NBCUniversal has dramatically announced it will not air next year’s Golden Globes after saying the ceremony’s awarding body needs to become much more diverse.
In a statement released Monday, a NBC Universal spokesman said: ‘We continue to believe that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association 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 spokesperson said. ‘Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.’
Stars including Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo are among those who have taken the HFPA – which awards Globes nominations and wins – to task.
Tom Cruise protested the group by returning all three of his Golden Globes, JustJared reported. The actor picked up wins for his roles in Jerry Maguire, Born on the Fourth of July and Magnolia.
The secretive HFPA is comprised of 87 journalists, with the LA Times revealing earlier this year that not a single of its members is black.
NBC axed next year’s Globes after the ceremony’s ratings fell to just 6.9 million in 2021 – down by two thirds of the 18.3 million who tuned in in 2020. The Peacock network has aired the ceremony annually since 1996.
Next year’s Golden Globes will not air on NBC, the network announced Monday. A statuette is pictured at the February 2021 ceremony in Los Angeles
NBCU said in a statement that it believes the HFPA is committed to reforms, ‘however, change of this magnitude takes time and work.’ Pictured is NBC’s TV and Streaming Content Susan Rovner during a 2017 ‘I Have a Dream’ Foundation dinner in LA
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter also published on Monday, NBCU’s new boss Susan Rovner also hinted tanking ratings were a concern.
Speaking before NBCU made its formal announcement, Rovner said of the Globes: ‘They are expensive. All ratings are declining, and I don’t know if this is a symptom of COVID. Is it this moment in time or is it forever?
‘We have another year before we get a real sense of that. But if it’s not getting good ratings, I don’t know that we’re going to want it — even if they get cheaper.’
It is one of a number of ceremonies – including the Oscars – that saw ratings slump as COVID-19 shuttered cinemas and viewers were turned off by preaching speeches from stars.
The viewership for the telecast in February, where ‘Nomadland’ and ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ won top film honors, dropped by 60 per cent to 6.9 million viewers, NBC News reported.
Scarlett Johansson, pictured at the 2020 Globes, is among stars who have condemned the awards over its lack of diversity
Gal Gadot speaks onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast in 2021
Ben Stiller speaks with nominees via livestream during the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Rainbow Room and broadcast on February 28, 2021 in New York, New York
Monday’s decision follows this recent news that WarnerMedia, Netflix and Amazon cut ties with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association because they didn’t have faith that the non-profit group could reform.
At this point, it isn’t clear if NBC will still be on the hook for HFPA’s $60 million annual fee for the 2022 right to air Golden Globes or if another network will buy the rights.
DailyMail.com called the HFPA for comment. The HFPA’s most recent Twitter statement did not mention the drama, but instead rounded-up box office figures for newly released movies.
Its troubles worsened up in February after it was revealed the 87-member HFPA did not have a single member among its ranks.
That was one item on a laundry list of holes in the HFPA’s sinking ship outlined in the The Los Angeles Times in-depth investigative story in February that included allegations of racism, sexism, bullying and corruption.
Last week the group approved a raft of reforms to become ‘more inclusive and diverse’ by an ‘overwhelming’ margin, hoping to draw a line under months of negative publicity.
The LA Times said it interviewed more than 50 people – including studio publicists, entertainment executives and seven current and former members – and dug into court filings as well as internal financial documents and communications.
The paper said its investigation ‘paints a picture of an embattled organization still struggling to shake its reputation as a group whose awards or nominations can be influenced with expensive junkets and publicity swag.’
The investigation also found that the nonprofit HFPA regularly hands out ‘substantial payments’ to its members.
Last month, on April 20, the HFPA expelled Philip Berk, a 44-year member of the nonprofit and an eight-term past president, after emailing an article to his fellow members that described Black Lives Matter as a ‘racist hate movement,’ according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The HFPA said it ‘vowed’ to do better and make substantial reforms.
The group retained a diversity specialist and consulted with crisis management expert Judy Smith, who inspired Scandal’s Olivia Pope, although Smith quit as a consultant, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
HFPA Vice President Helen Hoehne, HFPA Board Chair Meher Tatna, and HFPA President Ali Sar speak onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards broadcast on February 28, 2021
Sandra Oh at 76th Golden Globes in 2019
The night Berk was given the boot, the HFPA issued this statement to the Hollywood Reporter:
‘Since its inception, the HFPA has dedicated itself to bridging cultural connections and creating further understanding of different backgrounds through film and TV. The views expressed in the article circulated by Mr. Berk are those of the author of the article and do not — in any way shape or form – reflect the views and values of the HFPA. The HFPA condemns all forms of racism, discrimination and hate speech and finds such language and content unacceptable.’
In NBC’s eyes, it didn’t do enough to warrant an airing of the Golden Globes.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the nonprofit group of 87 reporters who votes on the Golden Globes, is mired in controversy and allegations of racism, sexism and corruption