ON a surreal Beverly Hills evening last Sunday, the 79th Golden Globes reportedly took place, though there was little physical evidence to prove that. What was once a glamourous event ringed in red on the calendars of Hollywood’s elite was reduced to a sorry series of Tweets, and what’s more, no one seemed to care.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has been embroiled in several damaging scandals relating to financial and ethical failures, the most serious of which was that out of the 80 or so members that made up the HFPA at the time of the investigation, none were Black, nor had any Black members been inducted for the last two decades.
The HFPA has since revamped their membership which now features 105 members who are 57.1 per cent women, 17.1 per cent Asian, 11.4 per cent Latinx, and 5.7 per cent Black. But the writing was on the wall for the Golden Globes when nominees and broadcasters both decided to boycott the event, and last week’s car crash ceremony confirmed the awards’ fall from grace in embarrassing style.
Over a two-hour period on Sunday night, someone’s dad was employed to run the Golden Globes Twitter and congratulated each winner with an awkward, cheesy pun, forgetting to mention the project they’d actually won it for. It was a far sight removed from the glitz and the glamour usually synonymous with the event.
Of course, some winners expressed their elation online as they are fully entitled to do. For some of the younger winners or newcomers to the scene, it is still something to be immensely proud of and they deserve to be recognised for their work.
MJ Rodriguez made history as the first trans actor to win a Golden Globe for her performance in TV drama Pose, while Ariana DeBose celebrated her award for Best Supporting Actress in West Side Story by posting on Twitter.
The majority of winners, however, have remained silent. At the time of writing, we are yet to hear from big Hollywood names such as Will Smith after he won Best Actor in a Drama, or Kate Winslet who won Best Actress in a Television Motion Picture.
It all felt just a little too much like the awards were fizzling out into irrelevance. The Academy Awards has had its own problems with diversity, but their voting system is based on a far bigger membership pool of around 9,500, all of whom have feature film credits and belong to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The HFPA is a tiny organisation made up of just over 100 journalists and photographers from around the world who interview actors, directors, writers, and producers to build the most comprehensive opinions on cinema and TV they can.
Is it time for a new ceremony to replace the Golden Globes? Or should the existing system be upgraded with better representation, bigger voting pools, and a more scrutinised voting criterion? Either way, it felt very much like we were witnessing the expiration of the Golden Globes as we know it on Sunday evening.