They say bad things happen in threes, and for the Golden Globes, that certainly seems to be the case. The first blow came when broadcast partner NBC announced that it would not air the Golden Globes in 2022.
NBC No More
In a statement from the network, NBC cited concerns surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of reform around diversity.
“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” NBC said. “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.”
Breaking News: NBC said it would not air the 2022 Golden Globes, as the group behind the awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has come under scrutiny over its lack of diversity and its finances. https://t.co/huwOZxi2KW
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 10, 2021
The announcement comes just years into a new record-setting broadcast deal signed in 2018. NBC signed the agreement three years ago with the HFPA to air the Globes at $60 million, believed to be three times the previous licensing fee.
Return To Sender
Just as members of the Hollywood Foreign Press were licking their wounds, the next major setback arrived. Blockbuster movie star Tom Cruise wanted to return his three Golden Globes as an act of defiance; talk about an A-list sucker punch.
Cruise has won three Globes in his stellar career, for “Born on the Fourth of July” (best actor, drama), “Jerry Maguire” (best actor, comedy or musical), and “Magnolia” (best supporting actor). According to filmmaker Ava Duvernay, Cruise physically sent the trophies back to the reception desk of the HFPA in a cardboard box.
That time that Tom Cruise sent his @goldenglobes for “Jerry Maguire,” “Magnolia” and “Born on the Fourth of July” in an actual box to the reception desk of HFPA to stand against their sexist, homophobic, racist practices of exclusion, harassment and bias.https://t.co/mjkr2qrOoL
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 10, 2021
While Cruise may be the most high profile star to strike out against the HFPA, he’s not the first. Both Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson have previously called on the industry to ice out the Globes until real change has been achieved.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) May 10, 2021
Ruffalo has been one of the HFPA’s most ardent critics, with the 53-year-old actor being one of the major driving forces behind the #ChangeIsGolden campaign. The campaign is pushing for the cancellation of the 2022 Golden Globes, and it appears to be heading in the right direction.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) May 8, 2021
Boycott and Chill
The third and final blow for the Globes came when major production companies and streaming giants, including Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia, revealed that they were boycotting the Globes. This pattern could spell serious trouble for the Golden Globes and the HFPA.
HFPA President Responds to Netflix’s Boycott of Golden Globes Group https://t.co/TQSmu3eZHW
— Variety (@Variety) May 8, 2021
While the Globes might be able to find a new broadcast partner (and deal with the shame of Cruise’s rejected trophies), if production companies ban their stars from attending, then the Globes could be done and dusted.
Without the distraction of A-list talent, the Golden Globes are merely an overstuffed awards show with a massive PR problem.
The Hollywood Foreign Press has responded to this barrage of bad press with the following statement:
Regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes, implementing transformational changes as quickly – and as thoughtfully – as possible remains the top priority for our organization.
We invite our partners in the industry to the table to work with us on the systemic reform that is long overdue, both in our organization as well as within the industry at large.
Included in the wide-ranging reforms is a new code of conduct in consultation with publicists and studios, continuing outreach to potential new member candidates and beginning a search for a chief DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion)/HR officer and identifying a potential new CEO/CFO and other executives to lead HFPA.
The Golden Globes have seemingly been on their last legs after a raft of controversies. Earlier this year, the Globes were widely mocked after the Netflix program ‘Emily In Paris’ was nominated for a Golden Globe ahead of more hard-hitting series, including ‘I May Destroy You.’
An investigation by the Los Angeles Times later revealed that 30 HFPA members were shouted an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris to visit the set and were wined and dined “like kings and queens,” according to one participant.
The Globes suffered further credibility problems in January when it was found that the HFPA has zero Black members.