I Dare Anyone to Top Youn Yuh-jung's Oscar Speech

After Daniel Kaluuya joked about his parents boning in his Oscars acceptance speech (“my mom, my dad, they had sex—it’s amazing!”) I figured it would be hard to top. But then Minari’s Youn Yuh-jung took the stage to accept her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

After starting out her dryly hilarious speech by telling presenter Brad Pitt and Minari executive producer, “finally, nice to meet you, where were you when we were filming?” the South Korean star went on to forgive Americans and Europeans for repeatedly mispronouncing her name. “Tonight, you are all forgiven,” she said. Gesturing towards her fellow nominees, she said, “I don’t believe in competition, how could I win over Glenn Close?”—clearly a fan. “All the nominees...we played different roles, we [cannot] compete with each other. Tonight I’m here because I have just a little bit [of] luck, I think. I’m luckier than you.”


“Maybe it’s American hospitality for the Korean actor?” she added. No, it’s because you stole an entire movie away from Steve Yeun with your performance!

She also thanked her two sons for “making me go out and work... This is the result, because mommy worked so hard.”


With her win, for playing the playful and outspoken grandmother in Lee Isaac Chung’s movie about a South Korean family trying to start a farm in the Midwest that made me cry maybe a million tears, Youn Yuh-jung became the first Korean woman to ever win a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. How nice to see an Oscar go to someone who absolutely deserves it.

Hazel Cills is the Pop Culture Reporter at Jezebel. Her writing has been published by outlets including The Los Angeles Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, ELLE, and more.


Samantha Stevens

Minari was such a surprise because while I was expecting it to be poignant and heartbreaking (which it is), I never expected it would be so funny, all because of Youn Yuh-jung.