Deadline reports that NBC has decided to cancel the Golden Globes.
After celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, and Tom Cruise and distributers like Amazon and Netflix made public statements about cutting ties with the Hollywood Foreign Press whose new policies did not go far enough, the only next thing was for pressure to be put on Comcast to drop the show to punish them for not going far enough. And they complied.
“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” said the Comcast-owned network this morning. “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.”
Comcast’s move can all be best summed up with the following scene from Casablanca:
There is so much shock, shock, SHOCK gambling going on here, right? So in cancelling the Golden Globes, NBC no longer has to be complicit, nor anyone else who ever took part in the ceremony, profited from it, won awards from it, used it as a publicity train Oscar bound. The climate of fear in Hollywood, journalism and social media means anyone who wants to stay employed and maintain their platforms must go along with it – and even more, name names. Point fingers. Destroy careers to save themselves.
Here is Scarlett Johansson:
“HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition.”
Right. So okay how many stars, studios, publicists also legitimized the likes of Harvey Weinstein? How can they fix the Weinstein problem? The answer: they can’t. They can take back the awards. Perhaps they can retroactively take Shakespeare in Love’s Best Picture Oscar away and give it to Saving Private Ryan at long last. Maybe they can finally dump The Reader from the Best Picture lineup and put The Dark Knight in instead. Hey, maybe they can take back The King’s Speech’s four Oscars and hand the Oscar instead to The Social Network, its rightful owner. Or how about dumping The Artist’s wins, handing them over to Hugo? For that matter, let’s take back Meryl Streep’s Oscar for The Iron Lady and give it to Viola Davis for The Help. Maybe we can also take back Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar and give it to, oh, I don’t know, Cate Blanchett? Hey, we can swap out the Best Picture win for Chicago and hand it to The Pianist – oh wait, never mind, can’t do that.
Speaking of Woody Allen, does this plea from Johansson get her off the hook for defending working with Woody Allen? Or will she finally give her mea culpa on that one at long last? Hey, might as well get ahead of it now, right?
Meanwhile, Tom Cruise returned three of his Golden Globes:
In protest of the ongoing controversy surrounding the lack of diversity within the HFPA’s membership, Tom Cruise has returned the three Golden Globe trophies he earned for “Born on the Fourth of July” (best actor, drama), “Jerry Maguire” (best actor, comedy or musical), and “Magnolia” (best supporting actor).
Can Tom Cruise get back in Hollywood’s good graces? He’s been pretty much scorched earth for a while now, but since he made this bold move to erase these wins — maybe that gets him back in the green.
Who will shun the Golden Globes next? Who will return their statues? Should we ask all of the winners last year — Andra Day, Chadwick Boseman, Jodie Foster and Daniel Kaluuya — to return them?
For their part, the HFPA did announce their sweeping change proposals, reported in Deadline:
In a meeting Thursday that I hear just ended, about 75 of the Golden Globes group’s 86 members voted in favor of the board’s sweeping scheme. The remaining nine who didn’t pass the plan were an assortment of negatives, abstainers and a couple who just weren’t there.
The vote now allows the HFPA board to start hiring a search firm to bring in a CEO, a Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and other administrative executives, as well as find a company to help set up a hotline to report conduct violations. The vote also means the HFPA, which stunningly has zero Black members, will begin to look for new members ASAP. The stated aim is to achieve ia goal of 20 new members over the next year and increase the group’s total membership by 50% in the next two years.
“Today’s overwhelming vote to reform the Association reaffirms our commitment to change,” HFPA president Ali Sar said after the balloting.
“That’s why we’ve already taken some action that will allow us to make swift progress,” he added. “Because we understand the urgency and issue of transparency, we will be continuously updating the members as we move forward in making our organization more inclusive and diverse. Again, we understand that the hard work starts now. We remain dedicated to becoming a better organization and an example of diversity, transparency and accountability in the industry.”
Because of the nature of the lucrative HFPA’s nonprofit status and California statutes, this is far from the end of members having to cast votes. A portion of the changes the HFPA board submitted Monday fall within the organization’s bylaws; to legally change those requires additional voting by the full membership next month and in July.
Longtime Globes broadcaster NBC and Globes producer dick clark productions both came out publicly for the board reform plan. Under pressure from top talent and PR gurus, the Comcast-owned network, which pays about $60 million a year for the Globes, had worked behind the scenes to shift the HFPA leadership and take Hollywood’s backlash seriously, I hear.
But those changes, per Mark Ruffalo, were not good enough. Now the hammer must come down.
Will another network step forward to host the Globes? Put Ricky Gervais back on as host? Gervais might be the only single person with balls big enough to do that.
Back in the 1970s, it was not as fashionable to show up at the Globes. Big stars didn’t turn out because it was seen as opportunist. As time went on and the race became more competitive and awards shows and groups began to sprout like poppies on the California hillsides, more stars showed up at the Globes, more stars and studios wooed them. They schmoozed them. They showered them with gifts all to win a single one of their gold statues. They were a springboard to the Oscars.
Now, they’re back to being scorched earth again as it becomes more of a liability to be associated with them. Usually a show is only cancelled because of bad ratings. The public had a hand in deciding what they could watch, what they wanted to watch. Not anymore. The public doesn’t matter. Only the image of the massive corporation does.
When the ruling class decides to flex its muscles in a capitalist driven society, there isn’t much regular people can do about it. If you love the show, too bad. They have to protect themselves, above all, and the best way to do that is to make sure they are the ones pointing fingers and doing the accusing. Otherwise, the finger will be pointed at them.
I know a good many of my readers and friends believe this is good trouble, necessary activism to make systemic change. You won’t find many in the awards blogging or journalism world who will say anything negative about this decision. Either they agree with it, or they are too terrified to say what they really think.
This isn’t the only awards show that is going to be brought it its knees over the next few months. The BAFTAs may never recover. We’ll see if the Oscars can.
Hold on tight, folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Coda: None of this is going to play well with the general public. Every day a new thing is pissing them off – right, left, white, or nonwhite. They’re going to show just how frustrated they are, I figure, in 2022 and 2024. What it looks like to them is very rich, very white, very powerful people saving their collective asses by throwing those with less power under the bus. Beware the pendulum swing. It’s coming.