Andra Day’s Best Actress win for The United States vs. Billie Holiday was one of the highlights of a contentious Golden Globes ceremony.
The actress tearfully accepted her award for Best Actress, saying, “I’m in the presence of giants with Viola Davis, Frances McDormand, Vanessa Kirby and Carey Mulligan, you inspire me so much.”
Andra Day becomes the second Black winner of the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama with ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 1, 2021
“…To the amazing, transformative, dynamic Billie Holiday, who just transformed me with this role, and with her presence and her spirit,” she continued.
Other notable wins of the night included John Boyega winning the Globe for his supporting role in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe and Chadwick Boseman posthumously winning the award for Best Actor for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Daniel Kaluuya also won for his supporting role in Judas and the Black Messiah, and Pixar’s Soul starring Jamie Foxx and Globes host Tina Fey, won for best animated feature.
Aside from these wins, Black viewers did not have a lot to celebrate, with many on Twitter writing how they wouldn’t watch in protest of the HFPA, the governing body of the Golden Globes.
The HFPA has been under intense scrutiny since January, when the organization released its nominations for the awards ceremony.
The nomination process including head-scratching decisions such as placing Minari, an American-made movie about a Korean-American family starring American actor Steven Yeun, in the foreign film category, and not nominating Lee for Best Director for Da 5 Bloods, despite his children Jackson and Satchel Lee being Golden Globes ambassadors. A report by the Los Angeles Times also revealed how the organization places exorbitant fees on its 87 members for taking part in the organization, such as moderating panels and joining committees. The report also reveals how the organization has failed to recruit a single Black journalist among its ranks, prompting a hashtag movement #TimesUpGlobes.
Further scrutiny has come amid anecdotal stories of how the HFPA’s nomination process is influenced by brown-nosing, such as members being courted through lavish dinners, set trips, swag and more. The HFPA addressed the criticisms during the Golden Globes, pledging to add Black journalists to its roster, but Time’s Up President criticized the HFPA and NBC in an open letter posted by The Hollywood Reporter, stating that simply adding Black journalists is “cosmetic” and addresses “a symptom of a problem, not just the problem itself.”