January 6, 2020 at 1:54 pm PST | by John Paul King
Golden Globes winners include surprises, diversity, and LGBTQ wins

Taran Egerton took home a win for playing LGBTQ legend Elton John in “Rocketman” (Image courtesy Paramount/Rocket Pictures)

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 77th annual Golden Globe Awards are now a matter of history, and in an evening of surprises and upsets, several of the most noteworthy moments reflected the growing significance of LGBTQ voices in the content created by the film and television industry.

Going into the presentation Sunday night, the slate of nominations included nods for several LGBTQ-inclusive films, actors and characters.

In performance categories, several openly LGBTQ performers were nominated, including out actors Billy Porter and Ben Platt for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series in the Drama and Comedy categories, respectively. Porter lost to actor Brian Cox, for HBO’s “Succession,” while Platt’s category was won by Muslim-American writer and actor Ramy Youssef, for Hulu’s “Ramy.”

Out Irish actor Andrew Scott had received a nod as Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series (Comedy) for his role as “Hot Priest” in “Fleabag,” an award which went to Russell Crowe for his performance as Roger Ailes in Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice.”

For Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), out actress Beanie Feldstein was nominated for her portrayal of a high school overachiever in the hilarious sleeper hit, “Booksmart,” but the award went instead to rapper-turned-actress Awkwafina, who made history by becoming the first Asian-American performer to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category; she took the prize for “The Farewell,” a film created by Asian-American female filmmaker Lulu Wang.

The performance nominations also included LGBTQ allies playing queer characters:

Taran Egerton, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), scored with a win for playing Elton John in “Rocketman.” Antonio Banderas had received a nod as Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for his role in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” but the award was taken home by Joaquin Phoenix for his electrifying turn as the title character in “The Joker.”

In actress categories, Margot Robbie had been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for “Bombshell,” and Jodie Comer for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series (Drama) in “Killing Eve.” Those categories were won by Laura Dern (for “Marriage Story”) and Olivia Colman (for “The Crown”), respectively.

In one of the evening’s surprises, the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) went to Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland in the biopic, “Judy.” Though Zellweger is straight (as was Garland) the film is notable for its dramatization of an episode in the life of an undisputed LGBTQ icon.

Several films and television shows with queer-themed content were also nominated going into the evening.

Netflix’s “The Politician” had picked up a nod as Best Comedy Series, but the award ended up being given to the Amazon juggernaut, “Fleabag” – a series which also includes LGBTQ content, and which also picked up the award for Best Actress In A Television Series (Comedy) for its creator and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

“Killing Eve” was also nominated for Best Television Series (Drama). That award went to “Succession.”

In film categories, “Rocketman” received a nod as Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), but lost to Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood,” which also picked up a Best Supporting Actor win for Brad Pitt. The Best Foreign Language Film nominations had included two queer films, the period lesbian romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.” That award went to South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s widely-acclaimed thriller, “Parasite.”

“Rocketman,” the musical fantasy biopic of singer Elton John, nevertheless managed to pull off one of the evening’s biggest LGBTQ-friendly moments, when it snagged a win for John himself in the category of Best Original Song (Motion Picture) for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” who claimed the prize alongside longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin.

“It’s the first time I won an award with him. Ever,” said the LGBTQ legend while accepting the award. “We never won a Grammy, we never did anything together except for this and I’m so happy, thank you very much.”

Taupin, whose early friendship with John is documented in the film, added, “This isn’t just a song we wrote for a movie; This is a song we wrote for a movie that deals with our relationship.”

The ceremony’s queerest moment was also arguably the most emotionally potent moment of the entire evening; in presenting the Carol Burnett Award to Ellen DeGeneres for her contributions to television, out actress and comedian Kate McKinnon paid tribute to the queer icon by giving her a personal thank you.

“If I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would have thought, ‘I could never be on TV. They don’t let LGBT people on TV,’” the “Saturday Night Live” star said. “And more than that, I would have gone on thinking that I was an alien, and that I maybe didn’t even have a right to be here. So, thank you, Ellen, for giving me a shot. A shot at a good life.”

For a complete list of the evening’s nominees and winners, click here.

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