On Sunday, January 7th, the 75th Golden Globes were held to honor the best in film and television. As usual, the ceremony was hosted by a comedian, and this year, the duty fell to Jimmy Kimmel.
Kimmel, who has hosted the Academy Awards twice, welcomed the audience with a quip about the recent sexual harassment scandal. “This is the biggest celebration of white people since The Bachelor finale,” he joked, before going on to poke fun at some of the nominees and the current political climate.
While Kimmel’s jokes were mostly well-received, there was one comment he made that raised some eyebrows. During his opening monologue, he said, “The Golden Globes are not a real awards show. They’re a group of people who got together and said, ‘Let’s give each other some trophies.'”
This statement is not entirely untrue. The Golden Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 90 journalists who cover the entertainment industry for international media outlets. The association’s website explains that “the main objective of the HFPA is the establishment of cultural ties between the United States and other countries.”
While the Globes are not as prestigious as the Oscars or the Emmys, they are still considered a major event in the entertainment industry. The ceremony is broadcast live on television and attracts a star-studded audience. Winning a Golden Globe can boost an actor or filmmaker’s career and increase their chances of being nominated for other awards.
So why would Kimmel make a remark like this? Some have speculated that he was simply trying to be funny, while others believe he was taking a subtle dig at the HFPA for their lack of diversity. The association has come under fire in recent years for its all-white membership and questionable nominations (such as the controversial 2015 nod to the critically panned film The Tourist).
Whatever Kimmel’s intentions may have been, his comment did not go unnoticed. Many viewers took to social media to express their confusion and even anger at his remark. One Twitter user wrote, “Jimmy Kimmel calling the #GoldenGlobes ‘not a real award show’ is the ultimate display of bitterness,” while another said, “Sorry, Jimmy Kimmel. They are a real awards show. I know you’re piggybacking on the criticism the #GoldenGlobes have received over the years, but it’s still a weird thing to say.”
It’s not the first time an awards show has been criticized for its legitimacy. In 2016, the Oscars faced backlash for their lack of diversity, prompting the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to trend on social media. The Academy responded by implementing new diversity initiatives and inviting a more diverse pool of members.
The Golden Globes have also made efforts to address criticisms about their lack of diversity. In 2013, the HFPA announced plans to increase their membership and promote more diversity among their ranks. They have also made strides in recognizing films and TV shows with diverse casts and themes. This year’s ceremony was notable for the number of women who won awards, including Best Television Series – Drama for The Handmaid’s Tale, which centers around a dystopian society where women are oppressed.
While Kimmel may have been trying to make a joke or a statement, his comment ultimately highlights a larger issue within the entertainment industry. Awards shows are meant to celebrate the best in film and television, but they can also perpetuate a culture of exclusivity and elitism. As viewers, we should hold these events accountable and demand that they reflect the diverse and complex nature of the art they are meant to honor.