Scott Feinberg has the scoop over at the Hollywood Reporter:
The network is zeroing in on an airdate of Tuesday, Jan. 10. The Globes have historically taken place on a Sunday in January, but the first Sunday in January 2023 is New Year’s Day; the second is Jan. 8, which is the last day of the NFL’s regular season, which poses a conflict with NBC Sunday Night Football; and the third is Jan. 15, on which the Critics Choice Awards have already staked their claim — hence the change to a Tuesday.
He details the history, the controversies, and everything you want to know about the Globes’ return. He ends with this ominous sentence:
It remains to be seen just who will work with the HFPA — and show up at the Globes — in the months ahead.
True enough. Those who see themselves as too pure to associate with an awards show should definitely skip the Globes. However, it’s worth reminding everyone that the Golden Globes, or any awards show for that matter, is a publicity event, not a church service. It is something offered up for the weary public to gaze upon the beautiful, glamorous, and rich people whose entire careers depend on those who shell out their hard-earned bucks to watch them. That is why awards shows exist. That is the only reason. So people will watch them. They don’t exist to right the wrongs of society. They don’t exist to push any particular political agenda (please god no). They are pomp and circumstance and meant to be pure fun.
No other group does pure fun like the Golden Globes.
So here is my advice for the HFPA.
- You’ve made the changes you feel are necessary. Now stop apologizing. Now, people will either watch or not, participate or not, write scathing agonizing think pieces or not. You can’t be in this to win their praise anymore. You have to be in it to put on a good show and gain massive ratings. You’re no longer in the business of trying to redeem yourselves and beg to be let back in the good graces of the scolds. You will succeed in that. You can never be what they want you to be. You have to be who and what you are.
- Hire a great host. Don’t hire a host to please Twitter. Hire a host that will cause Twitter to lose its mind. Hire a host that Twitter won’t approve of. Hire Ricky Gervais. Beg Ricky Gervais. If he says no pick someone like him — someone popular and fearless. I know you won’t do that. You will do what all awards shows do now: you will attempt to please everyone. And by everyone, that applies ONLY to a segment, a small group of tastemakers. If you are aiming to please them, your ratings will tank, and they will laugh about it anyway. Hire someone who will bring in eyeballs. Let them write as many angry think pieces as they want. Let the celebrities boycott the event. It won’t matter. EVERYONE will tune in to watch Ricky Gervais, even those who boycotted it.This video has 50 million views on Youtube. Yes, he will tell offensive jokes. Yes, they will be funny. Yes, the ratings will soar.
Just remember this: laughter feels good. It’s good for the soul. It helps us stay sane. There is no humor anymore because humor has become too dangerous. The “jokes” of Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and John Oliver move only in one direction, which isn’t funny anymore. Funny is what makes you uncomfortable. We laugh to relieve tension. Please don’t make the mistake those comedians make – they only tell jokes that are funny to one group, a shrinking group, an overly sensitive group. Only a host who can make jokes ABOUT Hollywood will work. Fearless is the way to go.
3. Paddy Chayefsky’s Network says it can’t just be about ratings. If it becomes only about ratings, the soul inside of you and all of us will die. But there is something wrong with Hollywood right now. There is a climate of fear. Everyone is afraid of everything, especially jokes. This is not sustainable over the long haul. Most people will gravitate towards those of us who are not afraid. They want to be liberated but can’t risk being alienated from their chosen tribe or risk losing their jobs. Hiring an unafraid comedian to pierce the hysteria bubble is the right call. You just have to train yourselves to shut out the noise online.
Hollywood has become too afraid to write or make a movie like Network. That kind of critical thinking/analysis could never be made today. It would have to paint the “left” as the good guys and the “right” as the bad guys because that is the only thing allowed. But Chayefsky (and Gervais) understand the bigger picture. That we’re all human beings, flaws and all. In Network, even the activists are lampooned for wanting ratings as much as the executives. It’s brilliant. There will never be a film like it for at least 20 years. We need courage in art back. Otherwise, what is the point of it?
Chayefsky was brilliant enough not to have the endpoint of the story be “THEY OVER THERE” are bad and “WE OVER HERE ARE GOOD.” No. Here is what he wrote – and he was 100% right:
You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state – Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel. (Beale: “Why me?”) Because you’re on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday. (Beale: “I have seen the face of God.”) You just might be right, Mr. Beale.
Do I think they’ll get Gervais? No. Do I think Gervais would even do it? Maybe. Ultimately, I do not think many people in Hollywood are brave enough to stare down the mob. Well, Netflix did. Kudos to them. Most of the rich and powerful are in the business of continual damage control, which is why Twitter has become such a powerful tool. Don’t forget the words of Teddy Roosevelt, “when you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds soon follow.”
Activists won’t stop at Twitter. They will call advertisers. They will pressure critics and writers to boycott a show that would have Gervais on it. That is what they do. They think they are in the right. They are not. When you police art, you destroy society. You destroy what we need most: access to the truth.
4. Think less: humanitarian event, think more: entertaining event. Hollywood spends so much of its time talking to itself. When a celebrity gives a political speech, they are talking to themselves, preaching to the choir. When politics has replaced actual religion, awards shows function as a way to heal the evil spirit within and purge the soul of badness. But the only people who will hear it are people who already agree with it. Rather, think about the whole audience rather than the chosen ones. Think about people who spend all day scrubbing toilets. Or driving garbage trucks. Or washing dishes. Think about what they might want to see when they turn on their televisions. Fun. That’s what they would like to see—pure, frivolous fun.
5. HAVE fun. We are a country on our knees in misery right now. We all need fun. But we especially need it from our gods and goddesses. They seem to have forgotten what fun even is. They can’t even watch a movie or make a movie without a long struggle session on whether this is something you can say or that is the right casting. Everything is so rigid it could snap any minute. If you are having fun, laughing at yourselves, and having a good time, that will make your show the best show.
Activists mean no real harm. They genuinely believe what they are doing – policing art – makes their world a better place. They can be forgiven for that. But they won’t stop. You have to enter this knowing that nothing you say will ever be good enough. There will always be one wrong thing, and that’s the only thing people will freak out about. It’s the downside of social media.
Social media has created a need for constant churn. The churn has to back up what people already think or are extremely opposed to, or they won’t click on it. You might be fodder for the churn one day, then the next day you aren’t. Who can say? And WHO CARES? We all have to learn how to survive it.
I am looking forward to some fun. I hope the Golden Globes defy expectations and deliver some.