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The 6 biggest talking points from the Golden Globes, from Jo Koy’s painful presenting to Lily Gladstone making history

The 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards came to a shimmering close on Sunday evening (7 January) following a Beverly Hills-set ceremony that showed Hollywood’s star power is stronger than ever.

It was less a question of who was there than who wasn’t there, as Taylor Swift, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Kylie Jenner graced the red carpet. Globes debutants wobbled on stage, mentioning more than once how “intimidating” the room before them was.

Before the ceremony, people wondered how Jo Koy, a relatively unknown US comic, would handle the pressure of such a massive stage after he was given just two weeks notice on the big gig. The Globes, known as “Hollywood’s biggest party of the year”, has typically been a more self-deprecating cousin to the Academy Awards – a reputation helped forged by a five-year tenure from host Ricky Gervais. Would Koy similarly savage his celebrity audience, or would he take a lighter approach?

Scroll down for the six biggest talking points of the 2024 Golden Globe Awards.

Lily Gladstone makes history

Lily Gladstone’s historic win for Killers of the Flower Moon saw her become the first Indigenous star to win a Golden Globe with her gong for Best Performance by a Female Actor – Motion Picture, Drama. She is of Blackfeet and Nimiipuu heritage. In her speech, the most powerful of the night, she spoke in Blackfeet then in English, paying tribute to her “beautiful community”. “This is an historic win. It doesn’t belong to just me; I’m holding it with all my beautiful sisters, the film, my mother – I’m just standing on all of your shoulders,” she said.

Lily Gladstone (AP)
Lily Gladstone (AP)

Jeremy Allen White’s brief encounter

Despite winning his second Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy, Jeremy Allen White was relentlessly asked by the press about his recent underwear campaign for Calvin Klein, which eclipsed his honours for his work in The Bear on the night. A bashful Allen White could only respond: “It’s been a weird couple of days.”

Jeremy Allen White in his CK campaign (Calvin Klein)
Jeremy Allen White in his CK campaign (Calvin Klein)

Jo Koy’s painful presenting

American comic Jo Koy only got the call asking him to host the Golden Globes two weeks ago – and it showed. The presenter was visibly nervous, and his opening monologue, with jokes about Barry Keoghan’s penis in Saltburn and the runtime of Oppenheimer, was actually booed. Taylor Swift, meanwhile, did not look amused when he turned his jokes on her – with the camera catching her stoney-faced response.

Jo Koy at the awards (AP)
Jo Koy at the awards (AP)

Christopher Nolan remembers Heath Ledger

The filmmaker won his first ever Golden Globe trophy for Oppenheimer and, after gracing the stage, he immediately spoke about Ledger, whom he directed in Batman sequel The Dark Knight (2008). Christopher Nolan told the audience that the last time he was on the stage for the ceremony was in 2009, when he accepted the Best Supporting Actor award on behalf of his “dear friend” Ledger, who had died five months before the film was released, from an accidental overdose, aged 28. “That was complicated and challenging for me,” said Nolan.

Christopher Nolan makes his speech (AP)
Christopher Nolan makes his speech (AP)

The Jeffrey Epstein joke

The audience was left wincing when US comic Jim Gaffigan cracked a joke about Hollywood stars being named in the newly released legal documents linked to paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. Before he presented an award, he quipped: “This is so exciting for me. The Golden Globes – I can’t even believe I’m in the entertainment industry. I can’t. You know, it’s so unlikely. I’m from a small town in Indiana. I’m not a paedophile. I don’t know if that’s a new category here, but...”

US comic Jim Gaffigan (Getty Images)
US comic Jim Gaffigan (Getty Images)

Poor Things beats Barbie

One of the biggest surprises of the night was Yorgos Lanthimos’s eccentric fantasy Poor Things beating summer juggernaut Barbie to take home the award for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. In fact, the only gongs Barbie took home were for Best Original Song for “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish and Finneas and the new category Cinematic and Box Office Achievement. Hard to argue with that: Greta Gerwig’s Mattel wonderland earned £1.12bn at the global box office.

‘Poor Things’ cast (Paramount)
‘Poor Things’ cast (Paramount)

Read the full list of winners here and see the best red carpet looks here.