"In the name of gender equality this year, please welcome Mr. Golden Globe, my adult son from a previous relationship," Golden Globe host Tina Fey said midway through Sunday's ceremony, introducing her co-host Amy Poehler dressed up as a surly teenage boy. The bit turned into Poehler – wearing a Justin Bieber mop and a tux – searching the audience for "Randy's" biological father. But there were plenty of other moments in the broadcast where Fey and Poehler poked fun at the double standard women face in Hollywood, from a perfectly-executed "Gravity" joke about George Clooney's preference for younger women, to this Fey zinger about "Dallas Buyer's Club":
"Matthew McConaughey is here. For his role in 'Dallas Buyers Club,' he lost 45 pounds, or what actresses call 'being in a movie.'"
Other actresses joined in on the fun, with presenter Emma Thompson carrying her red-soled stiletto heels: "This red, it's my blood." (Poehler later joked the male attendees should try on the female guests' shoes, just to see how painful they are). However, the challenges women face in the entertainment go far deeper than uncomfortable footwear, as men still dominate the scene behind the camera.
"It's been an extraordinary year, not just for cinema but for roles and women in particular," Cate Blanchett said, accepting her Globe for best actress in a drama for "Blue Jasmine" and hailing its director Woody Allen. "American Hustle" stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence echoed similar statements about their director David O. Russell. "You write such amazing roles for women," Adams said, claiming best actress in a comedy or musical.
Praise of Allen's direction of women was repeated by Diane Keaton, who accepted the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award on his behalf. In the background of her tribute to Allen and his "four decades of unforgettable female characters" were murmurs of recent allegations that he molested his ex-lover Mia Farrow's adopted daughter as a child. Ronan Farrow, Farrow and Allen's son, said what many viewers on Twitter and in their living rooms were thinking, tweeting:
Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 13, 2014
The accusations clouding Allen's personal life aside, Blanchett and her colleagues' speeches highlight a persistent fact in Hollywood that while roles being created for women may be better than ever, they are still largely being created by male filmmakers. Per a Variety tally of this year's 100 top grossing films, only two were directed by women and only one, the animated megahit "Frozen" cracked the top 10. ("Frozen" won the Golden Globe for best animated film, bringing the directing duo Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee to the stage.)
Only men were nominated for the film screenplay and director categories, suggesting that Kathryn Bigelow's presence on the award circuit last year for her film "Zero Dark Thirty" (whose chances of winning were thought to be muddled by the film's dicey torture politics) is still just an exception, and not yet trending toward rule. The only Golden Globes category this year bragging a substantial number of female written and/or directed films was best actress in a comedy, which featured performances from "Before Midnight," "Frances Ha" and "Enough Said."
And that's not to get into the absence of women of color. For all the talk of 2013 being the year of African-American cinema, cultural critics were holding their breath until "12 Years a Slave" finally won its only award of the night – despite leading the nomination count with "American Hustle" – but arguably the biggest: best drama. Its Lupita Nyong'o was the only black female face among this year's film acting nominees ("Scandal" star Kerry Washington was the only black woman nominated in the TV categories), as Oprah Winfrey's widely acclaimed performance in "The Butler" was notably snubbed by the Golden Globes-governing Hollywood Foreign Press Association.