The previous few weeks have not precisely been a golden age for the Golden Globes. The annual occasion honoring movie and tv has been embroiled in near-constant controversy following a February investigation by the Los Angeles Times that found the group behind the Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, didn’t have a single Black member amongst its ranks, amongst different troubling revelations.
By mid-March, Hollywood’s main publicists joined with representatives from Time’s Up and Color of Change had taken a stand in opposition to the HFPA and demanded reform. Last week, the 87-person HFPA introduced its proposed adjustments, which, fairly than satisfying critics, set off a brand new firestorm that’s now threatening the very existence of the Globes.
There have been boycott bulletins from Netflix, Amazon and Warner Media, in addition to robust criticism from celebrities (and Avengers costars) Scarlett Johansson, who leveled expenses of sexism at the HFPA “bordering on sexual harassment,” and Mark Ruffalo.
But a blistering one-two punch got here inside minutes Monday. NBC struck the preliminary blow, asserting the community won’t air the 2022 Globes due the ongoing controversy — marking the first time the Globes will not air on NBC since 1996. “We proceed to imagine that the HFPA is dedicated to significant reform,” the community mentioned in an announcement. “However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we really feel strongly that the HFPA wants time to do it proper. As such, NBC won’t air the 2022 Golden Globes.”
Tom Cruise made waves moments later, returning the three Globes he has received to protest the HFPA.
With NBC pulling the plug — and presumably suspending its profitable broadcasting contract — the HFPA loses its essential supply of earnings and its most seen platform. Since NBC started televising the Globes in the 1990s, the occasion has gained large affect in Hollywood.
Ultimately, although, the Cruise information might be extra impactful. The Top Gunner’s actions might result in what many trade insiders imagine is a protracted overdue divorce between the HFPA and its cozy relationship with the movie and tv industries.
The actor — whose three Globes got here for Born on the Fourth of July (Best Actor, Drama), Jerry Maguire (Best Actor, Comedy or Musical) and Magnolia (Best Supporting Actor) — stays one in every of the strongest, influential actors in present enterprise and instructions a worldwide following. And in contrast to somebody like Ruffalo, a tireless activist when not performing, Cruise not often engages politically. His transfer might presage comparable actions from different Golden Globe winners.
While distancing itself from the 2022 ceremony, NBC did depart the window open for a reunion. “Assuming the group executes on its plan, we’re hopeful we will likely be ready to air the present in January 2023,” the community’s assertion continued. Perhaps serving to NBC resolve to pause the Globes for a 12 months: the 2021 ceremony was the lowest-rated installment ever, with fewer than 7 million individuals tuning in, a part of a disturbing pattern that has seen scores for all awards reveals plummet.
The Globes has lengthy embraced its picture as an actor-friendly occasion. While some groused about the HFPA’s questionable ethics, few dared to talk out publicly in opposition to the highly effective group for worry of repercussions. Notably Gary Oldman ranted in 2014 that the Globes had been “a meaningless occasion” and referred to as the HFPA “90 nobodies having a wank.”
But Oldman modified his tune throughout the 2018 awards season, the place he attended HFPA occasions and thanked the group upon receiving a Golden Globe for enjoying Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, en path to successful an Oscar.
This time, nonetheless, the stakes really feel totally different. Cruise’s actions reverberated round the trade, as have the public feedback of Johansson, Ruffalo and distinguished filmmakers like Ava DuVernay.
Johansson’s phrases particularly struck a chord in Hollywood. “As an actor selling a movie, one is anticipated to take part in awards season by attending press conferences in addition to awards reveals. In the previous, this has usually meant going through sexist questions and remarks by sure HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the precise motive why I, for a few years, refused to take part of their conferences,” Johansson, a five-time Globes nominee, mentioned in an announcement launched over the weekend. “The HFPA is a corporation that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition and the trade adopted swimsuit. Unless there’s needed basic reform inside the group, I imagine it’s time that we take a step again from the HFPA and concentrate on the significance and power of unity inside our unions and the trade as a complete.”
In an announcement Monday afternoon, the HFPA tried to strike a conciliatory tone. “Regardless of the subsequent air date of the Golden Globes, implementing transformational adjustments as rapidly — and as thoughtfully — as potential stays the high precedence for our group,” the group mentioned in an announcement. “We invite our companions in the trade to the desk to work with us on the systemic reform that’s lengthy overdue, each in our group in addition to inside the trade at massive.” The group additionally listed an in depth calendar outlining its reform efforts. The response has to this point been muted.
The Globes banks on A-list stars and its nationwide broadcast, and with these stars — and the studios, networks and publicists who help them — abandoning ship and NBC chopping the twine, the HFPA must reboot to outlive. The clock is ticking.
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