While the Golden Globes might be the second most prestigious film awards out there, they’ve always existed in the shadow of the Oscars. However, what the Golden Globes may lack in terms of respect, they more than make up for in spontenaity, having embraced a culture of improvisation and spontaneity that their older brother continues to condemn.
With the news of the nominees today, let’s look back at some of the most controversial and entertaining moments during the Golden Globe ceremonies over the years.
I would like to start off the list with Richard Attenborough’s now-infamous “Ghandi sucks” speech. Upon winning the award for Best Director for the epic biopic of the Indian icon, Richard Attenborough held his award to the sky in triumph, then, smiling, said, “I guess this means I can finally stop talking about fucking Ghandi 24 hours a day.”
He then broke into an offensive Indian accent which is now believed to have been the inspiration for Apu on The Simpsons, during which the cameras cut to Sir Ben Kingsley in the audience, who appeared to be laughing uproariously throughout the insensitive rant.
Ted Danson receives his second Golden Globe award for his performance as Sam in Cheers. He gives a gracious and thoughtful acceptance speech, only to have it overshadowed by popping an enormous “fear boner” halfway through his acceptance. Mortified, Danson stalls and stammers onstage until Clint Eastwood emerges from the audience to escort him off stage. According to a stagehand they passed walking offstage, Clint Eastwood whispered to Danson, “One way or another, you’re going to have to get rid of that thing.”
Both actors disappear from the public eye for six weeks, reappearing together in a little-seen “Tour Nova Scotia!” television commercial.
(Note: Following this incident, the Awards producers worked to buck the notion that the Golden Globes were the “Deadwood of awards ceremonies” by sedating all nominees in attendance. It is for this reason that there was little excitement in the awards until the Department of Justice put an end to the practice in 2003.)