Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres accept prestigious awards

Claire Van Aken, staff writer

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Every year television and movie stars come together for one night to celebrate the latest movie and television phenomenon. The Golden Globe Awards have been around for seventy-seven years. Ricky Gervais hosted the annual award show and went viral for the monologue he presented before awards were given. 

Tom Hanks received the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which honors “outstanding contributions to the industry of entertainment,” for his work in critically acclaimed films such as Big, Philadelphia, Sleepless in Seattle, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, Cast Away and the many other titles he has appeared in over his career. Lorenzo Soria, HFPA president, presented the award to Hanks after delivering a sentimental statement: “For more than three decades, he’s captivated audiences of all ages with rich and playful characters that we have grown to love and admire. As compelling as he is on the silver screen, he is equally so behind the camera as a writer, producer and director.” Along with this prestigious award, Hanks was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in the 2019 film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, based on the life of Fred Rogers. Tom Hanks and iconic voice of Woody in Disney Pixar animation, Toy Story, was nominated for Best Animated Motion Picture as well.

Ellen DeGeneres discussed the power of television while accepting the Carol Burnett Award at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 5. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association named the three-time Golden Globe nominee as the second recipient to be honored with the award, following Burnett at the 2019 ceremony. The recipient is awarded by following certain criteria. Ellen has made outstanding contributions on screen and off and has helped shape society in unimaginable ways. Actress and Saturday Night Live icon, Kate McKinnon, introduced DeGeneres by reminiscing about all that she has received and learned from the honoree, including her “sense of self.” After McKinnon realized she was gay, she said that DeGeneres’s coming-out gave her a “shot” at making it in the entertainment industry. McKinnon explained how she looked up to Ellen greatly because she found someone whom she could relate to on television. Once Ellen DeGeneres received the award and was called to the stage, she did what she does best and cracked a few jokes before getting to her main thought. Her whole purpose was to tell everyone that the power of television is instilled in all of us. “All I ever wanted to do was make people feel good and laugh, and there’s no greater feeling than when someone tells me I’ve made their day better with my show or that I’ve helped them get through a sickness or a hard time with their lives,” she said. She went on to say that she is grateful for all of her fans and people who watch her show, but it isn’t the single most important thing to her. It’s simply to make a difference. Ellen also made a significant tribute to Carol Burnett herself, whom DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi were seated next to for the event. “I felt like I knew her. I felt like she showed us who she was every week. She was larger than life. We counted on her to make us feel good and she delivered every single week,” DeGeneres said. Ellen’s acceptance speech was one for the books and made the show memorable for every viewer. 

The 2020 Golden Globes was a blend of great moments, goofy speeches, sharp-tongued comedy, and odes to cinema. Ellen DeGeneres and Tom Hanks definitely stole the spotlight while receiving such prestigious awards.