The Golden Globes haven’t been the focal point for Hollywood’s diversity crisis. That’s fallen to the Academy Awards, which have been slammed on social media for failing to honour actors of colour for the past two years. But the 2017 edition of the Golden Globe Awards has been notable for honouring shows that deal with race in the United States.

Atlanta, an acclaimed FX series about cousins navigating the rap scene, scored the best TV comedy or musical statue for its first season beating out veteran series such as Veep and Transparent. “I really want to thank Atlanta and all the, like, black folks in Atlanta,” said the show’s creator Donald Glover. “Just for being alive.”

Atlanta‘s victory wasn’t the only time race took centre stage. The People V OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, a look at how the American football star’s murder trial divided the city of Los Angeles around racial lines, nabbed best TV movie or miniseries. “American justice is anything but blind when race, gender and celebrity are involved,” said producer Nina Jacobson in her victory speech, going on to note that those issues remain relevant 20 years after the Simpson trial.

Best actress in a TV comedy winner Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) used her time at the microphone to address Hollywood’s poor track record with creating shows and films for people of colour. “This is for all of the women, women of colour, and colourful people, whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important,” said Ellis-Ross. “I want you to know I see you, we see you.”

golden globe awards

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and his Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture award for Nocturnal Animals. Photo: Reuters

It was also a night of upsets and surprises. Aaron Taylor-Johnson won the first Golden Globe Award, picking up a best supporting actor statue for his work as a criminal psychopath in Nocturnal Animals. Taylor-Johnson beat out the heavily favoured Mahershala Ali, who has earned plaudits for his work as a sympathetic drug dealer in Moonlight. The English actor wasn’t even expected to pick up a nomination.

Nocturnal Animals stepped into some controversy before nominations were even announced. Globe voters were told to give back Tom Ford perfume that was sent out to hawk the film because it went over the dollar limit for gifts they are allowed to receive. (Tom Ford directed the movie.)

Taylor-Johnson’s win wasn’t the only early upset. Billy Bob Thornton also picked up a best TV actor in a drama statue for his performance as an unconventional lawyer in the Amazon series Goliath. In his speech, Thornton quipped that he had a longstanding rivalry with Bob Odenkirk, a fellow nominee for Better Call Saul, that dated back to their work with Van Johnson in the 1940s.

The Golden Globes are an essential stop during Hollywood’s months-long awards season blitz. On the film front, La La Land, a musical ode to Los Angeles, is hoping to emerge as the Oscar front-runner. The romance stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, both of whom are nominated, and picked up a leading seven nods.

Host Jimmy Fallon got the show going with a nod to La La Land‘s opening number. It had the comedian stuck in bumper-to-bumper limousine traffic, and enabled nominees and stars such as Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Ryan Reynolds, and Kit Harrington to sing and dance alongside Storm Troopers and the kids from Stranger Things.

golden globe awards

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross holds the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series/Musical or Comedy for Black-ish at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Reuters

From left:  Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, and Noah Schnapp attend 'Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin and Noah Schnapp of Stranger Things at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards. Photo: AFP

From left: Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, and Noah Schnapp attend ‘Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin and Noah Schnapp of Stranger Things at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards. Photo: AFP

“Welcome to the Golden Globes,” he said, before noting, “Already the teleprompter’s down.” The technical glitch was an apt way to kick off the evening. After all, the Golden Globes are louder, looser, and boozier than the Oscars. Champagne flows freely during the ceremony, which can lead to celebrity fails and must-see television.

The awards show rewards work on both the big and small screen, and segregates drama films from musicals and comedies. It also does not recognise below-the-line work, such as editing or cinematography. The Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of roughly 100 journalists with overseas connections.

Fallon’s opening monologue was peppered with several US election zingers. He compared president elect Donald Trump to King Joffrey, the mad monarch from Game Of Thrones, and said that the Globes was one of the last things where the popular vote still mattered, a reference to how Hilary Clinton’s popular vote win was meaningless in comparison to Trump’s electoral college victory. – Reuters/Brent Lang


LIST OF WINNERS

Best Motion Picture, Drama: Moonlight
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: La La Land
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Viola Davis (Fences)
Best Director, Motion Picture: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Best Screenplay: La La Land
Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language: Elle (France)


Best Motion Picture, Animated: Zootopia
Best Original Song, Motion Picture: City Of Stars from La La Land
Best Original Score, Motion Picture: Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
Best Television Series, Drama: The Crown
Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy: Atlanta
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama: Billy Bob Thornton (Goliath)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama: Claire Foy (The Crown)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy: Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy: Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: The People V OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series/Motion Picture Made for Television: Sarah Paulson (The People V OJ Simpson: American Crime Story)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series/Limited Series/Motion Picture Made for Television: Olivia Colman (The Night Manager)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Serie/Limited Series/Motion Picture Made for Television: Hugh Laurie (The Night Manager)