2015 Golden Globes: Big WINs for Diversity and Standing Out

By January 12, 2015The WIN Column

Go 2015 Golden Globe Awards! The show gave us the comedy magic of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. But more importantly, it was a night of big WINs for characters and stories that personify the power of standing out exactly as who you are.

The journey for women’s independence got a moment in the sun when Amy Adams won best actress in a motion picture – comedy or musical for her role in Big Eyes. It is the story of Margaret Keane, whose husband fraudulently claimed her paintings as his work, and her journey to stand up and claim her own work.

In a win for Latino representation in media, newcomer Gina Rodriguez nabbed the Golden Globe as best actress in a TV comedy for her title role in the CW’s Jane the Virgin. Backstage, she further talked about how the show “allowed [Latinos] to see themselves invited to the same party” – where they can be “the investment bankers and the lawyers that exist in my own home.”

The African American civil rights movement was highlighted by Common and John Legend, when they won Best Original Song for their writing of Glory from the motion picture Selma. With eloquent words, Common linked the civil rights struggles of the past to recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and New York: “The first day I stepped on the set of ‘Selma,’ I began to feel like this was bigger than a movie. As I got to know the people of the Civil Rights movement, I realized I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote. I am the caring white supporter, killed on the front lines of freedom. I am the unarmed kid who maybe needed a hand, but instead was given a bullet. I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. ‘Selma’ has awakened my humanity.”

But the night’s biggest wins were LGBT stories. Matt Bomer was honored as supporting actor in a TV miniseries or movie for the The Normal Heart – set during the early HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s. In his acceptance speech, Bomer gave homage to victims of AIDS. And a big winner was Amazon’s Transparent – the series about a father of three who identifies as a woman, and comes out to his family as a transgender woman. The landmark series won winning best TV comedy series and its lead Jeffrey Tambor was voted best actor in a TV comedy series. Tambor used the opportunity to dedicate his performance and the award to the transgender community.

Sadly, Asians remain the one major group not represented with an awards win.  In fact, the Asian presence at the Golden Globes was limited to Margaret Cho, in funny bits about North Korea.  I love Margaret Cho and was glad to see her – but I’m still hoping for the day when Hollywood produces more prominent – and award-worthy – roles for performers and artists of Asian descent.

Meanwhile, I was still thrilled to works honored that portray a diversity of life stories. In doing so, I hope this year’s Golden Globes provided inspiration for everyone to believe that – no matter who you are – you too can WIN in life.

 

Photo credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com