2021 Golden Globes
March 2, 2021

The 2021 Golden Globes might have been the strangest and most chaotic in the ceremony's recent history, but it looks like viewers just weren't interested.

Sunday's broadcast of the 78th Golden Globe Awards on NBC drew an average television audience of just 6.9 million viewers, Nielsen said, per The Wrap. This was a massive drop from the average of 18.3 million viewers who tuned into 2020's show, and it's the lowest audience for the Golden Globes since 1995, before the telecast moved from TBS to NBC, according to TV Line.

But the Globes were the "least watched ever on NBC," according to The Hollywood Reporter, which notes the prior low was 2009's 14.86 million viewers. This isn't counting 2008, when the Globes was just a press conference because of the writers strike, Deadline notes.

Awards shows have been slipping in the ratings over the past few years, though the Los Angeles Times notes the Globes had "generally held steady at 18 million to 20 million viewers" recently. But in 2021, the show didn't even come close to that. To put in perspective how bad the ratings were, the Reporter points out that 60 Minutes and the Queen Latifah CBS series The Equalizer drew more viewers.

So what happened? It was certainly an unusual year for the Globes, with many splashy movie releases having been delayed due to theaters being closed amid the pandemic, and with nominees joining the bicoastal telecast remotely. It could also be that more viewers than usual simply weren't familiar with the films up for awards, though a number of the nominees were released by streaming services.

The most recent Academy Awards in February 2020 drew that ceremony's smallest audience of all time, but the ratings for the Globes suggest an even more dramatic plunge in Oscar ratings could be inevitable. Indeed, NBC's Dylan Byers wrote that after looking at these numbers, the Oscars "should be in a state of absolute panic." Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

Andra Day just scored a lead drama actress Golden Globe, becoming only the second Black woman to do so in history.

At Sunday's Golden Globes, Day won the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama for The United States vs. Billie Holiday. She's just the second Black winner of this prize, the first being Whoopi Goldberg, who won in 1986 for The Color Purple.

In fact, throughout the almost 80-year history of the Golden Globes, there have only ever been 12 Black nominees in this category, according to Gold Derby. Another one of the 12 came this year, as Viola Davis was also nominated for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and previous Black nominees include Diana Ross, Halle Berry, and Cynthia Erivo.

The Golden Globes have long been criticized over a lack of diversity at the show, and it was recently revealed that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that selects the winners, doesn't have a single Black member. During Sunday's show, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association acknowledged that the organization has "work to do." Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

Nomadland just made history at the Golden Globes.

The film from Chloé Zhao won the top prize of Best Motion Picture — Drama at Sunday's Golden Globes, becoming the first movie directed by a woman to ever win this award, according to Variety. Female-directed films have previously won Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, most recently Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, but never in the drama category.

The Golden Globes, which have for years been criticized for failing to recognize female directors, already made history in 2021 by nominating three women for Best Director, the most ever in one year. In addition to Zhao, who won the award, Promising Young Woman's Emerald Fennell and One Night in Miami's Regina King were also nominated. King's film, however, was one of a number of movies with a Black ensemble snubbed for a best picture nomination by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group that doesn't have a single Black member.

Nomadland might be on track to also win Best Picture at the upcoming Academy Awards, although it wouldn't be the Oscars' first Best Picture winner from a female director, as Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker won in 2010. That year, Golden Globes voters gave their top drama prize to James Cameron's Avatar instead. Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

High five!

Sacha Baron Cohen on Sunday won the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy film for his role in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. The film also won the award for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy.

Not only was this Baron Cohen's second Golden Globe win, but it was his second win specifically for playing Borat Sagdiyev. He previously won this same award for the original Borat in 2007. This, according to Gold Derby, makes Baron Cohen the first person to win multiple times in this category for playing the same character.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which was filmed in secret during the COVID-19 pandemic and culminated with an infamous prank on former President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, also scored a nomination at Sunday's Golden Globes for Maria Bakalova, who played Borat's daughter. Plus, Baron Cohen was nominated not just for Borat, but also for best supporting actor for his performance in The Trial of the Chicago 7. Clearly, his 2020 was a great success. Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

Very nice!

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm on Sunday won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy. It was released by Amazon Studios, making this the first time in history either of the top two best picture Golden Globes went to a streaming service's film.

This was, of course, a highly unusual year in which streaming movies were primed to win big, as theaters closed and many studios postponed their releases. In the Best Motion Picture — Drama category, in fact, Netflix had not one but two films in contention at Sunday's show, with Mank and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Plus, pundits thought Borat's biggest competition for this best picture prize was Hamilton, which Disney released on streaming during the pandemic, though the original intent was for it to be a theatrical release.

While a streamer hadn't previously won the Golden Globe for best drama or best musical or comedy film, Netflix did win Best Foreign Language Film in 2019 for Roma. The question still remains, though, which streaming service will finally snag Best Picture at the Oscars, a feat none has achieved — at least, not yet. Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

After nearly 80 years, an Asian woman has finally won the Best Director Golden Globe.

Chloé Zhao on Sunday took home the award for directing Nomadland, becoming the first Asian woman to do so in Golden Globes history. In fact, Zhao was the first Asian woman to even be nominated for the award.

Zhao is also just the second woman to ever win the Golden Globe for Best Director, and the first in nearly 40 years, after Barbra Streisand won in 1984 for Yentl.

Three women were nominated for the best directing Golden Globe at Sunday's show, the most ever in one year. But prior to 2021, only five female directors had been nominated in Golden Globes history, a fact that has drawn widespread criticism. In 2018, for instance, Natalie Portman famously introduced the best director category's "all-male nominees."

Zhao is considered the frontrunner to win Best Director at the upcoming Academy Awards as well, where she would also become the first Asian woman to ever win and the second woman after The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow. Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

Six months after his death, Chadwick Boseman has posthumously won a Golden Globe.

The late actor on Sunday won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama film for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the final movie he completed prior to his death. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, emotionally paid tribute while accepting the award on his behalf.

"He would thank God," she said. "He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices."

She went on to say that "I don't have his words," but "we have to take the moment to celebrate those we love, so thank you, HFPA for this opportunity to do exactly that."

Boseman died on Aug. 28, following a battle with colon cancer; he had kept his diagnosis private while continuing to work on films, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. He's the second actor to win a Golden Globe in this category posthumously after Peter Finch, who won for Network after his death in 1977, according to Variety.

Though the nominations for the Academy Awards have yet to be announced, Boseman is widely expected to win the Best Actor Oscar as well, and he could potentially be nominated a second time for his supporting performance in Da 5 Bloods. Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

Another shock winner has been picked at the 2021 Golden Globes.

Jodie Foster on Sunday won the Golden Globe for best supporting actress for her performance in The Mauritanian. It was a major upset, as pundits widely thought the winner would either be Glenn Close for Hillbilly Elegy, Amanda Seyfried for Mank, or Olivia Colman for The Father. This was the latest surprise win at show after an earlier upset for Rosamund Pike for I Care a Lot.

No one seemed more shocked by the win than Foster herself, who even jokingly suggested Jamie Lee Curtis could have read the wrong name.

"Are you kidding me?" Foster said. "I think you made a mistake."

Seyfried had at one point been seen as the Best Supporting Actress frontrunner in the Oscar race, although that narrative came into question after she was not nominated at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Now, with this Golden Globe win, Foster may pick up some serious momentum two months ahead of the Oscars. Brendan Morrow

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