Who votes for the Golden Globes winners and nominees now that the HFPA no longer exists?

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association was disbanded earlier this year following a series of accusations

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is not more, but the Golden Globes lives on as it is under new ownership and has new anonymous member rules. EPA
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In June, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group behind the Golden Globes, dissolved after 80 years.

During this time, US media behemoth Dick Clark Productions bought the awards show, turning it into a for-profit organisation with some of the proceeds continuing to go to the charities the HFPA used to support.

The HFPA was formed in 1943 by LA-foreign journalists looking to create a better system of distributing cinema news to markets outside of the US. The Golden Globes was launched the following year.

However, following a series of scandals including accusations of sexual harassment, an anti-trust lawsuit and the 2021 revelation that the association had not admitted a new black member since 2002, it was ultimately disbanded.

Who votes for the Golden Globes now?

The HFPA may no longer exist, but the Golden Globes as a brand still does, with the awards ceremony scheduled to air on January 7 on CBS.

The event has moved from its former home at NBC, after it was announced the network would no longer broadcast it following allegations of racism and corruption against the HFPA.

The former organisation, which used to decide on nominees and winners – and which journalists used to have to apply to in order to join – is now overseen by a membership board of directors, who will select and accredit journalists as Globes’s anonymous voting members.

The year’s most surprising nomination is for Finnish actress Alma Poysti, who was nominated for best actress in a musical or comedy for the comedy drama Fallen Leaves. Her inclusion has been held up as an example of the Globes’s new direction, following their much derided three nominations for the Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie flop The Tourist back in 2011.

Who owns the Golden Globes?

US billionaire Todd Boehly bought the Golden Globes through his holding company Eldridge Industries, which co-owns Dick Clark Productions.

Boehly co-owns the Chelsea Football Club of the English Premier League and has a stake in the LA Lakers of the NBA. Eldridge Industries also owns Penske Media, behind US print publications and websites The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Rolling Stone, Billboard and Deadline, the main publications reporting on Hollywood and the film industry. These outlets were given the exclusive announcement that the HFPA was disbanding.

Eldridge Industries also has a stake in a group called Cain International, which owns part of The Beverly Hilton hotel, where the Golden Globes are held.

Boehly told the Los Angeles Times that the aim was to “transition the organisation from a not-for-profit with no accountability and bad governance to an organisation where there is employee-based accountability".

What happened to all the former HFPA members?

The 300 former members, who were previously unpaid, were given the option of remaining at the company and becoming employees with a $75,000 per year salary and insurance. The role includes voting for the Golden Globes and providing content for the company. But as a salaried employee, they can be fired.

The Los Angeles Times reported that any former HFPA member who wanted to leave the organisation would receive $225,000 in severance. The 103 non-member voters who were invited to join the HFPA last year retain their voting rights, but don’t get paid.

Boehly has said putting members on salaries removes the issues Hollywood publicists had long complained about regarding the power of the HPFA when it came to accessing celebrities during their awards campaigning.

Due to the HFPA’s policy of exclusivity, actors who campaigned for a Golden Globe had to attend HFPA member-only press conferences, shutting out all non-member journalists and giving the organisation all the power.

Controversy over new category

There is a new new category included in this year’s awards that has created confusion in Hollywood called the cinematic and box office achievement.

According to the Golden Globes, films are eligible if they achieve a box office grosses of $150 million or more, including $100 million at the US box office. Movies that didn’t get a theatrical release need to be able to show similar digital streaming figures.

The category has been lauded for recognising the success of the likes of sci-fi and superhero movies that are traditionally shut out of awards season, while others see it as awarding the biggest money-maker without recognising the film’s additional achievements.

“The problem I have with the category is that it’s not even about box office achievement,” said Dustin Rowles, a film critic at Pajiba.com. “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is a tough one because it’s the 10th highest-grossing film of the year, but probably the most profitable because Swift didn’t work with a studio middleman and she netted most of the profits herself. That is a box-office achievement, though not a cinematic one.”

“The most important metric, money or acclaim, is still not immediately clear,” said journalist Mikey O'Connell of The Hollywood Reporter. “Though it would at least seem that the $1.44 billion-grossing Barbie is the frontrunner either way.”

Updated: December 13, 2023, 10:48 AM