Golden Globes 2021: Black Actors Win Top Awards After Diversity Backlash

Chadwick Boseman and Andra Day received Oscars nominations. (Credit: Netflix and Hulu)

After a week of backlash for excluding Black journalists from its membership ranks, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association apparently tried to change course Sunday night by giving several of its top Golden Globes to Black actors.

The HFPA has been in the crosshairs since the Los Angeles Times published an investigative series last weekend revealing a lack of Black inclusion in the group.

On Sunday night, Daniel Kaluuya was the first big winner, taking home a statuette for best supporting actor in any motion picture for his role as revolutionary Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah.

Kaluuya gave his acceptance speech after technical difficulties during the virtual ceremony, jokingly saying: “You did me dirty!” Once the glitches were worked out, he thanked the film’s director Shaka King and mentioned how Hampton inspired him. “I hope generations after this can see how brilliantly he thought, how brilliantly he spoke and how brilliantly he loved,” he said.

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John Boyega next won for best supporting actor in a television series, miniseries, or motion picture for his role in Small Axe.

Chadwick Boseman was posthumously honored with the award for best actor in a motion picture – drama for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. His wife Taylor Simone Ledward accepted the award on his behalf, giving a moving speech in which she said, “He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices.”

Newcomer Andra Day won the award for best actress in a motion picture – drama for her role as Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

During the ceremony, three members of the HFPA addressed the diversity backlash by saying, “Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.”

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Golden Globes co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler also addressed the controversy during their opening monologue, with the Saturday Night Live alums saying, “The HFPA is made up of around 90 international—no Black—journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life.”

Before the first Golden Globes were presented, Fey said the nominees were selected by “European weirdos.”