Golden Globes & HFPA Controversy & Boycott Explained

adminMay 15, 2021

Golden Globes & HFPA Controversy & Boycott Explained

The Golden Globes The 2022 NBC broadcast has been officially canceled by the network, marking a turning point in the long history of protests, criticism and boycotts against the show and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that runs it. For some, the cancellation may have come as a shock. But the recent boycott movement against the Golden Globes is just the latest development in a decades-long series of lawsuits and complaints.

In 1943, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was founded by a small group of foreign journalists with the stated intention of facilitating more effective coverage of Hollywood for non-US markets. The Golden Globe Awards were created shortly after as a method for the group to give its own honors to the films, artists and creatives of the time. In the eight decades since, the fame and influence of the HFPA and the Globes has grown substantially, but the organization itself has not been able to evolve with it in the way that many outsiders, and some members, believe necessary.

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Although negative sentiment against the HFPA has grown substantially in recent years, the organization has been the subject of controversy and criticism for decades. That pattern of questionable behavior has only been magnified by recent calls to improve diversity in the film industry as a whole, ultimately leading to the recent boycott movement and cancellation of the show by NBC. Here’s what you need to know about the Golden Globes controversy.

Explanation of the controversy over the Golden Globes and the HFPA

Tina Fey Amy Pohler Golden Globes

For decades, the HFPA and the Golden Globes have been at the root of various industry scandals. The show was dropped by NBC in the late 1960s after a claim by the FCC that the HFPA was misleading the public about its award selection process. In 1982, it was re-released, this time by new broadcast partner CBS, after a controversy surrounding that year’s “New Star of the Year – Actress” award given to Pia Zadora for the critically criticized film. Butterfly. Zadora’s husband, Israeli business mogul Meshulam Riklis, had moved HFPA members to their Las Vegas resort properties just weeks before the vote took place. Riklis also financed the film’s production.

While the Golden Globes rebuilt part of his public reputation during the 1980s, controversies continued to persist. In recent decades, the HFPA has repeatedly faced accusations of accepting extravagant gifts, all-expense-paid travel, and other types of kickbacks from studios and producers aimed at influencing the voting process. In the past five years, the amount of money NBC pays the HFPA annually for the Golden Globes has skyrocketed, from the single-digit million range to more than $ 30 million, according to official reports. That increase has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the amount of money paid to HFPA members for various committee functions, leading to widespread allegations of inappropriate financial management, which the organization has repeatedly denied. While more funds have been allocated to charitable causes in recent years, the same concerns have remained. Even recent Golden Globes presenters such as Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have criticized the HFPA on its own stage.

As the protest against Hollywood’s lack of diversity has intensified in recent years, those past criticisms of the HFPA have only grown stronger. Due to the small size of the group, less than a hundred members compared to the thousands present at the Film Academy and the Television Academy, questions have been raised about the admissions process. Earlier this year, the group’s membership did not include black journalists. That severe lack of representation has been heavily criticized, especially given the Golden Globes’ pattern of ignoring black-centric stories in their nomination process. These criticisms are certainly not new, but they recently came to a head when a full-scale studio boycott of the show began to take shape.

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Boycott and cancellation of the 2022 Golden Globes

In February 2021, the Los Angeles Times published an extensive breakdown of the HFPA’s controversial history, resurfacing the old criticisms mentioned above and delving into the organization’s modern finances. That article helped reinvigorate public frustration with the HFPA ahead of the 2021 program, which was later plagued with further criticism for the Golden Globe nominees. Judas and the Black Messiah, Ma Rainey’s black ass Y Give 5 Bloods, three highly acclaimed films by black directors and directed by black stars, were left out of the “Best Dramatic Film” category. Threatening, an American-made film about a Korean-American family, was placed in the category of “Best Foreign Language Film.” And the Netflix series widely criticized Emily in Paris received two nominations, while Michaela Coel’s acclaimed series I can destroy you was completely framed, following an extravagant series of visits to the Parisian set and exclusive press events provided to members of the HFPA.

Then, in early May, Netflix and Amazon announced that they would both boycott the 2022 Golden Globes in protest of the HFPA’s failure to institute meaningful reform. The boycott was soon joined by WarnerMedia, who, in an official statement, called out the HFPA for a history of sexist, racist and homophobic questions directed at actors and creatives at previous press events. The statement also refers to past instances of outright sexual harassment, allegations that appear in line with Brendan Fraser’s earlier allegations that he was groped by former HFPA president Philip Berk at an event in 2003. The protests still won. more attention when Tom Cruise recently announced that he would be returning his three Golden Globe trophies.

Finally, with increasing pressure from the industry, NBC announced that it would cancel its 2022 broadcast of the annual awards show. The network has stated that it is open to working with the HFPA again in 2023, but believes that significant time is required to enact the necessary changes. The cancellation has been supported by many in the industry as more stars and studios have spoken out against the organization.

What the HFPA is doing in response

golden balloons 2021

Following NBC’s cancellation, the HFPA has released a detailed timeline of the steps it plans to take to resolve the numerous complaints against it. Those plans include revising the organization’s bylaws and code of conduct to amend issues with study kickbacks, hiring a director of diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeking new members and new leaders in the coming months with the help of outside consultations. nonpartisan. The HFPA has committed to adding 20 new members to its ranks by August, expanding the membership by 50 percent over the next 18 months, and reevaluating the eligibility of current members using revised criteria as determined by the new guidelines for the HFPA. behavior and diversity.

Related: Oscar 2021: What Went Wrong

Unfortunately, while all of these reforms sound significant on paper, they don’t guarantee the kind of systemic change that many in the industry have called for. It is quite possible that the revised guidelines and expanded membership could cause major improvements to the HFPA, but it is also possible that these public-facing changes are little more than public relations maneuvers to remedy the severely tarnished image of the group, and that the core of the organization will remain the same. Only time will tell if the HFPA is truly interested in reforming itself for the better, and at that point, the Golden Globes may lose a large part of its cultural influence.

What will happen to the Golden Globes?

golden balloons

This is not the first time the Golden Globes have been embroiled in controversy. It’s not even the first time that NBC has launched the show. Similar circumstances failed to kill the HFPA in the 1960s, 1980s, and mid-2000s, and it honestly seems unlikely that they will wipe out the organization now. But the road to survival this time may finally need bigger reviews from both the Golden Globe Awards and the HFPA as a whole. The show may continue with a different streaming partner next year, or it could hand out awards in a less dramatic way. Or maybe the organization actually takes the suggested time before voting one more time.

While it’s encouraging to see major studios like Netflix and WarnerMedia calling for the necessary change from powerful groups like the HFPA, Hollywood’s problems with low diversity are much bigger than a single organization. The program’s cancellation is the latest in what will inevitably be a long campaign to reform an industry that was initially founded to celebrate some and exclude many others. The life or death of golden balloonswhereas the current flash point moment is just one part of a larger whole.

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