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Golden Globes: five memorable moments

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Eddie Murphy, who won a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes, did not mince words in a joke about Will Smith and the infamous Oscars slap./AFP
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Jan 11, 2023 - 10:15 AM

LOS ANGELES — The Golden Globes were back with a bang on Tuesday, as champagne flowed and A-list celebrities broke out the profanities in an evening where backslapping and earnestness was balanced with edgy humor.

Here are some of the more memorable moments from the 80th edition of the awards, held at the Beverly Hilton.

Taking on racism 

After a torrid couple of years for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over allegations of racism and corruption, the organizers of the Golden Globes were hoping to redeem themselves this year.

But their chosen host, comedian Jerrod Carmichael, wasn’t going to give them an easy ride, coming out swinging at the HFPA’s longtime lack of diversity.

“I’ll tell you why I’m here. I’m here because I’m Black,” he said.

Carmichael said he was taken aback when he was offered the hosting gig by producer Stephen Hill, who is also Black.

“One minute you’re making mint tea at home; the next, you’re invited to be the Black face of an embattled white organization. Life comes at you fast.”

But the paycheck made it hard to turn down, he joked, recounting a conversation with a friend.

“She said, ‘Jerrod, enough of all that. How much are they paying you?’ I said, ‘$500,000.’ She said, ‘Boy, if you don’t put on a nice suit and take them white people’s money…'”

Don’t play it again 

As ever, the celebs demonstrated that there are few things they like more than the sound of their own voices, with almost every speech testing its allotted time limit.

The whole show, which was supposed to be a tight three hours, overran by 20 minutes, thanks in no small part to award recipients who just wouldn’t take the hint.

Producers tried to play them off with piano music as they ran through their lists of thank yous to agents, managers, parents and assorted hangers-on.

While several just kept talking, Michelle Yeoh, who won for a star turn in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” that included her busting out some martial arts moves, was having none of it.

“Shut up please,” she said, feigning menace. “I can beat you up. That’s serious.”

Will Smith 

He wasn’t there, and probably won’t be at any awards ceremony any time soon after smacking Chris Rock at the Oscars last year, but Will Smith provided some of the biggest laughs of the night.

Smith, who attacked Rock for a quip about his wife’s shaved head in a foul-mouthed tirade, was the butt of one joke by Carmichael.

“While we were on commercial, we actually presented Will Smith with the Rock Hudson award for best portrayal of masculinity on television,” he said.

But Eddie Murphy, receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement, stole the show, with a wonderful slow wind-up that quoted Smith’s outburst.

“There is a definitive blueprint that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity, and peace of mind,” he said.

“There’s three things: Pay your taxes, mind your business, and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

‘The invisible’ 

Producer Ryan Murphy, who was honored for his prolific output in television and film, used his acceptance speech to spotlight the marginalized in the entertainment industry.

Murphy, the creative force behind “Nip/Tuck” and “Glee,” began his speech with a tribute to MJ Rodriguez, the “Pose” star who won an Globe at last year’s untelevised ceremony.

“In doing so, MJ… became the first trans actress ever to win a Golden Globe,” he said, calling on the audience to give her the standing ovation she missed in 2022. They happily obliged.

He also name-checked LGBTQ actors Billy Porter, Niecy Nash, Matt Bomer and Jeremy Pope, people he said represent “examples of possibility” for the marginalized in society.

“My mission was to take the invisible, the unloved, and make them the heroes I long to see but never did in pop culture,” he said of his career.

Tom Cruise 

Will Smith wasn’t the only absentee who got a roasting, with host Carmichael also taking aim at Tom Cruise, who publicly disowned the Golden Globes as the HFPA was put through the ringer, handing back his three gongs in 2021.

Coming back from one commercial break, the comic arrived on stage clasping three Globes.

“Hey guys, backstage I found these,” he told the audience. “(The) three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned.

“Maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige.”

Shelly Miscavige, who allegedly has not been seen in public for several years, is the wife of David Miscavige, the leader of the church of Scientology, of which Cruise is a prominent member.

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