Heading into the 78th Golden Globes, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler previewed a politics-free monologue and, as promised, no shots were taken at either the current or former occupant of the Oval Office. Instead, the duo targeted the Globes’ organizers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association … to mixed results.
Following a bombshell Los Angeles Times exposé that revealed the organization of international journalists that votes on the Globes had no Black members, the HFPA faced serious blowback from the industry at large. And Fey and Poehler — who emceed from New York and Los Angeles, respectively — used their platform to address their hosts directly. “The HFPA is made up of around 90 international no black journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life,” Fey said early on in their bicoastal monologue, presaging additional condemnation to come. “A couple of them might be ghosts, and the German member is a sausage someone drew a face on.”
Fey later took another dig at the HFPA’s membership using her own nominated movie, Soul, as the setup. Observing that the plot of the Pixar hit involved a Black character (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who spends a sizable chunk of the movie in the body of a cat, the actress — who voiced Foxx’s soul-ful sidekick, 22 — said, “The HFPA really responded to this movie because they do have five cat members.” The duo also briefly addressed another eyebrow-raising detail contained in the L.A. Times report, involving a lavish Emily in Paris junket that Netflix threw for the HFPA. “Emily in Paris is nominated for Best Musical or Comedy — I can’t wait to find out which it is,” Fey said with obvious disdain, before going on to name-check another nominee, French Exit. “French Exit is what I did after watching the first episode of Emily in Paris.”
Even though the HFPA is an easy target for jokes, Fey and Poehler made sure to emphasize that the group’s exclusionary membership is no laughing matter. “A lot of flashy garbage got nominated — that’s their thing,” Poehler said, joking that awards shows were invented by “big red carpet.” Fey then got serious: “There are no black members of the HFPA. I realize you didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back of a French McDonald’s, but you’ve gotta change that.” Continued Poehler: “I look forward to that change.”
The duo’s remarks met a mixed reaction on Twitter. While some — including twice-nominated actress Kerry Washington — praised them for speaking out, others felt they weren’t the right messengers on this particular subject.
Thank you Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for bringing the lack of representation in the HFPA to light. Real change must come #GoldenGlobes
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) March 1, 2021
OMG Tina Fey and Amy Poehler talking about the HFPA not having any black members is so ICONIC. Love these two, they’re legends. #GoldenGlobes
— Lara • t 🦋 (@paulsonpeach) March 1, 2021
How Amy and Tina addressed the lack of inclusivity within the HFPA was stupid #GoldenGlobes
— 🧚🏾♂️ (@franktwigs) March 1, 2021
I love that Poehler and Fey are dunking on the HFPA but I also don’t know if that will lead to any actually change?? #GoldenGlobes
— mimimi mon moulash (@mimiruthstiver) March 1, 2021
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler being all “award shows are racist, amirite?” to rooms of Black first responders feels…bad. #goldenglobes
— FBI profilers posting their L’s (@theowlshaveeyes) March 1, 2021
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler calling out the HFPA for having zero Black members. Which will change nothing because the HFPA is garbage.
— Logan (@Logan_McQ) March 1, 2021
Tina and Amy talking about the HFPA’s lack of diversity? I dig it. #GoldenGlobes
— highly melanated* (@markwesley__) March 1, 2021
It also didn’t escape anyone’s attention that the Globes followed up Fey and Poehler’s monologue with two awards that went to Black nominees: Daniel Kaluuya and John Boyega won Best Supporting Actor trophies for their respective roles in Judas and the Black Messiah and Small Axe. But Kaluuya’s win was immediately marred by a technical malfunction that nearly kept him from delivering a speech.
Daniel Kaluuya winning Best Supporting Actor for playing Fred Hampton and having his speech muted at a Golden Globes where the opening act literally had to include a bunch of jokes about the HFPA’s lack of diversity and interested in Black stories is hilariously on the nose.
— Alyssa Rosenberg (@AlyssaRosenberg) March 1, 2021
second black person to win tonight…….. okay hfpa lmfao — i don’t believe it’s genuine but i’ll roll with it. 😁
— ً (@killingchanny) March 1, 2021
we can’t hear daniel kaluuya golden globes confirmed racist
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) March 1, 2021
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