For Golden Globe Winners, Just Reaching the Stage Was Often an Unwanted Odyssey

When Paul Giamatti won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, he began his acceptance speech with a joke that likely resonated with many of the night’s winners.

“Too many steps,” Giamatti quipped. “Too many steps.”

While Giamatti went on to joke about the impact that the frequent standing ovations had on his aging knees (and his likelihood of being cast in a hypothetical “John Wick 5”), his comments touched on one of the night’s overarching themes: winners struggling to reach the stage.

While the Golden Globes were once again broadcast from their traditional home at the Beverly Hilton, a crowded seating arrangement and a lack of clear pathways to the stage created many awkward pauses as the crowd patiently waited for acceptance speeches to start.

Emma Stone had a visibly tough time reaching the stage for her acceptance speech after winning Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for “Poor Things.” The cast and crew of “Beef” were similarly inconvenienced, as their table was positioned in the back of the room. The A24/Netflix show’s success ended up delaying the awards on multiple occasions as both Ali Wong and Steven Yeung both won Golden Globes for Actor and Actress in a Limited Series for their performances, and creator Lee Sung Jin had to take the stage to accept the award for Best Limited Series.

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OPPENHEIMER, Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, 2023. © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection
OPPENHEIMER, Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, 2023. © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

The problems only increased as the night went on, as awards for Best Picture and TV Series required larger groups of people to take the stage. It was one of many logistical hurdles faced by the show, which also featured several incorrect sound cues, including an awkward moment when music briefly prevented Michelle Yeoh and Naomi Watts from presenting the award for Best Actress — Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy.

The 81st Golden Globe Awards were held Sunday, January 8 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. Dick Clark Productions, which owns and produces the Golden Globes, is a Penske Media company. PMC is also IndieWire’s parent company.

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