The Golden Globes: Black Hollywood Reigns
Millions of viewers tuned in to the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday evening as Hollywood’s finest graced the red carpet leading into the Beverly Hills Hilton.
After last year’s lack of diversity between both the Golden Globes and the Oscars with a social media movement of hashtag #OscarsSoWhite blazing the internet, both organizations opened the dialogue for more diversity among their members. Ballots are submitted by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press and counted, leading to the biggest film night of the year — the Oscars on Feb. 26.
For those disappointed by the lack of African-American nominees, Sunday’s award show made up for it. Black Hollywood reigned as television shows such as Atlanta, Black-ish, Insecure and This is Us had nominations. Critically acclaimed films, ‘Hidden Figures’, ‘Fences’, ‘Loving’ and ‘Moonlight’ held their ground as well as ‘La La Land,’ which featured a co-starring role by Executive Producer John Legend.
The shutter disappointment by many fans of ‘Fences’ can honestly say Denzel Washington should have walked out with the Golden Globe in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture category. But Casey Affleck won in ‘Manchester By the Sea’.
The women ruled as we cheered for Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Viola Davis, who won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
This is the time of Mahershala Ali up for Best Performance Supporting for ‘Moonlight,’ was edged out by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals). His performance in the indie film added to his extraordinary repertoire of work — Hidden Figures, Luke Cage and House of Cards has garnered him a solid following crossing over cultural lines.
Barry Jenkins, screenwriter and director of ‘Moonlight,’ was all smiles throughout the night, nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay in a Motion Picture. The musical La La Land swept both categories, but Jenkins and the cast of ‘Moonlight’ got the last word when they took away the award for Best Motion Picture. Now take that. . . .
New faces on the small screen made multiple trips to the stage, such as Donald Glover, a k a Childish Gambino, for the hit FX comedy ‘Atlanta’. The hip hop star won for Best Male in a Television Series and Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy. Tracee Ellis Ross looked surprised when her name was called for Best Female in a Television Musical or Comedy series. The daughter of Diana Ross has carved out a niche as one of the best comedic actresses in Hollywood, starring in ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ for a third season.
Although we felt Angela Bassett cringe when her husband, the talented Courtney B. Vance, was not called to accept the Best Actor in a Limited Series for his stellar performance in The People v. O.J. Simpson: An American Crime Story, the ensemble cast won for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. We cheered for Scandal’s Kerry Washington, who lost to Sarah Paulson (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) for Best Actress in the same category.
New shows at the pre-Oscar barometer included Netflix favorite ‘The Crown’, HBO television thriller ‘WestWorld’ and NBC’s breakout drama, ‘This is Us.’
Recognizing Black Talent
One thing that the Hollywood Foreign Press was able to accomplish was the fact in recognizing that Black talent matters. The wonderful work in front of the camera and behind the camera must look and relate to those who buy and support the film and television economy. For the first time in a very long time, social media timelines were filled by engagement on Black Twitter and Facebook as categories were announced, names were called and acceptance speeches were spoken. Aside from Jenna Bush Hager ‘mash-up’ misstep of ‘Hidden Fences’, and 30-time Golden Globe nominee/8-time Globe winning-actress, Meryl Streep’s subtle ‘fu*k you’ Trump acceptance speech–all was well!
Between Jimmy Fallon’s best “homeboy” accent and the soulful musical selections from DJ Questlove, the influence of African-American culture was sprinkled throughout the show. More importantly, it must be more than just “sprinkled.” It must be a “shower” of our influence, talent and work recognized and celebrated.
To see the beautiful Black and brown faces flash across our screens from Issa Rae, Pharrell, Anthony Anderson, Naomi Campbell, Sterling K. Brown, Zoe Saldana to Janelle Monae, it felt more than ”inspiring.” It felt good to see.