Comedian-Actor Aziz Ansari Becomes First Indo-American, Asian To Win Golden Globe

TFG--banners website-F2Comedian-Aziz-AnsariAziz Ansari, who is no less political, won the award for comedy series 'Master of None' in which he plays the role of 30-year-old actor Dev Shah. He had already won an Emmy for writing the series and hosted Saturday Night Live last January, both signal and unprecedented honors for an entertainer of Indian-origin.

WASHINGTON – Aziz Ansari, the US-born son of immigrants from Chennai, became the first Indian-American and first Asian to win a Golden Globe for best actor on a night the awards ceremony was steeped in unspoken politics, with minorities and colored people holding center-stage.

The most electrifying moment of the evening occurred when Oprah Winfrey, after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, delivered a rousing speech that set off feverish chatter on whether she will run for the White House in 2020.

What began as a joke in the opening monologue by late-night comedian Seth Meyers soon took on realistic air after Winfrey's fiery speech hit all the buttons of burning contemporary issues – gender equality, racial discrimination, middle class struggles – and brought a majority liberal audience to its feet.

She also reached out to the media — that is locked in a bitter skirmish with a President who holds much of the press in contempt — teeing off from thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives the award (and whose president is Mumbai-born Meher Tatna).

"We know the press is under siege these days. We also know it's the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice. To tyrants and victims, and secrets and lies. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: what I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have," she said. She named no names, but the intent was obvious.

Comedian-Aziz-Ansari2Aziz Ansari, who is no less political, won the award for comedy series 'Master of None' in which he plays the role of 30-year-old actor Dev Shah. He had already won an Emmy for writing the series and hosted Saturday Night Live last January, both signal and unprecedented honors for an entertainer of Indian-origin.

Ansari's honors comes not so much on account of any affirmative action as his growing popularity and rising profile in the high-wire comedy world. "Even though I've sold out Madison Square Garden as a stand-up comedian and have appeared in several films and a TV series, when my phone rings, the roles I'm offered are often defined by ethnicity and often require accents," he had written in an NYT OpEd in 2015 on the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry.

Aziz-Ansari3So he simply went ahead and created his own show whose first two seasons have made him a star, although few expected him to beat a strong field to win the Globe, despite a nomination last year. "I genuinely didn't think I was going to win because all of the websites said I was going to lose," he said on stage, adding, "I'm glad we won this one because it would've really sucked to lose two of these in a row; it would've been a really s***** moment for me, but this is nice."

Born in Columbia, South Carolina to immigrant parents from Tamil Nadu (his mother, Fatima, works in a medical office, and his father, Shoukath, is a gastroenterologist), Ansari was studying at New York University Stern School of Business when he fell into comedic ways, performing in Big Apple clubs and weekly shows. He won the Jury Award for "Best Standup" at HBO's 2006 US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, after which there was no looking back.

Indeed, issues of racial and gender discrimination was very much the theme on Sunday night as many actors wore black to make a statement on sexism and chauvinism that is now being exposed in American entertainment industry and politics.

But it was Oprah Winfrey who lit up the night with a short, incandescent speech that set tongues wagging about a run for presidency, although she has rejected the idea before.

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