The Golden Globes will air under twin clouds, amid a pandemic and ethical questions
The HFPA and production business Cock Clark Productions extended their broadcast offer with NBC in 2018, under an eight-year arrangement that pays millions for broadcast rights to the event to the not-for-profit company, which includes 87 global members.
When called by CNN, an agent for Paramount decreased to comment.
Another current Los Angeles Times story — which anonymously priced estimate HFPA members — likewise raised problems about the company’s absence of any Black members. Although a number of Black stars got elections, critics indicated significant oversights this year in regards to TELEVISION programs and films including individuals of color.
In a statement to CNN, an HFPA spokesperson said regarding payments to members that the group regularly revisits its guidelines “to ensure accountability and transparency.” The organization also stated that it recognizes the need to bring in Black members and others from underrepresented backgrounds, and has “not ruled out” changing its rules to widen the pool of applicants.
Globes hosts and recipients have made frequent quips about the event’s reputation over the years. Ricky Gervais joked during his 2012 monologue that the Globes are “just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem.” The late Robin Williams once described the event as “foreplay for the Oscars.”
More serious criticisms are hardly new either. Although the presentation got a boost in exposure when NBC acquired broadcast rights in the 1990s, articles about the group’s journalistic credentials and cozy relationship with studios have seemingly surfaced every few years. In 2003, the cable channel Trio aired a documentary titled “The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret.”
Still, that network has since gone out of business and the Globes have endured, with the 78th edition to air this Sunday. The telecast consistently ranks as one of the highest-rated award shows in the annual calendar, usually behind only the Oscars and Grammys. Last year’s awards averaged 18.3 million viewers, per Nielsen data.
Despite its long affiliation with the Golden Globes, when contacted by CNN, NBC had no comment about the latest concerns raised regarding the HFPA.
This year’s event will again be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, employing a bicoastal format in response to Covid-19 logistics, with Fey in New York and Poehler in Los Angeles.
The Globes have survived in part because they serve a clear purpose for all interested parties. The beneficiaries include networks, studios and, increasingly, streaming services that promote their elections; NBC, providing the network another high-rated event; and Hollywood talent, which welcomes the awards and adulation.
As long as those stars continue to show up, that’s unlikely to change. The latest reporting, however, has renewed an old debate in media circles about how much attention should be paid to the results — long positioned as a bellwether for the Academy Awards — given doubts about the credibility of the company behind them.
This year’s awards were delayed by nearly two months due to the pandemic. That shift has actually rippled through the awards season, which will culminate with the Oscars in April.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.