‘Mr. Brad Pitt, finally’: Yuh-Jung Youn celebrates Oscar win with charming speech

Yuh-jung Youn, wearing a black dress, stands up to accept her award for supporting actress.
Yuh-Jung Youn won the Oscar for supporting actress for her performance in “Minari.”

Yuh-Jung Youn wasn’t just mesmerized by the golden Oscars statue she won for supporting actress for her performance as a free-spirited grandmother in “Minari.” While accepting her Academy Award Sunday night, all that was on the renowned Korean actress’ mind was … Brad Pitt.

“Mr. Brad Pitt, finally,” Youn said, turning toward Pitt, who presented her the Oscar. “Nice to meet you. Where were you when we were filming in person? It’s an honor to meet you.”

Pitt is the owner of Plan B Entertainment, the production company behind “Minari.”

Youn, who is the first Korean performer and second actress of Asian descent to win an Oscar for a supporting role, also graciously pointed out the mispronunciations of her name.


“As you know, I’m from Korea. And actually, my name is Yuh-Jung Youn, and most of European people call me Yo Yo, and some of them call me You-jung, but tonight you are all forgiven,” Youn said.

Youn also thanked the cast and crew of “Minari,” including director Lee Isaac Chung. “We became a family, and most of all, above all, Lee Isaac Chung,” Youn said. “Without him, I couldn’t be here. He was our captain, and my director.”

At a backstage virtual news conference, Youn acknowledged the importance of diverse storytelling.

Before this year, no Korean performer had even been nominated for an acting Oscar. Now ‘Minari’ star Yuh-Jung Youn has won.

April 25, 2021

“It’s about time. I think it’s very nice to understand each other, and we should embrace each other, because without knowing, people are categorized like Black, white, yellow, brown, something like that,” Youn said.

“That’s not nice to divide like that. If we put all colors together, it makes it more prettier,” she added. “Even rainbow has seven colors. Color doesn’t matter, gender doesn’t matter. I don’t like to divide like this: woman or Black and white or brown and yellow, gay or straight — I don’t want those kinds of things. We are equal human beings. It’s an opportunity for us to share in stories together.”


Twitter celebrated Youn’s historic win and praised her speech.

“Youn Yuh-jung just changed the energy of the entire show. Hers was my favorite performance of the year, and now my favorite speech of the night,” one user wrote.

“Nomadland” takes home the best picture, director and lead actress awards at the 2021 Oscars.

April 25, 2021

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Times staff writers Yvonne Villarreal and Jen Yamato contributed to this report.