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Arts & Life

Golden Globes Go Virtual After Controversial Nominations

78th Golden Globes
Chris Pizzello
AP Photo
Gregg Donovan demonstrates with a sign protesting the lack of Black members in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, outside the 78th Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

On Sunday, Feb. 28, the 78th Golden Globe Awards honored the best in American television and film from the past year in one of the most unusual ceremonies in the award show’s long history.

Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler opened the night with a dual monologue broadcast from two separate but near-identical locales.

The two comediennes acknowledged the strange circumstances, which were necessitated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In one visual gag, Fey, who presented from New York City, reached across the screen (and the country) to touch Poehler, who was in California.

Fey and Poehler also touched on the lack of diversity inside the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the Globes’ voting body. The HFPA faced intense scrutiny in December for some questionable nominations — in particular, for recognizing the controversial Sia-directed musical “Music” — at the cost of omitting notable Black-led movies and TV shows.

The lack of diversity within the HFPA, which consists of 90 international journalists, was scrutinized throughout the show due to there being no Black members.

The bi-coastal awards ceremony was broadcast in front of two small audiences comprised of first responders. While most announcers appeared on stage, all of the nominees attended virtually.

The road drama “Nomadland” took home the award for best motion picture in the drama category, one of the award show’s two top film prizes.

Chloé Zhao, the director of “Nomadland,” became the first Asian woman to win best director at the Golden Globes. The previous woman to win the best director prize was Barbara Streisand, who won for “Yentl” 37 years ago.

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” was recognized as best motion picture in the musical or comedy category, the night’s other top film prize. Sacha Baron Cohen netted his second Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy. Cohen first won the award for his portrayal of the Borat character 14 years ago.

The Golden Globe for best actor in a drama was awarded posthumously to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf and gave an emotional speech thanking his collaborators, friends and family.

Singer-turned-actress Andra Day pulled off a major upset, winning best actress in a drama for her lead role in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” In the musical or comedy category, Rosamund Pike snagged the best actress prize for her conniving turn in “I Care a Lot.”

When it came to the television winners, Netflix’s “The Crown” took home four awards in the drama categories: best series, best actress, best actor and best supporting actress. “The Queen’s Gambit,” also from Netflix, won the award for best limited series, and Anya Taylor-Joy landed her first Golden Globe for her starring role in the show.

“Schitt’s Creek” won best television series for a musical or comedy and landed Catherine O’Hara an award for best actress in the category.

Appearing in person, Jane Fonda was recognized for her six-decade-long career, earning the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award. Her acceptance speech focused on social justice movements, including her own role as an activist, and the importance of diversity in storytelling.

Legendary television producer Norman Lear was the recipient of the night’s other lifetime achievement recognition, the Carol Burnett Award. Lear, 98, received the award remotely and was honored for his willingness to push boundaries and address social issues in several iconic sitcoms, such as “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.”

Lear is the third recipient of the award, following Carol Burnett in 2019 and Ellen DeGeneres in 2020.