NBC announced yesterday it will not be airing the Golden Globes in 2022.
The decision follows months of scrutiny after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)— the panel of journalists that votes on the prestigious awards— was exposed in February for having no Black journalists among its 87 members. The announcement also comes after months of back and forth and rejected proposals for change from the public.
But how did NBC come to this decision? We break down the history and the timeline.
The 78th Golden Globes and the HFPA’s initial response…
The awards show aired as planned this year on March 1, but not without some heavy criticism. The backlash kicked off during the nomination period when Emily in Paris was nominated by the judging group for both Best Television Series: Musical or Comedy, and Lily Collins for Best Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy. These nominations seemed to come at the expense of the widely acclaimed series I May Destroy You and Insecure— both shows lead by Black actresses.
It was later revealed in a Los Angeles Times investigation that more than 30 members of the HFPA visited the set of Emily in Paris— while filming on site (in Paris) and gifted a two-night stay at the five-star Peninsula Hotel, by the Paramount Network. This prompted further investigation into the corrupt behaviours of the judging panel spanning many years— including additional circumstances of gifting from networks and stars in return for nominations, plus as BuzzFeed reports, some members allegedly selling their tickets to the ceremony for up to $39,000 USD.
As a result, in the lead-up to the Awards, the HFPA issued a statement days before the show saying, “We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”
This was met with backlash from social justice lobby group Time’s Up, which launched a pressure campaign #TimeUpGlobes, calling the HFPA’s statement a “cosmetic fix”. The #TimesUpGlobes image was quickly reposted by a string of Hollywood actors and producers including Judd Apatow, Sterling K. Brown and Shonda Rhimes.
The HFPA’s first reform proposals and public response…
Following the Awards on March 9, 2021 the HFPA announced its plans for reform. These plans included “at least 20 new members in 2021, with a specific focus on recruiting Black members”, and expanding eligibility to of group to journalists living outside of Southern California. Their proposal also eliminated the requirement for new members to be sponsored by existing members.
These proposals were initially endorsed by NBC, and long-time Golden Globes production partner Dick Clark Productions, but were met with criticism from Time’s Up yet again.
Tina Tchen, CEO of the Time’s Up Foundation said in a statement released March 7, “Sadly, the list of reforms adopted yesterday, and endorsed by NBC Universal and Dick Clark Productions, are sorely lacking and hardly transformational. Instead, these measures ensure that the current membership of the HFPA will remain in the majority and that the next Golden Globe Awards will be decided with the same fundamental problems that have existed for years.”
In the same statement, Time’s Up also took issue with the proposed reforms being enacted over 18 months rather than committing to immediate change, and said the proposal “contains no specifics, no commitments to real accountability or change, and no real timeline to implement these changes.”
Time’s Up followed with publishing their own set of recommendations needed to transform the Golden Globes.
Boycotting the Golden Globes…
Amid the announcement of the first reform proposal, the HFPA continues to face pressure from Hollywood’s biggest names, and the companies behind them.
On March 9, over 100 major PR firms gathered to discuss the reforms, and later released a letter, warning the HFPA they would restrict connections with their talent unless there was “transformative change”.
Production companies like Netflix, Amazon, and WarnerMedia quickly followed suit, all announcing they would cut off the HFPA and associated work until more meaningful reform was made.
Some stars themselves took a strong stance against the HFPA’s initial proposals, with Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo issuing statements, and Tom Cruise returning three Golden Globe awards he had won.
NBC officially cancels the Golden Globes 2022…
After the backlash, NBC announced on May 10 that they would not be airing the Golden Globes in 2022.
In their statement, NBC said, “We continue to believe that the HFPA 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 HFPA releases amended reforms…
Following this shocking news, the HFPA finally released a statement yesterday amending their initial reform proposal with a timeline of reforms to be made over the next few months. The timeline reflects the organisation’s urgent need to target issues of lack of diversity and corruption, which they said remains their “top priority […] regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes.”
Time’s Up’s CEO Tina Tchen said in a statement, “This is a defining moment for Hollywood. Today, we have the opportunity to recognise that, by speaking up against one powerful but deeply flawed awards system, we can begin to reimagine a more equitable industry.
“It took the collective voices of individual actors, creators, and a united front of over 100 publicists — along with the powerful moral leadership of companies like Netflix, Amazon, and WarnerMedia — to make this happen. Together, we demanded an awards ceremony that is fully inclusive, transparent, and respectful. Courage and leadership made a difference.