NBC cancels broadcast of Golden Globes 2022 amid industry criticism of HFPA
James R | On 11, May 2021
NBC will not broadcast the Golden Globes awards in 2022, as the film industry increasingly boycotts the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after months of criticism surrounding the organisation’s lack of diversity and transparency.
In February, the LA Times published an exposé about the small group of 87 journalists who make up the organisation that votes for the awards. The article revealed that there were no Black members of the group, while also detailing other issues, including alleged ethical conflicts and misconduct.
Last week, the HFPA announced a framework for reform, including adding 50 per cent to its membership within 18 months and also adding restrictions on gifts that HFPA members could receive. But the changes have been deemed too slow and too vague for the industry to tolerate and, since then, Netflix and Amazon Studios both recently stated that they were no longer do business with the HFPA until it implemented significant changes.
Netflix chief exec Ted Sarandos wrote a letter the streamer’s relationship with the group was suspended until “more meaningful changes”, such as a more transparent nominations process, were made. WarnerMedia also came out and boycotted the group.
“Like many in our industry, we’ve been waiting for today’s announcement in the hope that you would acknowledge the breadth of issues facing the HFPA and provide a clear roadmap for change,” said Sarandos. “Today’s vote is an important first step. However, we don’t believe these proposed new policies — particularly around the size and speed of membership growth — will tackle the HFPA’s systemic diversity and inclusion challenges, or the lack of clear standards for how your members should operate. So we’re stopping any activities with your organisation until more meaningful changes are made.”
Netflix had more Golden Globe nominations than any other studio at the 2021 awards, which makes its boycott a particularly strong blow. Two of those nominations were for Emily in Paris, a series originally developed by Paramount, which flew 30 HFPA members to the French capital and put them up in five-star hotels to help promote the show – when it debuted on Netflix in 2020, it received middling reviews.
NBC’s decision to join the backlash against the HFPA comes as Tom Cruise has spoken out against the organisation and returned the three awards he has won in the past. Scarlett Johansson has also criticised the organisation and accused members of sexism and inappropriate behaviour. Campaign group Time’s Up has also called for major reform of the group, alongside stars such as Mark Ruffalo.
“It’s discouraging to see the HFPA, which has gained prominence and profited handsomely from their involvement with filmmakers and actors, resist the change that is being asked of them from many of the groups that have been most disenfranchised by their culture of secrecy and exclusion,” said Ruffalo on Twitter. “Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past. Honestly, as a recent winner of a Golden Globe, I cannot feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award.”
More than 100 Hollywood PR firms have also signed a letter on Monday saying that they will advise the stars on their books not to work with the HFPA until changes are made, criticising it for “discriminatory behaviour, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption”.
With NBC not airing the ceremony at all, the stage is set for a significant shift in the awards and entertaining industry landscape.