Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s opening monologue for the Golden Globes was a bit different this year from their previous stints as hosts. Sure, there were fun jokes about Quentin Tarantino’s foot fetish and how even though the duo’s hosting from opposite coasts, it feels like they’re in the same room together. But they also focused on a very important topic: how badly the HFPA fucked up.
This year’s Golden Globes have been marred with controversy, from leaving out critically acclaimed, Black-led TV shows like I May Destroy You in favor of big stinker Emily In Paris, to not having any Black voters amongst the 87 that make up the HFPA.
So Poehler and Fey used their monologue to explain to an audience made up of first responders and essential workers what the Golden Globes are. “The Golden Globes are awards given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” says Poehler. Fey adds, “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international no-Black journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life. We say around 90 because a couple of them might be ghosts and it’s rumored that the German member is just a sausage who somebody drew a little face on.”
After a too-long bit about the difference between TV shows and movies, now that we all watch them all the same way, Fey and Poehler got back to the crux of this year’s Golden Globes: They kind of suck.
“Oh, you know, this is something we should’ve probably told you guys earlier, everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices. Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated but that happens, that’s like their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked,” said Poehler. Fey then said that we all know awards shows are stupid, but “even with stupid things, inclusivity is important and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press.”
The night started with two Black men winning consecutively—Daniel Kaluuya for Best Supporting Actor in Judas And The Black Messiah and John Boyega for Best Supporting Actor In A Series for Small Axe—and this opening speech at least acknowledges why this year’s Golden Globes feels unsettling to watch (though it also tried to downplay the importance of the awards themselves, which kind of ignores why these things matter to marginalized talent, when you consider the doors they tend to open). But will this be enough to make sure that the HFPA changes? We’ll have to wait till next year to find out. In the meantime, check out the video below.