NBC won’t air the Golden Globes next year, it said in a surprise announcement that also admonished the organization which administers the awards to overhaul its practices after it emerged it has no black members.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is the body that awards the Golden Globes, has been stung by criticism from black directors and others in the entertainment industry for its lack of diversity and secretive dealings. It had said last week that it would embark on big reforms.
Still, NBCUniversal said Monday it wouldn’t air next year’s awards. The decision comes also as ratings have taken a nosedive.
In a statement released Monday, an NBCUniversal spokesman said: ‘We continue to believe that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is committed to meaningful reform. 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,’ the spokesperson said. ‘Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.’
Stars including Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo are among those who have taken the HFPA to task. And Tom Cruise protested the group by returning all three of his Golden Globes, JustJared reported. The actor picked up wins for his roles in Jerry Maguire, Born on the Fourth of July and Magnolia.
The secretive HFPA is comprised of 87 journalists, with the Los Angeles Times revealing earlier this year that not a single of its members is black.
NBC axed next year’s Globes after the ceremony’s ratings fell to just 6.9 million in 2021 – down by two thirds of the 18.3 million who tuned in in 2020. The Peacock network has aired the ceremony annually since 1996.
Next year’s Golden Globes will not air on NBC, the network announced Monday. A statuette is pictured at the February 2021 ceremony in Los Angeles
NBCU said in a statement that it believes the HFPA is committed to reforms, ‘however, change of this magnitude takes time and work.’ Pictured is NBC’s TV and Streaming Content Susan Rovner during a 2017 ‘I Have a Dream’ Foundation dinner in LA
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter also published on Monday, NBCU’s new boss Susan Rovner also hinted tanking ratings were a concern.
Speaking before NBCU made its formal announcement, Rovner said of the Globes: ‘They are expensive. All ratings are declining, and I don’t know if this is a symptom of COVID. Is it this moment in time or is it forever?
‘We have another year before we get a real sense of that. But if it’s not getting good ratings, I don’t know that we’re going to want it — even if they get cheaper.’
It is one of a number of ceremonies – including the Oscars – that saw ratings slump as COVID-19 shuttered cinemas and viewers were turned off by preaching speeches from stars.
The viewership for the telecast in February, where ‘Nomadland’ and ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ won top film honors, dropped by 60 per cent to 6.9 million viewers, NBC News reported.
Scarlett Johansson, pictured at the 2020 Globes, is among stars who have condemned the awards over its lack of diversity
Gal Gadot speaks onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast in 2021
Ben Stiller speaks with nominees via livestream during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Rainbow Room and broadcast on February 28, 2021 in New York, New York
Monday’s decision follows this recent news that WarnerMedia, Netflix and Amazon cut ties with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association because they said they didn’t have faith that the non-profit group could reform.
At this point, it isn’t clear if NBC will still be on the hook for HFPA’s $60 million annual fee for the 2022 right to air Golden Globes or if another network will buy the rights.
DailyMail.com called the HFPA for comment. The HFPA’s most recent Twitter statement did not mention the drama, but instead rounded-up box office figures for newly released movies.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the nonprofit group of 87 reporters who votes on the Golden Globes, is mired in controversy and allegations of racism, sexism and corruption
Among the issues for the organization are others outlined in a The Los Angeles Times investigation in February that included allegations of racism, sexism, bullying and corruption.
Last week the group approved a raft of reforms to become ‘more inclusive and diverse’ by an ‘overwhelming’ margin, hoping to draw a line under months of negative publicity.
The LA Times said it interviewed more than 50 people – including studio publicists, entertainment executives and seven current and former members – and dug into court filings as well as internal financial documents and communications.
The paper said its investigation ‘paints a picture of an embattled organization still struggling to shake its reputation as a group whose awards or nominations can be influenced with expensive junkets and publicity swag.’
The investigation also found that the nonprofit HFPA regularly hands out ‘substantial payments’ to its members.
Last month, on April 20, the HFPA expelled Philip Berk, a 44-year member of the nonprofit and an eight-term past president, after he emailed an article to his fellow members that described Black Lives Matter as a ‘racist hate movement.’
The HFPA said it ‘vowed’ to do better and make substantial reforms.
The group retained a diversity specialist and consulted with crisis management expert Judy Smith, who inspired Scandal’s Olivia Pope, although Smith quit as a consultant, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
HFPA Vice President Helen Hoehne, HFPA Board Chair Meher Tatna, and HFPA President Ali Sar speak onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast on February 28, 2021
Sandra Oh at 76th Golden Globes in 2019
The night Berk was given the boot, the HFPA issued this statement to the Hollywood Reporter:
‘Since its inception, the HFPA has dedicated itself to bridging cultural connections and creating further understanding of different backgrounds through film and TV. The views expressed in the article circulated by Mr. Berk are those of the author of the article and do not — in any way shape or form – reflect the views and values of the HFPA. The HFPA condemns all forms of racism, discrimination and hate speech and finds such language and content unacceptable.’
In NBC’s eyes, it didn’t do enough to warrant an airing of the Golden Globes.
Golden Globes’ ex-president is FIRED from HFPA board after sending members article that compared BLM movement to Charles Manson
The organization behind the Golden Globes has fired one of its former presidents from its board over an email that compared Black Lives Matter to mass murderer Charles Manson, as two experts brought on to drive ‘transformational change’ in the embattled entity have quit amid the scandal.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) said in an email Tuesday that Phil Berk, an 88-year-old member who served eight terms as HFPA president, was no longer a member after more than four decades with the organization.
The decision comes just hours after NBC – which telecasts and pays for the Globes – condemned Berk’s actions and called for his ‘immediate expulsion.’
Berk came under fire after he shared an article from FrontPage Mag with the association’s members, staff, general counsel and chief operating officer Sunday that accused BLM of ‘carrying on’ Manson’s mission to ‘start a race war’.
The HFPA issued a statement saying it ‘condemns all forms of racism, discrimination and hate speech’ and slamming Berk’s email as ‘unacceptable’ before later announcing his ousting from the board Tuesday.
The organization behind the Golden Globes has fired one of its former presidents from its board over an email that compared Black Lives Matter to mass murderer Charles Manson, as two experts brought on to drive ‘transformational change’ in the embattled entity have quit amid the scandal. Phil Berk on stage at the 68th Annual Golden Globes in 2011
But the HFPA was rocked by further turmoil Tuesday as its newly appointed experts in diversity and inclusion and crisis management both resigned from their roles in the wake of the scandal citing the organization’s ‘systemic challenges’.
The saga marks just the latest controversy for the HFPA after it recently came under fire for not having a black member in more than 20 years.
‘Effective immediately, Phil Berk is no longer a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,’ the HFPA said in a statement Tuesday.
NBC had called for the entity to take ‘swift action’ to reprimand Berk over the email.
‘NBC strongly condemns Phil Berk’s actions and is calling for his immediate expulsion,’ NBC said in a statement.
‘While we continue to await the details of HFPA’s upcoming plan for reform, swift action on this front is an essential element for NBC to move forward with the HFPA and the Golden Globes.’
The show’s producer, Dick Clark Productions, also demanded his removal in a private letter sent to the HFPA Monday night.
The Hollywood Reporter then revealed Tuesday night that Shaun Harper, who was hired as a diversity strategist advisor just last month, and crisis ‘fixer’ Judy Smith had both walked away from the HFPA Tuesday.
Harper said in a resignation letter seen by the outlet that he was initially optimistic when he joined the organization, but felt compelled to step down after learning about the group’s ‘deep systemic and reputational challenges.’
He said he ‘no longer has confidence’ he could bring about ‘transformational change’ in the embattled organization and his ‘unwavering commitment to the racial and gender equity issues’ meant he could no longer work with the organization.
‘Having now learned more about the Association’s deep systemic and reputational challenges, I no longer have confidence in our ability to collaboratively deliver the transformational change that the industry and people in it whom I deeply respect are demanding of you,’ said Harper, who is a professor of racial, gender and LGBTQ issues at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
‘My serious, unwavering commitment to the racial and gender equity issues on which I work every day make it impossible for me to continue serving in a consulting capacity with the HFPA,’ he continued.
His decision to quit came after he met with representatives of Time’s Up, including Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes, and the PR firms who last month warned the HFPA of a boycott if it doesn’t tackle its diversity challenges.
Harper was reportedly criticized in the meeting that his aims so far do not go far enough.