Golden Globes: Fans react with shock and delight as Andra Day becomes first Black Best Actress winner in 35 Years

Star beat off competition from Viola Davis, Vanessa Kirby, Frances McDormand and Carey Mulligan

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 02 March 2021 08:32
Best moments of the 2021 Golden Globes

Andra Day took home the Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama at this year’s ceremony, and fans have reacted with a mixture of shock and delight.

Day won the prize for her performance in The United States vs Billie Holiday, her first major film role. On Sunday night’s ceremony (28 February), she became the second-ever Black actress to win the category and the first to do so in 35 years.

While accepting the award via video link, a visibly overwhelmed Day said she was "in the presence of giants" in reference to her fellow nominees: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman).

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She thanked those involved with the biopic about the jazz singer for being "so engaged in the story” and expressed her gratitude to the "transformative, dynamic Billie Holiday, who just transformed me with this role and with her presence and with her spirit”.

She is the first black winner of the award at the Globes since Whoopi Goldberg, who became the first for The Color Purple in 1986.

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Ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, Time’s Up took the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the organisation behind the Golden Globes) to task for its lack of diversity in a tweet that read, “A cosmetic fix isn’t enough,” next to an image with the words: “Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Not a single Black member out of 87.”

Many high-profile figures spoke out on the issue during the ceremony, from the two hosts to Jane Fonda, Sterling K Brown, Sacha Baron Cohen, and more.

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The United States vs Billie Holiday, a Sky Original film, is available on Sky Cinema and NOW TV.

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