Booze, boobs and boo-boos: Why the Golden Globes rock
The only awards ceremony in Hollywood where celebrities can drink alcohol has earned its reputation
The Golden Globes is the most lively, attention-grabbing and just plain fun gala ceremony in Hollywood’s awards merry-go-round – primarily because it’s the only one where alcohol is served.
Tinseltown’s elite are allowed to kick back in relaxed seating with a glass of champagne – or six – and reflect on a year’s achievements. In a pre-gala interview, hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg said the “looser atmosphere” was part of the fun.
In the aftermath of Sunday’s bash, here are five memorable moments from past ceremonies – when adrenaline, various other hormones or the open bar have brought out the best and worst in the stars. Just months after the allegations against Harvey Weinstein sparked a reckoning in Hollywood about sexual misconduct, daytime television trailblazer Oprah Winfrey delivered a stirring speech at the Globes in January 2018, declaring a “new day” for women and girls facing down abusive men. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up! Their time is up!” Winfrey said to a standing ovation and even some tears as she accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Three years before in 2015, Hurt Locker actor Jeremy Renner found himself at the centre of a Twitterstorm after an off-colour joke as he gave out the award in the best actor in a miniseries or TV movie category alongside Jennifer Lopez. After the nominees were announced, the Let’s Get Loud singer asked her co-presenter if she should open the envelope, telling him: “I have the nails.”
“You’ve got the globes, too,” he retorted, prompting a wave of complaints on social media that he had sexually harassed her on live TV.
Who needs footwear to present an award? Certainly not Emma Thompson, who sauntered up to the podium, Christian Louboutins and a stiff martini in hand, to present the Globe for Best Screenplay in 2014. After paying lip service to the craft of scriptwriting, the two-time Oscar winner launched into a one-woman campaign against the cruelty of high heels.
“I just want you to know, this red, it’s my blood,” she said, gesturing to her crimson-soled heels before lobbing the offending footwear over her shoulder.
Nothing to do with bad behaviour, but actress and director Jodie Foster’s moving soliloquy in 2013 remains one of the highlights. At the time, the notoriously private Foster was still in what Out magazine witheringly called a “glass closet” – hiding deliberately in plain sight – as she prepared to accept a lifetime achievement award.
It sounded like she was finally going to put the issue of her sexuality to rest when she spluttered: “I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public ... but I’m just going to put it out there, right? Loud and proud, right? So I’m going to need your support on this.” In the end, she stops short, merely declaring: “I am single. Yes, I am. I am single,” to laughter and applause, before offering a sweet tribute to former long-time partner Cydney Bernard.
It’s one thing to behave badly at a party, but it’s a worse offence to spoil everyone’s fun by cancelling the event in its entirety. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association shelved the Golden Globes during the Writers Guild of America strike in 2008 after the Screen Actors Guild said its members wouldn’t cross picket lines outside the ceremony.
With the threat of an empty red carpet, the awards were replaced with a dull televised press conference announcing the winners.