At present, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the body that organizes the Golden Globe Awards, is under public scrutiny as it works towards shaking off its reputation of lacking in credibility and inclusivity. However, despite the industry’s boycott on the event, the 79th Golden Globe Awards are still going to take place on Sunday, January 9—without an audience or media.
Following a Los Angeles Times investigation in February 21, 2021, the Association has been accused of sexism and corruption, along with racism, for not including a single Black member among its international database of 87 journalists for the Golden Globe Awards.
Until recently, the Golden Globes were considered to be one of the most vital cogs in the Hollywood Award race, placed second in importance only to the Oscars. After several negative claims have gone public, many industry players have stepped back from endorsing or supporting the event, including television rights holder NBC, publicists, studios, and celebrities.
Despite all odds, the event will take place in its usual Beverly Hills Hotel venue to highlight the association’s philanthropic efforts and annual nominations. Citing the accelerating spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, no audience will be present during the event.
“Over the past 25 years, the HFPA has donated $50 million to more than 70 entertainment-related charities, film restoration, scholarship programmes and humanitarian efforts,” the HFPA said. Last month, it was announced that Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast and Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog will be on top of this year’s picks.
While it continues to pay damage control and work on rehabilitating its public image, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association released a drafted letter earlier this year to the organization’s membership with a “roadmap for transformational change”. The plan suggests that HFPA will add a minimum of 20 new members “with a specific focus on recruiting Black members.” It also calls for the change of the requirements that act as barriers to “underrepresented groups”, such as residency in southern California. The letter also mentioned that the organization will “develop a comprehensive and long-term strategy for the recruitment of racially diverse journalists.”
Regardless of their efforts, the streets of Los Angeles have been clear of ads and billboards boasting this year’s Golden Globe nominations.