a breakdown of the scandal and this year’s changes

a breakdown of the scandal and this year’s changes

  • The Golden Globes have been embroiled in a scandal following allegations of racism, corruption and sexual assault.
  • The organization behind the awards ceremony added 103 new voters to increase diversity.
  • But awards ceremonies are waning in popularity, with stars like Brendan Fraser skipping the ceremony.

The Golden Globes, once one of Hollywood’s most revered awards shows, returns on Tuesday January 10 after trying to clean up its image following allegations of racism, corruption and sexual assault.

Dating back to 1944, the Globes are operated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a non-profit organization made up of a small group of journalists who cover the entertainment industry.

The HFPA has been embroiled in scandal after a 2021 Los Angeles Times exposé exposed unethical behavior and a lack of racial diversity at the organization. After the investigation, major studios like Netflix, Amazon and WarnerMedia, as well as celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Tom Cruise, boycotted the Globes and called for changes.

NBC, which had helped the Globes achieve their distinguished status, announced in May 2021 that it would not air the ceremony the following year.

After two tumultuous years of trying to establish his credibility, the Golden Globes are back. But ongoing controversy and dwindling viewership at awards shows have some people questioning whether those efforts will be enough.

Allegations of racism, corruption and sexual assault

The HFPA had not had a black member among its 87 members and had not admitted one in nearly two decades, the Times noted in 2021. The results fueled criticism of the organization for omitting black-led films and television shows like the critically acclaimed “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “I May Destroy You.”

The Golden Globes isn’t the only awards show to be criticized for a lack of diversity, as evidenced by the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, first launched in 2015.

At the 2021 Globes ceremony, held just seven days after the Times published their synopsis, the HFPA vowed to increase diversity within its ranks.

“We celebrate the work of artists from around the world,” Vice President Helen Hoehne said at the event. “We recognize that we have our own work to do. Black representation is vital. We must have black journalists in our organization.”

But just over a month after announcing its diversity initiatives, the HFPA found itself caught up in another scandal when the Times reported that Philip Berk, a member of the organization and former eight-time president, wrote in an email to HFPA staff, in which he criticized Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors and called BLM a “racist hate movement”.

Philip Berk at the 68th Golden Globe Awards

Philip Berk has been critical of the BLM movement and has been accused of sexual harassment by actor Brendan Fraser.

Michael Tran/FilmMagic via Getty Images

The HFPA ruled out Berk, who had previously been accused of sexual assault by actor Brendan Fraser, who said Berk groped his butt at a 2003 HFPA luncheon. (The organization later issued a statement concluding that the incident “should be construed as a joke and not a sexual advance,” GQ reported.)

The HFPA has also been accused of harboring a “culture of corruption,” according to Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa in an antitrust lawsuit against the organization, cited by the Times in its 2021 exposé. The lawsuit was dismissed in November 2020.

HFPA members were allowed to accept generous perks from the studios and networks they wrote about, including Netflix’s Emily in Paris. Despite an initially lukewarm reception from critics, the show received two Golden Globes nominations in 2021.

efforts for change

The HFPA has taken steps to increase diversity within its ranks. According to a December press release announcing nominations for the Golden Globes, the organization added 103 new international voters to its 96 members.

“This diverse voting group represents 62 different countries around the world. Combined with current membership, the total Golden Globe Awards voter is now 52% female, 51.8% racially and ethnically diverse, 19.6% Hispanic, 12.1% Asian, and 10, 1 %. Black and 10.1% Middle Eastern,” the release said.

Comedian Jerrod Carmichael will host the Globes this year, becoming the second black American host in the awards show’s 80-year history.

Jerrod Carmichael at the Emmys

Comedian Jerrod Carmichael, who won Emmys for his variety special Rothaniel and his performance on SNL, will host the Globes this year.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

After a year-long hiatus, NBC announced in September 2022 that it would resume airing the ceremony (the 2022 Globes took place without fanfare in a private ceremony).

“We recognize the HFPA’s commitment to continual change and look forward to celebrating the Golden Globes on its landmark 80th anniversary.

Will the changes be enough?

The changes may not be enough to restore the Golden Globes’ standing.

Public interest in award ceremonies appears to be waning across the board. The 2022 Oscars saw viewership decline by 52% from 2016, while the Emmy Awards and MTV Movie and TV Awards saw viewership declines of 31% and 67%, respectively.

Some celebrities still skip the Globes. Fraser, who received his first Golden Globe nomination for his role in The Whale, said he would not be attending the ceremony.

“I have more experience with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Fraser told GQ. “My mother didn’t raise a hypocrite. You can call me many things, but not like that.”

Tom Cruise, who returned his three Globes to the HFPA amid the controversy, also likely won’t attend, Variety reported. The actor stars in Top Gun: Maverick, which is nominated for Best Picture this year.

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