Last night’s Golden Globes had an array of miscues, offensive jokes and utter sloppiness, but one of the two bright spots was actress Taraji P. Henson winning the Golden Globe for best actress in a drama series. The other was Denzel Washington receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Henson has been acting in Hollywood for nearly two decades but has not been recognized for her work as an actor. Granted, she was nominated for an Oscar in the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but that was for a supporting role. This Golden Globes win recognizes her outstanding work as a lead actress.
As Cookie Lyon on Fox’s Empire, Henson gives a tour du force performance as a woman who has been in jail for a nearly two decades. After her release, she reunites with her former lover, Lucious, who just happens to be a rap music mogul. The two have a tug-of-war for power because she knows the truth about how the empire was built. Cookie is a street-smart business woman, a leader and an open-minded mother who knows how to make hit records. Henson’s performance is what makes the show watchable and elevates it past a Tyler Perry-like melodrama.
Henson joins an exclusive club. There have been only been three Black women to win a Golden Globe in the Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama category. She joins Gail Fisher for Mannix and Regina Taylor for I’ll Fly Away.
Her win highlights the uphill climb for Black actors and actresses and Hollywood’s snail-paced progress in terms of diversity and casting.
Many Black entertainers praised Henson on Twitter for getting overdue recognition she deserved.
— Sherri Shepherd (@SherriEShepherd) January 11, 2016
— Mary J. Blige (@maryjblige) January 11, 2016
— Terri Vaughn (@terrijvaughn) January 11, 2016
— Gayle King (@GayleKing) January 11, 2016
— MichaelaAngela Davis (@MichaelaAngelaD) January 11, 2016
— LA LA (@lala) January 11, 2016
— Tasha (@tashasmith4real) January 11, 2016
YAAAASSS @TherealTaraji! "You gon wait!!" Mama you are a star! ?
— Fantasia Barrino (@TasiasWord) January 11, 2016