NBC has just announced that it will not air the Golden Globes in 2022.
“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.”
If you’ve been paying attention to my podcast or my Twitter feed, this is a move I’ve been advocating for, as change isn’t something that happens overnight, and I never understood why the HFPA was rushing to meet its own self-imposed deadline. While this may end up being the best possible outcome for the embattled organization, the fact that the HFPA didn’t take this step on its own is exactly why NBC had no choice but to take it for them. Surely this announcement would be much more meaningful coming from the organization itself.
The other issue that this announcement glosses over is how the studios, streamers and yes, even NBC itself, absolutely knew who comprised the HFPA, and they went ahead and played the game all these years anyway. The fact is that these corporations waited until the HFPA was an easy target to put out disingenuous statements bemoaning the group’s embarrassing track record in terms of diversity when they are just as complicit.
While I applaud folks like Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, and Tom Cruise, who has reportedly returned the three Golden Globes trophies he has won over the years for Jerry Maguire, Magnolia and Born on the Fourth of July, many of the actors and filmmakers who have participated in the HFPA‘s dog-and-pony show certainly knew who they were taking selfies with for the past however-many-years. Again, I’m talking about the HFPA of late. Cruise won his last statue more than 20 years ago and I have no idea how diverse the HFPA was back then, though I can’t imagine it would’ve been acceptable by today’s standards.
The thing is that the HFPA‘s criteria for admission have long been outdated, as it was predicated on an old model of journalism that saw international outlets maintain a Los Angeles correspondent. The idea that a member has to live in Los Angeles is a bizarre and rather arcane requirement, especially these days. I feel like I know most people in this space, and I just don’t know a lot of Black entertainment journalists who write for international outlets and live in Los Angeles, where it’s hard enough to make ends meet, let alone on a journalist’s salary. Still, to not have even one Black member is totally unacceptable and I’m glad that the media, and now its broadcaster, is holding the HFPA to account. The HFPA needs to do some deep soul-searching about who they are and what they stand for as an organization, otherwise, they will be replaced by the Critic’s Choice Awards or some other group that can get celebrities to show up and deliver an acceptance speech.
After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The reason the Golden Globes are so significant, or rather, were so significant, is that the show had a TV deal. Without that, it’s just another awards show, albeit one that honors the best of both film and television. Perhaps that is what makes the Golden Globes unique, is that it doesn’t discriminate — outside of its own membership, of course. The kind of work the HFPA needs to do will take time. It’s unclear whether the HFPA will try to find a new home for the Golden Globes outside of NBC, or if it will actually commit to reforming itself, but here’s hoping the organization takes this opportunity to really listen. That’s the only way it will learn.