This past weekend, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosted its 74th annual Golden Globes award show. It’s an event created to celebrate the best performances in film and television presented throughout the previous year. In 2016, cinephiles and fans of television had tons of top-notch programming to get them through the year. Shows like American Crime, The People vs. O.J. Simpson, The Crown, black-ish, Game of Thrones and This Is Us, as well as movies like La La Land, Moana, Toni Erdmann, and Kubo and the Two Strings make for stiff competition this award season. However, the higher the quality of film, television, and music, the more interesting an awards show becomes. Sunday’s Golden Globes was no exception as its winners, losers, fashions, and speeches were the talk of the Internet. Here are the highlights…
This year’s award show marked the end (and new beginning) of an era for the Internet’s favorite awkward black girl, Issa Rae. What started as a passion project on Facebook and YouTube blossomed into a full-fledged Hollywood career. If Rae was a debutante, then 2016 would be her official coming out year. She has graced the covers and pages of magazines like The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, Fast Company and more. Rae has also guested on shows like Conan and The Tonight Show. Many people were ecstatic to watch Rae walk the red carpet, basking in the glory of her overall success and nomination for Best Performance in TV.
The red carpet was especially hot on Sunday, as it seemed everyone who walked it brought their A++ game. Kerry Washington, specifically, turned heads wearing Dolce & Gabbana and a dark lip. Issa Rae, Priyanka Chopra, Naomi Campbell, Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer were other stars who shined on the red carpet.
The award show also featured inspirational speeches from the night’s winners. Donald Glover, who won big with Best TV Series in the Musical or Comedy category as well as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy TV Series, thanked the city of Atlanta for its inspiration as well as Migos for their song “Bad and Boujee.” Tracee Ellis Ross won Best Performance for her role in black-ish and became the first black woman to win in the category in 30 years. In her speech, Ross gave a shout out to women of color who feel like their stories aren’t seen as important.
See Tracee Ellis Ross’ acceptance speech here https://youtu.be/FGWDbg9yGqM
Viola Davis, who could read the back of a cereal box and sound like Shakespeare, won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences. In her speech she also talked about the importance of supporting untold stories, even if they don’t seem important to mainstream.
See Viola Davis’ acceptance speech here https://youtu.be/maxrpiA2dnM
Davis also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to actress Meryl Streep and waxed poetic about Streep’s amazing ability to create art. Following Davis’ introduction, Streep eloquently praised Hollywood and asked them to recognize their privilege as artists and use that power for good. She never mentioned him by name, but she also critiqued Trump’s behavior over the past year, specifically focusing on how he mocked a disabled reporter during his campaign. Streep’s speech encouraged the press to stick by their guns during these upcoming years and asked Hollywood and the public to protect the press as they work to bring truth to light.
Finally, Moonlight, 2016’s breakout hit about sexuality in the life of a black boy living in Miami, won Best Motion Picture. It was also an underdog with a five million dollar budget and an initial release in select theaters. It’s a specific story that resonated with millions of people and, while many people believed that it should have won more, Moonlight’s win capping off the night was a welcomed surprise.
See Barry Jenkins and the cast of Moonlight acceptance speech: https://youtu.be/CMnSglM9Mrk
For the full list of Golden Globe winners: http://www.goldenglobes.com/winners-nominees
Often regarded as superficial and unimportant, the Golden Globes showcased just how necessary the arts are for society. As Meryl Streep said, movies and TV teach us empathy, it shows us what the lives of “others” look like, the hardships they face, the joy they feel. This award show presented how crucial art with a purpose was, is, and will always be.
By Lilian Uzokwe