“I’m here because I’m black”: an evening to try to restore the image of the Golden Globes

“I am here because I am black.” The main host of the 80th Golden Globes ceremony, American comedian Jerrod Carmichael, was quick to grasp the controversy that has marred these awards for two years. The first African-American to host the evening for 79 years, he declared himself “unavoidable”.

The Golden Globes were trying Tuesday night in Beverly Hills to restore their image, largely tarnished by the scandals surrounding the jury. This laid-back, glitzy event, long considered Hollywood’s favorite night out, has been a shadow of its former self for the past two years. The fault first of the pandemic, then of accusations of racism, sexism and corruption aimed at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which forms the jury and which had no black members in 2021.

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Shunned by the gratin and deprived of television last year, the American channel NBC agreed to broadcast the 80th edition this year, after a series of reforms of the HFPA to improve its diversity and prohibit its members from accepting gifts from the part of the studios. “I’m not going to say it’s a racist organization, but they didn’t have a single black member until George Floyd died. So do what you want with this information”, remarked Jerrod Carmichael.

Steven Spielberg and Eddy Murphy on the red carpet

Many big names were present in the hotel where the ceremony was held, including director Steven Spielberg, whose semi-autobiographical The Fabelmans share favorite for the award for best dramatic film, and actor Eddie Murphy who must be singled out for his entire career. Many big names responded to the red carpet, including directors Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron, and actress Margot Robbie. But some nominees did not want to make the trip, and most of the “after-parties” usually organized by the studios to drown their winners under champagne will not take place.

Tom Cruise, a notable absentee

The ceremony thus had to deal with two absent marks. Brendan Fraser, nominated for his role as an obese and reclusive professor in his The Whaleaccuses a former HFPA president of sexually assaulting him boycotted the event.

Producer and actor Top Gun: MaverickTom Cruise was also missing out, having returned his three Golden Globes to protest the scandals. His feature film will try, with the other huge box office success of 2022 Avatar: The Way of the Waterto prevent The Fabelmans to win the prize for best dramatic film.

Also read the review of “Time”: “Avatar: The Way of the Water”, a visual enchantment at the service of a simplistic scenario

Tar, which takes place in the world of classical music, and the biopic “Elvis”, about the king of rock’n’roll could also create a surprise. Their respective stars – Cate Blanchett as the ruthless conductor, and Austin Butler as the remarkable Elvis Presley – are among the favorites for the acting awards.

As for comedies, Irish tragicomedy The Banshees of Inisherin, which depicts the abrupt end of a friendship on a small Irish island in the 1920s, will compete in eight categories, a first for twenty years. The film confronts in particular the surreal and mind-blowing Everything Everywhere All At Oncewhich could earn performance awards for Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan.

Read also: After “3 Billboards”, “The Banshees of Inisherin”: my friendship for a finger

An award that wants to become a step towards the Oscars again

Faced with controversy, the HFPA notably renewed the Golden Globes jury, including 103 new entrants – who are not full members of the association – including many women and people from ethnic minorities. After recent controversies, the prestige of these awards is on the line at this ceremony.

In the past, a success at the Golden Globes was a valuable marketing tool, capable of launching a winning campaign towards the supreme prize of the Oscars. In Hollywood, some members of the industry confide in private wishing a return to grace of these awards, which have been “an important cog in the awards season” for 80 years, points out Pete Hammond.

The movie posters also highlight the Golden Globe nominations again, unlike last year. But for the columnist, their power to influence the Oscars seems to be permanently diminished. “When every article about the Globes talks about scandal (…) it does not make them as credible, I think, for the voters of the Oscars”, he concludes.

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“I’m here because I’m black”: an evening to try to restore the image of the Golden Globes