Golden Globes to go Black for its television return

The award show will have a Black host, Black co-executive producers, and more Black presenters, reflecting the diversity changes made by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The 80th Golden Globe Awards makes its return to television on Tuesday night, airing live on NBC and livestreaming on Peacock at 8 p.m. EST. After being away last year, the show that honors achievement in film and television is coming back strong by betting on Black.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has come under fire for its lack of diversity when it comes to nominations, winners and its governing body. With the Golden Globes being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, and the 2022 Golden Globes going untelevised amid criticism and boycotting, it appears that the HFPA is looking to right the ship.

For the Golden Globes’ first ceremony in nearly three years, Jesse Collins was recruited as executive producer and showrunner. Collins’ credits include the Emmy-Award-winning, hip-hop-heavy 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show, and he’s also the man behind past televised BET Awards, BET Hip-Hop Awards, Black Girls Rock, and The Soul Train Awards.

This image released by NBC shows comedian Jerrod Carmichael during his monologue while hosting “Saturday Night Live.” Carmichael will helm the Golden Globe Awards Tuesday night. (Photo: Will Heath/NBC via AP)

With Collins and co-producer Dionne Harmon at the helm, this year’s Golden Globes will include a diverse assortment of Black and LGBTQIA+ personalities onstage, starting with Jerrod Carmichael as host of the ceremony.

The Emmy Award-winning comedian-actor first came into public consciousness with his provocative NBC sitcom, “The Carmichael Show.” However, it was his 2022 stand-up comedy special, “Rothaniel,” that earned him greater recognition. Carmichael came out as a gay man during the special and was praised for his courage and candor for quipping about his family’s reaction to the news.

With Carmichael as master of ceremonies, the Golden Globes will boast an impressive array of Black celebrities among the award presenters. They will include Billy Porter, Colman Domingo, Tracey Morgan, Jennifer Hudson, Regina Hall, Niecy Nash-Betts, Nicole Byer, Jay Ellis and Letitia Wright.

While HFPA’s changes to the people onstage show signs of improvement, the real question was how much the changes would affect the nominations.

In 2022, the association announced that its voting body received an overhaul, and was now “52% female, 51.5% racially and ethnically diverse, with 19.5% Latinx, 12% Asian, 10% Black, and 10% Middle Eastern.” That change, however, didn’t translate into nominations in 2023.

Only three Black actors received nominations in the film categories: Viola Davis for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (“The Woman King”), Jeremy Pope for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (“The Inspection”), and Angela Bassett for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”).

Jesse Collins was recruited as executive producer and showrunner for the 80th Golden Globes Awards. His credits include the Emmy-Award-winning, hip-hop-heavy 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show and a variety of other notable award shows. (Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The notable all-Black films that received nominations were “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “The Woman King,” with three total nods between them.

In the television categories, Black actors fared much better, receiving seven nominations in total. Four of the seven come from the hit ABC series, “Abbott Elementary.” In fact, the comedy show leads all television series with five nominations, including for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, and Best Performance picks for all of its Black co-stars – lead Quinta Brunson, along with Janelle James, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Tyler James Williams.

Other Black actor nominees for television include Nash-Betts (“Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”), Zendaya (“Euphoria”) and Donald Glover (“Atlanta”). Unfortunately, Glover’s nomination was the only one for “Atlanta.” In comparison, the show’s final season received three Emmy Award nods in 2022 and a lone win for Outstanding Cinematography.

Eddie Murphy will earn the evening’s biggest honor. The legendary comic actor will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.”

Murphy getting the honor is significant for several reasons. He’s only the fifth Black recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award since 1952. The other Black honorees were Sidney Portier (1982), Morgan Freeman (2012), Denzel Washington (2016), and Oprah Winfrey (2018). Also, Murphy is one of the few comedic actors to be named a recipient.

Although the face of the Golden Globes indicates the HFPA is trying to make vital changes, other aspects of the show indicate that there’s still much progress to be made. Only time will tell just how committed the HFPA is to including Black creatives among those to be recognized for their contributions to entertainment on the big and small screen.

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