Jerrod Carmichael, Golden Globes host, stuns with blunt monologue: ‘I’m here because I’m Black’

The new host of the Golden Globes minced no words Tuesday night — “I’m here because I’m Black.”

Jerrod Carmichael used his opening monologue to talk about his presence. The traditional kickoff of the awards season in Hollywood wasn’t aired last year because the sponsoring Hollywood Foreign Press Association had so few Black members.

“I won’t say they were a racist organization, but they didn’t have a single black member until George Floyd died. So do with that information what you will,” he said Tuesday in the show’s return to NBC.

So, Mr. Carmichael said in the opening 7-minute routine, he took the job with no illusions, saying he was “torn.”

“One minute you’re making mint tea at home, the next, you’re invited to be the Black face of an embattled White organization,” he joked about getting a call from producer Stephen Hill asking him to take the slot.

Mr. Carmichael said he addressed his concerns about tokenism to Mr. Hill, who emphatically downplayed them.

“You’re being asked to host this show because you’re talented. You’re being asked to host this show because you’re charming. You’re being asked to host this show because you are one of the greatest comedians of a generation,” Mr. Hill told him in the recounting.

“But then Stephen’s Black, so what does he know,” Mr. Carmichael deadpanned. “He’s only producing the show because he’s Black.”

Mr. Hill and Mr. Carmichael weren’t the only high-profile diversity steps the Golden Globes took this year, as the nominees were announced in December by two Hispanics — Mayan Lopez and Selenis Leyva of the new NBC comedy series “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Mr. Carmichael said in his routine that Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Helen Hoehne had requested a one-on-one meeting with him on the Association’s diversity moves, which he was reluctant to attend. When his publicist was told this wasn’t really a request, Mr. Carmichael recounted, he said he replied “or what?”

“They’re gonna fire me? They haven’t had a Black host in 79 years — they’re gonna fire the first one? I’m unfireable,” he said.

Mr. Carmichael also said he consulted “the homegirl Avery” about his doubts, saying that she “for the sake of this monologue, represents every Black person in America.”

Avery asked him, Mr. Carmichael recounted, “how much are they paying you?”

“Well Avery it’s not about the money, honestly, it’s about the moral question,” Mr. Carmichael said he replied before she cut him off with “Jerrod, enough of all that. How much are they paying you?”

Told it was $500,000, she replied “Boy, if you don’t put on a good suit and take them white people’s money …”

Mr. Carmichael concluded that when he was growing up “we all lived by a strict ‘take the money’ mentality.

“Black informants for the FBI in the 60s — their families were still proud of them,” he joked.

Those families would say things like, he said, “Did you hear about Clarence’s new job? They’re paying him $8 an hour to snitch on Dr. King. It’s a good government job.”

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