The most anticipated topic for Sunday night’s Golden Globe awards had to be how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association would address criticism about how it chooses winners and its membership roster. In a bicoastal broadcast that saw Tina Fey hosting from the Rainbow Room in Manhattan and Amy Poehler hosting from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, the organization faced the music with its hosts, members, and even some award presenters and recipients referencing various points in the controversy.
First came criticism after the organization decided that Minari, the American film with mostly Korean dialogue, would compete in the “foreign” category; then came the noticeable snubbing of multiple projects featuring Black creatives and casts on nominations morning. And then, just a week out from the ceremony, the L.A. Times dropped a bombshell investigation into the makeup (zero Black journalists are members) and ethics of the 87-member group. (You can read the full piece here.) As the week went on, there were calls for guilds and media outlets to boycott the ceremony – and expectations rose that winners and presenters on the night would use the opportunity to call for reforms in the HFPA, and beyond. And… those expectations were met.
Read on to learn about the big wins and more of the best moments of the night.
With the revelation that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has not had a Black member in 20 years, and industry criticism of the organization mounting, it was announced before the show that the HFPA would address its membership controversy live during the show. And hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were quick to address go there, directly taking on the “European weirdos” behind the Globes. Acknowledging that all “awards shows are stupid,” Fey and Poehler nonetheless reiterated that even with stupid things, inclusivity is important, and ended their opening urging the HFPA to do better, signing off: “Here’s to changing it.”
Later in the show, members of the HFPA took to the stage to acknowledge the organization has work to do, and that “we must have Black journalists in our organization.” And while accepting her Cecil B. DeMille award, Jane Fonda also said it was time Hollywood took a hard look at itself, including the groups that decide awards, and who was given access and opportunity. “Let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent,” Fonda said, “so that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard.”
Daniel Kaluuya’s win for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his portrayal of Black Panther Chicago Chapter President Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah was no surprise – he’s an odds-on favorite to sail through awards season right through to Oscar night. What was shocking was an audio mishap that meant we – at first – could not hear Kaluuya give his acceptance speech, leaving confused presenter Laura Dern to congratulate Kaluuya again and start to move the show along. Thankfully, the issue was fixed and Kaluuya was able to give his acceptance speech, kicking off by saying “you’re doin’ me dirty” before paying tribute to his director, Shaka King, co-stars, and to Hampton himself. “He taught me about myself and made me grow as a man,” Kaluuya said.
Boyega’s powerful performance in Steve McQueen’s “Red, White and Blue” episode of Small Axe garnered the Star Wars alum the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor – Television. The British actor revealed that below his white jacket and shirt, he was wearing track pants and trainers. He said a few thank yous, and the rest of his speech was delivered in such a heavy accent that he broke the closed captioning, which just said, “Test, test, test…”
He may not have won his category – Best Supporting Actor – but Bill Murray did win hearts on social media with his incredibly vibrant Hawaiian shirt and martini. (And by looking genuinely happy with Daniel Kaluuya’s win.)
Bill Murray with his martini is a whole mood pic.twitter.com/gkrnKbdliZ
— Meg O'Donnell (@meg__odonnell) March 1, 2021
TikTok star La’Ron Hines delivered a tear-jerking moment in a pre-filmed segment that saw him asking preschool kids about the Golden Globes. None of the kids knew who Lin-Manuel Miranda was, nor how many people were in the Chicago 7, but in the closing section of the bit, all knew exactly who Chadwick Boseman was. “The Black Panther!” several answered enthusiastically, while one youngster simply said: “Chadwick Boseman is the good guy.”
— . (@letsy4u) March 1, 2021
(Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Looking very Villanelle, Rosamund Pike was as shocked as most that she took out the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy over frontrunner Maria Bakalova from Borat Subsequent MovieFilm. (We weren’t so shocked ourselves, we picked her in our predictions). The actress has been picking up steam this awards season for her turn as a dastardly legal guardian in the pitch-black comedy I Care A Lot and this latest win could see her nudge into the Oscar nominations when they are announced this March.
A little later in the evening, Jodie Foster surprised the pundits – and herself and guests downstairs – by winning Best Supporting Actress in A Motion Picture over more favored contenders Amanda Seyfried and Olivia Colman. The win just upped her chances for an Oscar nod for portrayal of a lawyer fighting for the freedom of a prisoner held without charge at Guantánamo Bay in true story, The Mauritanian.
Chloé Zhao took home the award for Best Director for Nomadland and broke a number of records in the process: She became the first woman of Asian descent to win the award, and the first woman to win the award since Barbra Steeisand won for Yentl. That was in 1984. Accepting her award, Zhao paid tribute to the nomads of her film, and said, “Compassion is the breakdown of barriers between us.”
Thumbnail photo by: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images