Not too long ago, the Golden Globes were considered a major player in Hollywood’s award season, and a major predictor for the Academy Awards.
Then, in February 2021, the Los Angeles Times published an article titled “Who really gives out the Golden Globes? A tiny group full of quirky characters — and no Black members”, a scathing exposé of the 87 journalists who made up the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
The article shed light on the mysterious organisation behind one of Hollywood’s biggest award shows, and in a follow-up article, painted a picture of corruption and bribery within the organisation. Notably, the article revealed that Netflix had flown 30 HFPA members to France for a luxury press trip, which included a two-night stay at the five-star Peninsula Paris hotel, which costs approximately US$1,400 a night. The official HFPA guidelines explicitly state that members are not to accept gifts at a value greater than US$125.
The Netflix trip was to promote Emily in Paris, which went on to receive a surprising nomination for Best Musical or Comedy Series, as well as a Best Actress nod for Lily Collins. Meanwhile, well-reviewed shows with Black leads, like HBO’s Insecure, starring Issa Rae, and I May Destroy You received zero nominations.
That same year, the HFPA also received backlash for nominating mostly-Korean language Minari for Best Foreign Picture, despite being filmed and set in the United States.
Lulu Wang, who directed The Farewell, slammed the HFPA for having “antiquated rules that characterises American as only English-speaking.”
I have not seen a more American film than #Minari this year. It's a story about an immigrant family, IN America, pursuing the American dream. We really need to change these antiquated rules that characterizes American as only English-speaking. https://t.co/1NZbkJFE9v
— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) December 23, 2020
Although the HFPA released a plan for reforming the organisation — which included new restrictions on gifts — NBC chose to pull out of airing the 2022 ceremony, effectively cancelling the show.
“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” NBC said in a statement to Variety at the time. “However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organisation executes its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”
Despite not airing on any network, the 2022 Golden Globes did, in fact, take place, in a private ceremony with no audience or nominees in attendance. For what it’s worth, they did make history as they awarded MJ Rodriguez with Best Actress in a Drama for her work in Pose, making her the first transgender actress to win a Golden Globe.
Now, the Globes are set to return to TV, airing Tuesday, January 10, 2023 in the US (Wednesday, January 11 in Australia), after just one year of being banished from the airways. This is in spite of the fact the HFPA still has not reached its initial promise to include 13% Black members by the 2022 Golden Globes, which is one of the reasons NBC canned it in the first place. As it stands, the HFPA includes a 10% Black voting body, up from… zero.
“We recognise the HFPA’s commitment to ongoing change and look forward to welcoming back the Golden Globes to NBC for its landmark 80th Anniversary in January 2023,” Frances Berwick, chairman of entertainment networks for NBC, said in a statement.
“The HFPA remains committed to important changes and supporting programs, which prioritise diversity, inclusion, and transparency. See you on January 10!” said Helen Hoehne, the president of the HFPA.
The January 10 ceremony is a major shake-up for the Globes, which had traditionally always taken place on a Sunday evening. In its year out of the spotlight, it seems NBC moved on.
Per The Hollywood Reporter: “The first Sunday in January 2023 is New Year’s Day; the second is Jan. 8, which is the last day of the NFL’s regular season, which poses a conflict with NBC Sunday Night Football; and the third is Jan. 15, on which the Critics Choice Awards have already staked their claim — hence the change to a Tuesday.”
Now that the HFPA and NBC have sealed the deal, the bigger question is: will anyone care? The Critics Choice Awards are already filling the slot where the Golden Globes once sat, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards could sweep in and take the number two spot on the list of most prestigious award shows at any moment.
Whatever happens, let’s just not bring Ricky Gervais back to host again.