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The Journal Gazette

  • NBC Seth Meyers will host the Golden Globes tonight on NBC. 

  • HBO The HBO series “Big Little Lies,” starring, from left, Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman leads TV nominations.

Sunday, January 07, 2018 1:00 am

Golden opportunity

Meyers wants to address scandal, showcase artists

Jay Bobbin | Zap2it

Debuting as a Golden Globes host for the awards' 75th anniversary, Seth Meyers knows much more is involved than celebrating the past and giving out trophies.

The NBC “Late Night” host and “Saturday Night Live” alum is keenly aware of one of the main subjects that's been on the entertainment world's collective mind in recent weeks and months: harassment. He admits he's figuring out how he'll deal with that in front of a large room of television and movie personalities at the year's first major showbiz-awards event, which his home network will televise tonight from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

“I don't know if we'll be the bellwether” for how award hosts address the conversation that has dominated the industry lately, Meyers reflects, “but certainly, we are aware that we are the first to go out. The most important thing for us is striking a balance in talking about what everybody is talking about, away from the Golden Globes, while also making sure that we use the night to celebrate all the great work that's been done.

“Obviously, this has not been a great year for Hollywood insofar as what we've learned about things that were happening,” adds Meyers, “but it also was a great year insofar as the product that came out. I'm sure that's the balance everybody will be trying to strike during the awards season.”

The Golden Globe nominations span such 2017 TV offerings as “Big Little Lies,” “The Handmaid's Tale” and “The Sinner,” plus theatrical releases including “Lady Bird,” “The Post” and “I, Tonya.” Oprah Winfrey will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for what is cited as her “impact on the world of entertainment,” and the Golden Globe Ambassador (the title that previously was Mr. or Miss Golden Globe) will be Dwayne Johnson's daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson.

A certain amount of prep was started by Meyers and his staff as soon as the nominees were announced last month, but he allows, “History shows that the closer you get (to the show, in writing material), the better the jokes are.” Meyers notes that his past dealings with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group behind the awards, have been “all very pleasant, so we shall see.”

While he's a first-time host of the occasion, Meyers – who soon will be a second-time parent with wife, Alexi, and is an executive producer of the upcoming NBC school sitcom “A.P. Bio” – isn't a stranger to the Golden Globes, having been a writer for fellow “SNL” veterans Tina Fey and Amy Poehler when they've hosted the ceremony. He acknowledges that they and Ricky Gervais have put particular stamps on the job: “I feel like Ricky turned it into a night for jokes. I don't know if it was that as much before he showed up, then certainly, Amy and Tina were without peer when they did it.

“What I like about it is that the things they did so well, and that I think made the Globes memorable, are the things I like trying to do the most. On the backs of the jokes that are told, the room feels a little looser and invites you to try to get away with a little bit more. That part of it is the fun challenge.”