Multiple sources tell the Hollywood Reporter that Helen Hoehne, president of the same organization that allowed Ricky Gervais to publicly criticize them and everyone in attendance on five separate occasions, was left “shocked and upset” by Carmichael’s monologue.
“The whole thing was so awkward and uncomfortable,” an insider said. Another added, “The show needs to be fun, and it didn’t feel fun.” One source chimed in with a perspective we can all get behind: “What did you expect?”
Throughout Carmichael’s career, the comedian/actor/director has never been shy about discussing controversial topics or delivering hot takes, and the HFPA had plenty to work with. The Golden Globes returned after NBC decided to not air the show last year amid valid criticisms over representation. Carmichael wasted no time broaching that exact issue.
“I am your host, Jerrod Carmichael, and I’ll tell you why I’m here…I’m here ‘cause I’m Black,” the 35-year-old said. “This show, 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.”
Carmichael continued to give everyone a peek behind the curtain, saying he was paid $500,000 to host, and was asked three times to meet one-on-one with Hoehne, which he referred to as “a trap.” The comic claimed the HFPA president ultimately wanted to meet with him to show the changes made to address diversity issues, but he declined, telling the crowd of stars, “I took this job assuming they haven’t changed at all.”
According to THR, Hoehne—who spoke onstage later in the ceremony—was seen being consoled by friends in the ballroom bar.
Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law Pat released a statement last week saying she was “disappointed” with Carmichael’s joke about the late singer’s death, which happened at the hotel hosting the event. She said it was “in poor taste.”