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"You gotta change that!" Fey said, with Poehler adding, "Looking forward to that change."

By Nick Romano
February 28, 2021 at 08:37 PM EST
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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, returning as hosts of the Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday, made a point to address the elephant in the room during their opening monologue: the recent reports about apparent ethical violations within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the former HFPA president admitting that there are zero Black voters in the organization.

It started out with more of a jokey tone, with Fey hosting in New York City's famed Rainbow Room and Poehler emceeing from the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Since their audiences were made up of "smoking-hot first responders and essential workers" while the nominated celebrities participated remotely, they decided to explain the Globes and HFPA.

"The Golden Globes are awards given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association," Poehler began.

"The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international no-Black journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life," Fey followed up. "We say around 90 because a couple of them might be ghosts, and it's rumored that the German member is just a sausage that somebody drew a little face on."

Fey brought the issue up again when highlighting Pixar's Soul among the nominees. (Fey voices a prominent role in the film, opposite Jamie Foxx.) "Soul is a beautiful Pixar animated movie where a middle-aged Black man's soul accidentally gets knocked out of his body and into a cat," she said. "The HFPA really responded to this movie because they do have five cat members." (Soul ended up winning Best Animated Film soon after the monologue ended.)

Around eight minutes in, Fey and Poehler addressed the topic more directly. "This is probably something we should've told you guys earlier: Everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices," Poehler said. "Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated, okay? But that happens. That's like their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked."

"And, look, we all know that award shows are stupid," Fey continued.

"They're all a scam invented by Big Red Carpet…" Poehler joked.

"To sell more carpet," Fey retorted. "The point is, even with the stupid things, inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realize, HFPA, maybe you didn't get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald's, but you gotta change that! So, here's to changing that."

"Looking forward to that change," Poehler added.

The comedic duo then announced that the HFPA, MRC, and NBC are "donating $2 million to feeding America's COVID-19 response fund."

Fey and Poehler also incorporated these unprecedented pandemic times into their material. After butchering many of the actually nominated works, like "Parts of a Lady" instead of Pieces of a Woman, they joked that the HFPA is "honoring all the fantastic TV shows you binge-watched this year." Those include "the American Office, old Columbos, very one-sided news programs… the Zoom town halls about your schools staying closed, and, of course, the cranberry juice skateboard guy."

"He's going to skateboard to all the nominated songs tonight," Poehler cracked.

They also recognized the historic number of female filmmakers outnumbering the male nominees in the Best Director category. "There are great directors nominated tonight: Regina King for One Night in Miami, Chloe Zhao for Nomadland, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, and two other people but we're out of time," Poehler joked.

"Could this whole night have been an email? Yes!" Fey quipped. "But then we wouldn't get the chance to see our beautiful first presenter, like a child's skeleton pajamas, she simply glows." She was talking about Laura Dern.

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