The Golden Globe Awards are facing backlash before they can even begin this weekend as more people realize that there are no Black voters involved in the ceremony at all. Golden Globes winners are selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and last weekend The Los Angeles Times learned that there are no Black members of the HFPA. The Association promises to change that, but in the meantime viewers are questioning how it came to this.
The 78th Golden Globes will be live on Sunday, Feb. 28, filmed virtually from two locations and with a number of other COVID-19 safety measure in place. The winners of the award show are decided by 87 people, none of whom are Black. According to The L.A. Times' report, the HFPA has already been trying to "burnish its image in recent years," but it is woefully behind in terms of representation. It already has a bad reputation among other award shows in the entertainment industry, and the accusations of a racial bias are not helping.
Many critics are conflating the lack of Black members in the HFPA with its conspicuous lack of nominations for Black-led films. The best picture category, for example, ignored huge hits like Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Judas and the Black Messiah and One Night in Miami.
The HFPA issued a statement on Thursday saying that this disparity would be corrected. It said: "We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, tv and the artists inspiring and educating them. 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."
In the meantime, the criticism continues, and will most likely color the response to Sunday night's award show. Here is a look at what fans are saying about the HFPA's lack of Black voters for the Golden Globes.
There are a lot of reasons giving awards for art is a bad idea: among them, that you don't really know who's handing out the awards. The Hollywood Foreign Press, apparently, has not one Black voting member. https://t.co/hXRD5lc3Oz— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) February 27, 2021
It only matters if you care about getting one of their awards; if you don’t, it’s irrelevant.— Ed (@ejd53) February 27, 2021
Some users who were already cynical about award shows in general allowed this news to fuel their complaints.prevnext
Translating to: "it's Black people's fault."February 28, 2021
Others dug right into the question of why there were no Black members of the HFPA, looking for systemic explanations and even offering the organization the benefit of the doubt, in some cases. The results were still not encouraging.prevnext
Thanks for letting all of us know about this. These are the things that, as a Hollywood outsider, I would never have known. It's incomprehensible that this exists in 2021.@kerrywashington @SterlingKBrown#EqualityForAll #TimesUpGlobes https://t.co/R5RBGqls0H— The Emerald Forest (@TheEmeraldFore1) February 28, 2021
Many thought that this issue exemplified the seedy inner workings of Hollywood that are hard to see from "the outside." They argued that representation in the HFPA does matter because the viewers at home won't necessarily know the awards are skewed — they will just assume the award assigns more value to a movie.prevnext
Co-sign. https://t.co/q0WNNqoS7r— Deborah Copaken (@dcopaken) February 28, 2021
The "Time's Up" Campaign resurfaced this week to weigh in on the Godlen Globes controversy as well. The campaign was a huge part of the Me Too movement, though it became controversial later on. This week, many stars seemed to endorse it once again.prevnext
WTF?! That's not an accident. That's a philosophy.— thefedgov (@thefedgov) February 27, 2021
Some argued that the HFPA could not have gone this long without a Black member by accident or happenstance. They argued that the institution itself must have been willfully excluding Black journalists.prevnext
There must be deliberate outreach to black professionals in this organization. Not a gradual process. This can be resolved immediately and positively. https://t.co/Dx9glSPmW8— Christopher Currie (@Hypestyles) February 27, 2021
Many commenters offered their best ideas to solve the racial disparity in the HFPA, if the organization really wanted to regain legitimacy for the Golden Globes. They called for a proactive approach, not a gradual one.prevnext
I’m sure a single black judge will fix all of the problems the Golden Globes have been accused of, including effectively taking bribes.— Kim Kim (@AnxietyFriesKim) February 28, 2021
Finally, many viewers said that no proportion of Black judges could lend legitimacy to the Golden Globes in their eyes, after so many accusations of bribery within the award show. They argued that a panel of 87 journalists was simply not fit to judge the best achievements in TV and film each year.
Regardless, the 2021 Golden Globes will go on as planned. The show begins on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.prev