Bold Scientology joke
…And we're back! After a two-year red carpet hiatus — which saw an overhaul of major ethics and diversity problems — the Golden Globe Awards returned to network television on Jan. 10, 2023. But has the damage been done? Did viewers return after several years of bad press? NBC and Peacock sure hoped so. (More on that below.) Other questions loomed too: Would the stars return to the show, which is usually entertainment's booziest affair? (They did — with A-listers like Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie among the dozens of huge stars who showed.) But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the organization that runs the Globes — and NBC only have a one-year deal in place. Without overstating it, this show — which had an Old Hollywood theme — is very important to the future of the Globes' presence on network TV. No pressure.
The most cutting joke of the night was told by — who else? — host Jerrod Carmichael. Prior to introducing some of the "Top Gun: Maverick" cast as presenters, Jerrod walked on stage carrying three Golden Globes, a clear reference to the three trophies Tom Cruise returned in 2021 as he condemned the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's poor diversity record. He even joked that the awards had Tom's name on them. "We can trade these for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige," he said, referencing the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige. David is said to be Tom's best friend. And Tom, of course, is the most high-profile Scientologist in the world. There are claims that Shelly has been missing for 16 years. A Scientology joke at the Globes? As the kids said, Jerrod is cold AF. (Fun fact: After this, Shelly's name trended on Twitter.)
Keep reading for all the most talked-about moments at the 2023 Golden Globes…
Austin Butler charms viewers and makes the Presleys cry
The King is in the building, and the Presley family is in tears. After Austin Butler won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama for his titular performance in Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis," the actor — in an Elvis-like drawl — thanked his co-stars, producers, director and the usual suspects. He then turned his attention to Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley — the late Elvis Presley's ex-wife and daughter — who were in the audience. "Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever," he said as both women teared up, clearly emotional. (The moment took on extra poignancy as Lisa Marie unexpectedly died two days later.) Just then, the music started playing as a hint for him to wrap it up and get off the stage. "You could at least play 'Suspicious Minds' or something," he quipped to the pianist. Before exiting with his trophy in hand, he addressed Elvis. "Elvis Presley, you were an icon and a rebel and I love you so much. You are remembered and I will never forget."
Jennifer Coolidge was the night's biggest delight
Stifler's mom is a Golden Globe winner. Jennifer Coolidge won her first-ever Globe for her performance in "White Lotus." While her speech was littered with cursing and comedy, she also spoke emotionally of clawing her way up the Hollywood ladder. "There are about five people that kept me going for 20 years with these little jobs. I didn't know anybody and it wasn't going anywhere," she said before touching on the "American Pie" film series, where she played Stifler's mom. "I milked that to the bone. I'm still going for six or seven whatever they want," she quipped. Jennifer also said her fame from "White Lotus" is making her popular. "You changed my life," she told the show's creator, Mike White. "My neighbors are speaking to me now. I was never invited to anything on my hill, but now everyone is inviting me."
Dreams come true for former child actor Ke Huy Quan
The Golden Globes have gone goonie! Ke Huy Quan, who famously starred in "The Goonies" as Data and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" as Short Round when he was a child actor, took home the award for best supporting actor for his work in the film "Everything Everywhere All at Once." Ke, who quit acting for 20 years, spoke of being patient and thanked filmmaker Steven Spielberg — who was in the audience — for casting him opposite Harrison Ford back in 1984. "I was raised to never forget where I came from," he said before thanking the legendary director. After years of toiling away, he wondered if his career was over. "For so many years I was afraid I had nothing more to offer," he said. "Thankfully, more than 30 years later, two guys thought of me. They remembered that kid. And they gave me the opportunity to try again." Those two guys were "Everything Everywhere All at Once" directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
The ratings are in!
The initial 2023 Golden Globes ratings are in — and they're not great. Variety reported that the Jerrod Carmichael-hosted telecast drew 6.3 million viewers — which is a 9% drop from the last Globes telecast in 2021. That year, the show, which was hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, drew just 6.9 million viewers — also not great. The Globes' last pre-pandemic ceremony — which aired in January 2020 — drew 18.3 million viewers.
Wild weather, flooding and shelter-in-place order keeps "Yellowstone" winner Kevin Costner from the Globes
Someone wreaked havoc at the Golden Globes: Mother Nature. The award show at the the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills came as a winter storm was unleashing its fury on the West Coast, leaving stars like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, who all live just north of Los Angeles in Montecito, California, under evacuation orders due to the threat of mudslides.
Kevin Costner — who also lives in the area — was unable to make it to the Globes, where he won the best actor in a TV drama series prize for his work on "Yellowstone." He took to social media to explain his absence, telling fans before he won, "I'm so sorry for everyone who might have been tuning in to watch the Golden Globes. [My wife] Chris and I aren't going to be there. Yesterday we had to pull the kids out of school in Santa Barbara. This is the second time in five years that the freeway has flooded out, we found ourselves on the wrong side of the town and we couldn't get back last night." He added, "Nobody's sadder than us that we can't be there at the Golden Globes. Chris had a beautiful dress, I was looking forward to walking down the red carpet with her. I'm just so sorry that I can't be there. I really wanted to, I know how bad Chris wanted to support me. She went out and bought me some gold and yellow and black and silver balloons, so we're going to sit at the television and see what happens."
Globes showrunners had to scrap initial red carpet plans due to the rain and the whole red carpet (which is actually gray this year) was put under a tent in an attempt to keep the stars dry.
Eddie's hilarious advice
Will Smith's infamous 2022 Oscars moment (you know, the slap) continued to be top of mind at this award show too. As Eddie Murphy received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, he spoke to the up-and-comers in Hollywood, telling them there's a "definitive blueprint" that you can follow to ensure success. He explained that he's followed these three simple rules: "Pay your taxes," he said, "mind your business, and keep Will Smith's wife's name out your f****** mouth."
Rihanna steals the show
Rihanna didn't take home a trophy for best song for "Lift Me Up" from "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" ("Naatu Naatu" from "RRR" was the winner), but was there a more popular star than RiRi in the house on Globes night? No. (Well, maybe Brad Pitt.) While sitting near the stage with partner A$AP Rocky, the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show performer seemed to catch the eye of everybody who was there. While presenting an award, Niecy Nash went off script to tell RiRi that she dressed up as the "Umbrella" singer for Halloween. "I had to take my shot," she joked. Host Jerrod Carmichael publicly told Rihanna to "take her time" with her next album, something he knew might upset people — and Rihanna laughed it off. Presenter Billy Porter also addressed RiRi, telling her from the stage, "If I believed in Halloween I would have dressed up as Rihanna too." Rihanna = the unofficial queen of the 2023 Golden Globes.
Billy Porter gave fans an epic flashback — with a twist. Almost four years after he made headlines when he arrived at the 2019 Oscars in a chic tuxedo gown designed by Christian Siriano, he hit the 2023 Golden Globes red carpet wearing a fuchsia velvet coat-dress — also by Christian — that was clearly inspired by his Academy Awards look. Do you have a favorite?
Mike White and "The White Lotus" have a "Pretty Woman" moment
A "drunk" Mike White called out Hollywood executives for passing on his show "White Lotus" — this after the project won the Golden Globe for best limited series. "We did the show we wanted to do. Everybody passed. I know you all passed. You all passed on this show. It's very gratifying to have this moment," the creator of the HBO show said on stage, smiling. It was a real "Pretty Woman" moment ("big mistake!"). Would he have said this had he been sober? Who knows! "I was going to give this speech in Italian, but I'm too drunk," he said at the beginning of his speech. The reason for his drunkenness? "There was no food!" he insisted.
Conservatives criticize Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Globes appearance
What a difference a year makes. At the 2022 Grammys, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared via video and shared a message of peace — a move that was widely applauded. Fast-forward to Jan. 10, 2023, and the reception was different in some circles. Prior to the Golden Globes telecast, it was announced that Sean Penn would be on hand to introduce the Ukrainian leader, who addressed the Globes audience remotely with a "special message of peace." Since that announcement was made, many conservative voices took to Twitter to slam both the Globes and Zelenskyy. "I assume it's to receive his Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Reality Series?" one person tweeted, implying that Ukraine's war with Russia is akin to a TV program. Conservative pundit Tomi Lahren added, "What is the obsession with this man? We aren't funding his entire government with billions of our taxpayer dollars so [he] can try to be an American celebrity! Sick of this crap!" At one point, Zelenskyy was beloved everywhere outside of Russia. Funny how things change. However, after Zelenskyy's taped message aired, the ballroom inside the Beverly Hilton hotel erupted in applause.
"Top Gun: Maverick" stars hit the open bar
Let the hangovers commence! The Golden Globes are known to be a boozy affair, and the "Top Gun: Maverick" cast planned to take full advantage of the flowing drinks. "Well, if I know one thing, it's that they're not meant for this environment, you know?" Glen Powell told "Entertainment Tonight" in reference to him and the rest of his co-stars at the show including Monica Barbaro and Danny Ramirez. "You can put 'em in nice clothes but they're not gonna behave. We're gonna have a good time tonight. This is a rowdy crew." Just imagine if the film wins best drama! "I think the Golden Globes is going to be hurting this year at the open bar. I think they made a big mistake with the 'Top Gun' table," Glen added. Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!
"Abbott Elementary" schools its comedy competitors
"Abbott Elementary" continues to take other shows to school… at least at award shows. After a huge Emmys night in 2022, the show picked up where it left off and took home three Golden Globes in comedy categories on Jan. 10, winning best series, best supporting actor for Tyler James Williams and best actress for Quinta Brunson. In a true comedic moment, Quinta cut off her own speech while accepting the best series win. "Comedy brings people together. Comedy gives us all the same laugh — hey, Brad Pitt!" she said after spotting the popular movie star in the audience. Quinta pulled it together as the cast howled. "He's right there!" one of her castmates said. Shoot your shot, girl!
Baby bump red carpet debut
Baby's first red carpet! In October 2022, Kaley Cuoco announced that she and boyfriend Tom Pelphrey were expecting a baby girl. On Jan. 10, the "Flight Attendant" actress's baby bump made its red carpet debut at the Golden Globes in afloor-length lavender gown.
Angela Bassett's big win marks a first for Marvel
In taking home a best supporting actress trophy for her work in "Black Panther: Wakanda," Angela Bassett became the first performer to win a major individual acting award for a Marvel film. In her speech, Angela thanked the Marvel Cinematic Universe and all her co-stars and acknowledged late "Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer in 2020. "We embarked on this journey together with love. We mourned, we loved, we healed. We were surrounded each and every day by the light and the spirit of Chadwick Boseman," she said. "We have joy in knowing that with this historic 'Black Panther' series, it is a part of his legacy that he helped to lead us. We showed the world what Black unity, leadership and love looks like, behind and in front of the camera. To the Marvel fans, thank you for embracing these characters and showing us so much love." This is Angela's second Golden Globe – she won her first in 1994 for her work as Tina Turner in "What's Love Got To Do With It."
Host Jerrod shows no mercy
Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael didn't waste time in addressing the controversy surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Immediately after quieting the crowd as he walked on stage at the top of the show, the comedian told the crowd he was there because he's Black. "I'm not gonna say they were racist, but they didn't have a single Black member until George Floyd died, so do with that information what you will," he said. He leaned heavily into the HFPA's lackluster diversity record as the crowd laughed nervously. Jerrod, who said he was paid $500,000 for the gig, even joked that he's "un-fireable" because he's Black.
Worth the wait
"Everything Everywhere All at Once" is making dreams come true. On the heels of Ke Huy Quan's win, Michelle Yeoh took home the award for best actress in a musical or comedy for her work in the same film. Following a 40-year acting career, this marks her first major acting award win. "I'm just gonna stand here and take this all in," she said before speaking about her early acting days and struggle to land roles because of her appearance. In dedicating her award, she said it's "for all the shoulders that I stand on, all that came before me, who look like me, and all that are going on this journey with me forward." In his speech, Ke also spoke of waiting for Hollywood opportunities.
Spielberg's very personal wins
It was a big night for the biggest director on the planet. Not only did Steven Spielberg win the Golden Globe for best director for his work on "The Fabelmans," but he won the award for best dramatic picture. The film is largely based on the "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" director's life, so these awards felt especially sweet. "I've been hiding from this story since I was 17 years old. I put a lot of things in the way of this story," he said on stage. "I never had to courage to hit this story head on… I spent a lot of time trying to figure out when I could tell that story." He then became the true hero of the show, opting to keep his final speech brief to appease the East Coast and not let the already-behind-schedule show run any longer. "I don't want to be the reason this goes into the 11:30 news slot in New York City," he joked. Not all heroes wear capes.
Why nominee Brendan Fraser skipped the Globes
Although 2023 might be the year of Brendan Fraser thanks to his acclaimed performance in the critically lauded movie "The Whale," he's M.I.A. at the 2023 Golden Globes. Brendan, who was up for best actor for the aforementioned film (the prize went to Austin Butler for his work in "Elvis"), previously said he would skip the show. In 2018, the star of "The Mummy" went public with the claim that he was grouped by Philip Berk, a former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president, in 2003. Philip has denied the allegation and he is no longer with the HFPA.
No more nepo-babies
Just call them the ex-ambassadors. For 60 years, children of A-list actors and actresses have served as "ambassadors" for the Golden Globes with their duties primarily consisting of escorting winners off the stage. That tradition is now over. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that it was axing the tradition in 2023 amid the controversy surrounding so-called "nepo-babies." Previous Globes ambassadors have included Idris Elba's daughter, Isan; Spike Lee's twins, Jackson and Satchel; and Sylvester Stallone's daughters, Sistine, Scarlet and Sophia; and stars like Melanie Griffith (and her daughter Dakota Johnson) and Laura Dern were past Globes ambassadors back when they were called Miss Golden Globe. Nepotism is clearly out.
The 960-hour dress
Wow — 960 hours. That's how long it took to make Sheryl Lee Ralph's custom purple Aliétte gown. The "Abbott Elementary" star also turned to her daughter, Ivy Maurice, for fashion advice. "My very beautiful daughter, Ivy Coco, who has been on this whole award train with me from the beginning," Sheryl told E! News during the Golden Globes pre-show of her daughter, who joined her at the event. "I said, 'You get my style, Coco.' I said, 'You get me, you get the style, and let's do this. And she's been winning — I've been on every best dressed list, including The New York Times and I thank my child. Every birthing pain was worth it!"