The overwhelming majority of the honorees at the 2016 Golden Globes were, as expected, white men. And Ricky Gervais was, as expected, mean-spirited and dreadfully glib as opposed to delightfully so.
The evening had barely kicked off when Gervais unleashed transphobic “jokes.” After “deadnaming” Caitlyn Jenner — a term The Advocate explains is used “in the transgender community when someone refers to a trans person by the name they were assigned at birth instead of their chosen name” — he later made a series of uncomfortable and unfunny comments about “Transparent” actor Jeffrey Tambor, who portrays a transgender woman in the Amazon series.
Gervais said, “At least Jeffrey Tambor did it in a dress. Um, what a year he’s had. Oh. What an actor, what a role. Every day, he has to put on all that women’s clothes and the hair and makeup and let people film it. That takes balls. So, I don’t know how he does it. I really don’t. I’ve seen his balls. They are huge and long. I don’t know he tucked them in the bra, that thing push them out the back and let them hang out, like a bulldog? No one knows. I love Jeffrey Tambor.”
YIKES. As Slate perfectly summarized, Tambor “responded with a grim look of disbelief rather than a smile.” It was uncomfortable. Not because Gervais was pushing the envelope, but because he was being offensive for the sake of it as part of a cheap and unfunny gag. And the evident discomfort — and audible quiet — of the room suggested that, thankfully, the time for transphobic jokes of this nature are no longer welcome.
Apparently the fact that we were immune to our host’s charms makes us “humorless cunts” in his eyes (we’ll add that many other outlets panned his performance). We actually think Gervais has made some brilliant TV and can be hilarious — hell, we laughed out loud when he incredulously asked Mel Gibson exactly what “sugar tits” means — but we were tired of his shtick within minutes of the broadcast starting and waited in vain for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to zipline onto the stage and save the day.
That’s enough about Gervais.
Our favorite moment of the night was probably Rachel Bloom’s unexpected win for Best Actress in a Television Comedy. What an upset! The star, co-creator, writer and producer of the critically lauded but criminally underwatched “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” was sincerely, obviously stunned to hear her name called, and explained how the show almost didn’t happen (six networks rejected the musical comedy series in one day!). Bloom thanked co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna and excitedly shouted, “Aline saw my YouTube videos and two-and-a-half years later, I am standing on stage with a Golden Globe.” This marks the second year in a row that an actress from The CW has won the award. (Last year’s winner was a super well-deserving Gina Rodriguez for “Jane the Virgin.”)
We also loved the chemistry between America Ferrara and her co-presenter Eva Longoria, where the two riffed about Hollywood’s racism and how often Latina actresses (who don’t even look alike!) are confused for one another.
Another duo we were pleased to see onscreen were famed BFFs Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer, who just finished writing a comedy together. Lawrence later won the award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for “Joy.”
Taraji P. Henson handed out cookies to Lady Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio, among others, as she took the stage to accept the award for Best Actress in a TV Drama as a nod to her character on “Empire,” Cookie Lyon. Henson delivered an entertaining, free-wheeling speech, which she refused to keep short, and scoffed at the warnings she received on the teleprompter. Henson is the third black actress to ever win the award in this category: her predecessors are Gail Fisher in 1973 for “Mannix” and Regina Taylor in 1993 for “I’ll Fly Away.”
Kate Winslet rightly noted “what an incredible year” it’s been for women in film when she scored the Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for “Steve Jobs.” She continued, “These categories are so crowded and crammed with incredible skill and integrity and I feel prouder than ever this year to be included, I really truly do.” There really are so many deserving actresses in the awards race this year, and that’s a testament to both their talent and the wider availability of good roles for women versus weaker years, such as 2014.
Brie Larson took home the gold for her leading role in “Room.” She immediately thanked Emma Donoghue, the woman behind the novel on which the film is based as well as its screenwriter.
We — like most — were both confounded and disappointed by the fact that “Mozart in the Jungle” triumphed over “Transparent” for Best Comedy Series.
And our heart broke a little when Deniz Gamze Erguven’s brilliant “Mustang” lost for Best Foreign Language Film, but thankfully the winner, “Son of Saul,” is also excellent. We remain hopeful that “Mustang” will land an Oscar nom (the drama about repressed Turkish sisters is one of nine remaining contenders).
And finally, Miss Golden Globes feels retrograde at this point, no? So ’50s. If we’re going to continue this tradition, why not add Mr. Golden Globes?
From our understanding, no female writers or directors went home with an award in those categories. Here are the female winners (list adapted from Vulture):
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL, OR COMEDY
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE
Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Robin Wright, House of Cards
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, MUSICAL, OR COMEDY
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel
Sarah Hay, Flesh and Bone
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Queen Latifah, Bessie
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A SERIES, LIMITED SERIES, OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Regina King, American Crime
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Judith Light, Transparent