Gold Award Trophy

NBC Won’t Air 2022 Golden Globes As Actors Return Their Awards 

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. 

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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. 

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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.”

And the Oscar goes to

Academy Expecting 2021 Oscars To Have Lowest Ratings In History 

Based on the audience figures from this year’s Golden Globes and Baftas ceremonies the Academy is gearing up to potentially present one of the least watched Oscar ceremonies in history. The Oscars are currently expected to air on April 25th.

Steven Gaydos is the executive vice president of content for Variety, a film industry magazine, who recently spoke to the press about this year’s ceremony. “Before Covid hit the audience numbers were declining rapidly, year on year, for all awards shows. The Academy is essentially funded by the TV show, and they are about to open a big expensive museum. They have taken on a half-billion-dollar enterprise at a time when their primary source of income is declining. There could be an iceberg ahead for the Academy.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences typically receives around $75 million every year from ABC thanks to a contract that the two groups signed that will last until 2028. ABC makes a majority of their revenue from advertising, last year they brought in around $120 million, but last year’s figures were the lowest in history, which stunts how much profit is made. 

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“Further, the telecast itself has struggled to retain audience approval, with frustrations over its lengthy running time, choice of hosts (if any) and the quality of the spectacle on offer. The problems have been compounded by long-running complaints over the lack of diversity in nominees and winners, triggered in 2015 by the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag campaign,” according to film editor Andrew Pulver.

“I personally don’t think a host makes much impact. It’s more about whether the show as a whole entertains and feels fresh. The Oscars remain meaningful to the film industry, but to succeed as a mainstream TV special you’ve got to entertain,” said Jeremy Kay, Americas editor of Screen International magazine.

“The Covid delays have enabled smaller movies to go farther than they might have done had there been the usual barrage of studio heavyweights. It’s not been a banner year, but the quality across the board has been high. These movies, the film-makers behind them and the stories they tell have had more visibility than they might have expected in any other year, and we’re all the better for it,” Kay explained. 

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Gaydos, on the other hand, thinks that there’s a systemic issue between the way the Academy connects audiences with certain contemporary Hollywood films: “For some time the movies nominated for best picture represent only a tiny fraction of the tickets sold – there is chasm between the Oscars and the moviegoing public. The Marvel and DC films are hardly ever up for best picture, or Star Wars, while the Pixar movies are relegated to the animated category, so the pictures that constitute 90% of moviegoing just aren’t there.”

“At the point that the Oscars become all spinach and no dessert, they put themselves up quite a tree.”

Gaydos went on to explain how “the decline of ‘movie-star culture’ also plays a part, as most franchise films are not really star-driven. Part of the awards show fun is seeing these stars being themselves – nervous, emotional, passionate about their work – and you are effectively spending an evening with some very beautiful people at an important night in their lives. The more that is diminished the less of an event the Oscars is. If the franchise is the star, it doesn’t make you want to tune into an awards show. I love the Academy, I love movies, I love the Oscars, so this current concern gives me a lot of heartache.”

Music Awards

2020 Billboard Music Awards Recap: Post Malone Wins Big In Nine Categories 

Post Malone proved to be the big winner of 2020’s Billboard Music Awards, taking home nine awards including top artist for the year. Kelly Clarkson hosted the ‘Covid-19 style” award show that involved many remote performances, a crowd less Dolby Theater, and plenty of distancing for the artists that were there to accept their awards. Eight of Post Malone’s awards were delivered to him via cart by Clarkson. 

The show was originally scheduled for April, but obviously the pandemic through a wrench in that plan. Since this award show was meant to take place six months ago, it mainly awarded songs, and albums from last year. For example, Lil Nas X took home four prizes for his 2019 shit single ‘Old Town Road.’

Many of the winners for the evening used their speech time to urge their fans to get out and vote. Lizzo took it all a step further and wore a simple black dress with the word ‘Vote’ repeated all over it while she accepted her award for being the Top Song Sales Artist. 

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“Let me tell y’all something, when people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They’re afraid of your power. So whether it’s through music, protest or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice, and refuse to be suppressed.”

Billie Eilish picked up three awards throughout the whole night including top female artist and top new artist. When Eilish won the new artist award she stood on the stage and simply said “Please vote, please wear a mask, and please wash your hands and be safe.” Demi Lovato also performed her new politically charged single ‘Commander-In-Chief” which takes aim at President Trump and his harmful policies in terms of the pandemic and other areas of reform.

NBC censored the part of Lovato’s performance which displayed the word “Vote” on the screen, as the broadcasters felt it would be seen as a call to vote against the current president, instead of a neutral call to action. NBC did, however, tweet out the image of Lovato with the word displayed behind her. 

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John Legend gave an emotional performance of his song ‘Never Break,’ which he dedicated to his wife Chrissy Teigen, who suffered a misscarriage a couple of weeks ago. There were several other performances throughout the three-hour show, including a performance of ‘Love Looks Better’ by Alicia Keys and ‘Better Together’ by Luke Combs. The two performances have been regarded as heartfelt and empowering. Combs also won the award for Top Country Artist this year. 

“I know everybody out there has been through so much this year. I want to thank the crew that is working on this show tonight, because they have gone through some insane stuff to make this happen for you guys. I hope everybody’s staying safe at home.”

BTS gave a remote performance of their hit single ‘Dynamite’ from South Korea, where they shortly after won the award for Top Social Artist; an award that’s voted on by the fans. Doja Cat then gave a ‘Chicago’ inspired performance of her songs ‘Say So’ and ‘Juicy.” 

The real winner of the night was Post Malone, and unsurprisingly so as well considering what a year 2019 was for the young artist. In 2019 alone Malone scored two multi-platinum singles in the US with ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Circles,’ while his third studio album ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ sold three million copies. The singer-songwriter and rapper, 25, said he was “blown away, just by the love that everybody’s shown to me.”

For a list of all the winners, click here

Golden Trophy

BTS Snubbed By 2020 Grammy Nominations

It’s that time of year when the Grammy nominations are announced and fans across the world discuss who they feel should or should not have been nominated, who should win, who shouldn’t, who has been ignored and of course there will be the annual calls of racism. And this year is no different.

The 2019 awards in February saw many artists appearing to boycott the ceremony in a stance against what has been claimed a ‘mainly male, mainly white voting body’. Following other movements such as #OscarsSoWhite, #TimesUp and #MeToo, it was felt that maybe now is the time to step up against the lack of diversity in the different categories.

Many claimed the boycott a success, saying that hopefully the next award ceremony would be more inclusive.

However, when the 2020 nominations were confirmed it was clear that K Pop band ‘BTS’ had been left off the list, much to the dismay and confusion of fans and everywhere.

Unless you have been living under a rock you will have heard of boy band BTS. Created in 2013 the group enjoyed success in their home country of South Korea before heading out to conquer the rest of the world. In 2017 they changed the meaning of their name from ‘Bangtan Sonyeondan’ – meaning Bulletproof Scout Boys – to “Beyond The Scene” in an attempt to attract more English speaking fans. The ploy worked and 2018 saw their releases Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer both reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Their third release – Map of the Soul: Persona – debuted at No. 1 in April this year, making BTS the first group to achieve three top hits in under a year since The Beatles in 1996 (Anthology).

BTS are not only a successful studio band, they recently closed their hugely successful Love Yourself: Speak Yourself Tour. A tour that sold nearly 1 million tickets around the world, grossing $117 million.

Their Halsey-assisted hit ‘Boy with Luv’ was their highest Billboard Hot 100 hit, peaking at No. 8, and the following RIAA platinum certification has further increased awareness of the band.

So with these accolades behind them – plus many more we have not mentioned here – it seemed an obvious conclusion that BTS would receive a Grammy nomination. Whether they were nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album or Album or Record of the Year nobody knew however it was clear they would be named in at least one section.

So the total omission of the group highlights once again the Recording Academy’s failure to keep up to date with who is hot and who is not, especially from cultures outside of the “white’ remit.

It seems that whichever awards ceremony you look at throughout ‘Awards Season’ has a poor relationship with artists of color. Not only confined to the Grammy’s, black artists seem to struggle when it comes to recognition of their achievements.

Since the first Grammy ceremony was held in 1959, artists are honored for the work they produced the previous year. Yet in the 61 years since that first ceremony few black artists have been awarded the Album of the Year award. The Academy has also been criticized for placing the majority of non-white artists in the rap or R&B sections.

It is also widely acknowledged that less successful artists have been awarded ahead of commercially and critically successful works, while ‘non-white’ artists are constantly being reduced to ‘others’ or ignored completely. As a hugely successful, worldwide, non-white music act, BTS have been spectacularly ignored in all aspects.

And all though not everyone will appreciate BTS’s music they must at least appreciate that they have been wildly successful and therefore, deserving of some sort of accolade at the Grammy.

BTS’s albums, streams, concerts and videos have consistently outsold many of their Western contemporaries with many artists lining up to collaborate with them. It is also ironic that in an attempt to appear up-to-date the Grammy actually asked them to perform at the awards last year.

Back in 2017 the Recording Academy were accused of racism when Beyonce was beaten by Adele for Album of the Year, prompting Adele to break her award in half to ‘share’ it with Queen Bey. However Grammy boss Neil Portnow hit back stating,

‘I don’t think there’s a race problem at all. We don’t, as musicians, listen to music based on gender or race or ethnicity.’

However many were not convinced with the idea that the 14,000 members of the Recording Academy ‘almost put a blindfold on’ when listening to nominated songs and albums.

Whatever the awarding bodies seem to think BTS fans have responded in their usual way. Sales have increased on all their products as well as increasing numbers of streams. In fact BTS’s complete works have been boosted back into the iTunes Top Albums chart for America so although BTS may not be winning a Grammy, their pockets certainly are winners.

Golden Trophy

The 2020 Grammy Nominations Are Here!

The 62nd annual Grammy awards are just around the corner and the highly anticipated nominations were finally announced this Wednesday. New artists that have emerged in popularity throughout 2019 have truly taken over; Lizzo being the most nominated artist this year with a total of eight nominations! Swifties were disappointed to see that Taylor Swift only acquired a total of three nominations, Album Of The Year not being one of them. However, the year of the new artist has truly graced all of our ears this year, and the nominations uphold that. 

Following Lizzo, both Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X are two more new artists that are leading the nominations with six each! All three of them are first-time Grammy nominees, making this one of the most new artist nominated awards shows to date. 

Album Of The Year includes all three of those artists with their respective albums from 2019, and additionally includes Ariana Grande for her album “Thank U, Next,” Bon Iver’s “I, I,” Lana Del Rey’s “Norman F***ing Rockwell,” H.E.R.’s “I Used To Know Her,” and finally Vampire Weekend’s, “Father Of The Bride,” making them the only band nominated in the category. 

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Alicia Keys is hosting the Grammy’s again this year after a successful job last year; this also makes Keys the first female to ever host the show twice, she’s also the third woman to ever host the show in general. Which speaks volumes to why the awards this year are so heavily saturated with newer and more diverse nominees. In the past, all of the major award shows have been highly criticized for being extremely white washed and male dominated. While improvements have been made within the past decade, there’s still plenty of room to go and grow. 

Everyone remembers in 2017 when Adele won Album and Song of the Year over Beyoncé Knowles, who dominated with her “Lemonade” album that year. Adele herself said in both of her acceptance speeches that she felt Knowles was more deserving of the awards, sparking a massive online debate over the integrity of a group of individuals deciding what music they deemed to be award worthy every year. Frankly, they’ve lost their credibility. 

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The ratings have shown it to, this year both the VMA’s and the Emmy’s saw a record low rating of viewers, for reasons similar to those listed above. People aren’t as interested in seeing people awarded for accomplishments based off one groups opinions. For this reason, many major award shows are trying to base their ranking system based on public reaction and reception. With social media being as powerful as it is now, it’s easy to get a large focus group digitally to come together and tell the academy what worked, and what didn’t. 

While this year may have been dominated by the new artists, it seems as though the public is still bothered by the fact that those newcomers knocked out more established artists in categories they felt they were more than qualified to be nominated for, such as Taylor Swift, BTS, and Bruce Springsteen, who released a live Broadway album this year. 

“The Grammy’s have long been accused of not keeping up with the times and ‘playing it safe’ by honoring the tried and true artists in the industry. But this year it appears to be mostly about the new blood, with some of the more established performers actually being snubbed,” (CNN).

While the public may never be fully satisfied by the system in which these award nominations are chosen, the Grammy’s are always one of the most viewed award shows and this year it most likely won’t be any different. 

For the rest of the Grammy nominations for 2020; click here. 

Emmy Award

Lowest Rated Emmy’s In History Calls On The Academy To Make A Change

This past Sunday was the 71st annual Emmy awards, you may or may not have known that considering this year it reached a record low in terms of ratings. Only around 6.9 million people tuned in this year, which is about 30% lower than last years ratings which brought in around 11 million viewers, still not that impressive. 

Part of the blame is being put on the fact that the Emmy’s is the only major award show without a permanent network. The Grammy’s and Tony’s play on CBS, the Oscars on ABC, and the Golden Globes on NBC. The Emmy’s seem to bounce around all three of these networks and FOX periodically. This is part of a deal all four networks have together to ensure that all the top television broadcasters have access to the most coveted award show for their businesses. Basically everyone owns the Emmy’s, so everyone has a fair shot at being awarded. This contract was recently renewed by the Television Academy and was set to continue the network rotation until 2026 – until Sunday. 

The reality is, a majority of the shows that are nominated for Emmy awards, aren’t even on network television. With Netflix and Hulu being at the peak of the streaming service industry, so many more companies are now hopping on the bandwagon, and cable viewers are going with them. Prime Video, HBO, Disney, CBS, and NBC all are joining in to try to get into some of the mass success streaming services gain. In fact, the four major networks listed above gained a total of 16 Emmy awards spread amongst the four of them. To compare, HBO shows alone received a total of 34 awards. The awards were hosted on FOX this year, which normally is a guarantee for decreased ratings for the show, however, since they were on at the same time as a Sunday Night Football game, the ratings plummeted even more. 

Cast and crew of ‘Fleabag’ pose with awards

Finding a permanent network to be the new home for the Emmy’s might not fix it’s ratings issue, but it most likely will help. However, there needs to be a greater analysis and discussion as to why award shows in general aren’t as popular as they used to be. Even this years 2019 VMA’s was the lowest rated MTV has ever seen it, and that’s the epitome of award show musical entertainment. In terms of television and other visual entertainment, there’s just so many award worthy services and shows that many either don’t know of or just don’t have access to.

According to the Emmy coverage from CNN Entertainment, “the biggest challenge facing award shows generally is sheer gravity, with a glut of content — much of it largely unseen by the public at large — mitigating rooting interest in the outcome. The people who watch “Fleabag” love it, but we don’t even know how many folks that is, since Amazon and Netflix don’t share such information. Based on the fragmented nature of TV viewing, one suspects the most prevalent reaction to most of the winners from potential viewers would be blank stares.”

Cast and crew of ‘Saturday Night Live’ pose with awards

In addition, when it comes down to Academy voted award shows, viewers, millennials and generation Z kids especially, are realizing they can’t exactly trust a group of mainly older white men to decide what’s deemed “award worthy” and what’s not. Award shows hold a lot of controversy as well in regard to privilege and what type of person (white and heterosexual) is more likely to receive an award over others. For example, when Beck won “Album Of The Year” at the Grammy’s in 2014, shocking and disappointing millions of Beyoncé fans who thought she had it in the bag, and again in 2017 when Adele won over Beyoncé and even she thought it was ridiculous, praising Beyoncé during her speech for her album Lemonade and the amount of work she does for her community. 

However, award shows have become an amazing platform in which artists in every industry use to discuss heavy worldly issues with the audience. Partricia Arquette, for example, won an Emmy this past weekend and spent the majority of her acceptance speech discussing violence against the transgender community. Arquette is one of the hundreds of individuals who have graciously and amazingly used their platform to speak against injustices, however, what good is an inspiring speech about equality if no ones tuning in to watch it? Luckily with social media being as powerful as it is now, celebrities words of encouragement are spread just as quickly as they’re said, however, more can be done.

Overall, viewers want true democracy, in more ways than one. Finding a permanent network home for the Emmy’s might help improve its ratings, but the Academy really needs to take a broader look at what viewers are really wanting. A more diversified and fair means of deciding what gets awarded and what doesn’t.