“I’m here because I’m black.” The first words of comedian Jerrod Carmichael broke the ice and referred to the elephant in the room, the controversy that already marked the Golden Globes last year.

The presenter kicked off the 80th edition of the awards, considered the prelude to the Oscars, with a scathing monologue that left many speechless, including Brad Pitt. He explained the moral dilemma he experienced when a producer called him on behalf of the organizers — the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — to essentially whitewash an organization in trouble for its lack of diversity. “I wouldn’t say they’re racist, but they didn’t have a single black member before George Floyd died. I’m going to let you judge,” said Carmichael, who revealed that he was paid half a million dollars to stand there on Tuesday night. “I accepted this job believing that they have not changed much,” he said as a final touch. The show in Hollywood had to go on.

Inisherin’s Banshee Souls has been the big winner of a night where the industry has lifted the punishment of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA, for its acronym in English). The Globes distinguish between dramatic films and comedic musicals, but playwright Martin McDonagh’s latest black comedy, about a dispute between two old friends in a small Irish island town, picked up three awards. The one for best comic actor went to Colin Farrell, one of its protagonists along with Brendan Gleeson. McDonagh also won the award for best screenplay.

Colin Farrell and Martin McDonagh, two winners for the film ‘The Banshees at Inisherin’.Chris Pizzello (Invision)

This Tuesday night may mark Steven Spielberg’s path to a new statuette from the Hollywood Academy, which will announce its nominations on Tuesday the 24th. The 74-year-old veteran director has won best dramatic film and best direction with his more personal work, The Fabelmans. He talks about the divorce of his parents and the moment when his love for cinema was born. “I’ve been hiding from this story since I was 17…I’ve told it in parts in many of my movies: ET has a lot of it,” said the filmmaker, who was competing in a category where no women were nominated. The director began developing the idea with his producer, Tony Kushner, almost 20 years ago. Finally, it was the coronavirus crisis that convinced him. “We didn’t know if we could tell another story… Nobody knows who we are until we have the courage to say who we are,” he said. At another point, he recalled how he was a personal assistant to the legendary John Cassavetes, an experience where he learned to treat his assistants as people.

One of the big questions of the night was whether the members of the HFPA were going to award Brendan Fraser for The Whale, a performance that has been critically acclaimed. He was one of the few actors to boycott this year’s ceremony because he was sexually harassed in 2003 by the organization’s former president. HFPA voters have made it clear that they did not take that absence well (Zendaya and Cate Blanchett, who were also not present, won). Austin Butler, 31, was chosen for the male award of the night for playing Elvis Presley in the Baz Luhrmann biopic.

The Mexican Guillermo del Toro got a new Golden Globe for the adaptation he made for Netflix of Pinocchio. The director thanked him for being back in person with his peers in what he considered “a great year” for cinema. More euphoria was shown by the Argentines Santiago Miter and Ricardo Darin, who won the best non-English language film for Argentina, 1985, the only Latin American film in competition, and which deals with the first trials of the military junta in democracy. “After the world championship, this is another great joy,” he managed to say who brought prosecutor Julio Cesar Strassera to life on screen. The producers brought him down from the stage with the piano music that served as a soundtrack to the verbiage of the night.

Other great favorites came out with the prizes that everyone predicted for them. Especially Michelle Yeoh, the actress who won her first Globe at the age of 60 for All of her at the same time everywhere. This independent work of science fiction about parallel universes caused a sensation in theaters. “It was a dream to come to Hollywood until I got here,” she said with a laugh. “Here someone told me: you are a minority. I replied that this was impossible. They also told me to learn English,” she continued.

Spielberg’s has not been the only recognized career. Eddie Murphy, one of the first blacks to succeed in comedy alongside Pryor and Cosby, was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his more than 40 years in the industry. In one of his shorter speeches, Murphy humorously revealed the secret to success. “There are only three things to do: pay your taxes, focus on your business and keep the name of Will Smith’s wife out of your fucking mouth,” he yelled to laughter from the audience. Ryan Murphy, the television blockbuster producer and gay activist, picked up the Carol Burnett Award for his work, which has put gay and trans actors at the helm of shows like Glee, Pose and American Horror Story.

One of Murphy’s series took home one of the night’s television awards thanks to Evan Peters’ performance as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, the Milwaukee butcher. The television categories, however, showed the broad dominance of two series: Abbott College, from ABC (Disney) and The White Lotus (HBO). The first, a mockumentary of one of the worst elementary schools in the United States, won three statuettes, including best musical or comedy series. Tyler James Williams won Best Supporting Actor and Quinta Brunson, series creator and lead, took Best Comedy Actress.

After sweeping the night of the Emmys, the social satire of The White Lotus won best miniseries. Jennifer Coolidge, one of the leads, was also named best supporting actress in a miniseries after losing in 2022 to Succession’s Sarah Snook. Coolidge won on a Tuesday, but before a packed Beverly Hilton and where she ran the champagne. Last year, the ceremony was not televised and many stars supported the boycott. Carmichael mocked this punishment by charging three Golden Globes, the same number that Tom Cruise returned amid the controversy. “Perhaps we could return them in exchange for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige (the wife of the leader of the Church of Scientology, who has not been traced for 15 years),” he said in another surprising joke. 

Since Carmichael’s presentation, the night passed with diversity as the common thread. The first two awards of the night went to actors of color, underscoring the organization’s message of change. Ke Huy Quan won best supporting actor for his role in All at Once Everywhere. On stage he thanked the first to give him a role in the movies, Steven Spielberg. The director included it in the second installment of Indiana Jones, in 1984. “For a long time I thought that I would never get over what I did as a child. More than 30 years later, two guys remembered me [Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the directors] and gave me a new opportunity ”, he mentioned in an emotional speech. The award was followed by Angela Bassett, who has won her second Globe for her appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The last time she was on stage was in 1994, when she played Tina Turner in a biopic. She tonight she dedicated a few words to the late Chadwick Boseman. “We have shown the world what black unity, leadership and love can do behind and in front of the camera,” she said.

The first white to win came when the gala was over half an hour. It went to composer Justin Horowitz, the musician and frequent collaborator of Damien Chazelle, the director of Babylon. Horowitz has taken his fourth Globe tonight. After his award and that of Jeremy Allan White, who won for his performance as chef Carmy Berzatto in the television phenomenon The Bear, the awards for minorities returned. Indian singer Chandrabose took home the best song award for the theme he composed for the three-hour epic RRR, at what has been the most diverse gala in its 80-year history.

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