In a night full of first-time honorees, Beijing-born Chloé Zhao became the first lady of color named Best Director in the Golden Globe Awards. And Zhao wasn’t alone — most of those new winners at the U.S. awards season’s opener were also artists of color, even as the Globes’ parent company, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and other Hollywood institutions confront harsh criticism over a lack of diversity.
In another first for its category, she had been one of three female nominees, beating Regina King for”One Night in Miami” and Emerald Fennell for”Promising Young Woman.” She also took home Best Drama Movie for her film,”Nomadland.”
Debut celebrity Andra Day likewise had her first triumph, for her portrayal of the titular jazz singer in”The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” Day became the first Black woman to win a Best Actress award (to get a Drama Movie) because Whoopi Goldberg took home the trophy 35 years back for”The Color Purple.”
Chadwick Boseman’s win for Best Actor in a Drama Movie was also his initial nomination. He won posthumously for his last movie,”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” His spouse Taylor Simone Ledward gave an emotional acceptance speech on behalf of the 43-year-old star, who died in August following a private battle with colon cancer.
Zhao, Day and Boseman were not the sole real time Globe nominees who won on Sunday night. Kaluuya is your fifth Black man to win this category, following Mahershala Ali in 2019, Eddie Murphy in 2007, Denzel Washington in 1990 and Louis Gossett Jr. in 1983.
First-timers were also honored for their achievements on the small display. John Boyega watched his first nomination turn into a win, for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series for”Small Axe,” and seemed genuinely stunned to have won. The co-director of”Soul,” Kemp Powers was the first Black introduction filmmaker to win a Golden Globe, and just the second Black manager to win at the Best Animated Picture class, following Phil Ramsey’s”Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.” Korean-American play”Minari” director Lee Isaac Chung also took home his first Golden Globe, for Best Foreign Language Film — a class which also attracted a great deal of flack for the institution.
In fact, the HFPA’s shortcomings remained a point of attention for the day — particularly its shortage of Dark members for more than two decades. By co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to presenter Sterling K. Brown — that noted,”It’s great to be Black in the Golden Globe Awards” — to winner Sacha Baron Cohen, who uttered”the ancestral Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” critics took aim at the organization and Hollywood entire for the lack of recognition and celebration of musicians of colour.
Cecile B. DeMille award honoree Jane Fonda stated in her address Sunday,”There is a story we’ve been afraid to see and listen about ourselves in this industry, a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out, a narrative about who is offered a chair at the table who is kept out of those chambers where decisions have been made.” The longtime activist advocated inclusivity, stating,”Let us all people, including all of the classes that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards… make an attempt to expand that tent that everyone rises and everybody’s story has a chance to be seen and noticed.”
The organization tried to acknowledge the controversy, as three members — president Ali Sar, vice president Helene Hoehne, and former president Meher Tatna, who is of South Asian descent — took the stage to awkwardly vow to succeed.
However, in a letter delivered to the institution , Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen stated,”The HFPA’s statements over the past several days indicate a basic lack of understanding of the depth of their issues at hand.”
“Your stated version of modification is cosmetic — locate Black people,” she said. “That is not a solution.”
Other notable first-time Golden Globes wins
Four-time nominee Mark Ruffalo got his first win, for Best Actress in a Limited Series (“I Know This Much Is True”) — and spoke spoke about inclusivity, link and caring for Mother Earth at a moving acceptance speech — as did three-time nominee and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Movie winner Rosamund Pike (“I Care A Lot”). Along with his prize for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Movie, Sacha Baron Cohen became the first actor to win two awards for the same film personality, Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyav.