The Golden Globes will not air on NBC after decades of partnership as a result of a series of issues with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which determines the award’s winners.
In February, the Los Angeles Times published an investigation which found that of the 87 journalists making up the HFPA, not a single one was Black.
The Golden Globes in 2021 also drew controversy for not having any Black-led films – such as Da 5 Bloods, Judas and the Black Messiah, One Night in Miami and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – contending for its Best Picture award.
At the Academy Awards, in contrast, both Judas and the Black Messiah and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom were nominated for best picture.
The Globes also drew criticism when the critically panned Emily in Paris was nominated for an award, but Black-British writer and actress Micaela Cole’s universally acclaimed I May Destroy You did not receive any nominations.
At the 2021 ceremony, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (pictured) made a number of jokes about the organisation’s lack of diversity.
At one point, Fey said, “the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 international no Black journalists who attend movie junkets each year in search of a better life.”
Poehler responded, “we say around 90 because a couple of them might be ghosts.”
According to the LA Times investigation members of the HFPA, a notoriously secretive organisation, also accepted gifts from studios and celebrities.
On Monday, the board of the HFPA announced that it would be making some structural changes, including hiring a chief diversity officer, prioritising hiring Black journalists, and widening its pool of potential applicants. They would also abandon the requirement that members had to live in Southern California.
Time’s Up, a charity dedicated to supporting sexual assault survivors in the wake of the #MeToo movement, criticised the reforms for not doing enough.
Amazon Studios, Netflix, and Warner Studios have also cut ties with the HFPA until further change is made, saying the proposed reforms are not adequate.
After originally supporting the HFPA’s reforms, NBC has now cancelled their broadcast of the 2022 awards.
In a statement, they said that “we continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. 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 organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”
Since the NBC announcement, Time’s Up has praised the broadcaster’s decision.
The organisation’s CEO and President Tina Tchen said in a statement hat, “it took the collective voices of individual actors, creators, and a united front of over 100 publicists — along with the powerful moral leadership of companies like Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia — to make this happen. Together, we demanded an awards ceremony that is fully inclusive, transparent, and respectful. Courage and leadership made a difference.”
A number of celebrities have also called for distance from the HFPA, with actress Scarlett Johansson telling The Hollywood Reporter that, “in the past [attending press conferences] has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences.”
“The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition and the industry followed suit. Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”
Mark Ruffalo, Johansson’s co-star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, also distanced himself from the awards, saying, “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.”
Actor Tom Cruise has returned all three of his Golden Globe awards to the organisation.
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