A messy situation. The 79th annual Golden Globes are set for Sunday, January 9, but it’s still unknown what exactly that will look like.
“This has been a year of change and reflection for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Hollywood Foreign Press President Helen Hoehne said ahead of the nominations in December. “For eight months, we’ve worked tirelessly as an organization to be better. We changed our rules and bylaws, added a new code of conduct, and restructured our governance. We also have 21 new members, the largest and most diverse in our 79-year-old history. Not only have they brought in a fresh perspective, but ideas that will help us continue to evolve.”
The organization has been in hot water all year following a bombshell investigation in the Los Angeles Times published in February, which detailed alleged misconduct and diversity issues, causing many celebrities and industry members to speak out. It was also revealed that the group previously didn’t have one single Black member.
Since April, there have been many changes happening at the HFPA, including a restructuring behind the scenes and the hiring of a chief diversity officer. Still, it’s unknown if the changes will have much — if any — impact on the show.
“Because we understand the urgency and issue of transparency, we will be continuously updating the members and the public as we move forward in making our organization more inclusive and diverse,” the HFPA said in a statement in May. “We understand that the hard work starts now and we remain dedicated to becoming a better organization and an example of diversity, transparency, and accountability in the industry.”
Industry members, meanwhile, can’t help but wonder if the damage has already been done.
When the nominations were announced by Hoehne and Snoop Dogg — a choice that no one quite understood — only 10,000 viewers tuned in to the announcement streamed on the Globes’ YouTube account, and, according to Variety, the ballroom where the event took place was also noticeably empty.
“Due to COVID restrictions, we always said we would stream and actually a lot of people, I think, tuned in via streaming, which I think is normal,” Hoehne told Variety of the low attendance on December 13. “This is a special year as well. Unfortunately, we’re still working through COVID and the new variants so we have to all be careful. So, I’m actually very surprised that as many people have showed up today in person.
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