Grace Whitman ’22
In 2021, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the 78th Golden Globes. The pair used their opening monologue to bring to light the lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that selects the nominees and winners for the Golden Globes and also invites new members into the HFPA. At that point, not a single person on the 87-member committee was Black, which had been the case for over two decades.
Since last year’s Golden Globes, the HFPA has inducted 21 new members, including six Black journalists, five Asian journalists, 10 women, six Latinx individuals, and four individuals of Middle Eastern/North African descent. In a statement made after the announcement of the new members, HFPA President Helen Hoehne said, “We are building a new organization, one that is not focused on fulfilling quotas, but instead has diversity and inclusion at its core.”
The new members of the HFPA had immediate voting rights, and their impact was apparent in the 79th annual Golden Globes awards ceremony, which took place on Sunday, Jan. 9. However, the changes were not as well-received as the HFPA had hoped. NBC, which has hosted the Golden Globes for over 25 years, was particularly unimpressed by the seemingly performative nature of the HFPA’s changes: the network refused to air the Globes, leaving them unaired on television. Evidently, the show that was once the hottest ticket and known for kick-starting award season will be required to make additional internal changes before it can regain credibility.
Despite being unaired—as well as the additional challenges of Tom Cruise returning his three Golden Globes in 2021 and Scarlett Johannesson actively urging her fellow actors to boycott the award show in response to the HFPA’s lack of diversity—the Globes went on, though with no red carpet, no musical guests, and no guests or media outlets. Rather, the event primarily focused on the organization’s philanthropy.
The winners were announced on Twitter by the @goldenglobes verified account. The major awards went to The Power of the Dog for Best Motion Picture—Drama and West Side Story for Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy. West Side Story, a remake of the 1961 film of the same name, also won for Best Supporting Actress with Ariana DeBose in the role of Anita and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy with Rachel Zegler in the role of Maria Vasquez. The Power of the Dog also won for Best Director with Jane Campion and Best Supporting Actor with Kodi Smit-McPhee in the role of Peter Gordon.
Other individual awards went to Will Smith for his role of Richard Williams in King Richard, Nicole Kidman for her role as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos, and Andrew Garfield for his role of Jonathon Larson in Tick, Tick… Boom! An awards season frontrunner since its release, Tick, Tick… Boom! sees Garfield bring Larson, writer of the Broadway show RENT, back to life and celebrate his incredible impact on musical theater. The film is directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
With regard to the future of the Golden Globes, NBC has expressed that it wants to give the HFPA time to resolve its problems and hopes that it will be possible to broadcast the event in 2023. Hopefully, this boycott will push the HFPA to make further, more meaningful internal changes and facilitate the advancement of inclusion in the entertainment industry.