Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody
From the Freddie Mercury biopic to Ben Whishaw’s acting, Sunday’s 76th Annual Golden Globes was a win for LGBTQ themes and stars.
In something of an upset, Bohemian Rhapsody – about the band queen and its LGBTQ frontman Freddie Mercury – took home the top award; Best Motion Picture – Drama.
While the film has been a box office success around the world and is said to be the highest grossing LGBTQ-themed movie ever, critics were not kind to it on its release. Everyone, however, agreed that Rami Malek was impressive in his portrayal of Mercury. He deservedly scored the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama honour for the role.
In his acceptance speech, Malek dedicated his award to the late singer. “Thank you to Freddie Mercury for giving me the joy of a lifetime. I love you, you beautiful man. This is for and because of you, gorgeous,” he said.
The openly gay Ben Whishaw, who came out in 2013, was honoured with the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television award for his work on A Very English Scandal. The mini-series, written by out producer Russel T. Davies, tells the true story of UK politician Jeremy Thorpe who stood trial for conspiracy to murder his gay ex-lover, played by Whishaw.
Whishaw too thanked the man whom he portrayed, Norman Scott. “[He] took on the establishment with courage and a defiance that I find completely inspiring. He’s a true queer hero and icon. And Norman, this is for you,” Whishaw told the audience.
The mini-series Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which dealt with LGBTQ themes and characters, was also a major winner on Sunday. It picked up the Golden Globe for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and its star, Darren Criss, won Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television.
Brad Simpson, Executive Producer of Assassination of Gianni Versace, used his acceptance speech to call for defiance against intolerance and oppression.
Ben Whishaw in A Very English Scandal
“Gianni Versace was one of very few public figures who was out during a time of intense fear and hate,” he said. “Those forces of hate and fear are still with us — they tell us we should be scared of people who are different than us, they tell us we should put walls around ourselves. As artists we must fight back by representing those who are not represented and by providing a space for people who are new voices to tell stories that haven’t been told.”
Simpson continued: “As human beings we should resist in the streets, resist at the ballot box, and practice love and empathy in our everyday lives. Our show is a period piece, but those forces are not historical. They’re here they’re with us and we must resist.”
Mahershala Ali, who played the queer jazz musician Don Shirley in Green Book, walked away with the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture award. The film also won Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture.
It was a disappointing night for Lady Gaga. She missed out on an award for her nominated performance in the remake of A Star is Born. The film also failed to win in any of the major categories, but did score for the song Shallow.