Reaction from the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association: what you need to know

Maybe it will end up on eBay.

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Directory Golden Globe Awards, which graces both television and movies, have never had the flash of Oscars, and for decades that didn’t seem to matter. For many, the Globes were another chance to see dressed up stars collect shiny trophies and thank their agents. But in 2021, the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that distributes them, are under fire. NBC announced it will not televise the show in 2022, and actor Tom Cruise reportedly returned three of his awards.

Here’s a look at the tangled history and uncertain future of the Globes. (We have reached out to the HFPA for comment, but have yet to receive a response.)

What is the controversy?

Well, it’s not just one controversy. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association isn’t exactly the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It is a small group of journalists and photographers, founded in 1943, with members from over 50 countries, although active members must live in Southern California. In February, the Los Angeles Times published a scorching story on issues within the group, and since then the Golden Globes, the group’s much-publicized awards show, have been in the spotlight.

No black voting member

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a small group of just 87 critics, and the Los Angeles Times report says the group has no black voting members. His most recent nominations list did not include several black-led Oscar contenders including Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey Black Bottom and Judas and the Black Messiah.

Members have also been questioned in other ways – the Times said “relatively few (HFPA members) work full time for major outlets overseas.”

Email from former group president

Recently, former president Philip Berk kicked out of the HFPA for sharing an article with members of the group describing Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate group”. He later said he “passed it on as an inquiry point.”

Berk, 88, was not just a random member. He was chairman of the group for eight years and a member for 44 years. And actor Brendan Fraser said Berk groped him in 2003. Berk denied that things turned out as Fraser described it and said he “pinched (Fraser) jokingly.”

Sumptuous Junket

In 2019, 30 members of the group were flown to France for a luxury trip to the set of the Netflix show Emily in Paris, which went on to receive two surprising Golden Globe nominations. Insider.com reported the trip was paid for by Paramount Network, the show’s original producers, although the HFPA said in a statement to Insider that the group paid for airfare for its members on that trip.

In an opinion piece published in the Guardian, one of the writers of Emily in Paris said “It never occurred to me that our show would be nominated.” This same writer pointed out that the Golden Globes snubbed the much more acclaimed I May Destroy You, which has a predominantly black British cast. The question asked seems clear: Were producers able to buy Golden Globe nominations while pampering overseas critics?

The Emily in Paris junket is not a one-off event. The Times report said that HFPA members “are regularly granted exclusive access to Hollywood power actors, invited to junkets in exotic locations, accommodated in five-star hotels and, as nominations approach. at the Globes, lavished with gifts, dinners and star-studded parties “.

Payments to members

The LA Times report also said that the HFPA, a tax-exempt nonprofit, pays its members in a way that could violate IRS guidelines.

“HFPA members raised nearly $ 2 million in payments from the group in its fiscal year ending June 2020 for serving on various committees and performing other duties – more than double the level three years earlier.” , reported the LA Times.

The Times wrote that “at the end of 2020, the association was collectively paying nearly $ 100,000 per month to members serving on more than a dozen different committees.” Film and television academies, the groups that run the Oscars and Emmys, do not pay their members to serve on committees, according to the report.

The HFPA responded to the newspaper saying that its compensation is based on market rates and that the payments are “approved by a professional nonprofit compensation consultant and outside lawyer, if applicable.”

The New York Times talked to a lawyer who said that even though the group is as a 501 (c) (6) tax exempt organization, and as such is to benefit the industry in one way or another, the payments do not are not necessarily against the law, as long as they are considered reasonable. After reviewing the HFPA’s tax return, the attorney told the publication: “There are healthy numbers on this, but not really beyond the pale.”

The 2022 TV broadcast

NBC announced on May 10 that it would not air the Golden Globes in 2022, as previously planned, but noted that the HFPA had said it was working on reforms. “Assuming the organization executes its plan, we hope we will be able to air the show in January 2023,” the NBC statement read.

It’s a big loss for the Globes. The LA Times report noted that “in the last fiscal year, the organization withdrew $ 27.4 million from (NBC), compared to $ 3.64 million in fiscal year 2016-17, according to a budget document.”

The HFPA response – and a backlash

In May, the group announced plans to change things. Suggested changes included adding additional members with an emphasis on diversity; the addition of new administrative positions, including a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer; the addition of a supervisory board; and restrict gifts.

MPs voted for the reforms, but the changes were not enough for many. Time is up, a group that combats sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as a group of 100 public relations firms, said the HFPA was not moving fast enough and the reforms were not specific enough. The pressure has put the HFPA back to work and it now plans to complete reforms in early August.

Studio reaction

Netflix, Amazon Studios, and WarnerMedia have previously refused to work with the HFPA until changes are made. And the changes proposed for the first time by the HFPA did not go far enough to satisfy these studios.

Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the organization is “halting all activities” with the HFPA until “more significant changes are made.” Like The Hollywood Reporter reported, Netflix received more nominations and wins than any other studio or network at the 2021 Golden Globes in February.

“We have not worked with the HFPA since these issues were first raised, and like the rest of the industry, we are waiting for a sincere and meaningful resolution before moving forward,” said Jennifer Salke, Director of Amazon Studios. in a press release published on May 7.

HBO Headquarters WarnerMedia also said the company would not work with HFPA until “the changes are implemented”

What do the stars say?

Actor Tom Cruise is return of the three Golden Globes he’s won over the years, Deadline reported. The report didn’t go into specifics on exactly what Cruise objected to or whether he included a post, but the actor isn’t exactly known for his social protests, so it’s new to him.

It’s unclear if other stars have turned in their Golden Globes, but many of them appear to be pushing for HFPA reforms. In February, when Time’s Up tweeted an HFPA-related post saying “one cosmetic solution isn’t enough,” more than a dozen celebrities shared the post. This list includes Jennifer Aniston, Mark Ruffalo, Kerry Washington, Amy Schumer, Simon Pegg, Busy Phillips, Dakota Johnson, Patton Oswalt, Laura Dern, Alyssa Milano and more.

Director Ava DuVernay tweeted a statement stressing that the awards given by the HFPA are “unfortunately” significant as it is easier for the winners to fund their projects.

“Therefore, everyone must have balanced access and consideration so that the playing field can be more level for artists of all kinds, colors and cultures,” DuVernay said in part.

Scarlett Johansson is also urging the film industry to withdraw from the HFPA. In one declaration to Variety, she said that for years she had refused to participate in the group’s press conferences because, “in the past this has often meant dealing with sexist questions and remarks from some HFPA members who bordered on the sexual harassment.”

And Mark Ruffalo said he didn’t feel proud to have won the Golden Globes. “It is disheartening to see the HFPA, which has gained notoriety and has benefited greatly from its involvement with filmmakers and actors, resist the change that is being asked of it from many groups that have been most disenfranchised. by their culture of secrecy and exclusion, “he said in a declaration on the deadline.

This battle won’t be over anytime soon, as decisions on the fate of the 2022 awards show – now without a network – will have to be made. Stay tuned.


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