Before you read:
Korean American musician Chloe Flower is clearing up the confusion over her piano playing during the 80th Golden Globe Awards on Wednesday.
Flower was the performing pianist whom many believed was playing winners off the stage during their speeches. The confusion occurred after Michelle Yeoh won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her role as Evelyn Wang in A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Midway through Yeoh’s acceptance speech, piano music started to play, which Yeoh believed was signaling her to wrap it up.
In a now-viral moment, Yeoh turned to Flower, who was at the piano, and jokingly said, “Shut up, please. I can beat you up, OK? It’s that serious.”
In an interview with Variety, Flower clarified that she was not playing the music that cued winners to finish their speeches.
“My job was to bring everybody back from commercial break with a performance, so I don’t know how that got lost in translation,” she said.
On Tuesday, the same day the Golden Globes took place, Flower tweeted, “I would never play piano over people’s speeches!! I’m only playing when you see me on camera!”
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
She also told People magazine that she cried when host Jerrod Carmichael stood up for her and clarified for audiences that she wasn’t playing people off.
He came backstage and told me he was going to take care of it. He’s like, “I’m going to say something. I’m going to set it straight because this isn’t fair.” He’s like, “We’re so lucky to have you, and thank you for being here.” That was what made me cry, actually. It wasn’t what was coming at me on social media or whatever the actors felt or didn’t feel. It was really the fact that everybody there had my back and they were there to protect me. I felt protected so I was able to complete the show.”
What audiences also didn’t see was that Flower and Yeoh resolved any tension off-camera.
I wish the cameras were on when I saw her afterward. She walked past the piano, and I stopped her and I was like, “I would never play during your speech. I respect you, and I am a huge fan,” and she held my hand. She was so lovely, and she was so nice.
Flower also tweeted, “Still a forever fan #MichelleYeoh !! (And she was much scarier in Crazy Rich Asians)”
Flower also shared that later on in the night, as Austin Butler collected his award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for “Elvis,” he quipped, “You could at least play ‘Suspicious Minds’ or something” when music cued him to wrap up his acceptance speech.
“I spoke to him too,” Flower said. “He walked past me and I said, ‘Hey, congratulations, that wasn’t me playing.’”
She also pointed out that the Beverly Hilton ballroom appeared larger on TV, but it is more intimate in person.
“I don’t think viewers were aware of how small it really is,” Flower said. “I think everyone was looking in my direction because I was on a piano, and I became the face of sound.”
The musician got to play some of her own original music during the ceremony. She released a single titled “Golden Hour” in honor of her appearance at the awards show.
Despite the incidents, Flower considered the night a success. “We were able to deliver the music,” she said with pride. “I had a great time.”