Follow Vogue Arabia

11 of the Most Shocking Golden Globes Moments of All Time

Photo: Instagram/@beyonce

The Golden Globes have always been known as the rowdier, more informal version of the Academy Awards, and over the years the event has produced a seemingly endless number of candid speeches and scandalous moments, from overserved starlets to unpredictable political pontificating and at least one poorly timed bathroom break. This year? Call us crazy, but we’re anticipating even more viral moments—even as nominees dial in from home. In anticipation of Sunday’s ceremony, we’re taking a look at the most shocking moments from Golden Globes past.

Beyoncé and Jay-ZPhoto: Instagram/@beyonce

Beyoncé makes a fashionably late entrance

Queen Bey was nominated for Best Original Song for a Motion Picture for her work on The Lion King’s “Spirit,” but—as befits musical royalty—she skipped the beginning of the 2020 ceremony, sneaking in to the back of the venue just as Kate McKinnon was introducing Ellen DeGeneres for the Carol Burnett Award. Although Beyoncé didn’t win in her category that year, her subtle yet distinct entrance still belongs in the Globes hall of fame.

Michelle Williams speaks out for reproductive rights

It’s nothing new for celebrities to focus their awards speeches around political issues, but when Williams got up to accept a Globe for her role in Fosse/Verdonin 2020, she did so with a speech nobody could forget. “I’m grateful for the acknowledgment of the choices I’ve made, and I’m also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exists. Because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice,” Williams said, reminding women to “vote in your own self-interest. It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them.”

Seth Meyers calls out Hollywood’s predatory past and present
“It’s time to address the elephant not in the room: Harvey Weinstein,” Meyers said during his opening monologue as host of the 2018 awards ceremony. “But don’t worry, he’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the ‘In Memoriam.’” Shortly after, Meyers took on Kevin Spacey, who had just been replaced by Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World after accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced. “They’re going to do another season of House of Cards. Is Christopher Plummer available for that, too?” Meyers asked. “I hope he can do a Southern accent because Kevin Spacey sure couldn’t.” He also took on Trump at the end.

Renée Zellweger’s ill-timed bathroom break
Zellweger was nowhere to be found after Hugh Grant announced her as the 2001 Golden Globe winner for best actress in a musical or comedy for Nurse Betty. It was only after Grant started accepting the honor on her behalf that the actor finally rushed onto the stage and admitted she had been in the bathroom taking lipstick off her teeth when her name was called.

Emma Stone loudly apologizes for her whitewashing role in Aloha
Host Sandra Oh made a joke at the 2019 Golden Globes about the 2015 film Aloha, which cast Caucasian actor Emma Stone in a role that was written for a part-Hawaiian, part-Chinese woman. The joke wasn’t totally shocking, as the movie received a high level of scrutiny for the casting choice, which many saw as whitewashing; the real surprise was hearing Stone yell “I’m sorry!” from her seat in the audience.

Brad Pitt. Photo: Getty

Brad Pitt shows some love to an anti-diarrhea medication
When Brad Pitt won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor for his role in 12 Monkeys in 1996, he took the opportunity to thank a somewhat unorthodox source of support. “I’d like to thank…actually, the makers of Kaopectate,” said Pitt, adding, “They’ve done a great service for their fellow man.” Pitt explained off-camera that he relies on the medication to heal his nervous stomach.

Ricky Gervais’s second hosting stint falls flat
After hosting the Globes in 2010, the British comedian was back at it the following year. During his opening monologue, he managed to tackle Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Charlie Sheen, and many more in about five minutes. Even more shocking, Gervais was asked to return as host for a third time in 2012—and is coming back to the podium in 2020.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler onstage during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2014. Photo: Getty

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s take on Hollywood’s leading men
Fey and Poehler should teach a class (or at least Gervais) on how to host awards shows that make your audience laugh while simultaneously poking fun at them. Who can forget their memorable dig at George Clooney? “Gravity is nominated for best film. It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”

Jacqueline Bisset’s rambling acceptance speech
Jacqueline Bisset might have won her Golden Globe in 2014 for her role in Dancing on the Edge, but her best performance was by far her acceptance speech. A visibly moved Bisset made little sense throughout, while also dropping a couple of censored words and ignoring the cutoff music entirely. She even offered up some awkward advice before leaving the stage, saying: “I believe, if you want to look good, you’ve got to forgive everybody. You have to forgive everybody—it’s the best beauty treatment.”

The Golden Globe Awards is canceled in 2008. Photo: Getty

The awards show is canceled in 2008
During the Writers Guild strike in 2008, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was forced to cancel the awards ceremony after members of the Screen Actors Guild (a.k.a. Hollywood’s finest) pledged not to cross picket lines outside. With the threat of an empty red carpet, the awards ceremony was replaced that year with a televised press conference announcing the winners instead.

Tina Fey calls out her Internet haters
During her acceptance speech in 2009, the 30 Rock star graciously reminded the audience that if you’re ever in danger of feeling a little too good about yourself, you should just go on the Internet.

Read Next: 15 Unforgettable Golden Globe Awards Dresses

Originally published on

View All
Vogue Collection