Yosef celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actors Hugh Jackman (L) and Deborra-lee Furness celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Mariah Carey and Common speak onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: (L-R) TV personality Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey and director Ava DuVernay celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: (L-R) Actor Michelle Williams, activist Tarana Burke and activist Monica Ramirez celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Kerry Washington and Garrett Hedlund speak onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Kelly Clarkson and Keith Urban speak onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Actor Seth Rogen speaks onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actors Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley attends The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Writer/producer Bruce Miller accepts the award for Best Television Series ? Drama for ?The Handmaid?s Tale? during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Sterling K. Brown accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series ? Drama for ?This is Us? during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: 75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Jessica Chastain, Isabelle Huppert and Gary Oldman arrive to the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018. (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Helen Mirren and Viola Davis onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Carol Burnett and Jennifer Aniston onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Nicole Kidman accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for 'Big Little Lies' during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Nicole Kidman accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for 'Big Little Lies' speaks onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Host Seth Meyers speaks onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Mariah Carey attends a cocktail reception during The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Host Seth Meyers (L) onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Amy Sherman-Palladino accepts the award for Best Television Series ? Musical or Comedy for ?The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Director Lee Unkrich accepts the award for Best Animated Film for 'Coco' during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Oprah Winfrey accepts the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Emma Watson and Robert Pattinson speaks onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Filmmaker Greta Gerwig speaks onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Oprah Winfrey accepts the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award speaks onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney speak onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: (L-R) Actor Octavia Spencer, actor Anthony Anderson and Alvina Stewart celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Sharon Stone and J.K. Simmons speak onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actors Doug Jones (L) and Octavia Spencer celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Ewan McGregor accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for ?Fargo? during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Director Fatih Akin, with actress Diane Kruger, accepts the award for Best Motion Picture ? Foreign Language for ?In the Fade? during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Presenters Kirk Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones speak onstage during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, Laura Dern accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for ?Big Little Lies? during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actor Chris Hemsworth (L) and actor/filmmaker Angelina Jolie celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: In this handout photo provided by NBCUniversal, James Franco, with Tommy Wiseau and Dave Franco, accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture ? Musical or Comedy for ?The Disaster Artist? during the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
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The response was immediate. Wu and Kim slammed the joke on Twitter, and a few days later, Sandra Oh, George Takei, and director Ang Lee were among several Academy members to sign an open letter, calling for an apology.

At the 2016 Primetime Emmys, Master of None co-creator Alan Yang made a plea that the industry strive to write and produce more Asian stories that reflect diverse audiences watching TV.

"There's 17 million Asian Americans in this country, and there's 17 million Italian Americans," Yang said while accepting the Emmy for comedy writing. "They have The Godfather,' Goodfellas, Rocky, The Sopranos. We got Long Duk Dong, so we've got a long way to go. But I know we can get there. . . . Asian parents out there, if you could just do me a favor, if just a couple of you get your kids cameras instead of violins, we'll be all good."

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