The 2023 Golden Globes Telecast Was Chaotic in the Ugliest, Weirdest Way

If you took a picture every time you thought, “What the hell is going on?” while watching Tuesday night Golden Globe Award you will…um, maybe half as drunk as the people in the room. (Bless White Lotus creator Mike White, who accepted his Best Limited Series trophy while saying, “I was going to give this speech in Italian, but I was too drunk.”)

For decades, chaos has been a trademark of the Golden Globes. The nominees and their winners are the oddballs, or at least the wildly popular, and populist picks that the Academy Awards and snobs would scoff at. . Ceremonies are boozy parties. Celebrities have given silly, crooked speeches. Ricky Gervais is going to say something smug and obnoxious! Jack Nicholson will be sitting in the front row, grinning and wearing sunglasses! What a hoax!

That chaos caused scandal. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the Golden Globes, has a dirty history of bribery and support projects and talents that have given them strong reach. One intense investigation in 2021 by LA time revealed that HFPA has no black members voteAn uproar resulted in the cancellation of the 2022 ceremony, a boycott of the Hollywood event, and calls for major reform, diversity, and proof of legitimacy.

HFPA did…some of that. And, judging by the star-studded event on Tuesday night, most happily accepted their hypocrisy for the chance to dress up in gorgeous red carpet gowns, complimented on their acting. very good and engaged in Hollywood’s favorite pastime: pretending it’s none of it. this has happened before.

So the first question “what the hell is going on?” of the night will be skepticism that this is happening – that everything that has been said over the years about accountability and accountability has gone out the window because the parties seem genuinely happy again. .

There were some questions when NBC announced the show would return—albeit on an obviously unflattering Tuesday—about whether the talent would stand up to principles and not appear. Despite what my elementary school teachers always said, it turned out to be such a stupid question.

They all did, with a few surprising exceptions. And passers-by left cryptic detailed statements as to why, without even mentioning “um… the feeling there was disgusting.” (Amanda Seyfried is “in the process of creating a new musical this week”—???—while Kevin Costner is sheltering from the rain at his place in Santa Barbara, where God’s gift is for all of us, Regina King, gloriously baked.)

So then came this new form of chaos, the specific kind of chaos that defined this year’s Golden Globes, and in a really nasty way.

Pictured: Host Jerrod Carmichael

Photo by Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images

comedian Prisoner of Jerrod Carmichaelthis we-will-talk-about-hosting clashed violently with the crowd’s clear, desperate desire to just have a good time and not think about bad things, like myself. their own moral contradictions.

There are all-time great speeches from the likes of Jennifer Coolidge, Duong Tu Quynh, Angela Bassett, Ryan Murphy and Steven Spielberg. And in the middle of the TV show there was an insistence to start playing the winners almost immediately that created a backlash on Twitter against the show’s pianist, Chloe Flower. Vitriol was so tense that Carmichael had to tell the actors, who had rudely yelled at her to “shut up” during their speeches, and the viewers at home, asking them to calm down.

The aggressive tenor is really hard to understand. Just as puzzling as an award show is known for fawning over celebrities and has made massive attacks over the last year to lure them back to its ceremony, only to cut them off while they’re at it. doing that is the whole point of the prize. effort: get their prize. (And another “what the hell is going on?” drink up!)

Angela Bassett reacts after winning Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC via Getty Images

This, in all Golden Globe ceremonies — in all awards ceremonies, period — needs to be sharp. Carmichael understood the mission. there is no option to Not discuss the controversy, although the HFPA may wish it to remain unspoken. Carmichael needed to be ruthless, and he was. “I’m here because I’m Black,” he began, before delving into his thought process behind accepting the obvious offer of damage control landlords.

“I wouldn’t say they were a racist organization, but they didn’t have a Black member until George Floyd died. So what do you want to do with that information,” he said in his monologue. “One minute you are making mint tea at home. The next minute, you’re invited to be the Black Side of a white organization that’s being manipulated. Life comes to you very quickly.”

I have never seen a room of people so afraid of laughter. It was a chuckle. Lots of clenched jaws, wide eyes and red faces, and lots of nervous inhales you can almost hear through the screen.

One opinion is that journalists tell them not to laugh at these jokes. (You know, part of the “don’t admit bad things happened” vows that celebrities make when they get their SAG cards.) Or maybe they’re super upset. That’s too much truth. Remember, this is Hollywood! Such things do not happen there.

As the monologue continues, you can feel some of them wondering if they should be embarrassed to be there. (Answer: Yes!)

But then it’s time for another round of “what the hell is going on?” Drinks must be ordered, because the show moves from Carmichael’s controversial monologue with astonishing speed. And the stuff it comes in is pretty adorable.

Ke Huy Quan won the Best Supporting Actor award for Everything Anywhere All At Once30 years after his child star debuted in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and after decades wondering if such success would ever happen to him again. Bassett won Best Supporting Actress, 38 years after receiving her first trophy for the film What does love have to do with it?—the first actor in a Marvel film to win a major acting award. Both delivered emotional speeches that demonstrated why the awards came out, these wins, and the opportunity and visibility they bring.

It set up an intense ping-pong game that the human neck couldn’t keep up with without breaking.

Carmichael, to his credit, was never satisfied with his jokes all night long, although the audience proved unfriendly to their level of provocation. (In another year, with no scandals in mind and with someone like Gervais hosting the show, one wonders if the crowd could be inconsolable with bursts of astonishment.)

He Joke about Tom Cruise and Scientist Shelly Miscavige allegedly missing. (Silence, then gasp.) He quips, “When we were watching the commercial, we actually gave Will Smith the Rock Hudson Award for Best Male Performance on Television. ” (Audiences are still talking too loudly after the commercial break to even hear him.) He joked to Spielberg that he had watched. Fabelman’s house with Kanye West and it “changed his mind.” (Spielberg immediately started giggling, so the others finally felt safe doing the same.)

The Golden Globes deviance, due to the scandal of the past few years, is what viewership wants to see. The discomfort in the room as it was going on created a toxic energy that the show couldn’t get over, even as it produced a series of meaningful moments.

HFPA is once again known for its eccentric winners, but this year, perhaps fighting for legitimacy and respect, Its selection is largely excellent. There are some very “Glob will Globe” picks, like Costner winning for gold stoneor Dragon House won the award for Best Drama. But the options are incredibly… nice. And the speeches are special.

Murphy has used his time as a winner of the Carol Burnett Award for Lifetime Achievement in Television to highlight LGBT artists from his hit shows, brave faces before The sometimes difficult change that the projects helped spur: Postureby Mj Rodriguez and Billy Porter, dahmerby Niecy Nash, normal heartby Matt Bomer, and hollywoodby Jeremy Pope.

“It’s hard being an LGBTQ kid in America,” he said. “In fact, all over the world. You are often told that you will never become anything, you must hide your light to survive. But for the kids watching, I give MJ, Billy, Niecy, Matt and Jeremy as examples of the possibilities.”

Ryan Murphy accepts the Carol Burnett Award from Billy Porter

Photo by Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images

God, what a beautiful message. I’m glad there was a major awards show airing it—a catalyst for more conflicting feelings about the Golden Globes and whether this year’s ceremony should exist.

When Spielberg won the director award Fabelman’s house, which also won Best Drama Series, he said, “No one really knows who we are until we have the courage to tell everyone who we are.” In other words, the speeches are great! If you don’t think I refresh the Golden Globes YouTube page all night for a chance to revisit the beauties of Coolidge, White, or Quinta Brunson, you’re sorely mistaken.

That’s the chaos here: an identity crisis.

It’s a Golden Globe identity crisis, that’s for sure; What was once a silly, meaningless party in Hollywood is now picking out so many well-deserved, expected winners that it’s becoming boring. And a show once enjoyed by the industry for its humor and fun is playing with crickets for admitting the harsh reality of the present: everyone is complicit in its dark past.

But maybe it’s more of a Hollywood identity crisis, then — a crisis it doesn’t want to deal with. In tumultuous times like—look around everyone—where we are now, chaos should be accepted. Through that leads to clarity, purpose and, possibly, change. Have a clear understanding of that; those speeches have many versions of that message. But there is a reluctance to embrace it completely, only pursuing meaningful progress that you are comfortable showing off.

It’s a remarkable thing after all this time watching the Golden Globes, thinking “what the hell,” and it’s not a good thing. But, hey, if you throw back every time we say it like we advised, you’re at least calling on that classic Golden Globe spirit: We’re all gonna get drunk.

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