Featured photo: Jerrod Carmichael hosts the 80th Golden Globes (photo by Getty/NBC)

“I’m here because I’m Black.”

That’s how actor and stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael started his monologue at the 80th Golden Globes which aired on NBC on Tuesday evening.

“One minute, you’re making mint tea at home,” Carmichael said as he sat down on the stage steps. “The next, you’re invited to be the Black face for an embattled white organization.”

The historic awards show has faced a slew of controversy in the last few years. In fact, in 2022, the show was canceled altogether, namely because of the show’s financial difficulties but also it’s striking lack of diversity. As Carmichael notes in his monologue from Monday night, “the Hollywood Foreign Press Association…didn’t have a single Black member until George Floyd died.”

The association is a nonprofit organization of journalists who report on the entertainment industry activity and interests in the United States for media predominantly outside the U.S., according to Wikipedia. The HFPA consists of about 105 members from approximately 55 countries with a combined following of more than 250 million and conducts the annual Golden Globe Awards.

Carmichael was born in Winston-Salem and grew up in neighboring Kernersville, going to Glenn High School as a teen. As a burgeoning stand-up comedian, he often performed at area clubs such as the Idiot Box in Greensboro.

In addition to releasing three stand-up comedy specials, Carmichael has appeared in films such as Neighbors, The Disaster Artist and Transformers. In 2022, he hosted Saturday Night Live.

Cut to late last year and Carmichael explains how he was tapped to host the Golden Globes after receiving a call from producer Stephen Hill.

“I said, ‘Stephen, I’m torn I’ll be honest,” Carmichael relayed during his speech. “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.”

Carmichael goes on to joke that in moral racial dilemmas he calls his friend Avery, who for the sake of the monologue, “represents every Black person in America.” When he tells his friend he’s been asked to host the Golden Globes, she repeatedly asked him how much the gig paid to which he said, $500,000. His friend immediately told him to take the job saying, “Boy, if you don’t put on a good suit and take them white people money.”

“I kind of forget where I’m from, we all live by a strict, Take the money mentality,” Carmichael said.

In his stand-up, growing up poor is a frequent topic.

Carmichael goes on to explain how after being tapped, Helen Hoehne, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association asked to have a one-on-one meeting with him to which he promptly replied, “No, thanks.”

“I know a trap when I hear a trap,” Carmichael said.

And he even went as far to ask, “What are they going to do? Fire me?” he said. “They haven’t had a Black host in 79 years. They’re going to fire the first one? I’m unfireable.”

At the end of the monologue Carmichael explained the real reason he had taken the job. He said the industry was made up of incredibly talented artists who deserve to have “nights like these.”

“I’m here, truly, because of all of you,” he said. “Regardless of whatever the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s past may be, this is an evening where we get to celebrate.”

Carmichael also made headlines for roasting actor Tom Cruise, who was not in attendance at the awards, for his continued association with the Church of Scientology.

Big winners of the night were as follows:

  • Best Motion Picture – Drama: The Fabelmans
  • Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Best Actor in a Drama: Austin Butler (Elvis)
  • Best Actress in a Drama: Cate Blanchett (Tar)
  • Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical: Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin)
  • Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical: Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)
  • Best Director: Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

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