Celebrities used the Golden Globes stage to criticise the lack of diversity among the awards show’s voters.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has been slammed by major industry figures after it emerged it has no black members.
The body acknowledged it was not diverse enough in the lead-up to the ceremony, but that did not prevent a cavalcade of stars lining up to take aim during the live broadcast.
Hosts for the evening Tina Fey and Amy Poehler set the tone with their introduction, demanding the HFPA – an organisation of 87 international journalists based in Southern California – admit black members.
Fey said that while awards shows are seen as “stupid”, inclusivity remained important.
Dan Levy, star and creator of hit comedy Schitt’s Creek, said in his acceptance speech he hoped next year’s ceremony would be voted for by a more inclusive HFPA.
He said: “In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, this ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today, because there is so much more to be celebrated.”
Jane Fonda received an honorary award for her glittering career. In a powerful acceptance speech, she appealed to the wider Hollywood community to broaden its tent.
After stressing the importance of story telling, she said: “But there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry. A story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out.
“A story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.
“So let’s all of us – including all the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards – let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent. So that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard.”
This Is Us star Sterling K Brown, who is black, was a presenter during the ceremony and used an intentional slip of the tongue to make his point.
He said: “It is great to be black at the Golden Globes… back at the Golden Globes.”
Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen also prodded the HFPA during one of his acceptance speeches, pointing out it was “all white”.
The awards themselves went to a diverse set of performers. Daniel Kaluuya, John Boyega, Chadwick Boseman and Andra Day were among black actors to win.
Day was a surprise winner of best actress for her role in The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.
The HFPA addressed the controversy during the ceremony, admitting the organisation’s record on diversity was not good enough and promising to do better.
Helen Hoehne, the body’s vice-president, said: “Tonight, while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognise we have our own work to do. Just like in film and television, black representation is vital. We must have black journalists in our organisation.”
Former president Meher Tatna said: “We must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table, and we are going to make that happen.”