2021 Golden Globes Recap: A Chaotic, Historic Ceremony

Technical difficulties, awkward moments, and other highlights from the awards show.

The 2021 Golden Globes took place on Sunday, kicking off this year’s weird awards season amid an unprecedented global health crisis. For safety reasons, the ceremony was a hybrid of online and in-person bits, with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presenting the show from New York City and Los Angeles, respectively – and further contributing to an event filled with awkward moments, technical difficulties, and dress code overlooks.

Of course, there were some highlights as well, including emotional parts, historic wins (check out the full list here!), and the opportunity to peek into celebrities’ homes. Take a look at our recap below:

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler split-screen hosting

Via NBC/Golden Globes/Giphy.

The bi-coastal ceremony opened with Golden Globes veterans Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s split-screen monologue to an audience of frontline and essential workers. “We are so grateful for the work that you do,” Fey said, “and that you’re here so that the celebrities can stay safely at home.” The duo joked with certain productions, such as The Prom, Normal People, and Emily In Paris, while the camera cut to nominees’ faces as they Zoomed from their homes. There was also a not-so-subtle-at-all reference to the lack of diversity among voters of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which notably has zero Black members). 

Technical difficulties

Via NBC/Golden Globes/Giphy.

Not even celebrities are exempt from awkward Zoom moments. Daniel Kaluuya was muted while accepting the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah – which later led the actor to shout “You did me dirty!” before finally being able to deliver his speech. The usual video chat delay was also there, which at times made the viewing experience quite uncomfortable but oh, well

Jason Sudeikis in tie-dye

Via NBC/Golden Globes/Giphy.

While most of the attendees dressed up for an unusual Golden Globes ceremony as they would to a normal one, some decided to take the “at home” concept more seriously and sported more casual looks: Jeff Daniels wore a blue flannel shirt, Bill Murray chose a colorful, psychedelic short-sleeve button-down, and Jason Sudeikis accepted his award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy in a tie-dye hoodie.

Jane Fonda and HFPA criticism

Via NBC/Golden Globes/Giphy.

Legendary actress and activist Jane Fonda was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award and used her speech to speak up about the importance of storytelling and call out for more inclusion in Hollywood. She highlighted stories like Nomadland, Minari, and Golden Globe-snub I May Destroy You. “It’s about who’s offered a seat at the table and who was kept out of the rooms where decisions are made. So that’s all of us, including all the groups who decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards,” she said. “Let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent, so that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard.”

Chadwick Boseman’s win

Via NBC/Golden Globes/Giphy.

Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama at Sunday’s Golden Globes for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The late actor’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, gave a moving acceptance speech on his behalf, thanking his family and colleagues. “He would thank God,” she said. “He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices.”

Chloé Zhao’s historic win

Via NBC/Golden Globes/Giphy.

Chloé Zhao made history at the Golden Globes after winning the award for Best Director, Motion Picture for Nomadland. She became the second woman in the award’s history to pick the best director prize (the only one prior was Barbra Streisand, who won for Yentl in 1984) and the first Asian woman and woman of color to do so. A bittersweet celebration considering we’re already in 2021, but a great win nonetheless. 

And finally: pets!

Via NBC/Golden Globes/Giphy.

Honestly, if there’s one argument to be made in favor of future “at home” ceremonies, it’s that we get to see some of the cutest, furry cameos. This year’s Golden Globes gave us Regina King’s sleepy dog Cornbread, Jodie Foster’s dog Ziggy nestled between the actress and her wife Alexandra Hedison, Sarah Paulson’s dog Winnie with a ponytail, Emma Corrin’s cat… I’m here for it!

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