We are now five days away from the Golden Globes, second to only the Oscars in terms of awards show profile although the Globes remain way far back of several other awards in terms of prestige. If you’re visiting this site, probably you know about the reputation of the Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and some of the f-cksh-t they’ve pulled over the years. The Tourist is a great example that always comes up. But this year, the nominations for Emily in Paris and Music came out of nowhere – and were even more baffling considering that I May Destroy You was completely ignored. Which is a repeat of When They See Us from last year.
Typically, though, the HFPA can rely on the presence of the stars themselves to coast through the criticism of their organisation and process. In a regular year, the focus would be on the celebrities, the anticipation of glamour and gossip. This year, well, we already know the show won’t be the same, the ballroom won’t be the same, so there’s more energy to focus on the HFPA and how they work. Which is why the two new LA Times pieces about the organisation are getting so much play. But as Ava DuVernay tweeted…
Reveals? As in, people are acting like this isnâ€™t already widely known? For YEARS? pic.twitter.com/FOSuRq4F7o— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 22, 2021
…and Regina King too…
…none of this has been a secret. Not in the industry at least. For many viewers of the Golden Globes, and certainly those who don’t spend a lot of time online in the entertainment and culture space, this may not be as well-known – the fact that the HFPA is seen as a joke in many circles, which puts a question mark on the value of the Globes as awards themselves.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association does not have any Black members. That would have been a problem a long time ago but in 2021? When even the Oscar Academy and so many other Hollywood guilds and organisations have pledged to diversify, this is a joke. The LA Times also reports on some questionable ethics in how the HFPA membership operates, with allegations of cutbacks and shady financial compensation that the organisation denies but when certain members themselves are speaking anonymously to the LA Times to tell on themselves, I’m not sure how much weight the denials carry.
As for the awards, where Emily in Paris is concerned, apparently 30 members of the HFPA were invited to visit the set of the show in Paris in 2019 and the implication here is that they were wined and dined and may have voted favourably because of that experience which…you know what? That’s sh-tty for Emily in Paris too. Because no one wants to be invited to a party when the merits of that invitation are being challenged.
But that brings me to my next point – because the LA Times isn’t just calling out the HFPA in these articles, they also question whether or not the HFPA has been enabled by Hollywood itself. Studios and producers and publicists and celebrities themselves participate in the Golden Globe circle jerk. Because the actual event, the award show, rates well. A lot of people tune in to watch and the show can boost the profile of individual stars and their projects. Is it up to the producers and the actors then to now use whatever influence they can to ask the HFPA to do better? Do they have a part to play?
Because, to go back to Emily in Paris and the undoubtedly talented people working in front of and behind the camera on that show, including Deborah Copaken, who writes on the show and who wrote an op-ed for The Guardian criticising the HFPA for overlooking I May Destroy You, amid criticism that her own show made the list, when the process is rotten, what really is the value of the reward? As Deborah explained:
“Now, am I excited that Emily in Paris was nominated? Yes. Of course. I’ve never been remotely close to seeing a Golden Globe statue up close, let alone being nominated for one. But that excitement is now unfortunately tempered by my rage over Coel’s snub. That I May Destroy You did not get one Golden Globe nod is not only wrong, it’s what is wrong with everything.”
Well, exactly. It’s more unfair to I May Destroy You but it’s also unfair to Emily in Paris. “It’s what’s wrong with everything” and it’s fair to no one. Except, maybe, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association because up to last year, before COVID obviously affected all of us across the board, they were doing fine. They were making money from the network for their event, they were getting access to the celebrities – which is what they covet, starf-ckers that they are – and there really wasn’t all that much fallout as a result of their shortcomings. And that will continue if they continue to be enabled.
So the question is… will this LA Times report actually make a difference?!