As the host of the 80th Golden Globe Awards on Tuesday, Jerrod Carmichael didn’t hold back. “I’ll tell you why I’m here,” the comedian opened the show. “I’m here ‘cause I’m Black.” He then went on to recap for the seated crowd of Hollywood’s elite the reason the Globes weren’t able to find a broadcasting partner last year; that is, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of a single Black member, and other alleged ethics violations.
“I’ll catch everyone in the room up,” Carmichael said. “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…”
The room was filled with scattered laughter and applause, and as some on Twitter noted, seemed a bit awkward. Carmichael then described getting the call from producer Stephen Hill to host the awards. “One minute you’re making mint tea at home,” Carmichael joked. “The next you’re being asked to be the Black face of an embattled white organization. Life comes at you fast.”
He added: “I said, ‘Stephen, I’m torn. I’ll be honest with you: I’m only being asked to host this, I know, because I’m Black.’ He said, ‘Let me stop you right there, Jerrod. You’re being asked to host this show because you’re talented. You’re being asked to host this show because you’re charming. You’re being asked to host this show because you’re one of the greatest comedians of a generation.'”
After applause, he then joked, “But Stephen’s Black, so what does he know? He’s only producing the show because he’s Black! They’re not gonna tell him why he’s here either!”
He obviously ended up taking the job, and closed his monologue saying, “I’m going to be honest with you, 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 because of all of you. I look into this room and see a lot of talented people. People that I admire. People I would like to be like. People that I’m jealous of. People that are incredible artists. 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.”