They got game, all right: Filmmaker Spike Lee’s daughter, Satchel, and son, Jackson, will serve as this year’s Golden Globe Ambassadors in a pair of historic firsts for the embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.
Lee’s children with producer Tonya Lewis Lee are the first two siblings of colour to be appointed ambassadors, the HFPA said Tuesday. Additionally, Jackson Lee is the first Black male ambassador.
On Instagram, ‘Da 5 Bloods’ director shared the announcement with the caption “Tonya Deserves All Da Credit.”
The ambassador distinction, though a dubious one in some Hollywood circles, most visibly involves the children of stars directing other stars on- and offstage at the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony. Behind the scenes, the Lees will assist with other duties during the February show and “work to raise awareness around a philanthropic cause of their choosing,” the HFPA said.
Satchel Lee selected Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which provides health care and related services targeted to New York’s LGBT communities. Jackson chose the mentoring network Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Both organisations will receive a grant from the HFPA for $25,000 (Dh91,830), totalling $50,000 donated on the Lees’ behalf.
“We’re proud to welcome Satchel and Jackson Lee to an incredible roster of previous Golden Globe Ambassadors,” said Ali Sar, president of the HFPA. “Akin to their esteemed filmmaker father known for his uncompromising and provocative storytelling, Satchel and Jackson have already begun to blaze their own paths in the arts. We are honoured to see how they’ll use this platform to elevate the important issues of LGBTQIA+ health and youth mentorship.”
The organisation in 2017 changed the nomenclature from Miss or Mr Golden Globe to the more inclusive ‘Golden Globe Ambassador’ to highlight the role’s philanthropy. Recent previous ambassadors include the children of Pierce Brosnan, Idris Elba, Dwayne Johnson and Jamie Foxx.
The HFPA, which hosts the awards ceremony that kicks off the Hollywood award season on television, could use the good press. It came under fire last year when a Norwegian reporter accused the association of behaving like “a club or cartel” in an antitrust lawsuit. (The suit was dismissed in November.)
The group, made up of entertainment journalists from 55 countries, traditionally selects the child or children of a respected individual in the entertainment industry for the ambassador post. Lee, who has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards but has never won, has directed the influential films ‘Do the Right Thing,’ ‘Malcolm X,’ ‘He Got Game’ and 2018’s ‘BlacKKKlansman.’ He won an Academy Award for ‘BlacKKKlansman’s’ adapted screenplay.
“We’re proud to carry our father’s legacy of storytelling to bring attention to communities close to our hearts,” said Satchel Lee, who was the creative director of DRØME, a queer and intersectional arts and culture magazine, in a statement. “This year has illuminated just how disproportionately Black and brown people and the LGBTQ+ communities are affected by pre-existing conditions, so it’s an honour for me to be able to shine a spotlight on the heroic doctors and nurses at Callen-Lorde who work tirelessly to care for some of the most vulnerable people in New York City.”
Jackson Lee said, “Having my dad as a mentor inspired me to choose Big Brothers Big Sisters, a charity built upon the foundation that forming positive, intergenerational relationships can have a profound impact on young lives. As a visionary creative, my dad taught Satchel and me the importance of entertainment as a cultural catalyst of change.”
The 78th Golden Globes will take place February 28 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. They’ll again be hosted by comedy duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.