Jerrod Carmichael Confronts Golden Globe Racism Scandal Head-On in Monologue: 'I'm Here Because I'm Black'

The comedian also said he was offered $500,000 to host the 2023 Golden Globe Awards, joking that he took the job solely for the money

Host Jerrod Carmichael speaks onstage at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.
Jerrod Carmichael. Photo: Rich Polk/NBC via Getty

Jerrod Carmichael didn't shy away from scandal while hosting the 2023 Golden Globes on Tuesday night.

The celebrated comic, 35, opened the awards show by confronting the reason it was missing from the airways last year, amid complaints about the lack of diversity and inclusivity within the Hollywood Foreign Press, its governing body.

"I'll tell you why I'm here. I'm here because I'm Black," Carmichael said, tackled the elephant in the room while taking a seat at stairs of the Beverly Hilton stage.

"This show, the Golden Globe Awards, did not air last year because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — which I won't say were a racist organization, but they didn't have a single Black member until George Floyd died [in 2020]. So do with that information what you will."

He went on to recall how he got the gig, joking, "One minute you're making mint tea at home, the next you're invited to be the Black face of the embattled White organization. Life really comes extra fast, you know?"

But Carmichael admitted he wasn't so quick to accept the offer from Globes producer Stephen Hill. "I said Stephen, 'I'll be honest with you, I'm a little torn because you know, one, it's a great opportunity. Thank you for the call. But I'm only being asked to host this because I'm Black,'" Charmichael remembered. "And Stephen said, 'Let me stop you right there. You are being asked to host this show because you are talented. You're being asked to host this show because you're charming — but Stephens' Black, so what does he know?"

Host Jerrod Carmichael speaks onstage at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.
Rich Polk/NBC via Getty

From there, Carmichael decided to reach out to a close friend for guidance.

"I did what I do when I have a moral racial dilemma. I call the homegirl Avery, who for the sake of this monologue represents every Black person in America," Charmichael teased. "And I said to Avery, I said, 'Avery, they asked me to host the Golden Globes.' I said, 'You know, what should I do?' And she said, 'Oh, Buki, I'm so proud of you. Now, remind me what awards show is that again?'

"And I told her what the show was, and I told her about how last year didn't air because of the no Black people thing. And she was like, 'Well, how much are they paying you?' And I said, 'Well, Avery, it's not about the money. Honestly, it's about the moral question of rather, I should elaborate.' She said, ' ... How much are they paying you?' and I said, '$500,000.' And she said, 'Boy, if you don't put on a good suit and take the White people's money.' "

All was good until Carmichael was asked to have a meeting with Helen Hoehne, president of the HFPA, which he jokingly called "a trap."

"'They're not really asking, Jerrod. They're insisting that you take the meeting,'" he recalled being told. "And I'm like, 'Or what? They're gonna fire me? They hadn't had a Black host in 79 years. They're gonna fire the first one? I'm unfireable."

He also teased that the organization "got six new Black members," adding, "Congrats to them!" but saying that he took the job not even expecting that the HFPA would have made any changes.

Golden Globe Trophy
Golden Globe Awards. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The Golden GLobes came under fire in February 2021, when a Los Angeles Times exposé reported that there were zero Black members within the HFPA.

That May, NBC announced that it would not broadcast the 2022 awards show as a result of the news and backlash. Instead, the Golden Globes held a scaled-back ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Due to the surge of highly-contagious Omicron COVID-19 cases at the time, no audience or nominees were in attendance.

The HFPA claims it has taken steps to address the backlash. But the show's lack of diversity among its former voting body hasn't been the only controversy surrounding the Golden Globes.

In 2018, Brendan Fraser claimed that former HFPA president Philip Berk sexually assaulted him in the summer of 2003, while at a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel — an alleged incident Berk disputes. Amid his award season buzz for The Whale, Fraser has since revealed that he will not be attending this year's ceremony.

And just last year, the Globes came under fire again when a reporter filed a lawsuit alleging that HFPA members had accepted payoffs from industry awards campaigners. The organization has denied the allegations.

Golden Globe trophies
Golden Globe trophies. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Carmichael was announced as the emcee of the 2023 ceremony on Dec. 8. It's the first time he has hosted a major awards show.

"We're so excited to have Jerrod Carmichael host the historic 80th Golden Globe Awards," Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Helen Hoehne said in a statement to PEOPLE. "His comedic talents have entertained and thrilled audiences while providing thought-provoking moments that are so important in the times we live."

"Jerrod is the special kind of talent this show calls for to kick off the awards season," added Hoehne.

The standup rose to fame as the creator and star of the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show. He won an Emmy Award in September for outstanding writing for a variety special in his HBO comedy special Rothaniel, during which he publicly came out as gay as he taped the performance in front of a live audience at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City in February.

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The 80th annual Golden Globe Awards are being broadcast live on NBC and Peacock.

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