Golden Globes 2023: The biggest moments from the film and TV awards ceremony

Jerrod Carmichael  (AP)
Jerrod Carmichael (AP)

The host

Jerrod Carmichael might be a relative unknown in the UK but he’s a big name on the US comedy circuit and he made an assured start to his debut last night, with a withering introductory speech that took aim at the Globes for hiring him “because I’m black”.

Unfortunately he then followed up during the course of the night with a series of jokes that went down like lead balloons: one about Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David, and shouting out the venue as the place Whitney Houston died in. Eek.

The no-shows

After a string of bad press, the embattled HFPA was hoping to make this years’ Globes its comeback event. Though there were plenty of big names on the red carpet it was also impossible to ignore the no-shows, which may or may not have been part of a boycott (except in the case of Brendan Fraser, it wasn’t clear): Cate Blanchett, Zendaya and Amanda Seyfried didn’t appear, pleading work commitments, while Kevin Costner was trapped in Santa Barbara due to the California rainstorms (which, strangely, sounded more plausible).

The diversity problem

The Globes came under fire in 2022 for its lack of diversity and this year seemed to turn over a fresh leaf. Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Tyler James Williams and Ke Huy Quan all won big on the night, while presenters included big names like Jennifer Hudson and Letitia Wright. Problem sorted? Not really: Carmichael also blasted the Globes for hiring him to be “the black face of an embattled organisation.” There’s still work to do, evidently.

Coolidge strikes again

 (NBC via Getty Images)
(NBC via Getty Images)

Jennifer Coolidge has done it again. Taking to the stage to present an award, she treated the audience to a three minute monologue that riffed on everything from Kayley Cuoco to Crocs and shared her anxiety that she would mess up “the pronunciation of people’s names.” She got the names right- but she did also call the Globes the Oscars.

She wasn’t the only one to have the audience in stitches: The White Lotus creator Mike White told the audience that he was “too drunk” to make his planned acceptance speech in Italian, but declared that his love for the show’s team would extend to taking a bullet for them. “Maybe not in the heart,” he qualified to laughter from the audience, “but in the foot or the leg or whatever.”

The slap echoes

Don’t think Hollywood has forgotten about Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars: it was referenced multiple times over the course of the night, both by Carmichael and by Eddie Murphy during his acceptance speech for the Cecil B DeMille award. There were three rules for success, he joked. “One, pay your taxes. Two, mind your business. Three, keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!”

Music melodrama

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The Golden Globes’ used the age-old tactic of playing off winners during the longer acceptance speeches, but they fought back, with official pianist Chloe Flower coming in for some unwarranted heat. Michelle Yeoh joked, “I can beat you up”, Colin Farrell told organisers to “forget the piano”, while a politer Austin Butler exclaimed, “You could have at least played Suspicious Minds or something!”

Zelensky makes an appearance

What modern event is complete without an appearance from Volodymyr Zelensky? He appeared virtually to give a speech during the ceremony and was introduced by Sean Penn. “The freedom to dream is not simply a human luxury, but rather a human need that must be fought and sacrificed for,” Penn said. Rousing stuff from the man who has lent Zelensky one of his Oscars – and the man himself delivered, thanking those in the “free world” for their support.

The strangest acceptance speech?

 (AP)
(AP)

In a night that included emotional highs (Angela Bassett’s speech paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman) and lows (some of Carmichael’s jokes), the award for strangest acceptance speech has to go to Colin Farrell. The actor won Best Actor - Musical or Comedy for his role in The Banshees of Inisherin and in addition to thanking his family and co-stars, paid tribute to “Jenny the donkey, who is having an early retirement.” Always heart-warming to see the stars shout out their supporting colleagues.