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Golden Globes Kickoff Hollywood Awards Season


Hollywood celebrated the 78th Golden Globe Awards last night virtually, and like any Zoom meeting, it was, at points, weird and tense. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association had been criticized for nominating stuff that critics and viewers thought was fine but overlooking art like Michaela Coel's "I May Destroy You." Presenters dealt with it. Here's NPR's Mandalit del Barco.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the HFPA, has long been mocked over its credibility. A Los Angeles Times investigation last week revealed possible self-dealing and ethical issues around access to celebrities and lavish trips for members. In addition, the paper reported of the 87 journalists in the HFPA, not a single one is Black. Two days ago, the Golden Globes earned a hashtag, #timesupglobes, a protest over its lack of diversity.


AMY POEHLER: Everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices.

DEL BARCO: Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey got right to the point at the start of the ceremony.


POEHLER: A lot of flashy garbage got nominated, but that happens, OK? That's, like, their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.

TINA FEY: And, look, we all know that award shows are stupid.

POEHLER: Yeah. They're all a scam invented by big red carpet.

FEY: To sell more carpet.

POEHLER: We know...

FEY: The point is even with stupid things, inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press.

DEL BARCO: During the socially distanced ceremony, three members of the HFPA responded to the controversy - Helen Hoehne from Germany, former President Meher Tatna from India and Turkish member Ali Sar.


HELEN HOEHNE: We must have Black journalists in our organization.

MEHER TATNA: We must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table. And we are going to make that happen.

ALI SAR: That means creating an environment where diverse membership is the norm, not the exception.

DEL BARCO: During the ceremony, presenter Sterling K. Brown made this remark.


STERLING K BROWN: It is great to be Black at the Golden Globes - back - back at the Golden Globes.

DEL BARCO: Sacha Baron Cohen roasted the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press Association when he picked up two awards for his film "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm." Daniel Levy accepted the award for best television series, "Schitt's Creek," and made a shoutout for more inclusion at the Globes. And Jane Fonda, who received the HFPA's Cecil B. DeMille award, made a pitch for Hollywood to do better.


JANE FONDA: We are a community of storytellers, aren't we? And in turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling has always been essential. You see, stories have a way to - they can change our hearts and our minds. They can help us see each other in a new light, to have empathy, to recognize that for all our diversity, we are humans first.

DEL BARCO: With the nominees watching from home, the Golden Globes were even more relaxed than usual. So much that winner Jason Sudeikis wore a tie-dye hoodie and winner Jodie Foster was in chic pajamas. Some of the nominees and winners held their pets, hugged their children and chatted with each other during breaks as though they were on Zoom. And there were a few technical problems.


DANIEL KALUUYA: You're doing me dirty. Am I on? Is this on? Is this on? All right. Cool.


DEL BARCO: That's Daniel Kaluuya, winning best supporting actor for his role in the film "Judas And The Black Messiah." Among the others awarded Golden Globes were actors Emma Corrin, Josh O'Connor and Gillian Anderson, all from "The Crown," which was crowned best television series drama. Director Chloe Zhao made history at the Globes as the first Asian woman and the second woman ever to win the globe for best director motion picture. Her film, "Nomadland," also won the award for best motion picture drama. She talked about her wins to reporters in a virtual press room.


CHLOE ZHAO: Sometimes a first feels like a long time coming, isn't it? You feel like it's about time. And I'm sure there's many other before me that deserve the same recognition. I just love what I do.

DEL BARCO: The late actor Chadwick Boseman played his final role as a trumpet player in the film "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." The 43-year-old actor died of cancer in August. Last night, his widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted his award for best performance by an actor in a motion picture drama. She said if her husband were still here, he would thank his ancestors.


TAYLOR SIMONE LEDWARD: He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.

DEL BARCO: She may want to get used to giving speeches. Award season, as it's known in Hollywood, has just begun.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.