The Golden Globes returned with its 80th ceremony this year, and host Jerrod Carmichael did not hold back with both criticism of the HFPA and jokes that left the audience stunned. But while uncertainty preceded the return of the Golden Globes, this year’s telecast was not without its moments.
Emotional acceptance speeches flowed from “Everything Everywhere All At Once” stars Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh as well as “The White Lotus” dynamic duo Jennifer Coolidge and Mike White. Musician Rihanna received multiple shoutouts. Ryan Murphy used his platform of accepting the Carol Burnett Award to shoutout LGBTQ+ professionals with whom he has worked throughout his career. Steven Spielberg gave a heartfelt acceptance speech for his Best Director win for the autobiographical “The Fablemans.” Colin Farrell gave a well-deserved shoutout to Jenny the donkey from “The Banshees of Inisherin,” and Volodymyr Zelenskyy was honored by Sean Penn before giving a rallying speech about the situation in Ukraine.
Read on for the best Golden Globes moments from the 2023 ceremony.
Jerrod Carmichael’s Monologue
Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael wasted no time in addressing the controversy surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the embattled organization behind the Golden Globes, by kicking off the night by saying “I’m here ’cause I’m Black.” The comedian certainly had his fun poking at the organization’s previous failures, stunning audience members with remarks like “I won’t say they were racist, but they didn’t have a single Black member since George Floyd died.”
After thoroughly roasting the HFPA, Carmichael redirected the night’s attention to the wide range of talent within the room. “I look out into this room and I see a lot of talented people, like people that I admire people that I would like to be like and people that I’m jealous of, and people that are actually really incredible artists,” he said. “Regardless of whatever the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s past may be, this is an evening where we get to celebrate.”
Ke Huy Quan Thanks His “Temple of Doom” Director Steven Spielberg
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” actor Ke Huy Quan’s emotional acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor for a Motion Picture kicked off the night with some tears.
“I was raised to never forget where I came from, to always remember who gave me my first opportunity,” Quan said. “I am so happy to see Steven Spielberg here tonight. Steven, thank you. When I started my career as a child actor in ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,’ I felt so very lucky to have been chosen. As I grew older, I started to wonder it that was it, if that was just luck.”
“For so many years, I was afraid I had nothing more to offer — that no matter what I did, I would never surpass what I did as a kid,” he continued, singling out “Everything Everywhere” directing duo Daniels. “Thankfully, more than 30 years later, two guys thought of me. They remembered that kid. And they gave me an opportunity to try again.”
Angela Bassett Honors Chadwick Boseman
After making history as the first performer to win a Golden Globe in an acting category for their role in a Marvel film, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” actor Angela Bassett honored the late Chadwick Boseman for his iconic legacy as his absence was felt in the room. “We mourned, we loved, we healed and we were surrounded each and every day by the light and the spirit of Chadwick Boseman,” she said as she accepted her award for Best Performance by an actress in a supporting role in any motion picture. “We have joy in knowing that with this historic ‘Black Panther’ series, it is part of his legacy he helped lead us to, we showed the world what Black unity, leadership and love looks like beyond, behind and in front of the camera.”
Shouting Out Rihanna
Though she didn’t win for Best Original Song with “Lift Me Up” in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Rihanna received multiple shoutouts from her contemporaries. Niecy Nash-Betts took her chance to tell the songstress that she dressed up as her for Halloween. Jerrod Carmichael took a moment to tell the musician “Take your time” on that album and to ignore the online haters. And Billy Porter piggybacked on Niecy Nash-Betts’ shoutout, saying, “If I believed in Halloween I would dress up as Rihanna as well.”
Colin Farrell Praises Jenny the Donkey
Right before his acceptance of the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical for “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Colin Farrell told Ana De Armas, who presented him with the award, that he cried himself to sleep watching her in “Blonde” (2022). He also gave Jenny the donkey a shoutout for her rise to fame through this film, and then he chastised Barry Keoghan for eating his crispy corn flakes and leaving him to work on an empty stomach.
Michelle Yeoh Refuses to Get Played Off
While Michelle Yeoh gracefully accepted her well-deserved award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), the “Everything Everywhere All At Once” actor didn’t let the exit music playing off stage kill her vibe. “Shut up, please,” Yeoh said as the music began playing before going further to say “I can beat you up” to laughter in the audience. Though there was a slight delay, the music did eventually quiet, letting her finish her emotional speech.
Ryan Murphy Cedes His Entire Acceptance Speech to Shout Out Other People
Honored with the Carol Burnett Award, showrunner and producer Ryan Murphy took most of his acceptance speech to shout out LGBTQ+ and POC professionals with whom he has worked over his expansive career. He began with Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, who became the first trans actress to win a Golden Globe for “Pose.” He then shouted out Billy Porter, who presented him with the award, not only for his role in “Pose” but also for his reinvention of fashion with his signature tuxedo dress at the 2019 Oscars. Murphy also shouted out Niecy Nash-Betts, Matt Bomer and Jeremy Pope for their paving of paths in the industry for LGBTQ+ folks. “There is a way forward. Use them as your North Stars,” he said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy Makes a Surprise Appearance
Following an introduction from Sean Penn, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise appearance during a pre-recorded video with a hopeful message that “the tide is turning.” While Zelenskyy pointed out how the inaugural Golden Globe Awards were presented in 1943, prior to the end of the second World War, he assured viewers and audience members that “there will be no Third World War.” “It is not a trilogy,” he said. “Ukraine will stop the Russian aggression on our land.” Just around a month after Zelenskyy made a visit to meet with President Joe Biden, he continued to thank the “free people of the free world” for their support for Ukraine.
“No matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter who you are with, the struggle for the right of the new generations to know about the war only from movies,” he said. “I hope all of you will be with us on the victorious day: the day of our victory.”
Jennifer Coolidge Makes Drunk Mike White Cry
Jennifer Coolidge won yet again for her role as Tanya McLeod in Season 2 of HBO’s “The White Lotus.” She got to finish her Emmys speech that was cut short, setting her Golden Globe on the floor and launching into a hilarious and moving speech. She shouted out Ryan Murphy for keeping her career going with little jobs, and then she praised “The White Lotus” creator Mike White for “worrying about the world, worrying about people, worrying about animals.” White — who later admitted he was too drunk because there was no food — teared up at her shoutout. “You make people want to live longer and I didn’t,” Coolidge concluded.