There was a lot riding on the 2023 Golden Globe Awards last night. The Golden Globes telecast was cancelled last year by NBC after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was exposed for not having any Black members. HFPA was also under fire because it was discovered the bulk of the membership did not work full-time for notable international publications and members accepted gifts from studios and PR firms to campaign for nominations. Iconic actor Tom Cruise returned his award due to the fallout from the exposé brought to light by the Los Angeles Times in February 2021. With one year left in their NBC contract, the Golden Globes set out to correct the wrongs of the past by expanding and diversifying membership invitations and banning campaigning for nominations.
The 2023 Golden Globe awards were hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael and produced by former BET Head of Programming Stephen Hill. The HFPA returned for its 80th year of celebrating outstanding achievement in motion pictures and television with Carmichael scorching them with his brutal honesty about why he was named host. He opened the show explaining his struggle over whether to accept the invitation to serve as host.
“’l’ll tell you why I’m here. I’m here ’cause I’m Black,” he said. “This was the first Golden Globes Ceremony since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association came under fire in 2020 for controversies including a lack of diversity and unethical financial practices. I’ll catch everyone in the room up,” Carmichael added. “The Golden Globe Awards did not air last year. I won’t say they were a racist organization, but they didn’t have a single Black member until George Floyd died, so do with that information what you will,” said the Emmy award-winner to a stunned audience.
Carmichael continued to prod the HFPA throughout the ceremony as Black creatives received top nominations and some awards. Rihanna was nominated for Best Song for “Lift Me Up,” (Black Panther II: Wakanda Forever); Jeremy Pope was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture (The Inspection); Angela Bassett was nominated for and won Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Black Panther II: Wakanda Forever); Viola Davis was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture (The Woman King); Zendaya was nominated and won Best Actress in a Drama TV Series (Euphoria); Niecy Nash was nominated for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series/Anthology or Motion Picture Made for TV.
Abbott Elementary was the darling of the television awards. Quinta Brunson was nominated for and won Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Series for Abbott Elementary which also won Best Musical or Comedy TV Series award. Tyler James Williams also won Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series/Musical-Comedy or Drama for Abbott Elementary.
Sheryl Lee Ralph and Janelle James were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series/ Musical-Comedy or Drama for Abbott Elementary, although they did not win their categories. Ralph won a Primetime Emmy award in 2022 for her role as a teacher (Barbara) on the smash hit.
Eddie Murphy was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. “I’ve been in show business for 46 years, and I’ve been in the movie business for 41 years so this has been a long time in the making,” stated the iconic entertainer.
Forever the comedian, he offered advice along with a joke, “Pay your taxes, mind your business and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out your mouth,” he said.
Despite the changes, the Golden Globe awards averaged 5.4 million total viewers and a 1.0 demo rating, which is lower than their pre-pandemic numbers and the lowest watched show since 1995. It is unclear whether NBC will renew their broadcast contract with the precarious organization, but it is clear Black excellence was on full display at the 2023 Golden Globes.
This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder and editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary November 2022. Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWireNews.