Episode 130: The 2017 Golden Globes

But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose. O.K., go on with it.
— Meryl Streep, in her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award
What does it mean, to dream urgently? And how will films continue to help people to do it? The Globes ceremony was, in the end, revealing not just about Hollywood’s love for itself—La La Land, the consummate film about filmmaking, emerged with the most Globe awards ever granted in one evening—but also about its sense of its own moral purpose. The telecast presented itself, for all its wacky antics, as an epic battle: kindness versus cruelty, good versus its absence, a Hollywood that emphasizes inclusion and understanding—“we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy,” Streep put it—pitted against a Washington that so often fails to see beyond the self. Here were some of the most wealthy and powerful people in the world, claiming their averageness by way of their empathy. But here, too, was Meryl Streep, the master of American drama, acknowledging—warning—that empathy, far too often, is not enough.
— Megan Garber, "The Introverted Politics of the 2017 Golden Globes," The Atlantic, January 9, 2017

A few weeks ago, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) awarded the 74th Golden Globes. As art reflects life and the societies in which we live, the films, shows and their stars and creators were given particular attention in these times of great social and governmental change. We are pleased to welcome Olivia Sanabria to help dissect some of the awards given, the status they confer and the atmosphere of awards season as a statement on our culture. How might recognition through awards actually delay meaningful conversation? What do the winners and nominees suggest about our preferences in the arts? What do their creations indicate about the stories which are and are not told and the tone with which we expect stories to be addressed?

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