Diversity scorecard: just exactly how did the 2016 Golden Globes fare?

In the past year since the 2015 Golden Globes and awards season hoopla, there has been more discussion about diversity in front of and behind the camera than ever before.


From Jennifer Lawrence’s op-ed and Patricia Arquette’s Oscars acceptance speech on pay equality, to the Idris Elba black Bond debate and Viola Davis’ empowering Emmy Awards moment, everyone’s eyes were (rightly) on one of Hollywood’s night of nights.

So after a year of talking about it, how exactly did the Golden Globes fare when it comes to the diversity scorecard?

The Globes didn’t get off to a great start to begin with: back in December they confused actress America Ferrara with fellow Latino actress Gina Rodriguez not once, but twice as she read out the 2016 nominations at the offical announcement ceremony. Not one to shy away from speaking her mind, she and Eva Longoria addressed the gaffe directly when they presented an award this time around with the latter introducing herself as “I’m Eva Longoria, not Eva Mendes,” to which Ferrara replied added “Hi, I’m America Ferrera not Gina Rodriguez.” They delivered a one-two punch by following that up with: “And neither of us are Rosario Dawson.”

Denzel Washington became only the third person of colour EVER to be awarded the Cecil B. DeMille trophy for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” (Morgan Freeman and Sidney Poitier being the other two). Considering just two years ago Woody Allen was receiving the very same award, this is a hopeful step in the right direction. Then again in the 60+ year history of the gong, it has only been given out to three non-white winners so…  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Although there was notably more diversity in the pool of nominees, when it came to the actual winners in the major categories the list was still very, very white. There were a few exceptions, with Taraji P. Henson beating out her close friend Viola Davis for best actress in a television drama, Gael Garcia Bernal won for best actor in a television series comedy or musical, Oscar Isaac took the gong home for Show Me A Hero and Alejandro G. Inarritu winning best director for The Revenant – almost a full year after Sean Penn made his cringe-worthy “Who gave this guy a Green Card?” joke at the Oscars.

Racially and sexually progressive shows like Orange Is The New Black and Transparent had six nominations between them, but unfortunately didn’t leave with a single win on the night. In stark contrast to 2015, Transparent wowed the field taking out best television series comedy or musical and Jeffrey Tambor being awarded best performance.

Ava DuVernay was one of the breakout talents of 2015 with her groundbreaking work for Selma, which earned her a best director nomination last year and making her the only female nominee in the male-crowded field. In 2016 there wasn’t a single woman in this category, despite some excellent work from the likes of Sarah Gavron (Suffragette), Patricia Riggen (The 33) and Maya Forbes (Infinitely Polar Bear).