Over the last couple years, we have been on a journey with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Golden Globes. To recap: in February 2021, the Los Angeles Times ran an expose just days before the Golden Globes exposing the HFPA for shady ethical practices and for having zero Black members (at the time), an issue highlighted by the snub of Michaela Coel and her widely lauded series, I May Destroy You, while Netflix’s hate-watch du jour, Emily in Paris, got multiple nominations. In May of that year, the HFPA and Golden Globes imploded, with NBC, which airs the Globes, effectively cancelling the 2022 show. Then, in August 2022, the HFPA reorganized, expanded their membership, and announced the Globes were back for 2023. The 2023 show aired on a Tuesday night, and comedian Jerrod Carmichael hosted and spent his entire monologue burning the HFPA.


Part of the great reshuffle of 2022 involved the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which was technically a non-profit, selling ownership to Eldridge Industries, which is owned by Todd Boehly, who also owns Dick Clark Productions, the production company behind the Globes’ telecast. And through a subsidiary of Eldridge, Boehly is also a stakeholder in The Beverly Hilton, which is where the Globes are traditionally held. 

Well, Todd Boehly has now cut out the middleman and, through Dick Clark Productions, acquired the Golden Globes lock, stock, and barrel from the HFPA. The Globes will now be a for-profit organization, and a new “Golden Globe Foundation” will be formed to carry on the charitable side of the HFPA (they award scholarships, among other giving). The proceeds of the sale will go into this as-yet nonexistent foundation. The Globes, which are scheduled for January 7, 2024, will be hosted and produced by Dick Clark Productions.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is now dead. The group will dissolve and be no more. 


On the one hand, no one will miss the HFPA. They were a joke before they were an embarrassment, no one ever took them seriously, and the only reason the Globes got as big as they did was a combination of a live telecast and serving alcohol at the table, which gave the show a feeling that anything could happen, even though, usually, nothing did. You can make the case that Christine Lahti’s 1998 “I was in the bathroom, Mom” moment, which involved a Robin Williams ad lib, is what turned the Globes into a must-watch awards show, at least among people who care about awards shows. 


Also, its plum date before the Oscars meant that most years, the Globes were handing out trophies as nominations for the Oscars were either ongoing or about to start, so it became a bellwether for the Academy Awards. But now there is a huge, glaring question for the new, for-profit version of the Golden Globes: who is voting for it?


The Oscars may have started as a union-busting scheme, but nearly 100 years later, it has evolved into a body of people who actually make movies, nominating and awarding their peers’ work. Is it a popularity contest? Sure. Does the best picture usually win Best Picture? Not really. But it’s a popularity contest among people who know, intimately, what it takes to make a film at every step and stage. And it is also a reflection of the tastes and moods of that group within their own art form. The value of the Oscar is that it comes from the people who know what it takes to win an Oscar.

The Golden Globes have never had that value, but the HFPA at least had “press” in the title, nominally, the members were of the media who cover and report on films. I vote for multiple critical bodies’ awards, the value of that is in the consensus of the people who critique film for a living. In theory, the HFPA was the same. In practice, they never were, which is what the LA Times exposed, but at least there was a SEMBLANCE of relevance to the art of cinema.


But what is there now? The new entity headed by Boehly has not announced who will be voting for the Golden Globes. Will they curate a group of voters? Will they farm it out to an existing body of either industry professionals or critics? Or will they continue the grand tradition of the Golden Globes being kind of a scam and just award prizes from a non-transparent group meant to best serve ratings?

Let me emphasize again that one company now owns the Golden Globes, its non-existent but promised charitable foundation, the production company that produces the telecast, and the guy who owns all that also has a stake in the hotel where the show is hosted. Oh, and the CEO of Dick Clark Productions is Jay Penske, who owns Penske Media, which in turn owns industry trades Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline, among other publications such as Rolling Stone, and the website Gold Derby, which is a prominent awards show prognostication site. So that’s the show, the production company, the location, and multiple outlets to promote the show all owned by the same people. The Golden Globes are now a hermetic awards show environment that is offering no information on who will be voting for the awards in the first place.

The HFPA may be gone, but the shadiness of the Golden Globes lives on.