As 2017 comes to a close, award season is just starting to kick it into high gear. This morning, the Golden Globe nominations were announced, and to no one’s surprise, Greta Gerwig’s beautiful coming-of-age film Lady Bird got more than a few nods, including a nomination for leading actress Saoirse Ronan. Unfortunately, it is also unsurprising that in announcing this momentous nomination for the 23-year-old actress, her name was yet again mispronounced.
It was basically John Travolta attempting to introduce Idina Menzel all over again.
Actress Alfre Woodard had the distinct honour of reading out several Golden Globe nominations, including the category of best actress in a musical or comedy motion picture. After naming Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Emma Stone and Margot Robbie seamlessly, she stuttered over her attempt to pronounce “Saoirse.” (Fast forward to the 12:25-minute mark to see the cringe-worthy attempt.)
By the sounds of it, this is becoming a bit of a Golden Globes tradition. Last year, when Ronan earned a nomination for playing the lead in Brooklyn, Dennis Quaid straight up called her “Shisha” Ronan. (He later apologized, but come on dude, that doesn’t even make sense based on the letters.)
For the record, as Ryan Gosling once explained, Saoirse is pronounced “Ser-sha, like inertia.” In return, Ronan dubbed Gosling “a blond Canadian Jesus,” for wielding his power for good and getting people to say her name properly. That was back in 2016, yet here we are, a full year later and having learned nothing.
To her credit, Ronan has also done her fair share to educate viewers. Her Lady Bird media tour has basically been interview after interview talking about her name. She has talked about this same topic on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Live with Kelly and Ryan and Rotten Tomatoes. When Corden asked Ronan what the worst butchering of her name has been, she responded “Everything except for Saoirse. I’ve never heard Saoirse once.” Her name has been such a hot topic that it was even the subject for her monologue when she hosted Saturday Night Live.
Ronan isn’t the first actress to face this struggle. Orange Is the New Black‘s Uzo Aduba spoke about wanting to change her name at a young age because no one could pronounce “Uzoamaka.” Her mother, now somewhat famously, responded, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.” #PREACH
So, presenters, make a commitment right now to watch any of the multiple videos where Ronan has explained her name because, trust, once award season gets started, she’ll defs be on the ballot.
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