Tom Cruise has joined a list of influential Hollywood figures speaking out against the Golden Globes, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association more specifically. Cruise returned three of his Golden Globes in protest after criticisms revealed all the issues the HFPA were causing in the industry.
The HFPA is a small group of journalists who vote on the Golden Globes every year, and after a major expose highlighted the failings of the voting process for the awards, many industry leaders began speaking out, and NBC even went so far as to announce they won’t be airing the 2022 ceremony.
The Los Angeles Times revealed multiple allegations made against the HFPA, claiming the association is corrupt, and lacks diversity. NBC recently released a statement about their decision to not air the award show next year:
“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.”
In response, the HFTPA released a detailed timeline of their proposed changes: “Regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes, implementing transformational changes as quickly – and as thoughtfully – as possible remains the top priority for our organization. We invite our partners in the industry to the table to work with us on the systemic reform that is long overdue, both in our organization as well as within the industry at large.”
NBC has been airing the Golden Globes since 1996, and pays about $60 million for the rights annually. The most recent ceremony had a 60% drop in viewership, likely due to the controversy that most of the major award shows are enduring.
Hollywood studios, publicists, and performers have all begun to distance themselves from the HFPA. For example, Netflix, WarnerMedia, and Scarlett Johannsson have all called on the industry to take action against the corrupt attitudes that these institutions have.
“Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA,” Johansson said.
Around 100 PR firms representing the film industry said they would “continue to refrain from any HFPA-sanctioned events, including press conferences, unless and until these issues are illuminated in detail with a firm commitment to a timeline”.
“Our community of vibrant creatives across all racial, ethnic, and gender backgrounds deserve better.”
The Los Angeles Times initially ran two investigations into the HFPA which detailed multiple “ethical lapses” in the voting process, and since the article was published the HFPA’s former president, Phillip Berk, was expelled for sharing an article with other members that referred to Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate group.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.