Hey, did you forget about the HFPA? I wouldn’t blame you if you did. With no Golden Globes televised this year, and still reeling from the revelations of last year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been laying low, trying to get their sh-t together to mount a comeback in 2023. That just got a little harder, though, because their PR firm, Sunshine Sachs, dumped them this week. They notified the HFPA in writing earlier in the week, and the HFPA board was told yesterday. The HFPA characterizes this as “mutually [agreeing] to a transition in its communication outreach”.
A statement from the HFPA: pic.twitter.com/VHCcL6FNZI— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) March 11, 2022
You didn’t break up with me! I broke up with YOU!
If the name Sunshine Sachs sounds familiar, it should. They once represented Harvey Weinstein, and more recently represent Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan in their post-royal endeavors (of COURSE the British press made a big deal out of the fact that Sunshine Sachs represented Weinstein, never mind their mile-long roster of celebrities and businesspeople). So where does this leave the HFPA? Well, they’re going to “internalize” their comms operations, so that should be interesting to see. They still haven’t regained solid footing after last year, and their non-televised Golden Globes were posted live on Twitter, which is not the level of glamor one wants for their movie star awards show. Their television partner, NBC, has been acting like they’re going to return the Globes to broadcast in 2023, they just wanted to give the HFPA enough time to clean up their act and look like slightly less of a racket than they were, but if awards show ratings continue to crater, who really knows what will happen next year.
In the meantime, the HFPA has expanded their membership, and hired a Chief Diversity Officer, but their PR firm of ten years divorcing them this week doesn’t look like a good omen, especially if no one steps in to fill the void. I don’t know that you can “internalize” your communications, not the entire operation, when you put on a major event like the Golden Globes. Sunshine Sachs, for instance, also represents the Academy. Perhaps some of the workload can be offloaded onto NBC, should they deign to air the Globes next year. But it seems like, a year and change since the LA Times’ bombshell report on the HFPA, the situation is not much improved. Last year, Lainey pointed out that the entire industry was complicit in the Golden Globes racket, because the Globes were good for business. It was a popular awards show, second only to the Oscars in ratings, and as Duana noted, the HFPA would often pick a lesser known show or actor to reward and make a sensation, like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or Sarah Michelle Gellar and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, back in the day.
But have we missed the “Globes effect”? Awards season has progressed just fine without a televised Globes ceremony. And with awards show ratings crashing all over the place, can we even say keeping the Globes would make a difference? Their audience was dwindling pre-pandemic, too. Most notably, though, was the speed with which studios and stars alike abandoned the HFPA. Everyone seemed pretty relieved to be done with them, frankly. Most everyone, that is. Pose star Michaela Jae Rodriguez won Best Actress – Television Series Drama, and she was glad to have it:
But nothing the HFPA has done to date has seemed to impress the industry at large, not enough to get them back on board with the Globes en masse. We’re not quite done with the HFPA yet, but it is starting to feel like that death knell is looming ever closer.
Live long and gossip,