By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Only days after being attacked for having no Black members, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) awarded four Blacks Golden Globes Sunday night, and three won in film categories for the first time in 14 years. The night was started by Black winners in both film and television, but the overall report for the HFPA is not very encouraging.
The evening began with wins for Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) for supporting film actor and John Boyega (“Small Axe”) for supporting TV actor. Boyega was the only person of color to win in the small screen categories. The late Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) posthumously won the award for lead actor in a drama film. Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) became the second Black woman to win the Golden Globe award for lead actress in a drama film. (The first Black woman to win the award was Whoopi Goldberg in 1986.)
Another historic moment occurred when “Nomadland” filmmaker Chloé Zhao became the first Asian woman and the second woman in 78 years to win the award for best director. (Barbra Streisand won in 1984 for directing “Yentl.”) Zhao’s film also won the award for motion picture-drama, while “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” picked up the award for comedy.
In the below-the-line film categories, “Soul,” which won the Globe for best animated motion picture, also netted wins for its Black co-director Kemp Powers and co-composer Jon Batiste.
Still, it was a modest improvement over last year, when the Golden Globes only recognized one person of color from the film side (Awkwafina for “The Farewell”) and one from TV (“Ramy” creator Ramy Youssef, who won the musical or comedy actor statue). This year’s list ties the figure from the 63rd awards in 2007, when film stars Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson, along with America Ferrara on the TV side, first made history with the most Golden Globes awarded to actors of color in a single year.
The HFPA does have people of color in its membership, but no Blacks, either African American or Blacks from other nations. Current membership is down to 87 people.