Written by: Ines L
Edited by: Jessica
Visuals by: Mischka
Roll out the red carpet!
The 79th annual Golden Globes had no media coverage, no broadcast, no audience, and not a single celebrity in sight. You may be wondering, aren’t the flashing cameras and famous faces the whole point of an awards ceremony? Well, it seems that this year’s Golden Globes may have not even qualified as one. Instead, as said by the New York Times, it was a “glorified PowerPoint presentation,” due to its simplicity and lack of intimacy, resembling what the Los Angeles Times called, “an intimate tax attorneys’ convention.”
Unlike other ceremonies, such as the Grammys and Critics Choice Awards, which have the recent Omicron surge to blame for their postponements, the Golden Globes has no virus to blame for the absence of attendees– they can only blame themselves. In February of 2021, the Los Angeles Times ran two exposés, bringing light to the many “ethical lapses” within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which runs the Golden Globes. Their published investigation revealed a shocking lack of diversity within the organization; out of all its 87 voting members, not a single one could identify as black. The exposé also revealed that there had been zero black journalists employed by the HFPA. Furthermore, the organization was surrounded by additional controversy when it was found that over a third of HFPA’s members were flown to France for a luxury press trip on the set of Netflix’s “Emily in Paris”. In return, the show was awarded the TV Series with two Golden Globe nominations despite the fact that the public and most critics regarded it as cliché and borderline racist. Not only did these discoveries lead to outraged reactions from the public, but further proved the existence of hypocrisy in the film industry– one that so proudly emphasizes its diversity and giving of awards on the basis of merit. This is a stark contrast to the music industry which, according to a Bamboo Telegraph article on the AMAs, has taken “a huge step closer to diversity in the music industry.” It seems that Hollywood, and its leading organizations, still have a long way to go.
As far as the wrongdoings of high-profile organizations go, we can always expect criticism: the HFPAgenerated quite the response from the celebrities of Hollywood. Scarlett Johansson claimed that she was the target of several sexist questions and remarks made by certain HFPA members. Tom Cruise returned all three of his Golden Globe awards in protest. But it’s not just the would-be attendees who feel this way, but the event’s many viewers as well. One user on Twitter stated that, “Although I have long loved the Golden Globes, this was definitely a long time coming for the HFPA and necessary. We need better.” Even film production companies, such as Netflix, Amazon, Warner Entertainment, and Neon, have disassociated themselves with the organization. Most notably, however, every celebrity contacted (besides Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzanegger) refused an invitation, and decided to boycott the event, hence the consequent star-less night. Even the Golden Globes’ longtime broadcasting partner, NBC, announced that they would not air the ceremony due to all the scandals that have been brought to attention.
The HFPA, however, has responded to the backlash, announcing that:
“Regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes, implementing transformational changes as quickly – and as thoughtfully – as possible remains the top priority for our organization. We invite our partners in the industry to the table to work with us on the systemic reform that is long overdue, both in our organization as well as within the industry at large.”
Accompanying this statement was a weekly timeline created by the HFPA board, describing in detail their actions for the remainder of the year to put an end to and address all the problems that came to light. Unfortunately for the organization, it was not received as well as they had hoped. Instead, it garnered even more criticism from celebrities like actor Mark Ruffalo, who believed that they were not issuing changes fast enough, and shared that “It’s discouraging to see the HFPA, which has gained prominence and profited handsomely from their involvement with filmmakers and actors, resist the change that is being asked of them from many of the groups that have been most disenfranchised by their culture of secrecy and exclusion.” He then continued to state that “as a recent winner of a Golden Globe, I cannot feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award.”
From being Hollywood’s “party of the year,” where actors and actresses that dominated television and cinematic screens epitomize luxury whilst posing for the paparazzi on the red carpet, to an unremarkable list published onto a website, it cannot be denied that the glitz and glamor of the GoldenGlobes was missed this year. However, the actions of the HFPA and the implications it had on a much-beloved event serve as a cautionary tale for the rest of society, a stark reminder that egregious malpractices and inequalities eventually do come to light, and can lead to unanticipated and dangerous consequences.
Bahr, Sarah. “What Is Happening With the 2022 Golden Globes?” The New York Times. Jan. 6, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/06/movies/golden-globes-hfpa.html. Accessed Jan 18, 2022
Bentz, Adam. “Scarlet Johansson & Mark Ruffalo Slam Golden Globes Over Proposed Reforms” ScreenRant. May 9, 2021. https://screenrant.com/scarlet-johansson-mark-ruffalo-golden-globes-reforms-criticism/. Accessed Jan 19, 2022
Carras, Christi and Stacy Perman. “This is what happened inside the Golden Globes show that wasn’t televised” The Los Angeles Times. Jan. 9, 2022. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-01-09/golden-globes-event-inside-ceremony. Accessed Jan 18, 2022
Mulenga, Natasha. “Golden Globes 2022 Will Reportedly Have No Celebrities in Attendance or Red Carpet” TeenVogue. Jan. 6, 2022. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/golden-globes-2022-will-reportedly-have-no-celebrities-in-attendance. Accessed Jan 18, 2022
Pedersen, Erik. “HFPA Board Issues Statement On Golden Globes Controversy & Sets Timeline For Reforms: ‘Top Priority For Our Organization’” Deadline. 10 May, 2021. https://deadline.com/2021/05/hfpa-statement-timeline-for-reforms-1234753506/. Accessed Jan 18, 2022