The Fall of the Golden Globes

Jaeyi Song, Contributing Writer

The 2023 Golden Globes took place on January 10th. Chances are that you didn’t watch them. Indeed, Statista reports that the 6.3 million viewers the Golden Globes pulled in were the lowest since NBC started broadcasting the show in 1996. In comparison, American Idol (Monday and Sunday), NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI: Vegas, The Neighborhood, and The Rookie all garnered higher viewerships than the Golden Globes.

The rot of the Golden Globes has been a long time coming, but its dire status has only recently revealed itself.

The Golden Globes were once an iconic award show aiming to highlight the best of American and international cinema. Unfortunately, years of scandal, corruption, and controversy have left it tarnished and a shell of its old self.

In 2020, the Golden Globes were criticized for excluding Asian-American films such as The Farewell, Minari, and Parasite from the Best Motion Picture Categories. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) responded with a lackluster and controversial statement, stating that films must be 50% English to be considered for Best Motion Picture Categories. Despite this, they still included films like Inglourious Basterds and Babel, which did not meet the 50% threshold. Unsurprisingly, this exclusion led to anger and disappointment from members of the Asian-American community.

The 100% white membership of the HFPA also raised accusations that the Golden Globes were racist and corrupt in nature. Members of the HFPA often received kickbacks, bribes, and gifts from production companies. According to a bombshell report by the Los Angeles Times, Paramount Network (who produced Emily in Paris for Netflix) bought 30 HFPA members two night stays at a luxury hotel in Paris that cost $1,400 per night. Unsurprisingly, Emily in Paris received two nominations the following year. Exclusive press conferences that were available for HFPA members were also a point of contention; insiders reported that the environment was often hostile and full of unprofessional behavior, such as personal feuds. 

 Things came to a boiling point in 2018 when actor Brendan Fraser revealed that Philip Berk, the HFPA president,had sexually assaulted him. In lieu of any meaningful change, Berk offered a half-hearted apology. Just a few years later, Berk emailed callous and insensitive opinions about the Black Lives Matter movement that caused him to be fired amidst greater fallout about diversity in the HFPA and Golden Globes.

So, where are we now? The Golden Globes have returned, but the 2023 show was far from perfect. Whether it was cutting out actors/actresses during speeches, making fun of weather emergencies, or the more than 20 nominees who did not attend (including some leading actresses such as Zendaya), it seems that the Golden Globes are fading away. 

The rot of the Golden Globes has been a long time coming, but its dire status has only recently revealed itself. People are quickly realizing that the Golden Globes are a business and a failing one at that. As we reflect upon the life of the Golden Globes and its legacy, many can’t help but be brought to one conclusion: perhaps the Golden Globes were never so great to start with.