By Huw GRIFFITH
The scandal-hit Golden Globes, one of Hollywood’s most important awards events, are to return to television next year, organizers said Tuesday, after being dumped by broadcasters and shunned by industry figures over ethics lapses.
The awards, voted for by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), have traditionally been seen as second only in importance to the Oscars.
But disquiet grew around the HFPA over accusations of racism, sexism, bullying and corruption, with television rights-holder NBC last year pulling the plug on its annual awards broadcast.
“We are thrilled to announce the return of the Golden Globe Awards on NBC and to hosting the ‘Party of the Year’ for audiences around the world who have been waiting for its return,” said Helen Hoehne, HFPA president.
“The HFPA remains committed to important changes and supporting programs which prioritize diversity, inclusion, and transparency.”
The organization found itself in the spotlight following a 2021 investigation by the Los Angeles Times that showed it did not have a single Black member at the time.
That opened the floodgates for criticism from across Hollywood to burst out into the open, including from A-list stars such as Tom Cruise.
As it sought to stave off attacks, the HFPA — made up of entertainment writers connected to foreign publications — rushed through reforms, including admitting its biggest ever annual intake of new members last year.
It also banned members from accepting lavish gifts and hotel stays from studios courting their votes — a near-constant source of criticism, including from acerbic British comic Ricky Gervais as he hosted the ceremony — and highlighted its philanthropic work.
In a press release on Tuesday, the HFPA said there were 103 new voting members, representing 62 countries.
“Combined with the current HFPA membership, the total Golden Globe Awards voting body is now 52 percent female (and) 51.5 percent racially and ethnically diverse,” the statement said.
– One-year deal –
The show has in the past been broadcast around the world and often featured big name presenters honoring stars from both film and television.
It will return to NBC in a one-year deal, which organizers said will allow them “to explore new opportunities for domestic and global distribution across a variety of platforms in the future.”
Frances Berwick of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming hailed the return to TV.
“We recognize the HFPA’s commitment to ongoing change and look forward to welcoming back the Golden Globes to NBC for its landmark 80th Anniversary in January 2023,” she said.
The Globes went ahead in January this year with neither audience nor media in attendance, dishing out prizes to “The Power of the Dog” and “West Side Story.”
None of the stars were present at the Beverly Hilton, with the ceremony held behind closed doors, and with no livestream, leaving the world to learn of the winners via tweet.
Studios and movie makers largely opted not to openly celebrate their wins, but “West Side Story” star Ariana DeBose acknowledged her award, while cautioning that reforms must continue at the HFPA.
“There is still work to be done, but when you’ve worked so hard on a project — infused with blood, sweat, tears and love — having the work seen and acknowledged is always going to be special,” she tweeted. — Agence France-Presse