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- provided by http://www.goldenglobes.org

 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.  

Berenice Bejo

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)

 

Octavia Butler

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. 

Viola Davis


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

   for Best Supporting Actress, but lost  to American Horror Story star Jessica Lange.  One incredibly poignant moment of particular significance enlisted Morgan Freeman and his acceptance of the Cecil B. Demille Award. Moreover, I feel truly grateful and indebted for this moment alone, one that challenges the paradigm of image alloted African American actors.With a ferocious vocabulary of eclectic performance and role, Morgan Freeman has done over 50 films…
Lean on Me , Driving Miss Daisy, Million Dollar Baby, The Shawskwank, Redemption,Glory, Street Smart, Seven, Unforgiven, The Dark Knight, Bruce Almighty, Deep Impact, March of
Peguins, The Electric Company, Bucket List, Invictus, Amistad
Sidney Poitier presented this award to Freeman and
Freeman says: “In my house this will also be known as the Sidney
Poitier Award”   
This night clearly was one of great celebration; however, the Globes left many patrons hungry for more. The 69th annual Golden Globe Awards may not have been all that we wished it to be but it did showcase the preservation, the prestige, and the undeniable perseverance of the image of people of color in an industry that is still biased in the opportunities afforded.
 **Written by Keith Andre Collins & Franceli Chapman


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4 responses »

  1. Johnnie Mae says:

    I am so proud of this article. Well written and heart felt. Thanks for taking the time to write it. Go Franceli (great actress)! “Abundance & Favor” to all of us artists of Color. I will get my Emmy, Golden Globe & Oscar…”God got it”……

  2. @celitheactress @keith_andre Very well written!!! You covered it all, in a nice scholastic way. I’m still looking up some of the words,lol. Great job Celi and Keith. You make a great team!

  3. aj4n2009 says:

    I agree with Reginald, because I too found myself opening up another tab in order for Merriam-Webster to define a couple of words for me. lol.
    I did not watch the Globes myself because I find it difficult to watch a room full of rich people who do not look like me, rooting for themselves, for films that did not touch me. I was of course aware that Octavia and Viola were nominated and hoped that both would win, though I figured Meryl would take the best actress statuette.
    Upon reading your tweets that Ms. Spencer had won I was quite elated. She delivered a great performance, that was strong, smart, “sassy”, classy and everything that a black woman is. Today I even watched her acceptance speech and was touched to see Melissa McCarthy crying for her in the audience. That to me, spoke volumes. You see, everyone in Hollywood knows there is this huge disparity…I mean Meryl practically stared at Viola for the first 10 seconds of her speech and even called her out by name at the end.

    Your article/blog is a great reflection of how I feel as a woman of color watching/hearing about these awards programs. This is another reason why I am sooooooo behind everyone and their mother going to see “Red Tails” this weekend, and the next, and the next. lol. Like I said, Hollywood knows there’s a gap, this is why George Lucas had such a difficult time getting this movie off the ground; because allegedly there is no market for an all black ensemble cast. BS!!!!

    Give us the movie, so we can go and watch it!!

    And please don’t get me started on the topic of anyone of color who doesn’t want to go and see this movie, b/c it’s not “coon-tastic” for them. These are the types of movies we need to show all of our support to! Not just the slap-stick comedy, but the full of depth, full of history, full of life movies that give our talented leading men and women the spotlight we deserve. I mean, my God, there are soooo many movies that they could have had blacks and latinos in starring roles, yet they chose not to cast them.

    I think the change will come once Hollywood stops looking at great actors/actresses as a color. Look at us as thespians only. Cast us blindly. Let us work to make the character our own and let it make us. The day when everyone will go see every movie because it is great, not because all of our friends saw it.

    But enough of my rambling…to Keith and Celi, please continue to write and post your links on twitter and facebook for the masses to see. All it takes is one spark to ignite the fire under one person and then it will spread like wild fire!

    Love y’all

  4. This was a great read!

    I’m proud of you both and look forward to more post like this one as we are full speed ahead into award season 2012!

    Chasity Saunders
    Actress

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