Golden Globes Controversy: It's 'Put-Up-or-Shut-Up' Time

A look at the trouble with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2021 10:00 AM CDT
Updated May 11, 2021 11:28 AM CDT
Golden Globes Hubbub: HFPA's ' It's a Wonderful Life Moment'?
Signage promoting the Golden Globe Awards and NBC appears in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 5, 2020.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

The Golden Globes is now in flux, thanks to NBC announcing it won't be airing the awards show in 2022, with powerful stars like Tom Cruise and Scarlett Johansson and such corporations as Netflix, Amazon, and WarnerMedia joining the stand against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's lack of diversity, as well as its longstanding reputation as an object of scorn and jokes. USA Today has a primer on "what pushed this situation over the edge," including an expose earlier this year that revealed the HFPA's diversity issues. More on the continuing fallout:

  • The paper notes that "this year's turmoil boiled into a Globes disaster" after the Los Angeles Times published an investigation in February that revealed not one member of its 87-member panel is Black, and that some members accepted a stay in a Paris hotel from producers of Netflix's Emily in Paris, which nabbed surprise wins at the Globes. Yet despite "a string of embarrassing scandals, lawsuits, and often blistering criticism of its membership," the group "has managed to carve out a unique and improbable position of influence," the LAT noted in its piece.

  • HFPA's move: Partly in response to the LAT investigation, the group last week voted to approve a proposal that will jump-start internal "structural changes," as well as "serious measures" if those reforms aren't put in place in a timely manner, per the Hollywood Reporter. Included among the suggested initiatives: bringing in at least 20 new HFPA members this year, "with a specific focus on recruiting Black members," and boosting membership by 50% over the next 18 months.
  • A 'burning house of scandal': In USA Today, Brian Truitt calls it a "put-up-or-shut-up moment" for the HFPA, noting that in addition to its diversity issues, the group also has to deal with the fact that viewers don't seem as interested in these types of awards shows anymore: "In a way, it'll be the HFPA's It's a Wonderful Life moment: Everybody will get to see what life's like if the show didn't exist. And if they want to avoid all-out extinction, the HFPA might really want to get its act together."
  • Cruise control: NBC's move was big in terms of the broadcast itself, but Cruise's participation in the pile-on may "be more impactful," per Kevin Polowy, who writes for Yahoo Entertainment that the Mission Impossible star's actions "could lead to what many industry insiders believe is a long overdue divorce between the HFPA and its cozy relationship with the film and television industries."
  • An 'eye-rolling protest': That's the reaction of Maureen Callahan, who writes for the New York Post that stars now speaking out against the HFPA are hypocrites who went along with the status quo for years. "Want to see real Hollywood outrage?" she notes. "When the Globes air again, which they will because stars can't resist getting trophies, announce that Ricky Gervais is host for life."
  • Celebrity response: Fox News has a roundup of how Hollywood luminaries are reacting to the commotion, with most appearing to be in support of NBC's decision. "Everything matters. Even this," director Ava DuVernay tweeted. "The ripple effects echo through our industry, especially for Black artists and artists of color."
(Read more Golden Globes stories.)

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