By Andrew MARSZAL
The scandal-hit association of foreign journalists that created the Golden Globes will be wound down as the Hollywood award show is formally purchased by private investors including US billionaire Todd Boehly, it was announced Monday.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association — a group of around 100 entertainment writers with links to overseas publications — has handed out the Globes to A-list film and television stars for the past eight decades.
But allegations of corruption, racism and amateurism led to an industry-wide boycott last year of both the Globes and the HFPA, and calls for a wholesale reform of the awards.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the Golden Globes,” said Boehly, whose investment firm Eldridge partnered with Penske Media Corporation to drive through the deal.
The takeover “will result in the wind down of the HFPA and its membership,” said a joint statement.
No timeline was given for the dissolution of the HFPA. Under plans previously announced by Boehly, current HFPA members will be offered salaried positions running the new for-profit Globes.
The nonmember voting body for the Golden Globes has already been expanded and diversified beyond the group in recent years. A mixture of HFPA members and entertainment writers outside of the HFPA currently choose the winners.
Once the HFPA is wound down, its resources will be spun off to create a separate non-profit focused on entertainment-related charity work.
This will include at least $44 million of the $48 million the HFPA will receive from the Globes sale, according to a letter from California’s attorney general seen by AFP.
The Golden Globes were originally set up by Los Angeles-based foreign correspondents covering the entertainment industry in the 1940s.
By the 1990s its organizers wielded immense power in Hollywood due to lucrative television deals for broadcasting the star-studded ceremony.
But in 2021, a Los Angeles Times expose revealed the HFPA had no Black members. The following year’s show was taken off the air by US network NBC.
Following reforms, the ceremony returned to the airwaves this January, but ratings plummeted to a record low 6.3 million viewers and several prominent winners did not attend.
No television deal is currently in place for next year’s Globes, which are set to take place on January 7.
American businessman Boehly is also chairman of Premier League football club Chelsea.
His holding company Eldridge owns Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Golden Globes telecast, and part of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, which hosts the ceremony.
It is also a minority owner of several Hollywood trade publications, including The Hollywood Reporter, and indie film studio A24, behind recent award-winning films such as “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Whale.”
-© Agence France-Presse-