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Tina Fey, Amy Poehler lampoon HFPA, life in lockdown in Golden Globes monologue

Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler.
Hosts Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler at the 78th Golden Globe Awards.
(NBC)

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were thousands of miles apart Sunday night as they hosted the first-ever bicoastal Golden Globes ceremony, but they were still able to address the elephant in the room.

In a split-screen monologue — broadcast from the Rainbow Room in New York and the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills — the comedians took aim at the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the group that hands out the Golden Globe Awards, for its track record on diversity. A Times investigation found that none of the 87 members in the organization are Black. A number of acclaimed projects centered on Black stories, such as the HBO series “I May Destroy You,” failed to receive nominations.

Early in the monologue, Fey hinted at the controversy when she referred to the HFPA as an organization of “around 90 international, no Black journalists who attend movie junkets each year.”

After running through a list of this year’s nominees — including some particularly dubious picks — the hosts addressed the issue directly in the closing minutes of their opening act.

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“Everybody is understandably upset at the HFPA and their choices,” said Poehler. “Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated. But that happens. That’s like their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.”

“We all know that awards shows are stupid,” Fey added. “The point is even with stupid things, inclusivity is important, and there are no Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I realized, HFPA, maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s. You got to change that. So here’s to changing that.” (Three members of the HFPA later acknowledged the body’s diversity failures onstage and pledged change.)

Poehler and Fey, who stood against nearly identical backdrops in a side-by-side shot, kicked off their set by making light of their extremely socially distant circumstances.

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“Tina and I are hosting from two different cities tonight, but the technology is so great you’re never going to be able to tell the difference. It’s going to be smooth sailing,” said Poehler, as a hand reached out from Fey’s side of the screen and stroked her hair.

“I always knew my career would end with me wandering around the Rainbow Room pretending to talk to Amy,” Fey joked.

The hosts didn’t miss a beat in their fast-paced monologue, a technically seamless highlight in what was otherwise a bumpy telecast marred by dropped audio, grainy video, synching glitches and bleary-eyed celebrities.

On both coasts, Poehler and Fey addressed a downsized audience of “smoking hot” first responders and essential workers, rather than the usual throng of boozed-up stars.

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After Times reporting detailed ethical lapses, zero Black members in the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., criticism — though muted — came to the Golden Globes.

“We are so grateful for the work that you do and that you’re here so that the celebrities can stay safely at home,” said Poehler.

The hosts riffed about the differences between TV and film in a year when most people were watching everything at home, and we consumed everything on screens from reruns of “The Office” to Zoom meetings about school closures.

“TV is the one that I watch five hours straight, but a movie is the one I don’t turn on because it’s two hours. I don’t want to be in front of my TV for two hours, I want to be in front of the TV one hour five times,” said Poehler.

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They also took some shots at the year’s honorees. “The Undoing” was “a sexy and dramatic mystery where Nicole Kidman’s coat is suspected of murdering her wig,” Poehler quipped. The controversial nominee “Emily in Paris” “is nominated for TV series, musical or comedy,” said Fey. “And I for, one can’t, wait to find out what it is.”


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