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Awards season comes roaring back in a post-strike Hollywood

From hosting fails to major firsts, the most talked-about media of 2023 was put on display Sunday at the Golden Globe Awards

With many itching to see if viral fan favorites such as “Saltburn” and “Barbie” would be recognized in this new era of Hollywood, the Globes have been a much anticipated event over the past few weeks.
With many itching to see if viral fan favorites such as “Saltburn” and “Barbie” would be recognized in this new era of Hollywood, the Globes have been a much anticipated event over the past few weeks.

The Golden Globe Awards kicked off the Hollywood awards season Sunday night with the first major event since the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. The strikes — which shut the film and television industries down from May to early November 2023 — were meant to gain better working conditions and fair wages for actors, writers and other union members. Much of the world was excited to see stars walking the red carpet on the heels of these successful strikes. 

Presenters referenced the strike various times throughout the night, with stars Hailee Steinfeld, Shameik Moore and Daniel Kaluuya focusing on the importance of writers by performing a badly written skit that they jokingly claimed was written by “studio executives.” During the skit, Moore asked Steinfeld how she was doing and Steinfeld responded by poking fun at the entrance of artificial intelligence into the entertainment industry.

“I am relatable,”  Haillee said responding to Moore jokingly. “I am enjoy the Golden Globs, do you agree?”

With many itching to see if viral fan favorites such as “Saltburn” and “Barbie” would be recognized, the Globes have been a much-anticipated event over the past few weeks. 

While the awards themselves received praise from viewers — with some first-time winners and some possible snubs — one cannot say the same about the host. Stand-up comedian Jo Koy received a great deal of negative feedback for his hosting duties, including some visible distaste from a multitude of celebrities in the audience. 

After making a blatantly sexist joke about Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” jabbing at Taylor Swift and  veering off-script to blame writers for his failing monologue, Koy garnered quite a large outpouring of criticism across social media, with one user referring to him and his jokes as “reductive, sexist and cheap.”

After the rocky opening monologue, the presentation of awards began by honoring the supporting actors in film. This portion of the night yielded a much-expected win for Da’Vine Joy Randolph in the Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Category for her stellar performance in “The Holdovers.” Her win was followed by the Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture category where Robert Downey Jr. took home the Globe for his performance in “Oppenheimer,” beating out fan favorite Ryan Gosling for his performance as Ken in “Barbie.”

“Oppenheimer” accumulated four more awards throughout the night including major wins when Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan won Actor in a Drama Motion Picture and Director of a Motion Picture respectively. The film earned its final win of the night with the Best Motion Picture award for a Drama. 

On the opposite end of the “Barbenheimer” spectrum, “Barbie” fell short of expectations, leaving many people wondering what the rest of the awards season will look like for the acclaimed film. 

The film’s most notable loss was to Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Poor Things,” with the film beating out “Barbie” in the Best Motion Picture for a Musical or Comedy category. Similarly, Emma Stone won Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Motion Picture for Musicals or Comedies for her work in “Poor Things,” beating out Margot Robbie who was nominated for her portrayal of Barbie.

Beyond any other win or loss, the most monumental moment of the film awards came when Lily Gladstone took home the award for the Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama for her beautiful performance in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” This win made Globes history, as it marked the first time that an indigenous actor had won a Golden Globe Award. She gave part of her speech in the Blackfoot language and dedicated her win to indigenous youth

“This is for every little rez kid, every little urban kid [and] every little native kid out there who has a dream, who is seeing themselves represented," Gladstone said.

While there were some interesting snubs and exciting wins in the film categories, the most anticipated wins of the night seemed to come from the television categories. 

Ayo Edebiri took home her first ever major acting award in the Best Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy category for her standout performance as Sydney Adamu in the hit show “The Bear.” Elizabeth Debicki won Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Television Series for her portrayal of the late Princess of Wales Diana Spencer — this was also Debicki’s first ever Golden Globe. 

“I’m so very grateful for this. I’m in a room full of so many people who I admire and whose work has lifted me up,” Edebiri said in her acceptance speech.

Along with some other first-time wins — such as Kieran Culken’s Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Series win for his performance in “Succession” — it was certainly refreshing to see new faces taking home the bulk of the major awards. In some ways, it almost felt as if the industry was finally entering a new, younger era.

“Succession” — as expected — was one of the biggest overall winners of the night, raking in wins in the drama categories for Best Television Series, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Television Series. While these wins were expected, many were excited to see the fan favorite show continue to win big even after its finale in 2023.

In the comedy categories, “The Bear” also came up big. Along with Ayo Edebiri’s win, and the award for the Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, Jeremy Allen White also took home an award for his performance in the heartwarming show. Netflix comedy series “Beef” also won big with Ali Wong and Steven Yeun taking home Best Actor awards for their performances in the limited series.

Overall, this year’s Golden Globe Awards certainly made for an interesting watch. It was thrilling to watch newcomers break onto the awards scene, but the hosting dulled the experience for viewers. Despite the poor hosting, though, the jam-packed Globes left many viewers hopeful for an exciting awards season to come.