For all of its controversy—racial, financial, ethical, and more—the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made one smart recent decision: to hire Jerrod Carmichael as the host of the 80th Annual Golden Globes on Tuesday night. Carmichael—a comedian, actor, writer, and filmmaker—is perhaps best known for last year’s stand-up special on HBO, Rothaniel. In it, he quickly built a tight rapport with his audience, sanding awkwardness into keen observations—a skill he deployed again expertly at the Golden Globes.
Read about more highlights of the 2023 Golden Globe Awards here, and read Carmichael’s full remarks below:
Welcome to the 80th annual Golden Globe Awards. I am your host, Jerrod Carmichael, and I’ll tell you why I’m here. I’m here ‘cause I’m Black. I’ll catch everyone in the room up. If you settle down a little bit, I’ll tell you what’s been going on. This show, the Golden Globe awards, did not air last year because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—which, I won’t say they were a racist organization—but they didn’t have a single Black member until George Floyd died. So do with that information what you will.ADVERTISEMENT
I’ll tell you how I got here. Why am I here on the stage with you guys tonight? Well, I was at home, just drinking tea, when I got a phone call from my man, Stephen Hill. Stephen Hill is a great producer, and he said, ‘Jerrod, really, I’m honored to be making this phone call.’ He said, ‘I’m producing the 80th Golden Globes, and it would be an honor if you would agree to join as the host.’
I was like, ‘Whoa.’ One minute, you’re making mint tea at home, the next you’re invited to be the Black face of an embattled white organization. Life really comes at you fast, you know? So I said, ‘Stephen, I’m torn. I’ll be honest with you: I’m a little torn because—one, it’s a great opportunity; thank you for the call. But I’m only being asked to host this, I know, because I’m Black.’
And Stephen said, ‘Let me stop you right there, Jerrod.’ He said, ‘You are being asked to host this show because you are talented. You’re being asked to host this show because you’re charming.’ He said, ‘You’re being asked to host this show because you are one of the greatest comedians of a generation.’
But Stephen’s Black, so what does he know? Like, he’s only producing this show because he’s Black. They’re not gonna tell him why he’s here either. So I said, ‘Stephen, this is a lot for me. Let me call you back.’ADVERTISEMENT
So I did what I do when I have a moral-racial dilemma: I called the homegirl, Avery. Who, for the sake of this monologue, represents every Black person in America. And I said to Avery, I said, ‘Avery, they asked me to host the Golden Globes.’ And I said, ‘What should I do?’
And she said, ‘Ooh, bookie, I’m so proud of you! Now, remind me, which award show is that again?’ And I told her what the show was, and I told her about how last year it didn’t air because of the no Black people thing. And she was like, ‘Well, how much are they paying you?’ And I said, ‘Well, Avery, it’s not about the money, honestly. It’s about the moral question of whether I should allow—’ And she said, ‘Jerrod, enough of all of that. How much are they paying you?’ And I said, ‘$500,000.’ And she said, ‘Boy, if you don’t put on a good suit and take them white people money.’
And I kind of forget that, where I’m from, we all live by a strict ‘take the money’ mentality. I bet Black informants for the FBI in the 60s, their families were still proud of them. They were like, ‘You hear about Clarence’s new job? They’re paying him $8 an hour just to snitch on Dr. King. That’s a good government job.’
And I called Stephen back and I said, ‘I’m happy to do this.’ And I was really proud of that decision. Until I got an email from my publicist saying that Helen, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, wanted to have a one-on-one sitdown with me. And I said, ‘No thanks. I know a trap when I hear a trap.’ADVERTISEMENT
And I thought it went away. Then it came back. They were like, ‘Well, they’re not really asking, Jerrod. They are insisting that you take the meeting.’ And I’m like, ‘Or what? They’re gonna fire me? They haven’t had a Black host in 79 years. They’re gonna fire the first one? I’m unfireable.’
And it came back again, a third time. Like, ‘Jerrod, Helen really just wants to educate you on the changes that the organization has made in regards to diversity.’ And I’ll be totally honest with everyone here tonight: I don’t really need to hear that. I took this job assuming they hadn’t changed at all. I heard they got six new Black members, congrats to them, whatever, sure.
But it’s not why I’m here. I’m here, truly, because all of you—I look out into this room and I see a lot of talented people. People that I admire, people that I would like to be like, people that I’m jealous of, and people that are actually really incredible artists.
And regardless of whatever the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s past may be, this is an evening where we get to celebrate. And I think this industry deserves evenings like these. And I’m happy you all are here, and I’m happy I’m here, and I hope you have some fun tonight.ADVERTISEMENT