Jerrod Carmichael kicks off 2023 Golden Globes by addressing past controversy

Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael kicked off the 80th annual ceremony by addressing the award show’s previous diversity controversy.

The US comedian told audiences, “I’ll tell you why I’m here, I’m here because I’m black,” as he opened the show in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening.

Last year’s show was turned into a “private event” at the last minute by organisers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), after it faced heavy criticism over its lack of black members.

“I’ll tell you what’s been going on,” Carmichael told audiences at the top of the show.

“This show, the Golden Globe Awards did not air last year, because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which I won’t say they were a racist organisation, but they didn’t have a single black member until George Floyd died – do with that information what you will.

“One minute I’m making mint tea at home, the next you’re invited to be the black face of an embattled white organisation. Life really comes at you fast.”

He added: “I took this job assuming they hadn’t changed at all.

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“(But) regardless of whatever the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s past may be, this is an evening where we get to celebrate.

“And I think this industry deserves evenings like these. And I’m happy to be here.”

Following the fallout, the HFPA subsequently vowed to overhaul its bylaws and implement changes addressing ethics and inclusion.

Tuesday’s milestone event took place at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles and saw the return of multiple famous faces.

The first awards of the night, for best supporting actor and actresses in a drama motion picture, went to Ke Huy Quan and Angela Basset, respectively.

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Several big British names, including Dame Emma Thompson, Olivia Colman, Bill Nighy and Daniel Craig, are also up for top awards.

Colman is among the nominees for best performance by an actress in a motion picture: drama, for her turn in Empire Of Light, and is joined in the category by Cate Blanchett as well as Viola Davis, Ana De Armas and Michelle Williams.

In the parallel category of best performance by an actor in a motion picture: drama, Nighy is joined by Hugh Jackman, Austin Butler, Jeremy Pope and Brendan Fraser.

Fraser, who is nominated for his performance in The Whale, previously said he would not attend the Golden Globes if nominated, following an alleged incident in 2003.

In 2018, the actor said that he was groped by longtime HFPA member Philip Berk, a former president of the organisation.

Elsewhere, blockbuster films Avatar: The Way Of Water and Top Gun: Maverick lead the category for best motion picture: drama, alongside Elvis, The Fabelmans and Tar.

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Titles nominated for best motion picture: musical or comedy include The Banshees Of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Triangle Of Sadness.

In the best directing category, no female directors were nominated, with industry heavyweights James Cameron, Martin McDonagh, and Steven Spielberg all receiving nods, as did Tony Kushner, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and Baz Luhrmann.

Naatu Naatu, from the film RRR, overcame pop music heavyweights Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, to claim the Golden Globe for best original song.

Indian film composer MM Keeravani accepted the award and thanked the film’s director, SS Rajamouli for the support for his work.

A slew of celebrities took on presenting duties throughout the evening including Letitia Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Salma Hayek, Hilary Swank and Ana De Armas.

Last year the awards were announced via periodic updates from the Golden Globes website and official social media accounts, after US network NBC refused to air the show.