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The Golden Globes: Low Turnout, Drama, and Amazing Black Women

The Golden Globes are among the big awards at the beginning of the year for actors, both in movies and television. It is the precursor to the Oscars and basically predicts who would be in the running for an Oscar. Unfortunately, this year, the viewer turnout was very low and as expected, (since we are in a pandemic) there was no live audience and nominees awaited the results via video. They did have masked essential workers in the audience, which I thought was a nice touch. 

This year's show was hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and it was the fourth time this pair has hosted. Something I thought they worked around well was the fact that they weren't even in the same state. They seamlessly blended the footage from New York and Los Angeles, and I almost didn't notice that they weren’t together. Another sad reality of this time is we weren’t able to have a big red carpet moment. People still dressed up and posted their outfits on Instagrams and presenters who were there in person posed for some nice pictures. 

Something that happened going into the Golden Globes was some controversy over the nominations. There was a lack of Black female actresses in the running. Emily in Paris, which was nominated for Best Comedy series, was a surprise choice for many people, and many were appalled that I May Destroy You was nowhere to be found. I May Destroy You is an HBO show written by and starring the brilliant Michaela Cole. It is about a young Black woman dealing with life after being raped and features a predominantly Black cast. I highly recommend it. Another show that Michaela Cole was written and starred in is Chewing Gum. It used to be on Netflix but now is only on Google Play, but it is a really funny show and Michaela is such a good writer. 

Tina and Amy addressed this drama with some funny jokes in their monologue and acknowledged that things will need to change, noting that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which nominates and picks winners) has no Black members. I liked this; however, they also did make statements saying that the awards don’t really mean that much, and I would disagree. Sure, it’s just an award, and many times much more deserving people don’t win them (Leonardo DiCaprio) but winning them does feel good and the lack of deserving actors of color is an ongoing problem that seems to be looked over. 

I wanted to make this article more woman centered  in honor of Women’s History Month, but I have to mention the late Chadwick Boseman, who won an award for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. His wife accepted it on his behalf, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Speaking of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the movie is about an actual Black female singer named Ma Rainey, who is called the “mother of blues.” She is played by Viola Davis in the Netflix film, and I highly suggest people give it a watch. It is based on a play written by August Wilson (an African American playwright who wrote a series of plays about the Black experience).  For those of you who go to Conn College, the play was first put on at the Eugene O’Neil theater, which is actually right by us in Waterford. Viola Davis sadly didn't win an award for this role, but she looked beautiful in her African printed dress. Andra Day, instead, won Best Actress, and it is a big win since it’s her first-ever acting role. The singer took on the role of Billie Holiday in the Hulu film, The United States vs Billie Holiday, and was elated and humbly accepted the award. I have yet to watch this film, but it is about an African American jazz singer who also had a drug problem. The movie goes into her life and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics investigation of her. 

The awards looked a little different than normal, but great women were honored that night, and I am excited to see how the Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, and Emmys are going to deal with the ever changing world of the pandemic.

Elyce Afrifa

Conn Coll '22

I was born and raised in Bronx, NY. I attended Herbert H Lehman High School where she participated in an acting club. I currently attend Connecticut College in New London, CT where I plans to major in biology and minor in theater. I am also on the Women's Rugby Team and apart of Wig and Candle the acting club here. I also am a big fan of many TV shows, Shameless, The Flash and Big Brother to name a few.
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