This year, the Golden Globe awards saw the Hollywood Foreign Press Association award the late Chadwick Boseman, the critically acclaimed Pixar movie “Soul,” and the first Asian woman to win for best director, Chloé Zhao. She directed the drama “Nomadland,” about a woman living as a modern nomad in the American West during the Great Recession.
However, split-screen hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler pointed out “a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.”
This year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, with no black members, faced sharp criticism. Consequently, they vowed to diversify in the year ahead.
Fortunately, there were awards for diverse talent in a year with many awkward technical moments due to the pandemic.
We look at notable quotes from a few Golden Globe winners this year.
Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Chadwick Boseman passed away in August 2020 after continuing to battle colon cancer privately. When he passed away, his wife Taylor Simone Ledward was by his side, and now it was she who gave his acceptance speech for a Golden Globe award.
A tearful Ledward evoked the speech that Boseman would have given were he still with us today.
“He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history,” said Ledward.
Although she couldn’t speak for him, she took a moment to remember him as he won Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.
“And I don’t have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love,” she continued. “And honey, you keep ’em coming.”
Finding Our Place in History
Boseman believed each person had a meaningful path and a purpose in history. Speaking before graduates of Howard University in 2018, he said:
“Your purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose,” said Boseman.
See the touching moment from NBC:
Daniel Levy for “Schitt’s Creek”
Daniel Levy, who co-created and acted in the Schitt’s Creek series, also virtually accepted his Golden Globe. Levy won for Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy.
Co-star Catherine O’Hara also won for Best Lead Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series. Notably, her acceptance speech was hailed as one fitting for her quirky character, family matriarch Moira Rose. During her speech, her husband played canned applause from a cellphone to simulate the real-life awards.
Appearing with his father and famous co-star in the series, Eugene Levy, Daniel celebrated the series’ inclusion and called for the same in future Golden Globes. The Canada-based comedy also swept the Emmy awards and was celebrated for its depictions of LGBTQ inclusivity in a rural community. Levy plays pansexual David Rose, who falls in love on the show.
At the Emmys, Eugene Levy celebrated how his gay son created “a celebration of inclusivity, a castigation of homophobia, and a declaration of the power of love.” Levy and all other characters in the Rose family won awards.
In all, the series won nine Emmys, the most ever for a comedy in a single year.
“This acknowledgment is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages Schitt’s Creek has come to stand for: the idea that inclusion can bring about love and growth to a community.”
Levy then acknowledged the need for inclusion from the Hollywood Foreign Press.
“In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, this ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of television being made today. There’s so much more to be celebrated,” he shared during his speech.
See this moment from Access:
John Boyega for the “Small Axe” Anthology
Levy lost to actor John Boyega, well-known for his Star Wars role as Finn, in the Supporting Actor category. Boyega won the Golden Globe for his work on Steve McQueen’s anthology series of films, Small Axe.
The show is about the “ordeal of a young black Londoner set on helping to break the color barrier at London’s Metropolitan Police Force in the early 1980s,” Deadline notes.
In an interview, John Boyega discussed his role on the show, which came just after he finished filming The Rise of Skywalker.
“Small Axe, Red, White, and Blue,” tells Leroy Logan’s true story. An accomplished research scientist, he decided to join the police force in 1981 at a time when racist attitudes were pervasive.
In an effort to combat negative attitudes and help people around him, he suffered racism within the police force.
At one point, Logan, played by Boyega, says he wants to “join the force.” In response, his friend asks, “what, like a Jedi?” The humorous moment stayed in the film, a nod to Boyega’s iconic role as well as prevailing attitudes toward police.
A World that Appreciates Human Beings
In his own life, Boyega has had mixed experiences with police but hopes for reform and a world where people allow others to live equally.
“It’s good for one to celebrate and enjoy the pride in your history and your identity. But we want to do it in a world that is comfortable with that and can see us as just human beings and can value our lives, basically,” said Boyega.
On Police Reform
When USA TODAY’s Rasha Ali asked if he thought police reform was possible, Boyega responded,
“Absolutely. I do think it’s possible, but I don’t know about the process of that or how long it will take,” he said. “I do know that people are very frustrated. It is at the forefront of all our conversations.”
One day, he hopes for a world where minorities can feel served and protected.
“People need this change because they want to feel like they are served and protected rather than hunted and killed and discriminated [against],” he said.
When she asked what life would be like for black people in an ideal world, he said:
“Just a chance at life. I don’t think people are looking for handouts; they are looking for the opportunity to show their excellence.”
Boyega definitely showed excellence and deserved his Golden Globe win.
May next year bring more inclusion and appreciation for the diverse people in our lives and in the movies.
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Featured images: Screenshots via YouTube
Tina Gray is a freelance journalist, theatre enthusiast and aspiring author. She has a passion for telling stories through various mediums and regularly writes for various online publications. Her short stories will soon be published in her first volume. Currently, she resides in the San Fernando Valley and is studying screenwriting.