“Squid Game” actor O Yeong-su and “Pose” star Michaela Jae Rodriguez notch historic wins at the Golden Globes

Published: January 10, 2022 10:54 AM EST

Without a live television or streaming event, the Golden Globes were quieter than usual this year, but still, some stars made history at the awards ceremony. Michaela Jaé Rodriguez became the first trans woman to win a Golden Globe for her role in “Pose.” And “Squid Game” star O Yeong-su became the first Korean actor to win a Golden Globe.

O’s portrayal of “Player 001” – which came with at twist – stuck with fans of the ultra-popular “Squid Game,” and earned him the best supporting actor in a television series award. The show quickly became Netflix’s biggest series launch ever, with “111 million fans,” the streaming service said in October.

The 77-year-old South Korean star is “widely regarded as one of the greatest stage actors in South Korea,” according to the Globes. He has appeared in over 200 stage productions and has held television and film roles.

Some of O’s “Squid Game” co-stars congratulated him on his win on social media. “Bravo!” wrote Lee Byung-hun, who played the “Front Man” of the Squid Games.

Lee Jung-jae, the star of the series, also posted about O’s win on Instagram.

O was nominated for best supporting actor in a television series alongside Billy Crudup for “The Morning Show,” Kieran Culkin, for “Succession,” Mark Duplass for “The Morning Show” and Brett Goldstein for “Ted Lasso.”

With his first major American awards show win under his belt, O is not done acting. He is set to play Sigmund Freud in Mark St. Germain’s play “Freud’s Last Session,” according to the Globes.

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez also made history with her best actress in a television series win. The actress, who started her career under the name MJ Rodriguez, is a trans woman who portrays a trans woman living with HIV/AIDS.

In 2021, she became the first transgender performer to receive outstanding lead actress Emmy nomination.

While she did not win that award, she took home the Globe last night, beating out Uzo Aduba for “In Treatment,” Jennifer Aniston for “The Morning Show,” Christine Baranski for “The Good Fight” and Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“Pose,” which is about New York City’s African American and Latino drag ball culture in the 1980s, was created by producer Ryan Murphy.

Murphy casted actors by interviewing potential candidates about their own lives and life experiences. “This is how he assembled the biggest ever cast of transgender actors, of whom Rodriguez plays house mother Bianca Evangelista, the heart and soul of the series,” the Globes says.

After her historic win, Rodriguez took to Instagram to share her excitement. “OMG OMGGG!!!!” she wrote. “Wow! You talking about sickening birthday present! Thank you! This is the door that is going to Open the door for many more young talented individuals.”

“They will see that it is more than possible. They will see that a young Black Latina girl from Newark New Jersey who had a dream, to change the minds others would WITH LOVE. LOVE WINS. To my young LGBTQAI babies WE ARE HERE the door is now open now reach the stars!!!!!” her post continued.

“Pose” co-star Billy Porter offered Rodriguez a “huge congrats” on his Instagram story. Fellow co-star Angelica Ross also posted about the win, writing: “Shouting congratulations to the incomparable @mjrodriguez7!!! Since season one you have been leading our family our cast with such heart and skill. Let’s celebrate!!!”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which nominates and chooses Golden Globes recipients, announced last week the 79th annual awards show would not be broadcasted. “Because of the current pandemic surge, health and safety remain a top priority for the HFPA,” the association said in a statement.

The HFPA has been accused by key figures in Hollywood of financial impropriety and a decided lack of diversity in its membership.

Both “Pose” and “Squid Game” were nominated for best television series – drama, but lost to “Succession.” Other big wins include “Hacks” for best television series – musical or comedy; “The Power of the Dog” for best motion picture – drama; and “West Side Story” for best motion picture – musical or comedy.