The 2020 Golden Globes invites comedy but rejects progress


Amelia Sheehan '20

Controversial Mr. Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes January 5, for what he says will be the last time.

For the fifth time in history Mr. Ricky Gervais, English stand-up comedian, hosted the seventy-seventh annual Golden Globes Awards.  The celebration recognizes filmmakers, actors, directors, and composers for their achievements.  The 2020 Golden Globes, held January 5, consisted of historical accomplishments, yet, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) did not nominate any female directors for the fifth successive year.

Filmmakers, actors, directors, and composers celebrate together at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California for the 2020 Golden Globes. Courtesy of

Mr. Gervais opened his monologue announcing that this year would be the last time he would host the ceremony.  He continued with sarcastic comments aimed at actors and actresses in the audience, urging award winners to shorten their acceptance speeches, according to

“You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting the Golden Globe Awards,” Mr. Gervais said, according to The New York Times.  “I don’t care anymore.  I never did.”

Mr. Gervais’s attitude received backlash.  Critics, such as Ms. Margaret Lyons, film actor, scolded the comedian for his opening remarks.

“We get it: you don’t care,” Ms. Lyons said, according to The New York Times.  “But … don’t host, then.  It is extremely allowed to not care about the Golden Globes; billions of people don’t. But maybe whoever is going to host the show should care a little.”

At the seventy-sixth annual Golden Globes in 2019, Ms. Sandra Oh, American-Canadian actress and former host, mentioned the lack of female nominees at the awards.  She believed there would be a change in 2020.

“Next year could be different,” Ms. Oh said, according to

The 2020 Golden Globes celebration marked the fifth year that the “Best Director” category contained no female nominees.  The last and only female director to ever win the award was Ms. Barbra Streisand, American singer, actress, and filmmaker, in 1984.

In 2018, Ms. Streisand expressed her frustration with the lack of female directors nominated.

“We need more women directors, and more women to be nominated for best director.  There are so many films out there that are so good, directed by women,” Ms. Streisand said, according to

Ms. Nora Lum and Ms. Hildur Guðnadóttir accepting their historical awards. Courtesy of Caroline Baranello ’20

Ms. Greta Gerwig, American actress and filmmaker fell short of a nomination in the “Best Director” category for her new film, Little Women.

The HFPA nominated Ms. Saoirse Ronan, American-Irish actress, for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” for her role in Little Women, but lost to Ms. Renée Zellweger, American actress, for her role in Judy.

Ms. Gerwig was at the ceremony supporting her film and husband, Mr. Noah Baumbach, who the HFPA nominated for “Best Screenplay – Motion Picture,” for his film Marriage Story.  While at the Golden Globes, members of the HFPA told Ms. Gerwig that they voted for her for the “Best Director” category.

“Well, you didn’t because I didn’t get nominated,”  Ms. Gerwig said. “So like, maybe one of you did, but it’s not possible that all of you did,” according to

Although the “Best Director” nominations made no progress, two women made history in other categories at this year’s awards.

American actress Ms. Nora Lum, professionally known as Awkwafina, became the first woman of Asian-American descent to win the award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” for her role in the movie The Farewell, according to

The last time a woman won the award for “Best Original Score” was in 2001.  Ms. Lisa Gerrard, Australian musician, won with her partner Mr. Hans Zimmer, German film score composer.  This year, Ms. Hildur Guðnadóttir, Icelandic musician and composer, became the first solo woman ever to win the award for “Best Original Score,” for the film Joker.

Mr. Tom Hanks accepting the Cecil B. deMille Award and Ms. Ellen DeGeneres accepting the “Carol Burnett Award” at the seventy-seventh annual Golden Globes January 5. Courtesy of Amelia Sheehan ’20

The HFPA presented the annual “Carol Burnett Award” to three-time Golden Globe nominee Ms. Ellen DeGeneres, American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer, according to  The HFPA piloted the award in 2019 and present it to an honoree who has made outstanding contributions on and off the screen.  Ms. Carol Burnett is an American actress, comedian, singer, and writer whose career in television spanned over seven decades, according to

Mr. Lorenzo Soria, President of the HFPA, commented on honoring Ms. DeGeneres as the winner.

“From her sitcoms to stand-up, to becoming a household staple on daytime television, she is a pioneer who has captivated audiences for nearly 25 years with her undeniable charm and wit,” Mr. Lorenzo said, according to  “In addition to her television success, she’s an advocate and philanthropist, lending her voice to those who don’t have one and spreading kindness and joy through the power of her platform.”

Additionally, the HFPA presented the Cecil B. deMille Award to Mr. Tom Hanks, American actor, director, producer, writer, and winner of eight Golden Globes, according to  The HFPA presents this award to a person who has made significant contributions to the world of entertainment, according to  Mr. Hanks will join icons such as Mr. Walt Disney, Ms. Audrey Hepburn, Mr. Robin Williams, Mr. Morgan Freeman, and Ms. Meryl Streep as winners of this award.

During his choked-up acceptance speech, Mr. Hanks acknowledged the support of his children and wife.

“A man is blessed with a family sitting down front like that, a wife who is fantastic in every way, who has taught me what love is, five kids who are braver and stronger and wiser than their old man is,” Mr. Hanks said, according to

Featured Image by Amelia Sheehan ’20