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The Best and Worst Moments of the 2023 Golden Globe Awards

The Golden Globes, awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), have returned after a year in NBC-mandated timeout. This year’s ceremony, hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael, arrived after years of turmoil for the organization.

NBC, which typically airs the ceremony, declined to do so in 2022 after industry-wide criticism over the complete lack of Black representation among the HFPA. The year before that, the awards were postponed almost two months due to COVID-19, and first responders and essential workers filled the audience in lieu of actors.

“We are so grateful for the work that you do—and that you’re here, so that the celebrities can stay safely at home,” quipped Tina Fey, who co-hosted the ceremony with Amy Poehler. “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international, no-Black journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life,” she explained.

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In 2018, Brendan Fraser—nominated this year for his performance in The Whale—told GQ that former HFPA president Philip Berk had sexually assaulted him in 2003. (Fraser boycotted the ceremony on Tuesday night.) And for years, rumors have swirled surrounding financial and ethical conflicts within the HFPA. Those rumors were confirmed in 2021 by the Los Angeles Times in a damning report.

In December, on the same day that it announced nominations, the HFPA also sent out a press release detailing the reforms it has implemented over the past year. The foreign press association itself now comprises 200 voters, of whom 22.3% are Latinx, 13.6% are Black, 11.7% are Asian, and 10.7% are Middle Eastern. Of its 15-person board of directors, three members are Black. The organization has been working closely with the NAACP, and has put new policies to “eliminate ethical conflicts.”

NBC, however, only brought the Globes back under a one-year agreement. Time—and tonight, a big night for Abbott Elementary, The White Lotus, Ryan Murphy, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, and many more—will tell whether the network will televise the ceremony again. Read on for our highlights of the night.

Best monologue in a long time: Jerrod Carmichael

Stand-up comedian and actor Jerrod Carmichael—who came out last year in his acclaimed HBO special Rothaniel—was, as TIME TV critic Judy Berman put it, an “inspired choice” to host this year’s Golden Globes. And he knew it.

“I’ll tell you why I’m here,” Carmichael said in his opening monologue. “I’m here ‘cause I’m Black. I’ll catch everyone in the room up. This show, the Golden Globe awards, did not air last year because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—which, I won’t say they were a racist organization—but they didn’t have a single Black member until George Floyd died. So do with that information what you will.”

the feeling of discomfort and awkwardness in the room during jerrod carmichael’s monologue could probably power a country #GoldenGlobes

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 11, 2023

Carmichael kept up the bitingly fresh commentary throughout the night, referencing the awards that Tom Cruise returned last year in light of the scandal surrounding the HFPA.

“Backstage I found these three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned,” Carmichael said, clutching the trophies. “I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige.”

Shelly Miscavige, married to Scientology leader David Miscavige, was last seen in public in August 2007, leading to widespread speculation about her whereabouts. Tom Cruise, star of the nominated Top Gun: Maverick, is notoriously a proponent of Scientology.

Favorite comeback story: Ke Huy Quan

NBC's 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show
Rich Polk—NBC via Getty ImagesKe Huy Quan accepts the Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture award for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Ke Huy Quan is back, baby! The actor, who played Waymond in Everything Everywhere All At Once, was both nominated for and won his first Golden Globe for the role. In accepting the award for best supporting actor in a motion picture, Quan became the first Asian actor to do so since 1984.

“When I started my career as a child actor in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I felt so very lucky to have been chosen,” Quan said in his acceptance speech. “As I grew older, I started to wonder if that was it, if that was just luck.”

“For so many years, I was afraid I had nothing more to offer, that no matter what I did, I would never surpass what I achieved as a kid,” he continued. “Thankfully, more than 30 years later, two guys thought of me, they remembered that kid, and they gave me an opportunity to try again.”

I freaking dare you to watch this and not feel something.

— Phil Yu (@angryasianman) January 11, 2023

First Marvel actor to win a major acting award

NBC's 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show
Rich Polk—NBC via Getty ImagesAngela Bassett accepts the Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture award for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Angela Bassett is a queen, and not just onscreen. The actor won her second Golden Globe on Tuesday night, this one for her role as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

“The late Toni Morrison said that your life is already a miracle of chance just waiting for you to order its destiny,” Bassett said in her acceptance speech. “But in order for that destiny to manifest, I think that it requires courage to have faith.”

“It requires patience, as we just heard,” she said, referring to Ke Huy Quan’s speech. “And it requires a true sense of yourself.”

In perhaps the most memeable moment of the night, Bassett’s husband, actor Courtney B. Vance, proudly filmed his wife’s acceptance speech on his phone—which he held vertically, of course. We all need a Courtney B. Vance.

courtney b. vance recording angela’s speech 😭 an instagram husband of the ages

— brittany spanos (@ohheybrittany) January 11, 2023

Actress the gays are most likely to murder: Jennifer Coolidge

NBC's 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show
Rich Polk—NBC via Getty ImagesJennifer Coolidge accepts the Best Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Television Film award for ‘The White Lotus’

When Jerrod Carmichael introduced Jennifer Coolidge as a presenter, he clarified: “I want to, as a gay man, apologize on behalf of all the gays for what we tried to do to her on that boat.”

The comedian was referencing an instantly viral line in which Coolidge, playing Tanya McQuoid in the second season of The White Lotus, exclaims, “These gays, they’re trying to murder me!” shortly before the character falls to her death.

Coolidge played along, explaining in her ever-relatable glory why she was so anxious to present at the Golden Globes. When reassured that she could wear Crocs instead of heels to avoid slipping on her way to the podium, the actor made another sly White Lotus reference.

“I said: ‘Are you kidding me? With my Dolce & Gabbana dress?’” she said. “‘All those crazy Italians would lose their minds.’”

Later, Coolidge went on to win Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series/Anthology or Motion Picture for her role as Tanya, and this time her commentary was just as memorable.

“Even if this is the end—because you did kill me off—but even if this is the end, you changed my life in a million different ways,” Coolidge said to White Lotus creator Mike White, moving him to tears. “My neighbors are speaking to me and things like that. I was never invited to one party on my hill, and now everyone’s inviting me!”

Jennifer Coolidge’s speech was perfect:

“I had such big dreams as a young person, but what happens is they get sort of fizzled by life. Mike White, you gave me a new beginning, even though this is the end, ’cause you did kill me off. Even if this is the end, you changed my life”

— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) January 11, 2023

Most deserved award

NBC's 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show
Rich Polk—NBC via Getty ImagesMichelle Yeoh accepts the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy award for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’

Michelle Yeoh deserves all good things. At a youthful 60 years old, the actor was nominated for and won her first Golden Globe for her role as Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

“I remember when I first came to Hollywood, it was a dream come true until I got here,” Yeoh said in her acceptance speech. “I came here and was told, ‘You’re a minority.’ And I’m like, ‘No, that’s not possible.’”

“And then someone said to me, ‘You speak English,’” she continued. “Forget about them not knowing Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Asia, India. And then I said, ‘Yeah, the flight here was about 13 hours long, so I learned on the way.’”

Michelle Yeoh getting played off the stage after winning an award is an ironic metaphor for how Hollywood viewed her which she literally talked about in her speech

— The Film Drunk (@thefilmdrunk) January 11, 2023

Most anticipated new musical: Whatever Amanda Seyfried is doing

Where, we wondered, was Amanda Seyfried tonight? When she won the Golden Globe for best actress in a limited series for her role as Elizabeth Holmes in The Dropout, the actor wasn’t there to accept the award.

Instead, we were notified, she was “deep in the process of creating a new musical this week.” So mysterious! Could that new musical, we hoped, possibly be the long-awaited Mamma Mia 3? No matter what, save us a seat.

Amanda Seyfried can’t be here tonight because she is “deep in the process of creating a new musical this week” DO GO ON??

— Michael Schulman (@MJSchulman) January 11, 2023

Excuse me, Amanda Seyfried is deep in the making of a musical?!??

— Jorge Molina (@colormejorge) January 11, 2023

Amanda Seyfried is creating a new musical, eh?

— Joe Reid (@joereid) January 11, 2023


Honorable Mentions

-Steven Spielberg’s heartfelt speech accepting Best Director for The Fabelmans and imagining his late mother “kvelling” over his win

-Extremely clear explanations for the absence of several winners (Cate Blanchett, Zendaya, Kevin Costner) who couldn’t be there tonight because they were working (not, mind you, boycotting)

-Natasha Lyonne, presenting an award after the show had passed the 11 p.m. ET mark, droning on and on, deadpan, about the importance of keeping things moving swiftly

-Austin Butler, who won for his role as Elvis Presley in Elvis, backstage addressing the fact that he hasn’t been able to stop talking like Elvis since filming the movie

-Yet more reminders that the White Lotus theme song absolutely slaps and there should be a category recognizing music for television (though it would ultimately mean a longer ceremony)

-Two Murphys—Eddie and Ryan—winning lifetime achievement awards