The Golden Globes 2021 isn’t popular with the crowds this year and not for the reasons you suspect. The pandemic may have caused a few hiccups, pushing awarding season back to late February and prompting everyone — including the celebrities who usually gather at this ostentatious event — to tune in from their homes. More than that, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been long under scrutiny for the lack of diversity within its board members.
But as they say in Hollywood, the show must go on. Returning hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were broadcasting from opposite coasts yet were still able to pull off their banter via telecommute. Poehler was live from California at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, while Fey took the stage in New York at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center. The only audience were First Responders masked up and socially distanced at the tables.
Jokes and laughter aside, the actresses/comedians weren’t reluctant to tackle the matter surrounding the HFPA. And of course, they had to do it cheekily. Before officially commencing the night, Poehler quips, “Everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices. Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated, but that happens, okay? That’s, like, their thing. But [several] Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.”
Fey chimes in that award shows are stupid and that “Even with stupid things, inclusivity is important. And there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realize, HFPA, maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you got to change that. So, here’s to changing it.” This has been the predicament since 2002, which is almost two decades of People of Color being robbed of the recognition they deserve.
Former HFPA President and board chair, Meher Tatna, responds to the criticism and admits to Variety that of the 87 people on the board, not even one is a Black journalist. Not to mention, there have been allegations that members took bribes of gifts and other perks in exchange for nominations. It’s not impressive that they present awards to the marginalized, as this is only a band-aid solution to inclusivity.
Moving forward, the HFPA pledges to “Bring in Black members, as well as members from the other underrepresented backgrounds,” and implement this as soon as possible.