NEW YORK (AP) — Co-host Sandra Oh kicked off the 76th annual Golden Globes with impassioned words championing inclusivity in film and television and applauding the "faces of change" in the audience.
Oh and Andy Samberg opened the Beverly Hilton Hotel ceremony on Sunday with a string of jokes that playfully commented on recent critiques of Hollywood, from films that starred white stars in Asian roles ("Ghost in the Shell," ''Aloha") to an impression of a sexist caveman-like film executive whose casting impulse is the title of Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong drama: "First ... man!"
But Oh, the "Killing Eve" actress, closed their opening monologue on a serious note explaining why she was hosting with Samberg.
"I said yes to the fear of being on this stage tonight because I wanted to be here to look out at this audience and witness this moment of change," said Oh. "Right now, this moment is real. Trust me, this is real. Because I see you. And I see you. All of these faces of change. And now, so will everyone else."
Soon thereafter, the stars of "Black Panther" took the stage to introduce the best picture-nominated film by pronouncing, in unison: "Wakanda forever!" They, along with the casts of "Crazy Rich Asians," ''BlacKkKlansman," ''Roma" and others made for a diverse array of nominees.
The night's first win went to Michael Douglas for the Netflix series "The Kominsky Method." He dedicated the honor to his 102-year-old father. The second award went to "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" for best animated film.
A year after the Golden Globe Awards were awash in a sea of black and #MeToo discussion replaced fashion chatter, the red carpet largely returned to more typical colors and conversation.
Some attendees were spotted wearing ribbons that read TIMESUPx2, to highlight the second year of the gender equality campaign that last year organized the Globes black-clad demonstration. Rachel Brosnahan, the "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" star, was among those wearing a Time's Up bracelet.
But most of the actresses streaming into the ceremony Sunday were dressed in the kinds of gowns and sparkle that usually accompany the awards show.
Alyssa Milano, the actress who was integral in making #MeToo go viral, said on the red carpet that in the past year a "really wonderful sisterhood has formed" and that they're "really finding our voice through our pain and our collective pain." But she added that she's more concerned with women in underseen industries — farmworkers, those in the military, hotel employees — than those walking the red carpet alongside her.
The 2018 Globes were the first major televised awards in Hollywood following the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent push for greater gender equality in the film industry. This year, both attendees and the night's hosts — Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh — have signaled they're planning a more celebratory and less serious evening.
For the Globes, that's a return to form. What the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's ceremony lacks in gravitas it usually makes up for in freewheeling frivolity and fun. The free-flowing booze helps.
This year's show likely has awards in store for Bradley Cooper's Oscar front-runner "A Star Is Born," Yorgos Lanthimos' period romp "The Favourite," the Amazon comedy series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and Ryan Murphy's anthology series "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story."
Lady Gaga is poised to win not just one but two awards, for best actress in a drama and for the song "Shallow," from "A Star Is Born." (Gaga, who won a Globe in 2016 for her "American Horror Story: Hotel" performance, would still fall short of the three Globes won by Barbra Streisand for the 1976 version of "A Star Is Born." Aside from acting and singing, Streisand was also a producer and thus shared in the best picture win.)
Last year's show, like a lot of recent awards shows, saw ratings decline. Some 19 million tuned in to the Seth Meyers-hosted broadcast, an 11-percent decline in viewership.
This year, NBC has one thing in its favor: an NFL lead in. Ahead of the Globes, NBC broadcast the late afternoon wild card game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles, which proved to be a nail-bitingly close game — likely delivering the network a huge audience.
Nominees that have been in sizable box office hits may also potentially help the Globes, none more than Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther," up for best picture (drama) and score. "A Star is Born," which is expected to dominate the drama side of the movie awards, recently passed $200 million in domestic ticket sales.
Adam McKay's highly critical Dick Cheney portrait "Vice," starring Christian Bale, comes in with a leading six nominations. While music-heavy films "A Star Is Born" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" opted to contend in the Globes' drama categories, "Vice" tops the comedy-musical nominees, though it's closely trailed by multiple nominees, including "The Favourite" and "Green Book," Peter Farrelly's interracial road trip tale starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.
At stake are not just Golden Globes awards but Oscar momentum. Voting for the Academy Awards nominations begins Monday.
Jeff Bridges will receive the Globes' honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award. A similar television achievement award is also being launched, dubbed the Carol Burnett Award. Its first honoree will be Burnett, herself.