Hello everyone! Sorry for going dark for the past 10 days. After this year’s Blitz, I was just a tad burned out. It’s no surprise, as between the Oscars coverage and new reviews and content, I posted on here for 50 consecutive days. I’ve never had a streak that long before. So to give myself some time to decompress, I decided to take last week off, in a manner of speaking. Over the past several weeks I’ve been shooting a new game show season (America Says, season 4, coming to GSN soon! Check your local listings!), and we wrapped production last Thursday, so I used the bulk of last week to simply focus on that. My next gig is already lined up, and will start on Monday. So I decided to unwind. I was even able to finagle a short notice flight back home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day and get some quality bonding time with my toddler nephew. He can’t say “Uncle Bill” yet, but he can almost spell it, which is wild! I’m fully vaccinated against COVID, but I did pick up a small bout of pink eye during the weekend trip, and I’ve spent the last few days recovering. I’m about 90% back to normal now.
But really, the largest contributor to my quick healing wasn’t medicine, or time off, or even family love. It was the glorious news that I received basically the moment I arrived home in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon.
THE GOLDEN GLOBES ARE OFF! O FRABJOUS DAY!
For those who don’t know the whole story, Deadline has covered it pretty thoroughly over the last few days. In short, after a good deal of backlash from celebrities, and distributors like Netflix severing ties with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over its lack of diversity, NBC has decided not to air the Golden Globes ceremony next January. As NBCUniversal just re-upped their contract with the HFPA, this effectively means there won’t even be a ceremony next year, because the HFPA legally can’t air it anywhere else. There may be a perfunctory nomination and awards announcement, but since the Globes are all about the celebrity spectacle, there wouldn’t be much point, so for all intents and purposes, there will be no Golden Globes next year, and I couldn’t be happier!
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of so-called “cancel culture,” because those who vehemently engage in it do so with no sense of nuance or balance. An off-color joke from 20 years ago is as big a sin as a violent hate crime now in some people’s eyes. That’s how broad the strokes can get. At the same time, I balk at the criticism from right-wing nutjobs trying to stoke the fires of the culture wars by playing the victim when most of the “canceling” is simply people voting with their wallets. I believe they used to call it the “free market” when it worked exclusively in their favor for decades, and now they’re being pissy babies because for once their actions (and words) have consequences.
But this is a case where the effort is valid and needed. When I rail against the HFPA and the Globes, my particular targets are the marketing influence and outright bribery from studios and executives. Just because Harvey Weinstein’s bloated ass is in jail doesn’t mean there aren’t literally hundreds of other sentient shit stains doing the same jockeying he did, only without the blatant sexual assault. The naked corruption of the HFPA’s entire process is sickening to me, and because of how they schedule their shenanigans, they essentially get the first say in what eventually is considered prestige fare for the rest of Awards Season. It’s seriously gross and morally bankrupt, and not in the fun way.
Separate and apart from that is the core issue with what’s going on now, which is the HFPA’s complete lack of diversity. Currently, there are 86 known members of the organization, not one of whom is black. That doesn’t necessarily mean that black movies and artists don’t get awarded – both Andra Day and Leslie Odom, Jr. won Globes this year – but it does show the disadvantage inherent in the system. And in a process that chiefly involves bribing voters and allowing them to think they’re friends with famous people for an indeterminate amount of time, it’s distinctly more difficult if you’re trying to do that with a group that doesn’t contain anyone within your film’s key audience demographics. In such a cynical exercise, it’s even worse when you have to fake it with people who wouldn’t normally watch your film in the first place.
The HFPA has promised to expand its membership by 50% over the next 18 months, including minority voices. That’s the most bare bones, entry-level start possible, and even then, it’s too little too late. A 50% increase would only bring the HFPA’s membership to 129, compared to the nearly 10,000 members of the Academy, and it still doesn’t address the real problems. One, unless the amount of minority membership represents a statistically significant percentage that could sway the nomination and voting process, those new members could still get completely ignored while the more “influential” members get all the gift bags and VIP tours of Emily in Paris. Two, there is still no meaningful changes proposed to the actual submission and nomination process. Having 120 members just means there are a few more people to bribe for nominations and awards for bad-to-mediocre movies that won’t even be released to the public until after they’re nominated. Until that foundational problem is solved, the Globes will still be an exercise in futility.
Hopefully the fact that Netflix and others have backed out and decided not to submit their stuff will lead to more solid reforms. The Globes as a ceremony is staked on its relevance as a celebrity party. Well, if the celebrities back out and distributors refuse to enter their products to the point that only the likes of Christmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp are up for consideration, then the Globes won’t be an “event” anymore, just a punchline for stuff no one cares about. And that could lead to more permanent, progressive changes.
Hey, whatever it takes. The inclusion issue is serious, though perhaps not the most grievous of problems with the Golden Globes, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. The world successfully got rid of it for at least one year. Maybe we can all work together to get rid of it permanently. I’ll hold out hope that the issues can be fixed to the point that the Globes no longer remain a stain on Awards Season, but I’m also a realist. If it can be saved, great. If not, good riddance, won’t miss it, don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.
Join the conversation in the comments below! What are your thoughts on this cancelation? What’s the biggest problem with the Golden Globes for you? Are you still flabbergasted that Sia’s movie got multiple nominations? Let me know!