Golden Globes will not be aired by NBC in 2022 due to the growing controversy around the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). “We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023,” read the official network statement on May 10.
Technically, Golden Globes have not been canceled. However, NBC, which aired the show since 1996 and pays the HFPA $60 million annually for the broadcast, has for the first time backed down from paying the association and streaming the awards show. Swift action was taken by the Comcast-owned network following the mounting scandals surrounding the HFPA and its politics.
NBC’s decision to cut ties with the HFPA does not come as a huge surprise considering the fact that such giants of the film industry as Netflix, Amazon, and WarnerMedia have all denounced the association for the lack of systemic change and failure to diversify its membership base. And when Amazon criticized you for being exclusionist and racist you know it’s bad.
The main cause of the backlash comes from when it was revealed ahead of this year’s Golden Globes that the HFPA has no Black members to date. The Wrap’s report from March that the HFPA “denied requests to hold press conferences for three major projects with Black-led casts in recent years, including Bridgerton, Girls Trip and Queen & Slim” also did not help.
The HFPA did rush to adopt a list of reforms to prove that it is taking the criticism seriously and is on the path to change. On May 6, Time’s Up Foundation published an official statement condemning the association for “window-dressing” with platitudes instead of enacting actual specific reforms.
A number of Hollywood celebrities were quick to decry the HFPA as well. Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo were among the few to publicly call out the association for its culture of “secrecy and exclusion.” Tom Cruise has even returned his three Golden Globes in an act of protest.
For more than two decades Golden Globes kicked off Hollywood’s awards season and retained its glamorous status while the HFPA’s problematic practices were lamented in a passive manner. Slowly but surely the chic veneer of the awards wore off as the public grew increasingly more disinterested in it. The reckoning that the HFPA is facing right now is well-deserved and could be a warning demonstration of what a lack of positive systemic change can do to established Hollywood organizations. However, it is hard to declare this as a win for the “cancel culture” (as some frustrated film fans may see this) when the biggest critics of the HFPA are themselves white-dominated multi-billion dollar companies with highly questionable labor ethics.
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