By David Bauder
AP Television Writer
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – British drama, the FX network, the concept of diversity and O.J. Simpson – or at least his crime saga – all had their moments Sunday when the Golden Globes gave out its television awards.
The BBC-produced miniseries “The Night Manager” produced three acting Globes, while the Netflix series “The Crown,” the FX comedy “Atlanta” and the star-studded limited series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” each were responsible for two awards.
“The Crown,” about the early years of Queen Elizabeth II, was honored as best television drama while “Atlanta,” actor Donald Glover’s innovative tale of the rap industry in the Georgia city, won best comedy.
Claire Foy won best drama actress for taking on the lead role in “The Crown,” and she noted the difficulty of portraying someone who is still alive.
“She has been at the center of the world for the past 63 years,” Foy said, “and I think the world could do with a few more women at the center of it, if you ask me.”
Both of the top comedy acting awards went to African-Americans: Glover in “Atlanta” and Tracee Ellis Ross in ABC’s “black-ish,” the lone award of the night to go to a broadcast television network.
Ross reveled in her moment – “It’s nice at 44. I like it here” – but also took the occasion to point out the advantages diversity brings to the industry.
“This is for all of the women, women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas and thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important,” said Ross, the daughter of singer Diana Ross and music manager Robert Ellis Silberstein. She’s the first black woman to win in her category since 1982.
Glover, who gave shout-outs to the city of Atlanta and rap act Migos, said that he privately wondered if his father was lying when he told him in the first grade that he could do anything he wanted to.
“Now I do stuff and he says, ‘I didn’t know that was possible,’” he said.
“The Night Manager,” an adaptation of the John Le Carre novel televised in the U.S. on AMC, won acting trophies for Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman. One moment that stuck with lead actor Hiddleston came when he took a humanitarian visit recently to South Sudan and some of the relief workers told him that they binge-watched “The Night Manager” while they were stuck inside one night under curfew. He dedicated his award to those who were doing their best to fix a broken world.
Laurie worked in a sly Donald Trump joke in giving thanks for an award on “the last ever” Golden Globes. “I don’t mean to be gloomy,” he said. “It just has the words ‘Hollywood,’ ‘foreign’ and ‘press’ in the title.”
“The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” seemed made for awards with an all-star cast and critical acclaim, and the FX production’s victory as best television series made those predictions come true. “Simpson” actress Sarah Paulson was honored for her portrayal of prosecutor Marcia Clark, the real-life 1990s television star who received a tribute from the actress who took on her story.
“If I could live my life with a fraction of her integrity and unapologetic fierceness, I would be on the road to doing it right,” Paulson said.
Accepting the Globe for best miniseries, producer Nina Jacobson proved true host Jimmy Fallon’s monologue joke: she didn’t thank Simpson.
Veteran Billy Bob Thornton won a best actor trophy for his role as the down-on-his-luck lawyer Billy McBride in Amazon’s legal drama, “Goliath.” Accepting his award, he poked fun at fellow nominee Bob Odenkirk of “Better Call Saul,” a friendly rival. He paid tribute to fellow professionals in entertainment who stick their necks out to do good work.
“These days there are a lot of talented people in this business,” Thornton said. “This is not track and field. You don’t break a tape and actually win.”