Last Sunday, Jan. 7., the entertainment industry came together under the roof of the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California for the 81st annual Golden Globe Awards. This year’s winners were the first not selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which disbanded seven months ago after facing criticism regarding their lack of diversity. This year, the awards were voted on by a diverse group of 300 people, 47% of whom are women, representing 76 countries.
Along with a new voting body, the awards also added two new categories this year: Cinematic and Box Office Achievement and Best Stand-Up Comedian on Television, with the awards going to “Barbie” and “Ricky Gervais: Ricky Gervais Armageddon” respectively.
Comedian and actor Joe Koy hosted the awards. It was the first time Koy had ever hosted such a high-profile event, and with the previous year’s ceremony not featuring a host, the pressure was on for Koy to impress. Koy’s jokes featured commentary about several nominees, sparking controversy and judgment among
attendees and viewers.
Taylor Swift attended the show at which Koy remarked, “The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? At the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift.” Koy also commented on two of the biggest movies of the year. “‘ Oppenheimer’ is based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Manhattan Project, and ‘Barbie’ is on a plastic doll with big boobies,” Koy said. Many perceived these jokes as misogynistic and devaluing the contributions made by women in the entertainment industry this year.
Despite these hiccups with the host, the presenters throughout the night came from a variety of projects released this year as well as entertainment industry mainstays, including Oprah Winfrey and a reunion of the cast of “Suits,” sans Meghan Markle, to present the award for Best Television Series Drama.
The award show had some historic wins, including Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture going to Lily Gladstone, the first Indigenous person to win the award, for her performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
Ali Wong and Steven Yeun also won best performance by an actress and actor in a limited series for their work on the Netflix series “Beef,” becoming the first and second people of Asian-American descent to do so.
Big winners of the night included “Succession,” with its final season releasing last year, taking home Best Television Series Drama and three of the six television acting awards for Sarah Snook, Matthew Macfadyen and Kieran Culkin. “The Bear” also had a good showing, taking home Best Comedy Series with its stars Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri winning best actor and actress in a comedy series.
A big surprise came when “The Boy and the Heron,” the newest Hayao Miyazaki film, secured Best Motion Picture – Animated over front-runner “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” “Barbie” also surprised viewers. Despite being the most nominated film of the night, it only won two of the nine awards it was nominated for with “Oppenheimer” and “Poor Things” sweeping most of the categories. These two films are projected to be front-runners at this year’s Academy Awards as well.