Hollywood is reacting swiftly to major news that could completely alter the award show landscape in 2022 and beyond after NBC announced on Monday that they would refrain from airing the show in January. After their press release was made public, Tom Cruise also made a move that many consider a sign that the entertainment industry is ready to close the door on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for good.
The organization has been controversial for years, but things came to a head when a February Los Angeles Times investigative article dove deep into the financial corruption, lack of diversity and sexual harassment allegations amongst its members. The HFPA tried to make meaningful changes when it recently announced its proposal to overhaul the organization, but it was too little, too late. By Monday afternoon, NBC released a statement about backing away from broadcasting next January's ceremony.
"We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” the statement said, per Variety. “However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”
The network was concerned that there wasn't a timeline of when these changes would be enacted and didn't believe there was enough opportunity to change the face of the membership before another award show season rolled around, per Variety. Once major streaming studios like Netflix and Amazon began to push back against the organization, it was pretty much game over for the show to be held on NBC in 2022.
While NBC is currently committed to bringing the show back to the airwaves in 2023, it's unclear if that will really happen. The state of the award show industry is also dire, not only because of the challenges the pandemic brought, but the U.S. appetite for award shows has diminished significantly over the years. The 2020 broadcast was watched by 18.3 million viewers, but the 2021 show brought in a paltry 6.9 million viewers in comparison. The Golden Globes aren't the only ones seeing the fallout, every other show has had major dips in ratings, too.
The lack of a broadcast partner now leaves the HFPA in the position to scramble to either save their 2022 show or scrap it altogether and reorganize for a 2023 ceremony. With a lack of cooperation from major Hollywood players, including Cruise who returned his three Golden Globe statuettes to them today, there is a lot of doubt as to whether the HFPA will see support in the future.
No one has followed the Top Gun: Maverick star's lead of sending back their Golden Globe awards yet, but the HFPA is now in possession of Cruise's hardware for Best Actor in 1990's Born on the Fourth of July and 1997's Jerry Maguire along with his Best Supporting Actor prize for 2000's Magnolia. Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson is pushing back in her own way against the HFPA.
"As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows," she said in a statement to Deadline. "In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences." She's suggesting "a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole."
Mark Ruffalo posted his thoughts on social media and summed up what a lot of industry insiders are feeling today about the HFPA. "Now is the time to step up and right the wrongs of the past," he wrote. "Honestly, as a recent winner of a Golden Globe, I cannot feel proud or happy about being a recipient of this award."
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