Mahershala Ali took home the Golden Globe for Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his performance in Green Book on Sunday night (Jan. 7). Following his acceptance speech, Ali addressed the backlash regarding the film’s plot.
Critics appeared to be upset about the film’s storyline which depicted the true relationship between jazz pianist and composer Dr. Don Shirley (played by Ali) and Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen). In the movie, Shirley, a black man from the deep South in 1962, hires an unemployed, white bouncer from the Bronx as his security to escort him during a the segregation era. During their journey, the two develop an unbreakable bond while confronting their differences. The backlash came after Shirley’s family stated that the film and Ali’s portrayal was inaccurate and filled with lies.
“I will say this,” Ali said in response to the controversy, “my job is always the same: I have to look at what I am doing and be responsible for it.”
He added: “I respect the family…and Doc Shirley. I spoke to the studio and the family and at the end of the day you wish everyone was happy and you don’t want to offend anyone in any capacity.”
This is Mahershala Ali’s first Golden Globe win. Check out his acceptance speech above.