Golden Globes Ceremony Marks 'Moment Of Change' For Diversity In Hollywood

In recent years, some entertainment awards ceremonies have been criticised for displaying a worrying lack of diversity. Let's not forget about the #OscarsSoWhite saga back in 2016, when no actors of colour were nominated for the second year running.

But Sunday night's Golden Globes Awards marked something of a 'moment of change' for Hollywood, as stars took to the stage to honour those who are so often marginalised by the white-male dominated world of the global entertainment industry.

While last year's show was somewhat dominated by the rise of the #MeToo movement, for 2019 things were all about inclusion - with the most diverse range of films to date up for awards.

Of the 10 films up for the Best Picture nod, four came from directors of colour - a new record for the Globes - including Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther and Jon M Chu's Crazy Rich Asians.

Black Panther was nominated for a Best Picture award. Credit: Marvel
Black Panther was nominated for a Best Picture award. Credit: Marvel

Hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh initially made light of controversies surrounding awards ceremonies, joking that the reason they had been chosen to host this year's Golden Globes was because they were 'the only two people left in Hollywood who haven't gotten in trouble for saying something offensive'.

Samberg then took the joke one step further, asking Oh: "Sandra, that reminds me. You know what race of people really gets under my skin?"

After a beat, he hit home the punchline, saying: "The Hollywood half-marathon... because it messes up all the traffic, you know?"

But the pace and mood swiftly changed for a moment when Oh launched into a short but incredibly powerful speech about diversity.

Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh hosting the 76th Golden Globes. Credit: PA
Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh hosting the 76th Golden Globes. Credit: PA

"I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight to look out onto this audience and witness this moment of change," Oh said.

"And I'm not fooling myself. I'm not fooling myself, next year could be different, but right now this moment is real. Trust me, it's real.

"Because I see you and I see you, all these faces of changes. And now, so will everyone else."

While a few people let out a few awkward giggles initially - wondering if this was part of a skit still - the audience were soon humbled into silence.

When Oh wrapped up, on the verge of tears, her words were met with rapturous applause.

Oh won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama award for her role in BBC drama Killing Eve. Credit: BBC
Oh won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama award for her role in BBC drama Killing Eve. Credit: BBC

"What I'm interested in is pointing to actual real change," Oh had told the Hollywood Reporter ahead of her hosting gig.

"I want to focus on that because people can pooh-pooh Hollywood all they want - and there is a lot to pooh-pooh, sure - but we also make culture. How many gazillions of people have seen Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians? That changes things."

Regina King, who won a Golden Globe for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk, also used her acceptance speech to discuss the subject of gender inclusivity, promising the audience that in the next two years, she would ensure everything she produces will involve equality between men and women.

"Time's up. Times two," King said.

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"The reason why we do this is because we understand that our microphones are big and we are speaking for everyone."

She continued: "I'm going to use my platform right now to say, in the next two years, everything that I produce - I'm making a vow and it's going to be tough - to make sure that everything that I produce is 50 percent women."

Glenn Close echoed a similar sentiment as she collected her award for Best Actress for her role in The Wife.

"I'm so honoured to be with my category sisters and I can't wait to spend more time with you. We should all be up here together," she told her fellow nominees.

"Women, we're nurturers, that's what's expected of us, but we have to follow our dreams. We have to say, 'I can do that, and I should be allowed to do that'."

Speaking to reporters backstage, Close added: "Women are taking control. I long for the day when it's not a women's movie, but just a good movie, and that it's not just characterised like that."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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