If you’ve had a busy Monday and just now wondering where all the Golden Globes red carpet looks and inappropriate acceptance speeches are, you didn’t miss much as the ceremony wasn’t televised.
This year’s Golden Globes took place behind closed doors at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, hiding away like a naughty school kid after it emerged the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the awards, didn’t have a single Black member out of 87, sparking a diversity row.
However, if you happened to scroll through Twitter on Sunday evening, you may have noticed the award winners were instead randomly announced in a flurry of tweets.
The Golden Globes were noticeably mooted this year but, perhaps, not enough as it shouldn’t have taken place at all.
Until the race row involving the HFPA erupted last year, the Golden Globes were known as one of the most enjoyable awards shows, markedly more upbeat and vibrant than the prestigious Oscars.
It’s the kind of awards where Ricky Gervais can get away with obliterating celebrity culture right in front of an A-list audience, while the red carpet looks are always that bit more daring. These are just some of the reasons why so many of us were massively disappointed to learn that the HFPA wasn’t as inclusive behind-the-scenes as it appeared to be in front.
When the shocking figures of the lack of diversity within the association were revealed in January 2020, it sparked outrage not just among those peering into Hollywood from the outside, but those most prominent within it too.
Tom Cruise reportedly returned the three Golden Globe trophies he has won throughout his career, while Jennifer Aniston, Ava DuVernay, Amy Schumer and Laura Dern were among the celebrities who openly condemned the lack of inclusion for Black tastemakers – the HFPA is made up of journalists from around the world.
With the lack of support from Hollywood (save for Jamie Lee Curtis who was the only celebrity to appear), it came as no surprise that the HFPA announced that the awards show would go ahead without an audience or red carpet for celebrities to strut down – because of Covid health and safety measures, of course.
What did come as a huge surprise was that, even though the stars wouldn’t be physically present, the awards would not even take place virtually as many have done during the pandemic.
To be fair, it would have been slightly awkward to sit through with the diversity controversy being the elephant in the room.
But ultimately, this is why the Golden Globes just shouldn’t have gone ahead this year.
It’s highly disappointing that some of the most notable wins – especially for Black people – were so unceremoniously announced in a tweet.
Will Smith finally won his first Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture drama for his acclaimed performance as Venus and Serena Williams’ father in King Richard. Pose star MJ Rodriguez also made Golden Globes history after becoming the first transgender actress to win an award.
With the awards significantly scaled back, Smith and Rodriguez were robbed of the chance to accept their award properly and deliver acceptance speeches that would have gone down in history. Instead, they have tweets.
Several other people of colour were recipients of awards – Ariana DeBose and Rachel Zegler won for West Side Story – but, while these are incredible achievements for the individuals, it’s hard not to wonder if they would have won if diversity hadn’t become an issue.
Given the events of the past year regarding the HFPA, it feels like damage control and frankly a little disingenuous.
It’s clear the tension surrounding the Golden Globes is still hot and having no awards this year would have been better than a half-hearted version.
However, it should be highlighted that the HFPA appears to have made efforts to fulfil its promise of overhauling its membership.
In August, the association voted to approve new bylaws designed to ‘codify measures that restructure the organisation along the lines of inclusion, accountability and ethics, and greater responsiveness to the film industry and the diversity of world journalism’.
They also added 12 new members to its board of directors.
If the Golden Globes do go ahead in 2023, it will be interesting to see further changes made to the association and the impact that might have.
Until then, we’ll just forget this year’s awards even took place in any form and honestly, if we didn’t see it, it didn’t happen.
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