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Pursuing "meaningful reform": Hollywood boycotts Golden Globes 2022

By Tammy Newman Feb. 16, 2022

Kailey Hu Art

With NBC refusing to televise the awards show, the 2022 Golden Globes held Jan. 9 had no red carpet, cheering audience or live telecast to announce its winners. For the past eight decades, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) held this annual award show to honor the best in American film and television. Though they started successfully, the organization’s incessant scandals and lack of diversity have prompted major Hollywood players to boycott the show.


In the 1940s, when Hollywood was growing more popular, a trivial group of struggling journalists banded together and formed the HFPA. To advertise and draw celebrities to their organization, they decided to hand out awards, establishing the Golden Globes.


However, as the show grew in popularity, it became mired in scandals. It started with bribery: In 1982, actress Pia Zadora was named Star of the Year because her husband had dined with the organization, NPR reports. Furthermore, in 1999, comedy actress Sharon Stone was nominated Best Actress in Comedy, after the film company sent the HFPA several costly watches. More recently, the HFPA nominated Netflix’s “Emily in Paris” for the Best Television Series of 2020, which received significant backlash. A later investigation uncovered that more than 30 HFPA members were gifted a trip to a luxury resort by Paramount Network, the show’s production company.


“I was not surprised when I heard that the Golden Globes was not being televised this year. I have watched the award show in the past, but I stopped watching when I heard about all its scandals, like with Pia Zadora and Sharon Stone,” Junior Ariana Amato said.


Meanwhile, a L.A. Times investigation last February spotlighted the HFPA’s culture of corruption and demographic inequality, revealing that while they had a number of people of color, there was not a single Black member out of the 87.


This time, Hollywood shunned the Globes’ ethical missteps: NBC refused to broadcast the award show, celebrities boycotted the show and PR firms called off deals with HFPA.

Famously, Tom Cruise returned three of his Golden Globes, and Scarlett Johansson, who was nominated for five Golden Globes in the past, urged other celebrities to boycott the show, further claiming the HFPA would often make sexist inquiries in public interviews that made her uncomfortable.


“The HFPA’s unethical behavior and lack of diversity in nominations are clear indicators that the show must be fundamentally changed. NBC was right to cancel the Golden Globes and refuse to stream it as it provides them with an incentive to reform,” Junior Eric Lien said.


In response to the backlash, the HFPA hired its first chief diversity officer and swore to create new rules that ban members from accepting gifts. Promising to publish a membership list for transparency, they also added 21 new members to their organization—making 29% of their journalists black—and began accepting foreign journalists who are based across the U.S.


Despite the reforms, large companies have pledged to cut ties with the HFPA until they make meaningful changes to the group’s demographics. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos announced his company’s leave in a letter on May 6, noting the “collective failure” of the HFPA to address their problems urgently, with Amazon Studios and WarnerMedia chiming in shortly after.


What lies ahead of the Golden Globes is unclear, but the HFPA seems to be making active changes. Nonetheless, celebrities and companies are anticipating an authentic change from the organization and will continue placing pressure on the organization until they see substantial reform.


 

About the Contributors

Tammy Newman

Staff Writer


Tammy Newman is a junior at Leland High School and a Staff Writer for Journalism. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family as well as reading and writing.









Kailey Hu

Artist


Kailey Hu is a junior at Leland High school and an artist for The Charger account. Some of her hobbies consist of drawing birds, reading novels, watching Youtube/Twitch, and eating good food.

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