The Golden Globes are back on TV, but are reform efforts enough? | lifestyle

NEW YORK (AP) — Without a TV show, a star-studded red carpet, a host, press or even a live broadcast, last year’s Golden Globes were in chaos after scandal erupted over a lack of diversity, accusations of sexism and ethical and financial lapses among people. members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

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FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2009 file photo, Golden Globe statues are seen during a news conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The 80th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Tuesday, January 10. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Once known as Hollywood’s biggest drunkest party, which regularly drew 18 million television viewers, the statuette giveaway was reduced to a 90-minute, celebrity-free private event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The winners were announced on Twitter, often without specifying for which project who actually won.

What a difference a year can make.

NBC will bring the battered 80-year-old Globes back to the air on Tuesday on a one-year deal, as opposed to the multi-year contracts of the past, after vacating the telecast following a devastating Los Angeles Times expose. worth tens of millions of dollars.

A wave of celebrities are set to attend, along with star presenters and entertainer Jerrod Carmichael, after the Globes’ embattled controllers got deep into work to implement top-down reforms.

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This image released by NBC shows host Jerrod Carmichael during his monologue on “Saturday Night Live.” Carmichael will host the Golden Globes on Tuesday. (Will Heath/NBC via AP)

There is now a strict code of conduct, renewed regulations, a ban on gifts and new rules for accepting travel and other benefits from the industry. Contentious press conferences have been scrapped, and the award’s voting pool has expanded beyond the 87 Los Angeles-based foreign journalists who once ruled the organization.

But are the powerful publicists, studios and other stakeholders who boycotted in protest satisfied with the changes? And are these changes the beginning – or closer to the end?

“It’s far from over,” said German journalist Helen Hoehne, who took over as president of the HFPA a year and a half ago. “We always said when we started this journey that it would continue and that it would take time.

Golden Globes-reforms

FILE – Helen Hoehne, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, announces the nominations for the 79th Annual Golden Globe Awards on December 13, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California. The 80th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 10 (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Kelly Bush Novak, CEO and founder of A-list public relations firm ID, said more needs to be done but supports the steps taken so far.

“We have come together … to secure the future of the Globes, in line with our culture and our shared values ​​as an industry, and we are seeing commendable and seismic progress,” she said. “I am optimistic that the work will continue.”

Still, Novak admitted that not all stakeholders are on board ahead of Tuesday’s broadcast, despite sweeping changes aimed at restoring the Globes’ luster.

Last year, columnists like Novak banded together to fight the HFPA, and studios that included Netflix and WarnerMedia severed ties with the organization after the LA Times raised questions about corruption and a series of racial and sexual-orientation bias issues.

None of the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were black, and the group has not had a black member since at least 2002.

Now, after trying to expand and diversify its ranks, 199 people, a mix of 96 HFPA members and outsiders from other countries brought in to dilute the power of the old guard, decide who gets the globe. Membership eligibility was expanded from Los Angeles to anywhere in the United States.

In broadcast television, 52% of Globes voters are 51.8% racially and ethnically diverse, including 19.6% Latino, 12.1% Asian, 10.1% black, and 10.1% Middle Eastern. Voters include those who are LGBTQIA+. A total of 62 countries are represented.

The board was expanded from nine to 15 and includes three black members, two of whom vote on rules and other matters but not on awards. In total, the organization now has six Black HFPA members and 14 non-member Black International Globes voters.

Perhaps the most significant change: The Globes were bought by billionaire Todd Boehly, who also owns the Beverly Hilton, Globes producer dick clark productions and the Chelsea soccer team. It is moving the voting body from its founding nonprofit status to a for-profit model, pending approval by the California attorney general. He plans to maintain the HFPA’s charitable activities with a separate non-profit entity.

Golden Globes-reforms

FILE – Chelsea owner Todd Boehly looks on from the stands before the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London on August 27, 2022. Boehly, who also owns the Beverly Hilton, owns the Golden Globes. The 80th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 10 (AP Photo/David Cliff, File)

A complaint hotline run by two independent law firms was opened to investigate outsiders. A chief diversity officer was hired and mandatory race, sexual harassment, and sexual orientation sensitivity training was instituted, which is required of every HFPA member voting in the Globe.

Michelle Williams, nominated for her turn in “The Fabelmans,” is among dozens of stars in attendance Tuesday.

“I feel like the community as a whole has decided that this organization has done a lot of work to reform itself and that we can support change, how can we hold people accountable and then support them as they continue on their journey. on their way to better organization,” she said.

Judd Hirsch, nominated for the same film, added: “We’ll be there. We’ll give them another chance.”

Putting press conferences at the center of insensitive questions asked of talent who felt obligated to show up helped cool some critics, but not all.

“I can’t speak for everyone. There may be some reluctance to participate,” Novák said. “We must acknowledge the past and never forget the damage done. Manifesting a new future requires this.”

Brendan Fraser, nominated for his performance in “The Whale,” will not be there on Tuesday. In 2018, Fraser said he was groped by Philip Berk, a former president of the HFPA who is from South Africa.

Berk was expelled in 2021 after calling Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement”.

“I just hope that over time we can earn his trust,” Hoehne said of Fraser.

The same, Hoehne said, is true for Tom Cruise. Last year, he returned his three Golden Globes in protest. With a Best Picture nod for his long-awaited sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” he was awarded Best Actor this year.

Under Boehly’s leadership, HFPA members will earn $75,000 a year as its employees, up from current stipends of closer to $5,000. They will vote on the nominations and winners among the films and TV series submitted for consideration for the awards. They will write for the organization’s website and organize other projects, the LA Times reported, citing a confidential employee report it reviewed.

The 103 new non-voting members recruited with the help of the National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian Journalists Association and LGBTQIA+ organizations will not be paid, creating a two-tiered structure aimed at removing the taint of financial compensation as more new recruits come on board.

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FILE – Actor Brendan Fraser attends a special screening of FX Networks’ ‘Trust’ at Florence Gould Hall on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 in New York City. Fraser stars in “The Whale”. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Outraged industry stakeholders have demanded that the Globes vote total be closer to 300. Other reforms are aimed at combating the perception of influence peddling.

As potential paid employees, members will be terminated without cause. They are now required to sign a code of conduct on job performance, decency and ethical behavior every year.

Hoehne acknowledged that the 80-year-old group was stuck in a rut.

“We needed to question a lot of things. We needed to look at these bylaws and say, OK, how can we make them better? How can we modernize the association? We’ve never really done that or addressed that,” she said. .

Although the new compensation structure has not yet been implemented, over the past year the HFPA has pushed out several members it accused of violating its standards.

One was accused of forging signatures on Internal Revenue Service documents, another case involved sexual harassment, and a third involved fabricating conversations that never happened, according to an HFPA spokesman.

Boehly himself acknowledged that the future is uncertain.

“I have nightmares where it doesn’t work either, you know? I get it, you can’t convince all the people of anything all the time,” he told the LA Times. “We know we have to add value and we know we have to be part of the solution.”


Associated Press Writer Krysta Fauria contributed to this report.

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