A Zoom-In on the Golden Globes

By Leah Mize

The 78th Golden Globe Awards were hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for the fourth time. The SNL alums previously hosted the awards show from 2013 to 2015 but this year’s setup was pandemic-inspired. According to Entertainment Weekly, Fey hosted from New York and Poehler hosted from California. 

Like many events in the age of Covid-19, the night’s festivities were hosted over Zoom. With any Zoom event, even one as supposedly prestigious as the Golden Globes, there were technical difficulties. It is surreal to see some of the most famous celebrities glammed up to sit in front of their webcams to accept their awards, as many Americans have had to in the age of the pandemic. 

Celebrities were at home on Zoom and experienced technical difficulties. Daniel Kaluuya’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor was unable to be heard and 

Schitt’s Creek actress Catherine O’Hara had issues with background noise during her acceptance speech for Best Actress in a television series or comedy. 

The voting body for the Golden Globe Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), is all white, with no black members. The HFPA’s lack of diversity is extremely noticeable, particularly against the backdrop of the increase in public awareness and recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement. Grey’s Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo wrote an open letter to the HFPA that she posted on her Twitter account nearly a day before the Golden Globes aired. Pompeo said that the HFPA’s lack of racial diversity was “unacceptable” and urged her fellow actors and actresses in Hollywood to take on this issue in order to help rectify it. 

This controversy caused the awards show to respond. According to an article published in Vogue, the awards show set aside 43 seconds to address the issue of their lack of diversity. According to this article, Fey was quoted as saying, “We all know that award shows are stupid but even with stupid things, inclusivity is important.” 

The University of Tampa student Katrina Weiss feels as though that moment was handled poorly. “They didn’t even give the issue a full minute of time,” said Weiss. “You would think after the year we had and the time and energy we put toward helping people of color and they can’t even give them a minute to explain themselves? It’s unacceptable to me.”

Despite the technical issues and lack of diversity in the voting body and nominations, there were some bright spots during the night. According to an article published on Variety.com, Chloe Zhao became the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe as she picked up the award for directing Nomadland

Another highlight of the show was that Chadwick Boseman won an award posthumously for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which was accepted by his wife, Taylor Simone Leonard. Leonard was emotional as she made her acceptance speech on behalf of her deceased husband. She was quoted as saying, “He would have said something beautiful, something uplifting, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can.”

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