The Golden Globes are back

Michelle Yeoh accepted her first Golden Globe at the 80th annual Golden Globes.

Michelle Yeoh accepted her first Golden Globe at the 80th annual Golden Globes.

Avantika Pai, Contributing Writer

After a year-long hiatus, the 80th annual Golden Globes premiered on Jan. 10. Last year, the ceremony didn’t air due to ethical and financial controversy within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Most notably, the association was exposed for not having a single Black member in its 87-person voting body. In an effort to restore faith in the organization, the HFPA has gone through a series of reforms to become more transparent, diverse and fair.

Throughout the night, the host of the ceremony, Jerrod Carmichael, addressed the controversy head-on. In his opening monologue, he strayed from the typical trend to poke fun at nominees and instead condemned the HFPA. He bluntly stated, “I’m here because I’m Black.” Although there were few laughs from the tense crowd, Carmichael did a nice job of easing the attendees and viewers back into the ceremony process, while bringing attention to the HFPA’s controversial past.

Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” won a Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama

The awards ceremony started off strong with Ke Huy Quan winning Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, one of my personal favorite films from this past year.

Quan started by thanking the director who gave him his first acting role as a child, Steven Spielberg. Through an emotional and touching anecdote, he described how after his first role in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” he struggled to find new work. In past interviews, Quan has detailed that he quit acting after struggling to find acting opportunities as a person of color. It wasn’t until he watched 2018’s “Crazy Rich Asians”–the first movie to have an all-Asian ensemble cast–that he was inspired to return to acting.

Quan’s win can directly reflect the recent change within Hollywood. From the beginning of Quan’s career as a child actor, to his most recent role that won him a Golden Globe, there has been a strong increase in the number of leading roles for people of color.

Following Quan’s win, Angela Bassett won her second Golden Globe and made history as the first actor from a Marvel movie to win a Golden Globe, for her performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”. Later in the night, Michelle Yeoh and Jennifer Coolidge won their first Golden Globe for their respective roles in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, and HBO’s “The White Lotus”.

Bassett, Yeoh and Coolidge, who have all had prolific, decades-long careers, are all in their sixties. Considering Hollywood has had a problem with ageism, the actresses’ wins were quite significant. For years, Hollywood has notoriously confined actresses over the age of 50 to supporting roles, or one-dimensional, stereotypical characters.

“I turned 60 last year,” Yeoh said in her speech. “And I think all of you women understand this as the days, years, numbers get bigger, the opportunities get smaller as well.”

Although Hollywood has a long way to go to fix their ageist practices, the actresses’ wins may foreshadow a possible change in the ways Hollywood casts older actresses.

Martin McDonagh’s “Banshees of Inisherin” won for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy

Although I was mostly content with the night’s winners–especially Yeoh, Quan, the cast of “Banshees of Inisherin”,

Amanda Seyfried and the cast of “Abbott Elementary”–there were a few titles I thought were missing from the list of winners.

One of my favorite TV shows from this past year was “Severance”, a creepy psychological thriller. As “Severance” has earned a spot on several “Best Shows of 2022” lists, I was disappointed to see it didn’t succeed with any of its three nominations. Compared to the other nominees for Best Television Series– Drama–including the category’s winner, “House of the Dragon”– “Severance” has the most unique and engaging plot. Similarly, “Only Murders in the Building”, a comedy-mystery TV show that has impressed its viewers with its latest second season, fell short in the four categories it was nominated for. I was most disappointed to see that neither Bill Hader nor Henry Winkler, who were both nominated for their performances in HBO’s “Barry”, won in their respective categories. Hader, the star of “Barry”, absolutely deserved a win for his compelling performance in the latest season.

Overall, after being tainted with controversy, the Golden Globes made a solid comeback with several momentous wins and pleasant surprises. While the ceremony did represent the strides the HFPA has made towards diversity and inclusion, it may take some time before we see real change within the industry. It will be interesting to see how the nominated TV shows and films will continue throughout the awards season.