Each January not only marks the beginning of the new year, it also marks the beginning of award season in Hollywood. From the fashion, the acceptance speeches, to the awkward teleprompter readings, I live for this time of the year.
The Golden Globes are always the first award show to kick off the most anticipated time in the film and television industry and sets the tone for the shows that follows. But the 76th annual ceremony didn’t demarcate the beginning of award season the way it needed to. Instead, the show was awkward, rushed, and at times, very boring.
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The night began with co-hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh (who will forever be my Dr. Yang), roasting the distinguished guests in attendance with an abundance of compliments. While approaching the opening monologue from this angle instead of dumping a bunch of jokes about our country’s political climate was a nice idea, it was poorly executed. Majority of the eight minutes Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh opened the show were cringy to watch, especially the failed joke to Ryan Coogler about Black Panther. It wasn’t funny, it was rude. I don’t blame Samberg and Oh, I blame the writers. Whoever wrote the joke is clearly misinformed about the purpose of the Black Panther party.
The highlight of the opening bit was Sandra Oh calling out Emily Stone for being casted as a Hawaiian native in the film Aloha, who preceded to yell “I’m sorry!” off-camera. It’s a little too late to apologize, sis.
Sandra Oh ended the opening monologue with a powerful statement. “If I could take this moment here in all honesty, I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change,” Oh said. “And I’m not fooling myself. I’m not fooling myself. Next year could be different. It probably will be. But right now, this moment is real. Trust me, it is real. Because I see you. All of these faces of change, and now, so will everyone else.”
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While the statement was emotionally charged and set the mood for the night, there was no indication of “change” in sight.
An hour into the show, there was a pattern. Every single person who had won an award was White. I thought this mantra might end by the closing of the ceremony, as there was a diverse group of nominees in almost every category, but it didn’t. Midway through the show Regina King and Mahershala Ali won the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture for their performances in If Beale Street Could Talk and Green Book. After their wins, Sandra Oh won Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama for her performance in Killing Eve and Alfonso Cuarón received Best Director for his film Roma. But that was pretty much it for diversity for the rest of the evening.
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In spite of the Hollywood Foreign Press constantly preaching about diversity and inclusion, there was still a lack of representation from people of color who actually won. Actors and directors such as Constance Wu, John David Washington, Spike Lee, and Ryan Coogler were snubbed for their work. I still can’t wrap my mind around how Crazy Rich Asians and Black Panther didn’t win a single award. Even Kendrick Lamar was snubbed, who produced the best soundtrack of 2018. Don’t argue with me about this. The lack of diverse winners shows that Hollywood is still neglecting to give artists of color the recognition they deserve. It shows that the film and television industry still has a long way to go before “change” is actually implemented.
Not only did Regina King win Best Supporting Actress for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk, she used her acceptance speech as time to charge producers to include more women in their productions. “I challenge you to challenge ourselves,” King said. She vowed for the next two years that everything she produces will be staffed with 50 percent women!
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This is how you use your platform for change. This is what everyone should be doing. Follow in the Queen’s footsteps, Hollywood!
As they do every year, people of color shined and took the crown for best dressed this year. They came to slay, not to play.
Image Credits: ET Online
If the Golden Globes are a reflection of the nature of the rest of the upcoming award shows, a lot of work has to done. Having a successful and entertaining night goes far beyond hiring the right hosts. It consists of being steady and understanding how to fix momentum. The formula that the ceremony has used for years needs to be redeveloped if producers want the Golden Globes to be the standard.