A few days ago, the “Golden Globe” awards returned to network television to a resounding whimper. It was one of the lowest ratings ever for the show. Some nominees and winners didn’t show up and others that did show up said they still have a “wait and see” attitude for the awards. Even NBC, who has aired the show for years (except for last year) only agreed to broadcast it for one year.
This is mostly due to the controversies around the Hollywood Foreign Press, the group that votes on the winners of the show. The controversies led to a lot of studios and publicists boycotting the show in late 2021 and led to NBC announcing they wouldn’t air the show last year.
According to reports, the Hollywood Foreign Press has been reformed. They are changing the company from a non-profit to a for profit company and they added a few members and about a hundred “non-members” who will still vote on the awards.
However, the question I have – which I had even before the controversy – is why are the Golden Globe awards still a thing. Why do people think that winning a Golden Globe award is so important.
From what I understand, years ago the awards were important because the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards were the only major awards that most people were aware of (other than the popular awards shows like the “People’s Choice” awards and the “MTV Movie Awards”). However, that’s a lot different now. Now more people know about the other awards shows like the Critics’ Choice Awards (which would be a PERFECT award show replacement for the Golden Globes if you ask me), the SAG awards, the BAFTA awards in the UK (the UK version of the Academy Awards), and the other awards show that air on television plus the dozens that don’t air on television. So, the Golden Globe awards aren’t as important anymore.
Also, the other awards shows have a connection with the movie and television industries. Some of them are awards from unions or guilds (Directors Guild, Producers Guild, Writers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, Editors Guild, Cinematographers Guild, etc.) so – like the Academy Awards – other people who work in the industry vote on what or who they think was the best of the year. Other awards shows are from movie or television critics groups (Critics Choice Awards, National Board of Review, Los Angeles Critics, New York Critics, etc.). From what I understand, the Hollywood Foreign Press is just a group of journalists. I don’t believe that they are all film and/or television critics. Some of them just “write stories about the industry” or similar subjects.
Another thing that people used to say is that movies that won the Golden Globe can promote that in the movie advertising. Although they still do that, it’s along with all the other awards or nominations that the movie receives. For example, right now “The Fabelmans” has won or been nominated for OVER 200 AWARDS (although that number might go down once winners are announced) including the Golden Globes, the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) awards, Critics Choice Awards, and the National Board of Review. Cate Blanchett in “Tár” has been nominated for over 30 awards and has already won over 20 awards.
So, the “Golden Globe Winner” will be in smaller print to go along with all the other wins that a movie can promote. Unless they don’t have any other nominations or wins. If they don’t have any other awards or nominations, there might be a reason why. If they’re nominated or win a Golden Globe but are not nominated or win anything else, that may not be a good thing to mention in advertising.
One thing I do admire is that the Golden Globes manage to give an award to the best movie, actor, or actress AND give an award to the most popular movie, actor, or actress. This is because they have two separate categories for the best picture and best actor/actress awards. One for drama and another for musical or comedy. This has led to things like Tom Cruise winning 3 Golden Globe awards (he hasn’t received any Academy Awards so far) – although he returned the Golden Globe awards that he had won during the controversy.
However, the separate awards have also been controversial. First, the awards have had some odd nominations which have led people to ask, “is that movie a comedy?” This year, the winner “The Banshees of Inisherin” could be considered a comedy but could also be considered a drama. Second, before the restructuring, it had made it easier for them to give awards to people who (allegedly) bribed them with gifts and trips. Including when Pia Zadoras husband invited all the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press on a vacation. Right after that, she won the Golden Globe for “New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture” in 1982 (it’s still listed as one of the only awards she has ever won). Third, it contributed to the rumored unofficial rules of such as “if you don’t show up, you won’t win the award”.
Finally, the restructuring of the Hollywood Foreign Press has created what could be considered a new controversy. According to reports, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press will earn $75,000 a year. So, they’re getting paid to watch movies and TV shows and then vote on them. Why are they so special? How are their opinions more important than the thousands of other people who watch movies and television shows every year? Most of the others don’t get paid to watch movies and TV shows (except for critics who get paid to write about the movies and/or TV shows they watch – not to vote on them).
This includes me! How do I get paid to watch movies and TV shows and then vote on my favorites? If I was getting $75,000 a year, I’ll go watch every movie that comes out. I’ll be first in line for “Avatar: The Way of Water” (which I haven’t seen yet) and this weekends “House Party” (which I probably won’t be seeing) if I was getting paid to watch them. I write stories about movies and the movie industry. My opinions are just as valid as the opinion of any of the Hollywood Foreign Press members (or non-members that vote).
So, I would imagine if the Golden Globes awards do not air on television or even if they do not have any awards in 2024, that would be a good thing (although the Hollywood Foreign Press should continue because they do a lot of good things). It would give more room for the more relevant awards shows. The only difference is that there will be one less award listed in the nominations and winners list, but with all the other nominations and wins listed I’m sure that people won’t notice.