Winds of Diversity Blowing at 2015 Award Shows

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The Golden Globe Awards offered a glimpse at how the voter winds are blowing this award season, signaling a respectable LGBT presence in the winner’s circle is forthcoming.

While Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”) lost out to Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), Jeffrey Tambor earned Lead Actor in a TV Comedy for his role as trans woman Maura on the groundbreaking Amazon show “Transparent.”

“Transparent,” based show creator Jill Soloway’s own real-life family, also won the Golden Globe for Best TV Comedy/Musical.

“Oh this is big,” Tambor said as he accepted the award. “Jill Soloway you’ve changed my life–for the better, by the way,” he added with a dramatic pause. He dedicated the award “to the transgender community. Thank you for your courage … for letting us be a part of the change.”

Also celebrating their part in the change were Judith Light, who plays Tambor’s ex-wife; actress Alexandra Billings, a real-life trans woman who portrays Maura’s confident; co-executive producer Andrea Sperling (“Harsh Times,” “But I’m a Cheerleader”), and director Nisha Ginatra (“Chutney Popcorn”).

The dashing Matt Bomer thanked his husband and three children in his acceptance speech for Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie for “The Normal Heart.” (We look forward to seeing him as Montgomery Clift in the upcoming biopic.)

The foreign film “Pride” stood out among nominees for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, because of what it didn’t have—a big budget and/or big names (the best known for American audiences is probably Bill Nighy). It was up against “Birdman” (Michael Keaton, Emma Stone), “Into the Woods” (Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp), “St. Vincent” (Bill Murray, Naomi Watts), and the winning film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (all-star cast).

Controversy surrounded the film upon its US release late last year, following a successful UK release and numerous awards, including the Queer Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival. The MPAA gave it an R rating here, which appears to some as homophobic considering there’s no nudity and some minor “strong language.”

But even more baffling were reports that the US DVD contained no mention of any gay themes in the film. “Pride” is about a group of gay activists who raise money in support of miners during a 1984 strike (a true, heart-warming, David-and-Goliath story).

While Amy Poehler and Tina Fey didn’t disappoint as the hosts for the evening, and as expected they didn’t shy away from the French terrorist attack or Bill Cosby scandal, a pleasant surprise was their nod to the Sony hacker story, introducing the newest “member of the Hollywood Foreign Press,” Margaret Cho playing a North Korean “journalist” in military garb who “monitored” the rest of the night.

She closed the show saying, in an accent she’s used many times to mimmic her Korean mother: “Show over, I host next year.”

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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