In his Emmy-nominated performance on Saturday Night Live last year, just days after Oscar’s notorious Slap, guest host Jerrod Carmichael wouldn’t even say the names “Chris Rock” or “Will Smith,” an inspired decision that made his SNL monologue about the incident all the sharper.

Tonight, as host of the embattled, criticized and surprisingly resilient Golden Globe Awards, Carmichael showed no such restraint. “I’ll tell you why I’m here,” he said at the start of his opening monologue. “I’m here because I’m Black.”

With that, Carmichael launched into a recap of the recent history of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its long absence of Black members. “I’m not saying it’s a racist organization,” Carmichael said, “but it didn’t have a single Black member until George Floyd died.”

Carmichael then recounted how he got the hosting job: Producer Stephen Hill phoned to personally ask him to take the gig. “One minute you’re at home making mint tea,” the host said, “the next you’re invited to be the Black face of an embattled white organization.”

After revealing he was being paid $500,000 for the job, Carmichael, occasionally sitting on the edge of the stage and delivering his monologue in the deadpan style that he’s perfected, said he finally agreed after being assured by Hill that he was getting the job because “you’re one of the greatest comedians of a generation.”

“But Stephen’s Black,” Carmichael zinged, “so what does he know?”

Carmichael then said that despite the HFPA’s history, the nominees and others in attendance are “talented people, people I admire.” He concluded, “this is an evening where we get to celebrate, and i think the industry deserves evenings like this.”


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