Golden Globes Go Woke From The Jump

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The Golden Globes was the annual antidote to the oh, so serious Oscars. Emphasis on “was.”

The stars occasionally drank too much and the hosts told jokes you didn’t always see coming. Heck, Ricky Gervais emceed the affair five times, the last appearance skewering Hollywood in ways the town richly deserved.

Not this year.

Host Jerrod Carmichael spent his monologue explaining why a black man would appear at an event roiled by a diversity scandal. Two years ago, we learned the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which votes on the Globe winners, lacked a single black member.

The news came on top of other Globe concerns, including bribery allegations and past credibility woes.

The ensuing scandal meant last night’s gala went woke from the start, and by the time Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke it became clear the Globes were now just like the Oscars … without decades of integrity to back it up.

Carmichael, who is gay and black, used his monologue to defend his presence at the tarnished awards shows. He cracked a few limp jokes, but the emphasis was on damage control.

“One minute you’re making mint tea at home, the next minute you’re invited to be the Black face of an embattled organization. Life comes at you pretty fast, you know?” 

Jerrod Carmichael
Comedian Jerrod Carmichael was amongst the celebrities bringing the woke to the Golden Globes. (Photo by Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images)

Golden Globes Mostly Lacked Humor

Remember when awards shows were both fun and funny? Why bother hiring a comedian if you’re not going to let him tell any jokes?

Tom Cruise famously handed back his previous three Globe trophies after the group’s lack of diversity hit the press. In 2022, Cruise helped theaters bounce back via “Top Gun: Maverick.”

For that achievement, Carmichael targeted him with a Scientology crack, holding three Globe statues while delivering the line.

“I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige,

Jerrod Carmichael

(She is the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige and is rumored to be missing)

Michelle Yeoh, won a Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy statuette for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and she used her stadium time to blast Hollywood’s lack of diversity.

“When I first came to Hollywood, it was a dream come true… until I got here. I came here and was told, ‘You’re a minority.’”

Michelle Yeoh

Ryan Murphy, who accepted the group’s Carol Burnett Award, took an indirect swipe at Republican hero, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in his comments.

“When I was a young person at home in the ’70s watching ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ I never ever saw a person like me getting an award or even being a character on a TV show. It’s hard being an LGBTQ kid in America. In fact, all over the world, then and now. And I have one word for you, Florida.

Ryan Murphy

Otherwise, politics didn’t see the spotlight as much as with most awards shows these days. That changed when Sean Penn took to the stage and announced a pre-taped segment starring President Zelenskyy.

“There will be no third World War, it is not a trilogy…Ukraine will stop the Russian aggression on our land.”

Volodymry Zelenskyy

Not Everyone Was Super-Serious

And yet even the wokest award shows have moments of whimsy, the kind of spontaneous banter that used to make them must-see events.

Jennifer Coolidge, who would later win a Globe for her work on “The White Lotus,” gave a silly, sprawling speech while presenting the award for best supporting actor in a TV musical/comedy or drama.

“[My] biggest nightmare … really is just the pronunciation of people’s names. I can’t do it.”

Jennifer Coolidge

She called the Globe statuette an “Oscar.” Oops.

Austin Butler’s impressive turn as the King of Rock in “Elvis” earned him a Best Actor honor, but when the show’s musical team tried to play him off the stage he offered a wry retort.

“You could at least play ‘Suspicious Minds,’” Butler cracked.

Later, the king of ‘80s comedy gave a master class in, well, class and humor. Eddie Murphy accepted the organization’s Cecil B. DeMille award, crediting three steps for his prolific career.

“It’s very simple, just do these three things: Pay your taxes, mind your business — and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!”

Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy was a rare bright spot at the Golden Globes.

One of the show’s biggest problems is simple. It’s not trying to entertain you. It’s speaking directly to Hollywood, the woke reporters who cover the industry and the frightened suits who feared a non-woke show would cause trouble.

Now, a Hollywood awards gala has every right to do some navel gazing. Except the show is televised and hopes to draw millions of viewers.

HFPA’s president Helen Hoehne alluded to the group’s new diversity measures behind the scenes, saying the night represented “a year of momentous change for our organization.”

That may be true, but the results are yet another guilt-ridden awards gala.

Written by Christian Toto

Christian Toto is an award-winning film critic, journalist and founder of HollywoodInToto.com, the Right Take on Entertainment. He’s the author of “Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul” and a lifelong Yankees fan. Toto lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two sons and too many chickens.

Follow Christian on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HollywoodInToto

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