On Sunday, Hollywood put on a big show about not making a big show.
The Golden Globe Awards were held – so to speak – at the Beverly Hilton Hotel as usual, but due to COVID and a diversity controversy, they were not televised on NBC and there were no audiences, red carpet or star presenters.
In fact, there was no opportunity to see the show honoring the best of what we’ve seen all year.
What is all the fuss about? Last February, a condemnatory report in the Los Angeles Times revealed that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the small group that votes on prices, had no black members.
Outrage followed (harmless awards have annoyingly become reliable lightning rods for scandal and anger), and NBC rejected the 2022 edition.
The problem has since been fixed: HFPA added 21 different journalists to their ranks, including six black voters, and forged a partnership with the NAACP.
The peacock shrugged. The program was still not aired, and celebrities largely ignored their nominations. Usually, twittering self-reported stories about stars on social media were conspicuously silent. And in Variety, where movies and TV shows air full-page “For Your Consideration” commercials during the awards season, graduates have instead championed their Critics Choice Award nod.
The Globes – a silly show where A-lists get full while Ricky Gervais insults them – has become Hollywood’s No. 1 pariah.
Let’s be right – NBC’s decision not to broadcast Globes does not choose them as pope. If the awards ceremony were a big money-making company with boffo ratings and unique exposure to stars, Hollywood would have been much quicker to forgive HFPA.
But Tinseltown is full of hypocrites.
Take the upcoming movie “Death on the Nile,” starring Armie Hammer. The actor is currently during the police investigation for sexual assault on a woman and according to the alleged victim abused her “mentally, emotionally and sexually.” His new film is a month away from going to the cinema on February 11, and no one seems to worry.
(Hammer denies the allegations.)
Disney and 20th Century Studios did not want to resume Hammer’s scenes for the film a la Kevin Spacey in “All the Money in the World”. He appears prominently on the poster, and the film’s various delays were mostly due to COVID – not holiness.
The collective “meh” is because Disney and 20th Century Studios know that this movie is likely to make them a lot of money. Kenneth Branagh’s latest Agatha Christie film, “Murder on the Orient Express,” grossed $ 352 million worldwide on a $ 55 million budget. We could not possibly cancel it!
I’m not saying they should either, but it’s so pathetically transparent to signal virtue from Hollywood’s selective outrage that NBC rejected Globes because it was easy.
The broadcast has had a decline in viewership for years. Last year’s edition was seen by only 6.9 million viewers – the Globes ‘worst number since the ceremony aired on TBS in the’ 90s. All awards take their last dying breath.
The HFPA membership controversy gave NBC an easy end to a year of logistically challenging, money-losing efforts. What do you do when the boyfriend you’re starting to hate still crashes your car? You break up with him.
NBC has a contract to broadcast the Golden Globes until 2026 for $ 60 million a year, but you can bet a dedicated lawyer spends many sleepless nights trying to tear the old deal apart. Meanwhile, Disney is figuring out how to make the most money on “Death on the Nile.”
That’s how it goes in crazy, ballyhooey Hollywood.