Comedian Jerrod Carmichael opened the 80th Golden Globes ceremony with a punchline-filled monologue so uncomfortable and brutally honest that even the audience didn’t know when to laugh.
The comedian — whose HBO comedy special, “Rothaniel,” included his stellar approach at candid storytelling about his personal life — immediately addressed issues with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s award show. In 2021, the Los Angeles Times published a damning report about the HFPA and its lack of diversity. The report stated that the organization had no Black members and had allegedly committed several ethical breaches, among other revelations. In many ways, it seemed like the award show had made its return as though nothing had happened.
So Carmichael took several minutes to explain how he ended up on the stage and the moral dilemma that ensued when he got the call.
“I’ll tell you why I’m here: I’m here ’cause I’m Black. I’ll tell you what’s been going on,” Carmichael said. “This show, the Golden Globe Awards, did not air last year because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association ― which I won’t say 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. I’ll tell you how I got here.”
Carmichael recounted the phone call he had with Globes producer Stephen Hill, MRC’s executive vice president of creative.
“I said, ‘Stephen, I’ll be honest with you, I’m a little torn because, you know, one, it’s a great opportunity, but I’m only being asked to host this because I’m Black.’ And Stephen said, ’Let me stop you right there. You are being asked to host this show because you are talented. You’re being asked to host this show because you’re charming …. But Stephen’s Black, so what does he know?”
It was a rather frank monologue about the elephant in the room, with a few awkward laughs in the audience to boot. Actors — from Brad Pitt to Phoebe Waller-Bridge ― could barely sit still during the monologue, seemingly uncomfortable with Carmichael’s remarks. However, several Twitter users rejoiced in the necessary and honest moment:
In 2021, the Golden Globes were not televised after the Los Angeles Times investigation unveiled systemic issues within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. NBC said it would air the ceremony once the organization enacted “meaningful reform.”
“Regardless of whatever the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s past may be, this is an evening where we get to celebrate,” Carmichael said. “I think this industry deserves evenings like these. I’m happy all of you are here. I’m happy I’m here.”