What happened to the Golden Globes? The Rise and Fall of HFPA Awards

Los Angeles, 1944. The 20th Century-Fox studios open their doors for the celebration of one of the first awards ceremonies for film and television: the Golden Globes. Simple and informal, this first gala was the realization of the dream of a group of writers and correspondents who wanted to distance themselves from the media for which they worked, and created the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in 1943.

Little by little, this little dream became one of the most prestigious recognitions of professionalism and excellence in film and television in the world. Many of the great stars and films of the international scene have been honored with these awards, and they have often been considered as “The prelude to the Oscars”. Meryl Streep, Renée Zellweger, Julianne Moore, Joaquin Phoenix or Leonardo DiCaprio are just some of the actors and actresses who have taken the stage of the Beverly Hilton hotel, current venue of the awards, to collect one of these statuettes, considered as recognition of great prestige towards their careers. At least until now.

The protagonist of ‘Gambit de dama’, Anya Taylor-Joy, at the gala of this 2021.

Alarms sounded when Norwegian journalist Kjersti Flaa sued the HFPA in 2020 over her refusal to accept her on the committee.. He failed to win the trial, but it was enough to start talking about old criticisms again, pointing to the organization as racist and archaic. American actress Scarlett Johansoon was one of the first voices to stand up and call on the film industry to drop its support for the HFPA until significant reforms are made within the institution. The actress highlighted the large number of sexist questions and comments she received from some of the HFPA members. during the press conferences that take place in the period of promotion of the films.

Along with her, other celebrities have joined the protests, such as Mark Ruffalo or Tom Cruise. The latter, as a symbol of protest against the exclusion and lack of diversity in the HFPA, has returned his three Golden Globes, which he received for best actor in a comedy or musical in Jerry Maguire, for best actor in a drama in Born on the Fourth of July and for best supporting actor in Magnolia.

Photo by Greg Williams.

Photo by Greg Williams.

But the rejection does not come solely from the stars and public opinion, but rather streaming platforms and television networks have also shown their dissatisfaction with the lack of reforms in the institution. NBC announced its refusal to broadcast the Golden Globes ceremony in 2022 due to accusations of lack of ethics and corruption in the organization, and streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Studios have suspended all projects linked to the HFPA, which already it has approved a reform plan to try to redirect an organization that is on the verge of collapse.

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