In the dubious history of the Golden Globe awards

Wcute netflix hen Emily in Paris was nominated for two Golden Globes in January, including Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, the news sparked a stir and confusion. Of course, actress Lily Collins was brave and well dressed enough for the streaming giant to quickly renew the series for a second season. But for the silly and sweet romantic comedy of beating the famous Michaela Coel I can destroy you? How could this happen?

A few weeks after the announcement, there was a hint of a response. Thirty-three members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which judges the Globes, were invited to Paris to visit the Emily in Paris released in 2019, courtesy of Paramount Network, the Los Angeles Times reported. One member told the outlet that they were treated like “kings and queens”.

Indeed, they were. Not only did their stay at the luxurious Peninsula Paris hotel – which overlooks the Arc de Triomphe and still charges over $ 1,400 per night in the event of a global pandemic – went smoothly, they were treated to a chic gala event at the museum. private and historic Fairground Arts.

Everything is terribly exaggerated, but this is just the most recent example of how HFPA members are seen and dined by studios in the hopes of getting awards for their TV shows, movies. and their stars.

The way the HFPA has been treated at this level of schmoozing dates back to its formation in 1943, when it was started by a small group of foreign journalists seeking to gain better access to celebrities while covering the entertainment industry. The first Golden Globes were held the following year, and it didn’t take long for publicists to start approaching the association, seeking to create a buzz around a project and eventually force an Oscar nomination. .

“One thing that can’t be bought is a Golden Globe… officially,” Ricky Gervais joked on the 2010 . “But if you were to buy one, the man to see would be. [former HFPA president] Philip Berk. (Berk himself has been accused of groping actor Brendan Fraser.)

Beyond the slippery nature of the nominations, the Golden Globes are known as the most alcoholic event of awards season. Last year, a Moët representative said 1,500 mini-bottles of champagne will be handed out on the red carpet alone, and the company has an additional 125 cases in reserve during the event.

And apparently, it pays to have celebs while drinking. The Globes are the third most-watched awards after the Grammys and the Oscars. NBC is paying around $ 60 million to broadcast the event and a recent survey of the Los Angeles Times found that the HFPA had around $ 50 million sitting in the bank in October.

With plenty of money to be made and landmark career achievements in sight, the studios have long wooed the association’s members. One of the first major controversies surrounding the practices of the HFPA dates back to 1982 with actress Pia Zadora. Despite his independent detective film Butterfly Criticized by critics, she won the “New Star of the Year” award on Body heatKathleen Turner and RagtimeElizabeth McGovern.

It was later revealed that her billionaire husband Meshulam Riklis, 30 years older than her, sent HFPA members to his Las Vegas casino for a private screening a few weeks before their vote.

In 2015, Zadora, who had since divorced Riklis, maintained The Hollywood Reporter that her ex-husband “didn’t buy” her Globe, but admitted that she now realized the “controversy”. “I understand,” she said. “I understand. Whether it’s or not, I understand.

As a result, CBS severed its broadcast agreement with the Globes. The awards had already been abandoned by NBC in 1968 after the FCC accused it of “deceiving the public about how the winners were chosen.”

There was another mind-boggling trip to Las Vegas in 2010, when Sony not only gave members an all-expenses- stay in Sin City, but also Cher gave a private concert for them. Not so by chance, the movie company had two films that it distributed: The tourist, with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, and Burlesque, with Cher and Christina Aguilera. Both films were box office disappointments and the reviews weren’t kind. Still, both films won nominations for Best Picture at the Globes.

There was another mind-boggling trip to Las Vegas in 2010, when Sony not only gave members an all-expenses- stay in Sin City, but also Cher gave a private concert for them.

In the past, HFPA members have traveled to destinations such as Cancun, London, and even Bora Bora for press junkets, although members would have to pay their own way when traveling overseas. (A studio source said US weekly that for the Emily in Paris travel, the company did not pay for members’ flights and their stay at the five-star hotel was booked at a group rate.)

The HFPA also has rules that ban giveaways costing over $ 125, but over the years there have been giveaways distributed that have nearly tripled that value.

Members were forced to return a $ 400 Coach watch that was allegedly for by USA Films, which was seeking a Best Actress nomination for Sharon Stone for 1999. The muse. They were also asked to return Focus Features’ gift of two bottles of dear Tom Ford cologne while the studio was promoting. Nocturnal animals in 2016. (Aaron Taylor- ended up shocking awards pundits with a Best Supporting Actor victory for the film.)

In a $ 2 million bombing lawsuit brought by longtime publicist Michael Russell in 2011, HFPA members were accused of routinely “abusing[ing] their positions and commitments[ing] under unethical and potentially illegal agreements and arrangements that constitute a “payola” system. “

The breach of contract and the fraud lawsuit also contained allegations that the tax-exempt HFPA was giving lesser-known media prime spots on the Globes red carpet in exchange for a check.

Russell claimed he tried to raise concerns about such practices, but was essentially fired when the HFPA refused to renew his contract, prompting him to take legal action. He eventually reached a settlement in 2013 and the terms were never disclosed.

So who are these often silent members receiving free travel and having unfettered access to some of Hollywood’s biggest names?

The recent Los Angeles Times the survey found that there are currently 87 members representing 55 countries who reach 250 million readers per year. He admitted three new members in October: Danielle Kool from the Netherlands, Sabrina Joshi from India and Yulia Charysheva from Russia.

But beyond its newcomers, it’s difficult to come up with a full list as their names don’t appear on the association’s website. The Los Angeles Times was able to shed some more light, naming nearly a dozen members, including three Americans, who mostly write obscure media around the world.

In 2018, the play by former HFPA president Aida Takla-O’Reilly for EgyptAir Horus The magazine drew attention to what was billed as an interview with Drew Barrymore. The article made insensitive remarks about the actress and her quotes were distorted. Barrymore’s team said they did not participate in the interview and the HFPA issued a statement confirming that parts of the story were not written by Takla-O’Reilly, but rather drawn from “other sources”.

It is difficult to acquire a membership in HFPA. Hopes must be based in Southern California, cover entertainment for a foreign publication, submit 24 writing clips from the past three years, be sponsored by two current members, and pay a non-refundable $ 500 initiation fee.

But sometimes jumping through all the hoops is still not enough.

Last year, Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa sued the association for rejecting her candidacy twice, first in 2018 and again in 2019. She claimed to have been refused because she did not want it to be she competes for talks with existing members who “don’t want to share or dilute the huge economic benefits they receive. “

“The HFPA does not only succeed in providing a process for applying for membership, it does not even pretend to do so,” Flaa’s complaint said. “It also requires two approval votes by members without providing any guidelines or standards for approving or rejecting candidates. It does not put any emphasis on assessing the quality of a candidate’s work. Instead, it freely allows its members to base their admission decisions on whether a candidate could become a competitive threat to an existing member.

A federal judge dismissed Flaa’s antitrust lawsuit in November, writing that she had obtained “professional recognition … without membership in the HFPA – and could not have been obtained had she been denied the capacity to exercise her profession. profession”. Undeterred, Flaa modifies her complaint and Spanish journalist Rosa Gamazo has also joined the case.

The Los Angeles Times the survey also found that while some members are people of color, no current member is black.

Director Ava DuVernay reacted to the news with a glance, tweeting that she wasn’t surprised. “Reveals? As in, people act like it’s not already widely known? For years?” She wrote.

Many critics of the Golden Globe nominations quickly correlated the lack of black members with the snubbing of Coel, as well as Spike . Da 5 bloods, The J of Shaka Kingudas and the black Messiah, and Ma Rainey’s black background to be overlooked in the best film category. And while HBO Lovecraft Country received a nod for Best TV Series, no cast members were nominated in the acting categories.

Regarding the I can destroy you snob, even Emily in Paris writer Deborah Copaken found this absurd. “Now am I excited that Emily in Paris was nominated? Yes. Of course. I’ve never been far away to see a Golden Globe statue up close, let alone be nominated for one, ”she wrote in The Guardian. “But this excitement is now unfortunately tempered by my rage at Coel’s snub. This I can destroy you didn’t get a single nod at the Golden Globe, that’s not just wrong, it’s what’s wrong with everything.

The 78th Golden Globe Awards will air on Sunday, February 28 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

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