A bunch of overseas journalists protecting Hollywood banded collectively 80 years in the past into the Hollywood Overseas Press Assn. and created the Golden Globes, a unusual, irreverent awards present, televised for many years, that folks watched for enjoyable and actors attended as a result of they knew individuals could be watching.
A few years in the past, the group received into bother after the L.A. Instances reported on its members’ unethical habits — starting from taking too many selfies with stars to taking too many free journeys, resort stays and meals from studios. The group additionally had no Black members.
After being shunned by Hollywood stars, publicists and NBC, the community that had been airing the present, the HFPA reformed itself, diversified and expanded its voting membership and set new guidelines forbidding all freebies. The present returned to NBC in January with stars schmoozing one another at dinner tables within the viewers — however to close to document low scores. (Different large awards reveals have gone up and down within the scores.)
Now, in yet one more twist, the group has gone from being nonprofit to being nonexistent after it dissolved itself and bought off the rights to the Golden Globes to Eldridge Industries, a personal fairness agency, and Dick Clark Productions. The brand new house owners will create a for-profit firm to run the Globes awards present and discover different industrial alternatives linked to the Globes. Proceeds from the sale will go right into a newly created nonprofit Golden Globes Basis, which can proceed the HFPA’s in depth philanthropic work.
The 95 former members who reside and work within the U.S., principally as freelance journalists for overseas media shops, will now grow to be workers of the for-profit firm making $75,000 a yr (until they select to not keep on — through which case they get severance of $225,000). They are going to be paid to do the stuff they did without cost previously — display screen motion pictures and TV reveals and nominate and vote for entertainers within the numerous Globes classes. (As HFPA members, some acquired stipends for serving to placed on the present.) Moreover, they might write for the brand new firm’s Globes web site, interviewing celebrities for the positioning, for instance.
Two years in the past they received in bother (deservedly) for appearing unprofessionally as journalists protecting entertainers whose work they could be judging for the Globes. Now they are going to be skilled awards voters who additionally write about celebrities for the web site of that awards present. Doesn’t this pivot strip away no matter credibility the members tried arduous the final two years to regain?
There’s one thing unseemly a few Globes voter getting paid to jot down for the Globes web site about an actor that they might find yourself nominating for a Golden Globe award to be given out on the stage of a present owned by the corporate they work for. Will the corporate executives urge voters to appoint high-profile stars and administrators in hopes that they’ll present up? The brand new mannequin seems to be one big public relations machine. Complicating all this: Eldridge has an funding in Penske Media’s leisure media manufacturers, which embrace Selection and Hollywood Reporter, commerce publications that cowl the leisure business. Eldridge additionally has a minority stake within the impartial movie firm A24. How intertwined can this get?
After all, all televised awards reveals find yourself stoking publicity for the leisure business. (Oscar voters work within the leisure enterprise and don’t receives a commission for his or her time watching motion pictures, nominating their friends and voting on them. The Academy is a nonprofit group.)
The businesses shopping for the Golden Globes say this new construction is extra sustainable. Free of having to hustle for interviews with stars on location units that they will’t afford to journey to on their very own dime and free of having to placed on the present, the voting members will now be journalists who work for the Golden Globes firm — and who occur to be Golden Globes voters. Additionally, the now-defunct HFPA diversified (10% of voters are Black and 58% total are nonwhite) by including 215 journalists dwelling and dealing in international locations world wide as voters. Abroad members would proceed to be voters however wouldn’t be paid by the Globes firm. So, the overwhelming majority of voters would not be paid by the Globes firm.
The issue with the HFPA, many imagine, is that it was operating an excessive amount of — the present, press conferences, awards. Todd Boehly, the chief government of Eldridge, informed the LA Instances that you just repair a few of these issues by transitioning “a corporation from a not-for-profit with no accountability and dangerous governance to a corporation the place there’s employee-based accountability.”
And the executives say they won’t be concerned within the nominating and voting processes.
However these are adjustments that would carry new moral issues for the beleaguered Golden Globes enterprise. We wish the Golden Globes to proceed to be a enjoyable and wacky present the place an actress reveals up with intentionally mismatched footwear (see Helena Bonham Carter in 2011) and Quinta Brunson, creator and star of “Abbott Elementary,” pauses mid-speech accepting an award to say, “Hey, Brad Pitt” to the actor within the viewers.
The previous HFPA voters ought to proceed with this new iteration cautiously. Can the Golden Globes survive this transition and nonetheless matter? We’ll see.