Angela Bassett and Michelle Yeoh address Hollywood ageism at the Golden Globes

michelle yeoh angela basset golden globes
Angela Bassett & Michelle Yeoh address ageism Getty Images

Both Angela Bassett and Michelle Yeoh had an underlying message in their Golden Globes acceptance speeches tonight: Age is just a number.

The actresses made history with their wins — Bassett won Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Wakanda Forever, and Yeoh won Best Actress in a Motion Picture for Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Black Panther sequel is the first Marvel film to win an award at the ceremony, and Yeoh is just the second Asian actress to take home a leading actress award. (Awkafina was the first in 2020 for another A24 film, The Farewell.)

During their speeches, the women addressed the importance of the timing of their wins coming at a later part of their lives and professional careers, and stressed the importance of chasing one's goals no matter one's age.

nbc's 80th annual golden globe awards show
Rich Polk/NBC - Getty Images

"January 22, 1994, I stood on this stage and accepted the Golden Globe for What's Love Got to Do with It. The late Toni Morrison said, 'Your life is already a miracle of chance just waiting for you to order its destiny,'" Bassett said while accepting her award.

"In order for the destiny to manifest, I think that it requires courage to have faith, it requires patience," she added with a knowing look to the crowd. "And it requires a true sense of yourself."

Yeoh reflected on how she thought her career was slowly dwindling due to her getting older in Hollywood, but how her latest role in the blockbuster A24 film ultimately changed everything.

nbc's 80th annual golden globe awards show
Rich Polk/NBC - Getty Images

"Forty years—not letting go of this. So just quickly, thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press, for giving me this honour. It's been an amazing journey and incredible fight to be here today, but I think it's worth it," Yeoh said.

"As time went by—I turned 60 last year—and I think all of you women understand this: As the days, years, numbers get bigger, the opportunities get smaller as well," she continued. "I probably was at a time where I thought, Hey, come on, girl, you've had a good run and you've worked with some of the best people … it's all good. Then along came the best gift: Everything Everywhere All at Once."

Bassett and Yeoh have been praised by critics and fans alike for their respective work in Wakanda Forever and EEAAO, with both being heralded as Hollywood talents who are deserving of a winning sweep as awards season continues on.

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