At This Year’s Golden Globes, You Had to (Not) Be There


With the 2021 Golden Globe Awards, there is now one more way in which the stars are just like us. They too, sit at home, drink through teleconferences and endure technical glitches.

Immediately after Laura Dern announced Daniel Kaluuya as best motion-picture supporting actor, the night’s first winner appeared on the screen and began speaking. But his voice was missing. The producers cut away and Dern apologized. At the last second, Kaluuya reappeared, excitedly saying, “You’re doing me dirty! Is this on?”

Having the Black winner of the first award inadvertently silenced encapsulated two challenges of these strange, troubled Globes: the production issues of putting on a show in the midst of a deadly pandemic, and the fallout over the lack of Black artists among the nominees and Black journalists among the award-giving body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The Globes handled the first clunkily but with occasional charm. It handled the second incompletely and even more awkwardly.

Even with living-room champagne, teleconferencing is still teleconferencing. We’ve spent a year staring at celebrities on screens. Spending a night watching them stare at each other, in the excruciating pre-commercial multiscreen hangouts, is not quite a fabulous escape. We get enough disjointed Zooms at work and school. (Alas, we cannot play those off when they run long.)

There was only so much the Globes could do about the global circumstances. How they addressed the local circumstances that the H.F.P.A. only has itself to blame for is another matter.

The Globes, usually greeted as a harmless, messy goof, were serious news this year for all the wrong reasons. In addition to the diversity uproar, a recent Los Angeles Times investigation of the H.F.P.A. found practices that smacked of corruption, including members accepting five-star hotel stays to visit the set of the “Emily in Paris.”

The association acknowledged the racial issue in a perfunctory, we-have-work-to-do statement from the stage. It addressed the self-dealing charges not at all.

The reason the Globes persist is that they’ve become a valuable TV show, bringing an army of celebrities together for NBC under one roof with plenty of cork-popping social lubricant. This year’s show demonstrated what the Globes have when you take that away: not much.

Whether the H.F.P.A. will be any healthier in a year is anyone’s guess. Hopefully the world will be. For now, all we had were bittersweet reminders of connection, as when the producer Norman Lear accepted the Carol Burnett Award from a solitary room, giving his secret for longevity: “I have never lived alone. I have never laughed alone.”

Connection with other people, he reminded us, is the best medicine. Which was just one reason that this disjointed version of a usually carefree production felt like it was ailing.


Sahred From Source link Arts