Golden Globe Award co-hosts Tina Fey, Amy Poehler mum on politics, ‘Borat,’ ‘Nomadland’ win big

By Melissa Roberto

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returned as co-hosts of this year’s Golden Globe Awards, one of the biggest nights for TV and film, and they wasted no time mocking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who puts on the show.

In the week leading up to 78th annual awards show came the revelation that there are no Black voting members in the group, something that only reinforced criticism that the press association — which notoriously controversial host Ricky Gervais last year called “very, very racist” in his opening monologue — is in need of overhauling.

“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international no-Black journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life,” Fey cracked. “We say around 90 because a couple of them might be ghosts, and it’s rumored that the German member is just a sausage that somebody drew a little face on.”

When discussing some of the biggest TV shows and movies up for awards Sunday night, the co-hosts joked that Pixar’s “Soul” is a “beautiful Pixar animated movie where a middle-aged Black man’s soul accidentally gets knocked out of his body into a cat. The HFPA really responded to this movie because they do have five cat members.”

This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “One Night in Miami,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Da 5 Bloods” — were nominated for the Globes’ best picture award.

Poehler added that the public is “understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices. Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated but that happens. That’s like their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.”

“We all know awards shows are stupid,” Fey joked.

Fey added that the HFPA’s workplace is “the back booth of a French McDonald’s” before noting that the association has “got to change” their lack of diversity.

“Here’s to changing it,” Fey added.

The comedic duo’s opening monologue was also significant in that they made no mention of politics despite the show being known for its political jabs. The co-hosts failed to mention the months following the 2020 presidential election and embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s mounting sexual harassment allegations.

Two women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo that he denies. Meanwhile, he is also facing criticism for allegedly underreporting nursing home coronavirus deaths by as much as 50% to avoid federal scrutiny.

Though Poehler’s and Fey’s lack of politics may not come as much of a surprise given that Fey warned viewers before the show not to expect politics.


Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returned to host the Golden Globe Awards ceremony for the fourth time. (NBC via AP)

Next, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s “Borat” sequel, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” emerged as the winner of best motion picture – musical or comedy.

“I want to thank my crew who were amazingly brave, who had the risk of getting arrested, the risk of getting COVID, and they did that because we all believe so deeply in releasing this movie before the election to show the dangers of lies, hate and conspiracies, and teh power of truth, empathy and democracy,” Cohen said.

Cohen also scored the award for best performance by an actor in a motion picture musical or comedy for his role in the sequel.

“Thank you again to the Hollywood Foreign Press, um, hold on, hold on, uh, Donald Trump is contesting the result,” Cohen cracked.

Andra Day, star of “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” emotionally reacted to taking home the award for best performance by an actress in a motion picture drama.

“Nomadland” came out on top as the winner for best motion picture drama.

‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ nabbed several Golden Globe nominations. (Amazon Studios)

The first few glimpses of the awards show showed stars from this year’s nominated shows and films appearing over Zoom. And to no surprise, this year’s ceremony featured some technical difficulties.

Daniel Kaluuya took home the award for best supporting actor in a motion picture, the first award of the night, and his volume cut out while accepting the award via Zoom.

“You can see we, unfortunately, have a bad connection and we apologize for that technical problem and send all of our congrats to Daniel on his Golden Globe win,” presenter Laura Dern said.

Kaluuya later came back when his sound began working. Catherine O’Hara won best actress in a musical or comedy TV series for her iconic role in “Schitt’s Creek.” She credited creator Dan Levy for creating an “inspiring, funny, beautiful, family love story in which they let me wear 100 wigs and speak like an alien.”

This image released by Searchlight Pictures shows Frances McDormand, left, and director Chloe Zhao on the set of ‘Nomadland.’ Zhao has made cinema of rugged authenticity, relying frequently on non-professional actors and moments of serendipity while filming. She won for best director. (Searchlight Pictures via AP)

During the show, writer and producer Norman Lear was honored for his lengthy career in television with an award named after Carol Burnett.

“Thank you for this wonderful night. It knocks me out to be introduced by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and to accept this award in the name of Carol Burnett. I could not feel more blessed,” Lear said in his acceptance speech.

He added of Burnett: “Nobody has made me laugh harder, nobody I owe more time to than Carol Burnett and the brilliant team that helped her realize her comedic genius.”

Lear thanked Sony Studios as well as his “glorious wife,” his five daughters and his “wonderful” son and grandchildren. “At close to 99, I can tell you that I’ve never lived alone, I’ve never laughed alone and that has as much to do with my being here today with anything else I know,” he shared.

Norman Lear was honored for his television career with an award named after Carol Burnett. (AP)

The next big accolade went to Jason Sudeikis as best actor in a TV series musical or comedy for his role in “Ted Lasso.” Sudeikis was quite surprised by the achievement, noting “That’s nuts” a few times. The actor then gave a long-winded speech, mocked by fellow nominee in the category, Don Cheadle.

In his speech, Sudeikis credited his fellow cast members for making him “better.” “I know for a fact they make me better, better than I am, better than I thought I could be, better than, you know, anything I can do. I appreciate everybody looking out.”

Next up, “Schitt’s Creek” took home the award for the best TV series musical or comedy. Creator Dan Levy thanked his “amazing cast and crew” for their “incredible work” in taking it “to places we never thought possible.” The show historically swept the Emmy Awards last year.

In between awards, Fey and Poehler kicked off a segment dedicated to first responders during the ongoing pandemic. It showed actors in mock Zoom meetings with doctors around the world in which they discuss a rather unique set of symptoms.

Carey Mulligan appeared on the camera to share she was “experiencing everything as a time loop.”

“It is the exact same day as before,” she informed a physician. “Let me ask you, have you tried to murder Andy Samberg again and again? That’s ‘Palm Springs,'” the doctor responded, referencing the 2020 film.

‘Schitt’s Creek’ took home the award for best TV series musical or comedy. (George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Another joked they were feeling a “bit hot and bothered lately,” to which a physician joked, “You’re experiencing ‘Bridgerton.’ Just enjoy!”

“Thank you first responders for everything you do,” a message read on the screen to viewers.

Also on Sunday, Jane Fonda, a seven-time Globe winner, was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. The 83-year-old actress accepted the award in person, wearing an all-white pantsuit.

Holding her gold trophy in the air high, Fonda thanked the HFPA before touching on the importance of diversity. “I’m so moved to receive this honor, thank you,” she said. “We are a community of storytellers, aren’t we? Storytelling has always been esential. You see stories have a way — they can change our hearts and our minds. They can help us see each other in a new light, have empathy, to recognize that for all our diversity, we are humans first.”

Salma Hayek attends the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton and broadcast on February 28, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California. (Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

“I’ve seen a lot of diversity in my long life…If my heart is open and I look beneath the surface I feel kinship,” Fonda said.

She added: “Stories they really can change people. But there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry — the story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out. The story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made. So let’s, all of us, including all the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards, let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent so that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a change to be seen and heard…After all, art has always been not just in step with history but has led the way. So let’s be leaders, ok? Thank you, thank you so much.”

Jane Fonda, 83, was the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. (Getty Images)

“The Queen’s Gambit” won big as the Netflix series took home best limited series, while its star, Anya Taylor-Joy won the award for best performance by an actress in a limited series. The show about chess quickly became a hit after its release, notably reaching 62 million homes in its first 28 days.

Chadwick Boseman earned a posthumous Golden Globe for best actor for his performance in the August Wilson adaptation “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Boseman is widely expected to be nominated for an Oscar.

Accepting on behalf of the late actor was his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward. In an emotional speech, Simone Ledward noted that Boseman “would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices.”

Boseman’s wife continued: “He would thank his incredible team…He would I don’t have his words but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love so thank you HFPA for this opportunity to do exactly that.”

The late Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous Golden Globe for best actor for his performance in the August Wilson adaptation ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)

Chloe Zhao, the “Nomadland” filmmaker and Oscar frontrunner, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director at the Globes and the first woman since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl” in 1984.”This award belongs to the ‘Nomadland’ team,” Zhao said in her acceptance speech. “Thank you especially, my Nomads, who shared their stories with us.

This year’s show marks Fey’s and Poehler’s fourth time as hosts. The two previously hosted the show from 2013 to 2015.

The 78th annual awards were held bicoastally for the first time ever. Fey appeared live from New York’s Rainbow Room while Poehler hosted from the usual Globes spot in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced the bold plan at the beginning of this month noting that it is a further effort to keep presenters and award recipients safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ceremony was already impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, the HFPA announced that it was postponing the ceremony by almost two months. Typically, the Golden Globes air on the first Sunday of the calendar year as a sort of unofficial kickoff to the Hollywood Awards season. Fortunately, the postponement didn’t prevent it from acting as the usual influencer for the Oscars, which postponed its ceremony to April 25.

Streaming services were the big winner this year in terms of nods, with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime VideoApple TV+, Disney+ and HBO Max all scoring nominations in various categories.

Presenters included Awkwafina, Joaquin Phoenix, Kristen Wiig, Tiffany Haddish, Margot Robbie and Angela Bassett.

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