By Dana Feeney
The Golden Globes have kicked off the 2021 awards season despite the many production disruptions in television and film in 2020 due to the CoronaVirus pandemic. For those who may not be familiar with the Golden Globes, the globes are a film and television award show that happens once a year run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). The awards were done remotely and hosted in tandem from opposite coasts by comedy powerhouses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Instead of the usual stacked audience of the biggest names in Hollywood, the members of the in-person audiences were front-line workers and first responders while celebrities watched from the safety of their homes via zoom. Fey and Poehler did not pull any punches during their opening monologue, which you can watch here.
The HFPA, a group of 87 international journalists from around 55 countries, does not have any black members. Fey commented on this almost immediately in the opening monologue saying, “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international, no-black journalists.” Throughout the night different personalities commented on the lack of representation, including “Schitt’s Creek” co-creator Dan Levy who said “in the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year this ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated,” during his acceptance speech for Best TV Series. More critically, Sacha Baron Cohen, who won multiple awards including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” and said in his acceptance speech, “Thank you to the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press.”
One of the biggest snubs of the night was the lack of nominations for “I May Destroy You,” a British-American series starring, written, co-directed, and executive produced by Michaela Coel for BBC One and HBO. Many people are frustrated by the fact that “Emily in Paris,” which is a story about a white woman navigating Paris as an American, garnered nominations over “I May Destroy You.” Deborah Copaken, a writer for Netflix’s “Emily in Paris,” spoke to The Guardian and explain how much she believes “I May Destroy You” “deserves to win all the awards.” She speaks about how well the show “takes the complicated issue of a rape – I’m a sexual assault survivor myself – and infuses it with heart, humor, pathos.” You can read the rest of her take on “I May Destroy You” here.
Additionally, the film “Minari” won Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language, you can watch director Lee Isaac Chung‘s acceptance speech which features his daughter here. “Minari” was left out of the Best Motion Picture category supposedly because portions of the film were not in English, although the film is the story of a Korean-American family set in Arkansas. This created very similar dissent to last year’s exclusion of “Parasite” written and directed by Korean Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, from the same category at the Golden Globes, which went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. You can find more information about “Minari” and where to watch it here.
On a more positive note, many deserving producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, actresses, and more were recognized for the high caliber of content produced this past year. One of the most heart-wrenching being Chadwick Boseman, who won his first Golden Globe for Best Actor in a motion picture, drama for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted the award on his behalf and gave a beautiful acceptance speech which you can watch here. It’s highly anticipated that Boseman may go on to win a posthumous Academy Award for his performance.
History was made in many categories throughout the evening. Chloé Zhao is now the first woman and the first Asian woman to win Best Director. She won Best Director for the film “Nomadland“. Of the five individuals nominated for Best Director, three of them were women, Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell, and Regina King. This is the first time the HFPA has recognized more than one female director. You can see Zhao’s acceptance speech here. You can read more about this historic moment for women in film here.
Andra Day won Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her role in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” She is the second black actress to win the category since Whoopie Goldberg won for “The Color Purple” 35 years ago. You can see her ecstatic reaction alongside her family and her acceptance speech here and read more about her thoughts on her win here.
After his Best Screenplay, Motion Picture win for “The Trial of The Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin is now tied with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Bolt who respectively have three wins in the screenplay category. His past two wins were for “The Social Network” (2010) and “Steve Jobs” (2015), but he has received multiple other nominations for screenwriting in the past. You can watch his acceptance speech here.
Netflix, with 42 nominations and 10 wins, Amazon, with 10 nominations and three wins, and Apple TV, with four nominations and one win, took home huge victories for streaming services. Netflix’s limited series “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” were hugely popular and won a variety of accolades. For Amazon and Apple Tv, their ringers were “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “Ted Lasso” respectively.
You can see the full list of winner’s here.