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The Golden Globe Awards were filled with gaffes, awkward moments, and zoom fails. Read our breakdown of why the mostly-virtual event failed.

These moments prove the virtual Golden Globe Awards was a bad idea

Last night Oscar season officially started with the broadcast of the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards. The award show is held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a group of ninety journalists that determine the show’s winners & nominees. The Globes have a reputation for being rather raucous with many attendees drinking nonstop. 

This year due to COVID-19 restrictions the evening was just as weird, but in a completely different way. Hosts Amy Poehler & Tina Fey held separate ceremonies in L.A. & New York City, with all the nominees appearing from their homes and all the presenters appearing in person. Here are all the things that went wrong. 

Technical difficulties

So many things can go wrong during a live show and this year’s Golden Globe awards took that mantra and ran with it. Sound issues plagued the evening with some nominees & winners being cut off. When Daniel Kaluuya won Best Supporting Actor for Judas and The Black Messiah, his sound didn’t come through.

“You did me dirty,” Kaluuya repeated over and over again when his audio finally kicked in again, before adding, “Am I on? Is this on? Is this on? Can you hear me now?” 

The first half of Diane Warren’s prerecorded acceptance speech for Best Original Song for her work on The Life Ahead’s “Lo Sì” was completely muted before cutting back in again. This was corrected for future broadcasts and for online viewing. Amy Poehler’s mic scratched throughout the broadcast, causing a distraction and nostalgic feelings for middle school plays. 


Normally the Golden Globes take place at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hill, California, with all the celebrities drinking & talking throughout the ceremony. This year because of COVID-19 and its split bi-coastal venues at The Beverly Hilton & NBC’s Rainbow Room, both audiences were filled with first responders. 

As Tina Fey pointed out in the monologue, “We are so grateful for the work that you do and that you’re here, so the celebrities can stay safely at home.”While the presenters appeared in-person, all the nominees stayed home leaving frontline workers more likely to be exposed at the event. 

With a non-industry audience, many of the inside baseball jokes didn’t land the way Fey or Poehler wanted. The comedic duo received rave reviews for hosting together back in 2013, 2014, 2015, mainly for their searing roasts of the nominees, the HFPA, and the industry itself. They got laughs last night but the whole event felt more muted than if the room had been filled with socially distant nominees. 

Less than formal attire

Normally, the Golden Globes is a pretty formal event with suits & ties and long dresses. Since all of the nominees attended the event virtually, it was hard to enforce that dress code and the wide range of attire proved distracting. Not to mention, many of the nominees zoomed in live from weird places in their house – we are looking at you and your storage space with all the closets, Jeff Daniels.

Jason Sudeikis, who won for Best Actor in a TV Comedy, looked very tired and wore a tie-dyed hoodie Twitter could not get enough of. During his press conference after his win, Sudeikis was asked where the comfy-looking hoody came from. The $110 hoodie is actually merch from his sister’s gym, Forward Space. 

Bill Murray, national treasure & comedy icon, got laughs without saying a word. Murray, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie for his work in On The Rocks, appeared with his fellow nominees in a zoom grid. In true Bill Murray fashion, the icon wore a colorful Hawaiian shirt accompanied by a massive drink. 

Joaquin Phoenix, who won last year for Best Actor in a Drama, presented this year’s award for Best Actress in a Drama to Andra Day for The United States Vs. Billie Holiday live in personPhoenix strutted out onto the stage in a dress shirt & tie – and a black hoodie. The odd combination added to the lackadaisical vibe of the whole evening.  

Ill-timed speeches

Normally when a nominee wins a Golden Globe they have to get up and walk to the stage to accept the award. Last night, it was apparent that the twenty-second walk from their table to the podium was crucial in a winner gaining their composure. Immediately after the recipient’s name was called, their speech would start leaving quite a few nominees flabbergasted, at a loss for words, and no idea when to start their speeches. 

Some winners took to the challenge, like Jason Sudeikis, who though taken aback, managed to pull out a beautiful speech ala Ted Lasso, the character he won the award for. Some, like Andra Day, were so overwhelmed they needed to stop in the middle of their pre-written speech. 

Overall,  the 78th Golden Globe Awards was a pretty bizarre but on the nose depiction of our current moment. Which part of the event was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

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