All the History Made at the 2021 Golden Globes

From Chloé Zhao's triumphant Best Director win to hosts on opposite coasts, it was a night of firsts at the 78th Annual Golden Globes on Feb. 28.

By Billy Nilles Mar 01, 2021 11:00 AMTags
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The 2021 Golden Globes were a night unlike any other.

Not only was the show—which saw co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler return for a fourth round after a five-year break—produced under the most unique of circumstances, thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but it was a night of true firsts. From members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association taking the stage at their big show to admit they have work to do in terms of true diversity among their ranks following the revelation that there are zero Black members currently serving to a whole host of winners who made history as they took home their hardware, the 78th annual ceremony was one we won't soon forget.

And that's not just because we're still sobbing over the late Chadwick Boseman's wife Taylor Simone Ledward, who accepted an award on her husband's behalf. But, if we're being honest, that was one acceptance speech that we have a feeling will be talked about for years to come.

Golden Globes 2021: See Every Star

Take a look at everyone who made history on the HFPA's big night!

The Hosts

For the first time in its 78 year history, the Golden Globes aired with hosts on opposite ends of the country. With Tina Fey operating out of the Rainbow Room in New York City and Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, the BFFs were spliced together on screen via technology. Though, as you can see above, not all the effects were quite so seamless.

The Crowd

In another first, owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the audience present in both locations wasn't made up of the usual stars getting toasty off the bottomless champagne. Instead, a sparse grouping of masked first responders and essential workers were invited to laugh at the jokes and shift awkwardly in their seats when the virtual speeches went wonky.

Daniel Kaluuya

Winning Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his work as Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah, Kaluuya became the first British-born Black actor to win a Golden Globe for a film.

John Boyega

Similarly, with his Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film win for his work in Small Axe, Boyega became the first British-born Black actor to earn the trophy.

Anya Taylor-Joy

With her Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film win for her work in Netflix's The Queen's Gambit, Taylor-Joy became the first woman of Latin descent to win the category. (Her father is Argentinian.)

Chadwick Boseman

Winning Best Actor in a Drama for his work in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the late Black Panther star became the first Black actor to win posthumously in Golden Globes history. He's only the second actor ever in this particular category, following Peter Finch's 1976 win for Network. Boseman is also the first winner in this category whose film debuted on a streaming service.

Kemp Powers

As the co-director of Soul, winner of Best Animated Feature Film, the playwright became the first Black filmmaker to win a Golden Globe for his debut film. Interestingly, The Hollywood Reporter notes that he and Pixar only found out he was eligible to receive the award the day of the telecast.

Sacha Baron Cohen

Taking home the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his work in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Baron Cohen became the first actor to win the same category for playing the same character in both an original film and its sequel. He previously won playing Borat in 2006.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Winning Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy, the Amazon Original was the first film in either category to come out on top after debuting on a streaming service. It also marks the first live-action sequel to win the category in Globes history. 

Chloé Zhao

Winning Best Director for Nomadland, which she also wrote and produced, Zhao became the first woman of color to ever earn the trophy and only the second woman ever. The first? Barbra Streisand for Yentl in 1983.


With her film winning Best Motion Picture—Drama, Zhao became the first Asian woman to produce a winning film in the category. It also marks the first time a film directed by a woman has ever won the category.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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