Leave it to Hollywood treasure Meryl Streep to give Hollywood a 2017 rallying cry — and remind the industry, gathered Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton, that they have a voice and a say in where this country is heading.
Accepting the Golden Globe Awards’ Cecil B. deMille honor for lifetime achievement, Streep elicited tears and a standing ovation from the crowd as she reminded the Globes audience that Hollywood is made up of talent from all over the country — and the world.
“Hollywood is crawling with foreigners,” she said. “Take them all out and you’ll end up watching Monday Night Football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
But in particular, Streep drew high marks from the crowd for criticizing the coarseness of political discourse, specifically pointing out the moment that Donald Trump mocked a disabled New York Times reporter.
Jimmy Fallon’s opening monologue made a few (though not many) Donald Trump cracks, which were met with decent, but not overwhelming, laughs in the room. A joke about the accounting firm of “Ernst, Young & Putin” got polite laughs, while others, including one joking that “Florence Foster Jenkins” had turned down a Trump inauguration invite, were met with a bit more silence.
Winners rarely invoked Trump at this year’s Golden Globe Awards, although Hugh Laurie joked that this was the “last Golden Globes” because, after all, the Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — and these days, the words “Hollywood,” “foreign” and “press” are on blast by the incoming administration. The filmmakers behind animation winner “Zootopia” also scored points in the room for pointing out the movie’s theme of tolerance and acceptance.
The current political climate was the elephant in the room, but the celebratory nature of the Globes also provided an atmosphere of hope — especially given the caliber of this year’s winners. Big victories for “Moonlight,” FX’s “Atlanta,” “Fences” star Viola Davis and “Black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross were a reminder that Hollywood is working hard to showcase underrepresented groups, while the sweep by “La La Land” offered a sounding cry to celebrate joy, diversity and optimism. In particular, the back-to-back wins early in the evening for Ross and “Black-ish” seemed to put the audience in a celebratory mood — as if, this is a proud example of how Hollywood will combat the national rise of hate and anger.
“Black-ish” executive producer Kenya Barris told us he thought Hollywood had a true mission going forward in this new world order.
“Let’s talk about things,” he said. “Let’s start conversations.”
Fallon may have avoided getting too political with his monologue, but the host’s ambitious opening (the first-ever pre-taped opening package for the Globes) got genuinely high marks from the crowd, as did the novel idea of having The Roots’ Questlove on stage to serve as the night’s house DJ.
Fallon perhaps also won the sympathy of the crowd for quickly vamping during the opening when his TelePrompTer didn’t work (which also led to one of the best jokes of the night, when he came out later and — in reference to Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve debacle — joked that Dick Clark Productions sabotaged this show as well).
The feel-good Globes also included Ryan Gosling’s acceptance speech for “La La Land,” which evoked a few tears in the room, while 5-year-old “Lion” star Sunny Pawar got the room to coo a few “awwws.”
Also spotted at the show:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and husband Brad Hall grabbing chocolates, Ted Sarandos saying hello to Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, and Michelle Williams being introduced to HBO programming boss Casey Bloys.
“The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” executive producer Larry Karaszewski admitted that he’s feeling nostalgic as awards season comes to an end and soon there will be no more organized reasons for the show’s stars and producers to reunite. “I’m going to go through post-partum depression!” he exclaimed.
Denzel Washington may have been one of the friendliest faces in the room on Sunday, as we caught him greeting a security guard and later saying hello to “The Night Of” star Riz Ahmed.
We told “Veep” executive producer Dave Mandel that we’re eagerly awaiting the new season of “Veep” as a bit of an antidote to real life — and yes, he’s been hearing that from everyone. But he gently reminds all of us that “Veep” is still a fictional world and not “Saturday Night Live” — although indeed these days, truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
This crowd erupted when “Stranger Things” was announced. Polite applause for “The Crown.”
Also spotted chatting: HBO’s Richard Plepler and JJ Abrams conversing. “Westworld” Season 2 spoilers?
The show’s Carrie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds tribute felt a bit rushed in the room, so there wasn’t much reaction from the audience.
Overheard, about Ryan Gosling’s emotional acceptance speech: “That was an Oscar speech!”