As actors and writers of color, Keith Andre Collins and I have come together to give our perspective on the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards Ceremony. It is rather difficult to watch the Golden Globe ceremony without the topic of color arising. Several of us are considering, commentating as well as rallying around: How many of us are in the room? How many of us are nominated? How many of us do we think will win? Latinos and African Americans continue to work hard, defeat odds, and beat down doors to get in the room and what a night it was.
Entertainment is innate. From childhood, one evokes the presence of imagination in efforts to stay amused, find joy, and bring about happiness. In doing so, one begins to seek out images of their own reflection and identity. Although the entertainment industry appears to be one of change and evolution, African Americans and Latinos alike have overwhelming difficulty in shaping a clairvoyant expression consistent with the true essence of their image.
The media continues to shape and create the standards and the stars that strut the red carpet reiterate these images to the viewers at home. As a woman of color, of Latin descent I find it arduous to relate to the images of the Latina woman during the Globes. With a growing number of Latinos affirming their cultural/ancestral roots to Africa, identifying themselves as Afro-Latino where do they fit in during the trump award season. (Watch Black and Latino & see post Politics of Race)
Idris Elba, perhaps a shock to many, won for Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for his performance in Luther. This was the first African American nominee and win of the night. In the press room, Scott Fimer from the Hollywood Reporter touches upon The Wire & his iconic role as “Stringer Bell” not receiving Golden Globe recognition as he is in his first year in Luther and if it was a challenge for Idris to have people see him in a different light. See his response here: Press Room w/Idris.
For Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, Bérénice Bejo, the Argentinean actress who delivered a stunning performance as Peppy Miller in the French silent film The Artist was nominated alongside Octavia Spencer as Minnie in The Help. Although Beauty Bejo did not win The Artist certainly won for Best Motion Picture in that regard she’s a winner in our book. (she is also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award)
Last night was Octavia Spencer’s big moment when her name was called. This win was monumental and ignited a spark in many, that African American performance was indeed relevant and deserves to be revered and showcased in high regard. The narrative of which is The Help is a fabric of our history.
As the nominees for Best Actress in a film were revealed we stood silent and held our breath. We wanted, hoped, and prayed, from the very depths of our spirits that Viola Davis would win. In that moment I had given up all objectivity and saw, most vividly, a woman who describes the essence and eminence of a culture, a catalyst in film expedition, nominated for one of the most coveted awards in the room, Best Actress, not won by an African American woman since 1986. She looked like me. I identify with every part of who Viola Davis is and that alone overwhelmed any idea of notable performance,despite being against someone I consider the most brilliant actor of this generation, Meryl Streep.
The disappointment lasted only a brief moment as mother Meryl righted all wrongs with her speech. She reminded us all the importance of noting this years most prized performances, nominated or not. Her unwavering respect and admiration for Viola speaks volumes in such a room.. She even mentioned the indie sundance film, Pariah, and its leading lady, Adepero Oduye. Who knew? This type of recognition in popular media is huge and shows that the Entertainment Industry just may be open, after all, to the possibilities African Americans and Latinos so desire to present and represent in examining the trajectory of our image.
Before this year’s globes, only 10 Latinos have won a golden globe. Shocking I know but we were represented. This year’s hit show, Homeland won Best TV Drama which Brazilian actress, Morena Baccarin is in. Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas were presenters for Best Television Series Musical or Comedy for the Latino moment of the evening. Antonio Banderas had a soliloquy in Spanish and Salma Hayek interrupts him, “I don’t understand what he’s saying either.” Modern Family, snagged the golden globe which stars Colombian actress Sofia Vergara. Vergara acceptance speech was entirely in Spanish. She was nominated
Sidney Poitier presented this award to Freeman and
Freeman says: “In my house this will also be known as the Sidney