The Golden Globes are a staple of each awards season, but it might not be that way for much longer. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which produces and votes on the Globes each year, is under fire right now for its lack of diversity.
Major Hollywood players have spoken out in criticism of the HFPA and are now boycotting everything to do with the group. So what exactly is going on and what needs to change here?
What is the HFPA?
Let’s start with the group at hand here. The HFPA is a non-profit organisation made up of entertainment journalists from around the world. The group is quite small with about 87 members, and only five new members allowed per year.
The identities of the members who make up the HFPA are similarly very mysterious. Their names are not listed online so it’s hard to determine how credible they are. However, a recent investigation by the Los Angeles Times discovered the names of a number of prolific members who make up the HFPA.
It’s this group that casts the votes for the Golden Globes each year, which is why votes can swing very easily and result in “shock” wins.
Why is everyone boycotting the Golden Globes?
The HFPA is copping criticism for a number of reasons, one of which is its enduring lack of diversity. Despite being a group of foreign journalists, the Los Angeles Times discovered that the HFPA has no black members.
It’s also been said that the HFPA has accepted gifts and bribes from prospective nominees and movie studios, which results in a biased vote. Stars and studios have also spoken out about the group’s insensitive and inappropriate questions at press events.
This situation was rife during this year’s Golden Globes, after a lack of diverse best actress nominees. It’s really come to a head now that stars, studios and networks are speaking out.
Studios including Netflix, Amazon, WarnerMedia and HBO have all said they won’t be involved with the HFPA until a proper reform commences. Plenty of stars such as Kerry Washington, Amy Schumer, Scarlett Johansson and Sterling K. Brown have also publicly spoken out and joined the #TimesUpGlobes movement.
Tom Cruise has even gone as far as to return all three of his Golden Globe statues in protest.
A crushing blow was also dealt by NBC earlier today, which said it would not air the 2022 Golden Globes ceremony after decades of partnering with the HFPA.
“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,” NBC said in a statement.
With no celebrities, no studios and no broadcaster, time really is running out for the Golden Globes.
What needs to be done?
These criticisms are calling for a meaningful overhaul of the HFPA membership body, which will hopefully result in a group of more balanced perspectives.
The HFPA board proposed a plan for reform last week, suggesting it add a chief diversity officer, recruit more black journalists and open up its pool of applicants. The HFPA is calling this a “roadmap for transformational change” but it must first be approved by its current members.
This roadmap has not been enough for most of Hollywood who wants to see results rather than promises, hence studios and stars have continued to hold the group accountable this week.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences made similar commitments back in 2016 after the #OscarsSoWhite movement and has since followed through on its promises to diversify its members by nearly doubling the number of women and people of colour.
It’s highly possible, following this, we won’t see a Golden Globes ceremony next year. But it should hopefully look very different when it eventually returns.