The 78th Golden Globes is missing a feature most award shows usually have, an "in memoriam" segment to honor the cast and crew who died in the past year. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has not included an "in memoriam" segment in Golden Globes ceremonies for several years now. While there were no tributes during the broadcast, the HFPA does have a special website set up with tributes for Christopher Plummer, Cloris Leachman, Cecily Tyson, Chadwick Boseman, and many others who have passed away in 2020 and in the first two months of 2021.
The subject of an "in memoriam" segment came up in 2017, after a very sad 2016, the year when David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, and Prince died. "We have not done an ‘In Memoriam’ on the Golden Globes. Those things are handled really well by the Oscars and the Screen Actors Guild," Globes producer Barry Adelman explained to PEOPLE in 2017. "But we do realize there were some special circumstances of very recent nature that happened and I think we’ll be acknowledging that."
The acknowledgment came as a tribute to Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, who died within days of each other in December 2016. Fisher, 60, died on Dec. 27, 2016, following a medical emergency on a plane. Reynolds, 84, died on Dec. 28, 2016, after a brief hospitalization. "This past year we lost so many legends and icons, but a few weeks ago, we lost a mother and a daughter within just a couple of days, and it was a terrible loss that we all felt," Golden Globes host Jimmy Fallon said at the time, reports The Hollywood Reporter. His speech was followed by a montage with scenes of Fisher in Star Wars and Reynolds in Singin' In The Rain.
Although there is no traditional "in memoriam," the HFPA did honor Boseman. He was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for his role as Levee Green in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman also starred in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods in 2020, but it was surprisingly snubbed. Both films were released on Netflix. Boseman's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom co-star Viola Davis was also nominated for a Golden Globe.
Boseman died on Aug. 28, 2020, at age 43 following a battle with colon cancer. His death came as a shock to Hollywood, as he never publicly disclosed his health battle. Following his death, his performances in Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey's have garnered him several posthumous honors, including a record-breaking four Screen Actors Guild Awards for a single year's work.