Is this the end for the Golden Globes?

With a reputation in tatters and now a private ceremony on the agenda, have the awards lost their appeal for good?

A stripped-down Golden Globes will go ahead with no audience or media on January 9, 2022. AFP
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This Sunday, the Golden Globes will be held as a private event with no red carpet and no live stream.

Instead, a handful of members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group of journalists who organise the event, and other guests, will congregate at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California for a 90-minute affair that, on the outside, seems more like an internal meeting than a Hollywood event.

Broadcaster NBC announced last year that it would not televise the event after the HFPA faced criticism over a lack of diversity within its membership and questionable ethics in regards to choosing nominees and winners. There have also been accusations of racism, sexism, bullying and corruption against the association and its members.

Prior to this, NBC had been broadcasting the award ceremony since 1996.

In 2022, the HFPA has stated on Twitter that it will be “providing real-time updates on winners on the Golden Globes website and our social media”, which seems so far removed from glamorous ceremonies of decades past.

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In the fallout of the controversy, A-list celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson and Tom Cruise have been vocal about their criticism of the HFPA, with the latter returning three of his awards to the organisation.

“If an award is handed out alone in a forest, with nobody looking, did it really happen at all?,” Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of Women in Hollywood, said in the Observer.

The question is important: without an audience, can the Golden Globes keep its relevance? Beyond that, can the organisation behind the Globes redeem itself after facing scrutiny in the last two years?

Last week, Variety reported that the Globes talent booker had tried to find a celebrity host for this year’s event, only to be met with silence and disinterest.

In December, rapper Snoop Dogg did agree to announce the Golden Globe nominations, which include Lady Gaga for her role in House of Gucci, Will Smith for King Richard, Kristen Stewart for Spencer and Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth.

While the HFPA has tried to redeem itself with “extreme urgency” by hiring a diversity officer and implementing new rules that restrict members from receiving gifts from studios, the response to these gestures from celebrities and critics has been discouragingly quiet.

In the meantime, NBC has said it will welcome the idea of bringing back the Golden Globes to the network in 2023 if the HFPA does show changes, though it is unclear what those would have to be.

That leaves audiences in 2022 with little choice but to check on the Golden Globes website or social media channels for this year’s winners. Whether or not the ceremony will suffer the same fate next year, only time will tell.

Updated: January 09, 2022, 12:22 PM