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Technical Difficulties, Bicoastal Hosts at the 2021 Golden Globes

Awards ceremony held in front of masked first responders, essential workers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 28, 2021 10:05 PM CST

(Newser) – With homebound nominees appearing by remote video and hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on different sides of the country, a very socially distanced 78th Golden Globe Awards trudged on in the midst of the pandemic and amid a storm of criticism over the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's lack of Black voting members, with a bounty of awards for streaming services, pleas for inclusivity, and a posthumous award for Chadwick Boseman. Boseman, as expected, posthumously won best actor in a drama for his final performance, in the August Wilson adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom—a Netflix release, the AP reports. More highlights:

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  • Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. The Crown, as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) and Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher). The streaming service's Queen's Gambit won best limited series, and best actress in the category for Anya Taylor-Joy.
  • Schitt's Creek, the Pop TV series that found a wider audience on Netflix, won best comedy series for its final season. Catherine O'Hara also took best actress in a comedy series.
  • Chloe Zhao, the China-born filmmaker of Nomadland, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director. She’s the first woman to win the award since Barbra Streisand won for Yentl in 1984.
  • Many of the evening's awards went to streaming services, which—facing scant traditional studio competition—dominated the Globes like never before. Apple TV+ scored its first major award when a sweatshirt-clad Jason Sudeikis won best actor in a comedy series for the streamer's Ted Lasso.
  • Fey took the stage at New York's Rainbow Room while Poehler remained at the Globes' usual home at the Beverly Hilton. In their opening remarks, they managed their typically well-timed back-and-forth despite being almost 3,000 miles from each other. “I always knew my career would end with me wandering around the Rainbow Room pretending to talk to Amy," said Fey. “I just thought it would be later.”
  • They appeared before masked attendees but no stars. Instead, the sparse tables—where Hollywood royalty are usually crammed together and plied with alcohol during the show—were occupied by “smoking-hot first responders and essential workers,” as Fey said.
  • In a production nightmare but one that's become familiar during the pandemic, the night's first winner accepted his award while muted. Only after presenter Laura Dern apologized for the technical difficulties did Daniel Kaluuya, who won best supporting actor for his performance as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, get his speech in. When he finally came through, he wagged his finger at the camera and said, “You're doing me dirty!"
  • When attendees would normally be streaming down the red carpet on Sunday evening, many stars were instead posing virtually. Regina King, resplendent in a dazzling dress, stood before her yawning dog. Carey Mulligan, nominated for Promising Young Woman, said from a London hotel room that she was wearing heels for the first time in more than a year.
  • The circumstances led to some award-show anomalies. Mark Ruffalo, appearing remotely, won best actor in a limited series for I Know This Much Is True with his kids celebrating behind him and his wife, Sunrise Coigney, sitting alongside.
  • Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama Minari (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. “She's the reason I made this film,” said Chung.
  • John Boyega, supporting actor winner for his performance in Steve McQueen's Small Ax anthology, raised his leg to show he was wearing track pants below his more elegant white jacket.
  • Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) won one of the biggest surprise Globes, for best supporting actress in a film, while sitting on the couch next to her wife, Alexandra Hedison, and with her dog, Ziggy, on her lap.
  • Bob Odenkirk, while appearing on five screens with fellow TV actor nominees before an ad break, took the moment to meet a legend, virtually. “Mr. Pacino, very good to meet you ... on the screen," he said.
  • Some speeches were pre-taped. The previously recorded speeches by Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross for the winning Soul score went without a hiccup even though presenter Tracy Morgan first announced Sal as the winner.
(More on the HFPA controversy here, or see the complete list of winners here.)

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