African-American actors took home multiple trophies at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards, as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization behind the awards were harshly criticized for its complete lack of African-American members, which was discovered by The Los Angeles Times.
The 80-some voting members have long been painted as out of touch. To HFPA’s credit, they fully acknowledged the need to diversify, and I am confident they will remedy the problem and create a long-term solution.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey returned as hosts. Poehler hosted the ceremony from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif, with Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York.
The traditional red carpet did not exist this time around. The honorees were all at home.
It was a thrilling start of the 2021 Globes, as the ceremony began with back-to-back honors for African-American actors. Daniel Kaluuya, for best-supporting actor (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), followed by John Boyega, best supporting actor in a TV series (“Small Axe”).
Pixar’s “Soul,” co-directed by Kemp Powers won the Globe for best-animated film. The story features an African-American, aspiring jazz musician in search of his inspiration.
In a surprise, Andra Day won best actress in a drama for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous Globe for his lead performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Taylor Simone Ledward, Boseman’s widow, accepted Boseman’s award in the most emotional moment of the night.
It’s no surprise that streaming services emerged as the big winners at the 78th Golden Globe Awards. Netflix collected 10 awards, including one for best-limited series (for “The Queen’s Gambit”), a shock, no doubt for HBO which was long dominated that category. HBO won one award.
The big winners under film were “Nomadland” and “Borat”, and under TV it was “Schitt’s Creek” and “The Crown” for TV.
Amazon won best motion picture comedy or musical, for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Apple TV+, Hulu, and Disney+ also received Globes.
Searchlight took home the most coveted prize, best drama for “Nomadland,” directed by Chloé Zhao, the first Asian-American woman to win. An interesting big of fact it’s been 37 years since a woman won in this category. The year was 1984 and the winner was Barbra Streisand (“Yentl”).
Here is what some of the winners had to say about winning a Golden Globe. These interviews have been edited for clarity and length.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – MOTION PICTURE – “Judas and the Black Messiah” – DANIEL KALUUYA.
FAVORITE BEHIND-THE-SCENE MOMENT:
DANIEL KALUUYA: The only time I have ever gone to set when I didn’t have to, when I wasn’t working, we drove to set and it was doing, like donuts, not donuts, but we did swerves and curves and we showed up and had lunch with everyone and it was kind of cool and we bum-rushed everyone and pretended to kidnap Algee. That was pretty funny.
ON FRED HAMPTON’S CONTRIBUTION
DK: I thank him for his love, man, and his compassion and the amount of self-love he had and the amount of love he poured into the Black community and didn’t compromise on that, you know. He’s a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant man. I have never encountered anyone like him. Sometimes I read his speeches just randomly, and that’s how deep — that’s how much he gave. I thank him for his life.
To tell the story is a privilege, you know what I am saying. It’s an honor. I feel mad humble in this current moment, to be real. I feel like if I was four years old, I can’t play this role. So I feel really alive. So I just feel grateful and I feel grateful for the award to allow more people to watch, you know, this film that everyone came together and made, you know, and to continue the legacy of Chairman Fred. Thank you.
ON STEPPING INTO CHAIRMAN FRED HAMPTON’S SHOES
DK: It took everything, everything I — like I found more. I had to find more. The lesson is clarity, you know, clarity of soul, clarity of feeling, clarity of giving, you know, and just self-love and how much — how much they love their own. I will keep that with me forever.
ON PRODUCER RYAN COOGLER’S INFLUENCE
DK: Yeah, I mean, we did it, you know what I’m saying, we made it, you know what I’m saying. It is so hard for films to be made, and that’s the win for me. That’s the win. The fact that we told it from this perspective, you have to tip your hat to Ryan Coogler, when — he made a billion, he pitched this. For certain so many things have to happen in order for this film to get made. Forest Whitaker tried to make it. Antoine Fuqua tried to make it. A lot of people tried to make it. The fact that we got to make it and the mainstream audience is arriving to it and arriving to this story is everything. Thank you. Appreciate it.
ON THE MESSAGE TODAY
DK: Is to know the people that are on the front line are really doing changes, really doing the battles. People that responded to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, are not alone. They can look in history, and there’s a lot of people who really fought and believed and they had the words and the strength to implement it. And to know that, like they are not crazy.
BEST ACTRESS ‑ MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA — Andra Day ‑ “The United States vs Billie Holliday”
ON DISCOVERING BILLIE HOLIDAY
ANDRA DAY: Billie had a Ph.D. in cussing, and that was something Johann Hari and SLP and Lee Daniels and myself would say, what was she up there, she’s definitely cussing them out. So I think right now she would be like, “Hey, you motherfuckin’ did it, bitch,” because that’s just how she was. Actually she would — oh, fine.
ON BALANCING HER SINGING AND ACTING CAREER
AD: For me, listen, I am a spiritual person and I sort of let the Holy Spirit, God lead whatever it is we do, wherever our service is. That’s why I believe we are here.
The next thing we have coming up is an album we have finished, and we are releasing that. The next thing may be more music, might be another movie. I have definitely started writing, and I love to work with great writers and producers, and directors to get some of these stories — more of these stories of colored, marginalized women off the ground. So it is about listening, my spirit being sensitive to the Spirit and move where we are supposed to be and we are aligned, you know.
These interviews have been edited for clarity and length.
BEST ACTOR MOTION PICTURE DRAMA — Chadwick Boseman ‑ “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — Full Acceptance Speech.
SIMONE LEDWARD: He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices. He would thank his incredible team, Michael Greene, Azing Chiba, Nicki Fioravante, Evelyn O’Neill, Chris Huvane, Logan Coles. He would thank his team on set for this film. Deidra Dixon, Sian Richards, Craig Anthony, and Andrew Carlone.
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.
He would thank Mr. George C. Wolfe, Mr. Denzel Washington, lots of people at Netflix. He would thank Miss Viola Davis, Mr. Glynn Turman, Mr. Michael Potts, Mr. Colman Domingo, Miss Taylour Page, Mr. Dusom Brown.
And 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. And, Hon, you keep ’em coming. Thank you.