Golden Globes Nominations Prove A Missed Opportunity For Scandal Stained HFPA

What if you held a Golden Globes and no one was there, or really cared?

Mired in controversy and canceled for 2022 by NBC, that is the thorny question and reality facing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association this morning as the group behind the long problematic opening salvo of awards season announced the nominations for the 79th annual Globes.

“This was a joke, a pathetic attempt to gain some credibility,” one award-winning showrunner told Deadline after watching the glitchy livestream Monday from the Beverly Hilton.

Certainly what we saw early Monday wasn’t promising, even cultural circumstances aside.

Those close to the HFPA have promised  the default plan for next month’s ceremony will be more  than the mere press conference the Globes rolled out in early 2008 because of the crippling writers’ strike. However, 2008 is looking pretty good right now, all things considered. Starting several minutes late from its 6 AM PT kickoff, the less than 20-minute affair was very light on star power and production value of any sort — a.k.a: no show and a lot of tell, in more ways than one.

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Announced by the always dependable Snoop Dogg and HFPA president Helen Hoehne, the purpose of the pre-dawn event appeared to be presenting continuity out of the chaos of the past year. With no news on what the HFPA will actually be doing on January 9 — the same day as the ambitious Critics Choice Awards BTW — the Netflix-led nominations may end up being more of a Scarlett letter than badge of honor for those named.

Having spent the past few months in a process of self-described reform after being boycotted by most of Hollywood and lacking their broadcast platform, the HFPA know that year off the radar will surely spell the end of the Globes. In a move that reeks of just how ostracized they are, the group tweaked their own rules this year so no one had to put forth a submission to be eligible for Globes consideration.

So, desperately trying to pull off a non-televised January 9 show that almost no one except the HFPA wants or needs the now philanthropic leaning Globes desires to coerce a disdainful but still trophy hungry industry into playing ball. To that end, the Globes sought to be both more diverse than before with today’s nominations, and, at the same time, retain the HFPA’s populist inclination.

In trying to please what they hoped was everyone, the HFPA found radio silence.

The subsequent lack this morning of the usual prepared ads, A-talent quips, social media congratulations and other marketing bragging about garnering a Globes nom reveals just what a dud this morning was for the HFPA. To paraphrase the advertising campaign for the original Alien, in dead awards space, no one wants to hear you scream.

Introduced by new-ish HFPA boss Hoehne, the non-event may have also proved DOA because of how thin it was on the harsh situation of the past 10 months for the besieged organization.

Just before the 78th Globes, the HFPA was walloped by revelations from the LA Times and others of the group’s lack of a single Black member. That was followed by an uncorking of an overall culture of grifting at best and deliberate misconduct at the worst, that saw the studios, streamers and top publicist refuse to work with HFPA, cutting off its celebrity oxygen. Making matters messier, the group repeatedly faceplanted in its response as they promised a much-proclaimed overhaul.

Touting new members and the immigrant backgrounds of the group, Hoehne today seemed to rush through name checking a “year of change and reflection” for the essentially excommunicated HFPA. Missing a clear opportunity to present a new face forward, Hoehne misread the wider room and instead exclaimed the HFPA has “worked tirelessly as an organization to be better” and pretty much left it at that.

Which is to say, if  interim HFPA CEO and dick clark productions owner Todd Boehly wants to see the $60 million annual fee from the Comcast-owned NBC flowing in 2023, they might want to hit the reset button at least one more time — hard.

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