Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler kicked off the first bi-coastal Golden Globes by taking a swipe at the lack of diversity amongst the voting body.
They joked about the blur between TV and film before saying: "The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international, no black journalists, who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life."
Fey and Poehler also addressed the controversy over the nominations, particularly the exclusion of a lot of black-led projects including I May Destroy You.
They said: "A lot of flashy garbage is nominated but that is their thing", and joked that awards shows are "all a scam invented by big red carpet".
"Inclusivity is important and there are no black members of the HFPA, you gotta change that so here's to changing it," they added.
Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) took to the stage during the ceremony and admitted the organisation's record on diversity was not good enough and promised to do better.
Helen Hoehne (vice president) said: "Tonight while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognise we have our own work to do. Just like in film and television, black representation is vital. We must have black journalists in our organisation."
Meher Tatna (board chair) said: "We must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities gets a seat at our table, and we are going to make that happen."
"That means creating an environment where diversity is the norm, not an exception," Ali Sar (president) concurred, without offering any more details about how or when the HFPA would do so.
A recent Los Angeles Times investigation found none of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 87 members were black.
Time's Up, the organisation founded in 2018 to support victims of sexual harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, has weighed in, starting the hashtag #TIMESUPGlobes and stating "A cosmetic fix isn't enough".
Following the 78th annual Golden Globes Awards, Time's Up president and CEO Tina Tchen sent letters to its voting body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and its network sponsor, NBC, demanding a more substantive response to its lack of a diverse membership.
"The HFPA's statements tonight and over the last several days indicate a fundamental lack of understanding of the depth of the problems at hand," Tchen wrote in a letter to HFPA leaders Tatna, Sar and Hoehne reports The Hollywood Reporter.
"Your stated version of change is cosmetic - find Black people. That is not a solution."
"We listened tonight and hoped to hear the HFPA respond with some awareness that the industry-wide discontent with your organization's practices goes far beyond what you offered tonight and in the days preceding. What we had hoped you heard was that not having a Black member was a symptom of a problem, not just the problem itself.
"At TIME’S UP, we know that the only way to create safe, fair and dignified work for all is to break down the hidden power structures and toxic cultures that block full inclusion and equity.
"The Globes are no longer golden. We at TIME’S UP stand ready to work for real change."
The 2021 Golden Globe Pre-Show will air on RTÉ2 at 9pm on Monday, March 1, followed by highlights from The 2021 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards at 9.30pm