Golden Globes 2023: Celebrities return for the ceremony as the host confronts the diversity issue

Golden Globes 2023: Celebrities return for the ceremony as the host confronts the diversity issue

The comedies Abbott Elementary and The White Lotus in the TV categories were among the night’s top wins, along with Colin Farrell and his movie The Banshees of Inisherin. The main concern before the performance, though, was which celebrities would attend because the ceremony was done in private last year.

Hollywood heavyweights are back in attendance at the Golden Globes, but presenter Jerrod Carmichael wasted no time addressing the diversity debate that has clouded the ceremony.

One of the main talking points prior to the ceremony had been the issue of who would show up. On a night that saw big wins for TV shows The White Lotus, Abbott Elementary, and House Of The Dragon—with The Banshees of Inisherin and Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans taking home the top film prizes—the question of who would turn up had been one of the main talking points.

The Golden Globes ceremony from the previous year was held in secret, there was no TV broadcast, and winners were revealed on social media. Many celebrities choose not to acknowledge their achievements.

Golden Globes 2023: Celebrities return for the ceremony as the host confronts the diversity issue
Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael did not ignore the controversy surrounding the awards. Pic: Rich Polk/NBC via AP

It came after a Los Angeles Times exposé in 2021 that revealed the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which organized the awards, had no black members voting. Additionally, claims of improper “freebies” influencing votes were included in the probe.

The event was inaugurated yesterday night in Los Angeles by American comedian Carmichael, who said, “I’ll tell you why I’m here: I’m here because I’m black.”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which I won’t say was a racist organization, did not have a single black member until George Floyd passed away. Do with that knowledge what you will. This ceremony, the Golden Globe Awards, did not air last year.

“The next thing I know, you’re being called to serve as the blackface of a troubled white organization while I’m at home preparing mint tea. Life comes at you quite quickly.”

Added him: “I assumed they hadn’t changed at all when I accepted this position. Whatever the history of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association may have been, today is a night to celebrate. And I believe that evenings like this are merited for our sector. I’m also glad to be here.”

Who attended, and who took home what?

A-list celebrities that attended the celebration included Margot Robbie, Rihanna, Brad Pitt, Viola Davis, Michelle Williams, Lily James, Eddie Murphy, Selena Gomez, Jessica Chastain, and Eddie Redmayne.

Golden Globes 2023: Celebrities return for the ceremony as the host confronts the diversity issue
Margot Robbie

Golden Globes 2023: Celebrities return for the ceremony as the host confronts the diversity issue
Lily James

The Banshees of Inisherin received the award for best comedy or musical movie, while Colin Farrell was voted the category’s best actor.

The Fabelmans won the drama category, and Spielberg also won the prize for outstanding director for the movie, which is partially based on his upbringing in Arizona during the Second World War.

For his depiction of Elvis Presley in the biopic Elvis, Austin Butler won the award for best actor in a drama, and Michelle Yeoh won the award for best actress in a musical or comedy for Everything Everywhere All At Once.

The White Lotus, which starred Jennifer Coolidge, won the prize for best-limited series, anthology series, or motion picture created specifically for television. It also won the prize for best supporting actress.

Abbott Elementary won three prizes for best TV comedy or musical, best actress for Quinta Brunson, and best-supporting actor for Tyler James Williams, while House Of The Dragon won best TV drama. Abbott Elementary also won three prizes for best actress for Quinta Brunson.

Although they were among the acting category winners, Cate Blanchett, Kevin Costner, and Zendaya chose not to attend the presentation.

Ryan Murphy, a television writer, director, and producer who has been nominated for 16 Golden Globes and has won five of them, alluded to the drama surrounding his show from the previous year as he accepted the Carol Burnett special award for excellence in television.

As she never had her chance in 2022, he led a standing ovation for Michaela Jae Rodriguez, who made history as the first transgender actress to receive an award last year – best actress in a TV drama for her depiction of “house mother” Blanca Rodriguez in his program Pose.

Golden Globes 2023: Celebrities return for the ceremony as the host confronts the diversity issue
Michaela Jae Rodriguez created award show history in 2022. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP photo

Eddie Murphy received the Cecil B. DeMille career achievement award from the Globes, which also gave him a special honor.

In his winning speech, Murphy, whose resume includes Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, The Nutty Professor, and the Shrek series alluded to Will Smith’s notorious slap at the 2022 Oscars.

He informed the crowd, “I want to let you know that there is a clear pattern that you may follow to obtain success, prosperity, longevity, and peace of mind. There is a template, and I have followed it my whole career…

“Just carry out these three steps: Make tax payments. Keep your lips shut and don’t mention the name of Will Smith’s wife!”

The ceremony’s tone changed when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an appearance. He was presented on-screen by actor and campaigner Sean Penn, who has traveled to Ukraine frequently since Russia’s invasion over a year ago.

Mr. Zelenskyy assured the crowd that Ukraine will prevail in the ongoing battle since it was “obvious” the tide was shifting.


In terms of A-list celebrities, the 2014 Golden Globes were eerily reminiscent of earlier years. Few had RSVP'd in advance, but their presence was probably indicative of Hollywood's selective forgetfulness during a period of low box office.

The Globes appeared to pull off the almost impossible by getting "re-accepted" after being "cancelled." Two years after the HFPA was exposed for its humiliating lack of diversity and purported "ethical failings," its questionable previous behaviors appear to have been abandoned. Even Tom Cruise's choice to return his old prizes caused laughter at one point in the program.

The Globes voting board understood that it would have to endure some criticism after being roundly criticized by this year's host, Jerrod Carmichael, but chose to focus on the enormous gains achieved in terms of representation on screen, which were justly recognized. Michelle Yeoh spoke about her "amazing battle" for recognition on stage, and Ryan Murphy passionately described his goal of "taking the invisible and making them the heroes."

Despite not being the wild party of earlier days, it was at least humorous thanks to a joke about cereal from Colin Farrell and Eddie Murphy's "definitive blueprint" for success. Obviously, it serves the Hollywood industry's best interests to have this cinematic showcase returned, but the ratings may ultimately determine if the Globes are granted a second chance.

An explanation of the Golden Globes dispute

Last year’s gathering was abruptly changed by the HFPA into a “private event” after it received harsh criticism for having few black members.

The organization has been working to restore the awards’ reputation from the top down ever since the controversy, adding more than 100 new voters to the voting pool, which it claims is now “52% female and 51.5% racially and culturally diverse.” Foreign journalists are now able to participate for the first time.

The HFPA added twenty-one new members last year, including six black people, and membership eligibility was broadened from Los Angeles to any place in the country.

Following the controversy, Tom Cruise, whose movie Top Gun: Maverick was nominated for best drama, and Brendan Fraser, who was nominated for best actor for his role in The Whale, was noticeable omissions from this year’s ceremony.

Following the HFPA discoveries, Cruise became infamous for returning his three Golden Globe medals. Following an alleged altercation at the 2003 Golden Globes event, Fraser had already stated he would not be attending.

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