Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won best motion picture, comedy or musical, at the 2021 Golden Globes.
The Amazon Prime Video film beat out fellow nominees Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs and The Prom.
The Borat sequel went into the evening nominated for three awards, with star Sacha Baron Cohen later winning best actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy, for his starring role as the titular character. Newcomer Maria Bakalova lost the best actress in a musical or comedy award to Rosamund Pike.
During his acceptance speech, Baron Cohen thanked the “all-white” Hollywood Foreign Press Association, referencing the recent Los Angeles Times exposé that revealed the organization has no Black members, which has landed the group in hot water as it pledges to do better and numerous A-listers called the group out for its lack of diversity.
Baron Cohen also seemed to be referring to Bakalova as he said the film wouldn’t have been possible without his co-star, a “fresh new talent” who came from “nowhere” and turned out to be a “comedy genius.” But instead he said this person is Rudy Giuliani, who makes a memorable appearance in the film with Bakalova, in which he’s shown adjusting his pants on a bed as the two go into a hotel bedroom after Bakalova’s character conducts an on-camera interview with the former New York City mayor.
“Who could get more laughs out of one unzipping? Just incredible,” Baron Cohen said. “Our movie was just the beginning for him. Rudy went on to star in a string of comedy films, hits like Four Seasons Landscaping, Hair Dye Another Day and the courtroom drama, A Very Public Fart.”
He later did pay tribute to the “incredible” Bakalova, calling her a “revelation” and a “sensation.”
Baron Cohen later continued with his political comments, pointing out that he wanted to release the movie before the 2020 election to highlight the “danger of lies, hate, conspiracies” and the “power of truth, empathy and democracy.”
During an appearance in the virtual press room after his win, Baron Cohen added, “I made Borat because of the election. I made this movie because of Donald Trump because I felt democracy was really in danger. I felt that the underbelly that I’d exposed in Borat 1 had become overt.”
He concluded by thanking wife Isla Fisher for putting up with all of his “madness.” Fisher who joined him for the remote acceptance speech then planted a kiss on her husband.
In the press room, Baron Cohen added, “It’s impossible to make a movie like this without having an incredibly supporting spouse. These aren’t normal shoot days. You’re calling up at the end of some day saying, ‘I was lucky to make it out in one piece today.’”
Baron Cohen also thanked his “brave” crew for taking on the “risk of getting arrested, the risk of getting COVID.”
In the press room, he tied the risks his “incredibly hard-working crew” took to what he felt was the political significance of the film.
“These are people who risked their personal safety. They risked arrest. There were times that I had to wear a bulletproof vest,” he said backstage. “But we felt we had to make this movie because of the dangers of Trump and Trumpism and the upcoming election. … We had a few dangerous situations.This was probably the most dangerous project I’ve ever had to work on. But we felt the risks were worth taking … because our democracy was at risk.”
The Borat sequel’s victory marks the first time that this category has been won by a project that debuted on a streaming service. Indeed, neither of the Globes’ top two motion picture categories has been won by a project from a streamer despite efforts by stalwarts like Netflix and Amazon to take home those top prizes. Netflix and Amazon have previously won Golden Globe awards in other categories.
Baron Cohen thanked Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, among others who worked on the film, in his acceptance speech.
The Golden Globe Awards ceremony is produced by Dick Clark Productions, a division of MRC, which is a co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC.