The 78th Annual Golden Globes Awards were distributed Feb. 28 in a quasi-virtual event hosted by performers Tina Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York City and Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. While nominees appeared via Zoom, the small audiences at each location was made up this year of first responders.
Actors Dan Levy and Jodie Foster were among members of the LGBTQ community who were honored at the ceremony.
Levy and Jim Parsons were nominated in the Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television for Schitt's Creek and Hollywood, respectively. They alas lost to John Boyega for his role in Small Axe.
Schitt's Creek nevertheless won for Best Television Comedy or Musical Series. In his acceptance speech, Levy said that he and his father, Eugene, with whom he co-created the series, aimed to express a message with "love and diversity," and that he hoped other producers would follow suit: "There is so much more to be celebrated."
Dan and Eugene's co-star, Catherine O'Hara, won for Best Supporting Actress in Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television. O'Hara thanked the Levys, adding that, "From Day One, they treated me like this [accolade] was a possibility."
Andra Day (in her first acting role) won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion PictureDrama for Hulu's The United States vs. Billie Holiday. She was one of two actors nominated in that category for material with LGBTQ content. The other was Viola Davis, for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
In her acceptance speech, Day fought back tears and said, "Billie Holliday transformed me with her presence and her spirit." Day was the first Black actress to win in this category since Whoopi Goldberg did it in 1986, for playing Celie in The Color Purple.
Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020, won posthumously for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. His wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted on his behalf. She said, "He would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their incredible sacrifices."
Jodie Foster appeared with wife Alexandra Hedison, whom she thanked and kissed when she accepted the Golden Globe for her role in The Mauritanian.
Foster, who appeared taken off-guard by the accolade, said, "I just never expected to be here again."
Rosamund Pike won Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for playing a queer woman in I Care a Lot. In her speech, Pike paid tribute to fellow nominee Maria Bakalova for her work in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. "I salute your brilliance and bravery," Pike said to Bakalova, referring to a notorious scene filmmakers captured with Rudy Giuliani.
James Corden was nominated but lost for his role in The Proma part that had elicited some controversy since Corden is straight in real life. That Netflix film also received a nomination for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, but lost to Borat Subsequent Movie Film. The French LGBTQ-themed drama Two of Us also was nominated but lost for Best Foreign Language Picture.
The Prom was introduced by LGBTQ actor Sarah Paulson, who was nominated but lost for her performance in Netflix's Ratched. Gillian Anderson won the Best Supporting Actress in a SeriesDrama for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Crown.
Television pioneer Norman Lear received the Carol Burnett Award for his decades spent creating situation comedies such as All in The Family, Maude, Good Times, One Day at a Time and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
"His comedy woke America before being woke was a thing. … The issues raised in these shows in the 1970s are the same issues we are dealing with today," said Wanda Sykes in the narration for an introductory montage. Among hallmark sequences that were included from Lear's situation comedies were Archie Bunker finding out that his friend Beverly is transgender, and Maude Findlay and husband Walter deciding that Maude should get an abortion.
"I could not feel more blessed," said Lear, 98, in his acceptance speech, which he wrapped by saluting Burnett with a tug of his earlobe.
Actress Jane Fonda was given the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her decades-long Hollywood career. Transgender actor Laverne Cox said of Fonda in the opening montage: "She is always marching on the front lines of the good fight."
In her speech, Fonda spoke at length about how various films nominated in 2020 engaged in conversations about inclusion and diversity. "In turbulent crisis-torn times like these, storytellers are essential," Fonda said. She also made reference to the series I May Destroy You, which was shut out of the Globes, engendering controversy among activists and within the entertainment industry.
Several participants in the program made both serious and joking reference to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's lack of inclusion and its overall nebulous reputation. HFPA officials addressed the controversy in a speech on Feb. 28.
On a more positive note about inclusivity, however, the 2021 awards were the first to see three female directors nominated in the Best Director categoryin the entire history of the awards, only five women had been nominated. Chloe Zhao won for directing Nomadland, making her the second woman to win the honor in Golden Globes history The other female nominees this year included Regina King, for One Night in Miami; and Emerald Fennell, for Promising Young Woman.